Astros Vow to Win "At Least Once or Twice" This Season.
The Houston Astros celebrate getting their first out five hours into the 2010 season.
Just a couple of years after capturing their first National League pennant, the Houston Astros fortunes have reversed and have become the most snake-bitten team in the major leagues. The only team in MLB that has yet to win a game, the Astros, managed by former Red Sox bench coach Brad Mills, have found new and creative ways to lose games.
A quick look at the team's stats gives indications for their 0-5 record. In a recent start on the 6th against San Francisco, starting southpaw Wandy Rodriguez, after a horrible spring training, delivered a quality start. However, the Giants scored 11 runs in the first alone despite Rodriquez striking out seven in that inning.
The offensive and defensive woes continue. Carlos Lee, in previous years a consistent and reliable powerhouse but hitting a dismal .158 this season, was walked home with the bases loaded but killed by a freak lightning bolt between third and home. Despite Brad Mills' attempts to sprinkle the star player's remains on home plate, the umpiring crew would not allow the run to score and merely whisked Mr. Lee's ashes into the red clay of the infield.
The ominous signs of things to come began in spring training. "OK, I'll admit, you often don't see bunts get turned into inside-the-park grand slams," said Brad Mills, "but, in our defense, that was against a pretty darned good college team."
At least twice this season, Astros hitters have hit into double plays with two outs and nobody on and last night Lance Berkman grounded into an exceedingly rare unassisted quadruple play. Little League mercy rules have been invoked three times this season. The umpires who have officiated over the Astros' games have marveled that they've never seen another team who could find more bizarre and unprecedented ways to lose games.
"I mean, how often is it," asked Tim McClelland, "when you see a towering fly ball hurtling over the center field wall eventually get ruled a foul ball? I haven't seen that since Fenway Park in the last week of the 1978 season."
As a show of good faith to the fans of Houston, the Astros, who are on pace to lose 162 games this season, have vowed to win "at least once or twice during the 2010 campaign." "Who knows," Mills hinted, "with the right incentives and a major roster turnover before the trading deadline, we may even better the 43-119 record posted by the 2003 Detroit Tigers. And, of course, no one could possibly be worse than the 1962 Mets. Stop laughing, we could do it!"
However, with just 157 games left to go this season, the Astros have already been mathematically eliminated from playoff contention.
Meanwhile, the Astros front office was vigorously denying rumors that the eight players who were brought back to commemorate the 1965 team that opened the Houston Astrodome were being pressed back into service.
Elias Sports Bureau informs us that most high school football games in the Houston area generally attract more fans and press than Astros games. The Houston Chronicle has already moved their Astros coverage from the sports section to the comics.