Before everyone loses their mind and tries to castigate me, headlines are meant to grab your attention.
Obviously, the Houston Astros are not rooting for the coronavirus to wreak havoc on the world.
When is the last time you heard someone talking about the Astros or the fact they are getting beaned in spring training regularly? When is the last time you heard a player or former player taking the Astros to task over the 2017 cheating scandal? Have you seen any videos of former MLB favorite Jose Altuve being booed lately? Let me answer that question for you. No! You haven’t heard anything about the Astros recently.
Now I know the Astros and their entire organization are worried about the COVID-19 effects on the world. I also know that nobody feels good about any of this or the delay to the start of the 2020 season.
I asked this question to Levi Weaver of The Athletic. “How do you think the Astros organization feel about the COVID-19 taking their names out the headline’? Weaver replied, “I can’t imagine anyone feels *good* about any of this”.
However, we also have to be honest about the situation. The coronavirus has completely taken the Houston Astros out of the baseball headlines. Sickness be damned, the Astros are no longer the most hated thing for baseball fans around America.
Nobody knows how long or if the MLB will delay the season. Odds are likely that the baseball season will be delayed for a while. Spring training games are being suspended as of today, and the NBA and NHL both suspended their seasons. The potential spread of COVID-19 has given the Astros a reprieve as of now. That could be a good thing or a bad thing for the 2019 AL Champs.
The good thing is that with a delay in action, fans may be more forgiving when the season does finally start and baseball begins. The delay could also be a bad thing for the Astros. Once play resumes, the fans around baseball could take out their frustrations even harder on the Astros. A delay in baseball could mean a more delayed and drawn out castigation of them. Most were thinking that after the season the whole cheating ire might die down a bit. Of course, fans in New York and LA will hold a grudge for a while. But maybe the rest of baseball would focus their anger elsewhere. Time will tell.
Baseball is a part of our pastime. The oldest sport in America, it is the fabric of summer. While baseball has flirted with rule changes to speed up the game, it seems fitting that a virus is delaying the season. Fans who have still not fully embraced baseball will most likely have to wait for the season to begin to fall in love. Maybe this isn’t such a horrible thing for the team down in Houston.
When I asked Chris Halicke of Sports Illustrated the same question as Levi Weaver, his response was about the same. “Honestly, I don’t think anyone is actually happy this is happening”.
While I tend to agree with both of them, it sure seems like the timing is favorable for the defending AL West champs.
We can all agree that we are praying or keeping those affected by this virus in our thoughts.
The quicker this thing is controlled, the quicker this season can get started. In the meantime, wash your hands, don’t touch your face and quit shaking hands with people.
Featured Image: ABC57.com