Houston Astros: A unique perspective of ‘The Process’ from a baseball fan

WEST PALM BEACH, FL - MARCH 09: Justin Verlander #35 of the Houston Astros (Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images)
WEST PALM BEACH, FL - MARCH 09: Justin Verlander #35 of the Houston Astros (Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images) /
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Part 2: First few seasons as an Astro

Chapter 4

Minor League Career

Henry’s minor league career lasted for two months. He would spend a week-and-a-half in Single-A ball before moving up to Double-A ball. After a slow start, Henry was able to get going. He was in the midst of a fifteen-game hitting streak when he was promoted to Triple-A. Then after a few weeks, an Houston Astros player was injured and they needed a roster spot. Henry was called up and the rest was history.

Rookie Season in 2005

While Henry was not able to crack the starting lineup, he was able to learn from the players including Jeff Bagwell, Lance Berkman, Craig Biggio, Roger Clemens, and Andy Pettitte on how to play. When Henry did get into the games, everyone saw potential in him. He was soon expected to be the next big thing in Houston. To make things more exciting, Henry was on an Houston Astros team that would win the World Series. His promise to his parents was going to be made.

A Promise to Bagwell and Biggio

Unfortunately, the Houston Astros were swept by the Chicago White Sox with Henry only getting one at-bat in Game 3. As soon as the series was over, Henry went over to the two icons of the team in Bagwell and Biggio. Perhaps he knew that Bagwell and Biggio’s playing days were about to come to an end. But the rookie went to the two veterans and said that he would be on the team that would win the first World Series championship ever and he would do it for them. What he didn’t realize was that it wouldn’t happen as soon as he thought.

Chapter 5

Next Few Seasons

2005 did end on a positive note for Henry despite losing in the World Series. He and Lyla Ann had gotten married and were soon living at home. Kids would soon follow and Henry was a father as well as a baseball player.

But on the diamond, Henry continues to play. He has some great seasons with the Houston Astros even though they are unable to get to the playoffs. By the end of  2007, Bagwell and Biggio were retired and Henry was behind Berkman and Oswalt. Henry is able to make the All-Star team on a few occasions and fans are starting to realize what a great player he is.

The Bad Times

At first, Henry was having fun playing the game. But as the winning seasons turned to losing seasons, things were tough on him. Life at home was great, but baseball suddenly started to not be fun. Who wants to go to work every day knowing their team was likely going to lose that day? While Henry hated losing, he knew he had to go to work. He was still a star, but the team was bad. A good Christian man, Henry prays for help through this process. The response he gets is that his time will come.

There was a bright spot however when Henry was introduced to a five-foot-six player from Venezuela named Jose Altuve. Although Henry was skeptical at first, he saw Altuve hit and play and was very impressed. The two of them struck up a friendship and promised to lead the Houston Astros to a championship.

A Trade??

While everyone saw Henry as a great player, they believed he needed to be on a championship-caliber team. Teams offered to trade for him, but nothing came through, Then, the Texas Rangers had an offer the Houston Astros could certainly not pass up. They approached Henry and left it up to him to decide. While Henry wanted to win a championship, he knew he made a promise. He considered going to Texas to win a championship and then coming back to Houston to help win a title. But after a few moments, Henry declined the offer.

This decision would hurt Henry’s chances of being an all-time great. But Henry didn’t care. He had a promise to keep, even if it meant playing at fifty.

Chapter 6

New Ownership

When Jim Crane bought the team in 2011 and hired Jeff Luhnow, they made a plan to lose games to get high draft picks. Just to be sure, they informed Henry of the decision. While Henry didn’t want to morally disrespect the game, he saw this as his one and only chance to get a title. He went along with the plan.


The losses kept piling up. But Henry was aware of the process even if no one else does. His family is aware of the plan and still attend games in a mostly empty ballpark. The rest of the nation laughs at the Houston Astros and calls them a joke. They even make fun of Henry for staying with the team when he could’ve been great. Henry doesn’t care.

A New Role

As the process continues, Henry becomes aware of the talent around him. From Carlos Correa to George Springer, Dallas Keuchel to Marwin Gonzalez, and Lance McCullers Jr. to Brad Peacock, the Houston Astros were just a few pieces away from winning it all. Even a Sports Illustrated cover in 2014 predicts the Houston Astros to be the 2017 World Series champions. No one buys it, yet Henry could sense it even if his role was becoming diminished.

He allows his teammates to take the credit while he goes to being a role player off the bench. He offers advice to anyone who needs it and the Houston Astros get better. 2014 is a good start and 2015 leads to a playoff appearance. Although Henry’s hopes of a championship are dashed, he knows his time to win is coming. 2016 is a step back, but 2017 is around the corner and Henry is ready.