Sunday, October 07, 2007

All righty then

The Astros finally put me out of their misery.

The "Good Guys" took two of three from the Braves on the last weekend of the season, finishing fourth in the division. It had appeared in August that they might finish last, so fourth is an improvement, I suppose. The weekend was quite sentimental, with Craig Biggio making his final appearance in an Astros' uniform. He also caught for two innings on Saturday evening, making his career come full-circle. I wasn't really a baseball fan back in the day (that was when the Dallas Cowboys were the focus of professional sports in the state, what with the Troy Aikman/Michael Irvin/Emmitt Smith triad leading them to the playoffs, and. . . oh wait. I digress), so it was quite neat to get to see him catch in person. Of course, it was also quite fun to watch Brad Ausmus play second for a couple of innings! Sunday was send-off day, and the ovations thundered every time Biggio came to the plate. It was quite obvious that Bidge struggled with his emotions the entire game, but then, so did I. There's no crying in baseball, but I made an exception on Sunday. Cecil Cooper took all the veterans out one at a time during the late innings, and each player came across the field to hug Biggio before they went to the clubhouse. And then, when Biggio was taken out, the entire team filed out of the dugout to meet him one last time. After the game was completed, Biggio's epilogue was to jog the entire warning track, high-fiving fans before trotting down the dugout steps. I had run out of napkins by then, so I was a sodden mess.

The celebrations of Biggio's milestones and career this year were certainly the highpoint of the season, as the Astros just weren't very good. The players talk about the grind of the season. I'm not sure they realize what a grind it is for the fans, too--especially in a season like this one. I'm enjoying watching the playoffs, but overall I'm actually relieved the year is over.

Speaking of the playoffs, I would like to point out that all three of the teams whose home fields I visited this year--the Rockies, Cubs, and Red Sox--made the post-season. Therefore, I will be petitioning the Padres, Orioles, Mariners, and Rangers for sponsorships in 2008. (And none of those nose-bleed seats, either. I can only work my mojo from close up.)

Anyway, time to close. I'll try to post something along the lines of a preview of 2008 early in the offseason. For all fans out there, as this season fades, may the good memories linger and the bad memories dim with time.