Woof. What a post-season and World Series. Again, the Houston Astros make their way into the final series, but this year with a surprise twist. The Philadelphia Phillies meet them for what turns out to be six games. That’s right, the 87-75 Phillies come from way behind to defeat the Cardinals, the Braves and the Padres to face off the expected ALCS winners, the Astros.
The Phillies played with heart. The Astros played with whatever you call it where there isn’t a trash can banging in the background. (Yeah, I’m still salty about 2019, but more about that in a minute.)
Harper, Hoskins, Schwarber, Realmuto, Marsh, Bohm, and Castellanos were all fun to watch. And, they gave the Astros a real run for their money. But the Astros had an insanely deep bullpen. Cue the scary music whenever Pressley or Abreu would come out of the Astros’ bullpen.
But, in the end, the Astros did it. Even potentially fairly this time. And, hats off to manager Dusty Baker. He’s done a tremendous job in restoring a lot of confidence in the club.
So, congratulations to the Houston Astros, with exception to the following players: Aledmys Díaz, Alex Bregman, Bryan Abreu, Framber Valdez, Jose Altuve, Jose Urquidy, Josh James, Justin Verlander, Kyle Tucker, Martin Maldonado, Michael Brantley, Ryan Pressly, Yordan Alvarez, Yuli Gurriel.
As a part of the pre-2020 Houston Astros, your wins and skills will always be challenged by the cheating scandal. While its difficult to prove who was involved without your admissions of guilt, it’s nearly impossible to prove that you weren’t involved at all.
Someday, there will be talk of these players being up for consideration in the Baseball Hall of Fame. Others have been kept out for less. Gambling on games? You didn’t cheat anyone out of a fair game. PEDs? The players only impacted their own capabilities? Sign stealers? Y’all cheated fans out of a fair game.