The Astros will face one of the most daunting challenges in the history of the franchise. What is that? Getting through the 2020 season. Why? Let’s talk.
“Something, something, the Houston Astros are cheaters” is the phrase this ball club will most likely hear all throughout this season. Could this team be doomed from the start due to the outside noise?
The Los Angeles Dodgers with their game-changing new acquisitions in David Price and Mookie Betts, and the New York Yankees with former Astro Gerrit Cole. Although the Houston Astros have the third-highest odds among all of the MLB but the road to October may be as tough as ever.
For all the wrong reasons, the Houston Astros find themselves as one of the most talked-about sports teams. The ball club has issued their apologies and has begun to look forward to the future with their new manager Dusty Baker and their new GM James Click. However, it seems that everyone has an opinion about the Houston Astros scandal – including players, media members and fans. Yes, even LeBron James chimed in on the scandal.
Nick Markakis of the Atlanta Braves was one of many players to voice his opinion on the matter. He states:
"To see something like that, it’s damaging to baseball. It’s anger, I feel like every single guy over there needs a beating. It’s wrong. they’re messing with peoples careers”. (Source: USA Today Sports)"
The best player in all of baseball also weighed in on the situation. Mike Trout is one of the most respected named in the game today, yet he was displeased about what a team that has won the division he plays in multiple years in a row. Trout said:
"I don’t agree with the punishments, the players not getting anything, It was a player-driven thing. It sucks, too, because guys’ careers have been affected, a lot of people lost jobs. It was tough. Me going up to the plate knowing what was coming — it would be pretty fun up there. I lost some respect for some of the guys, it’s not good for baseball, and it’s sad to see. You just hope Major League Baseball cleans it up. (Source: CNN)"
When the face of the entire league speaks up, you know that many who haven’t said anything about the situation have the same thoughts and opinions.
Many baseball fans, players and journalists did not agree with Rob Manfred’s punishment, and now there are people staging a protest to let their voices be heard. On the diamond, there are concerns that pitchers will throw balls at Houston Astros hitters on purpose.
Dusty Baker is a highly respected manager for his “old-school” mentality and his approval rating from his players. In an interview with reporters, Baker issued a plea towards the MLB. The skipper said:
"I’m depending on the league to try to put a stop to this seemingly premeditated retaliation that I’m hearing about. … I’m just hoping that the league puts a stop to this before somebody gets hurt."
Off of the diamond, baseball fans are planning their own protests against this ball club. Gamblers can now bet on how many pitches Houston Astros hitters will get hit by during this season – thanks to betting site William Hill US.
During spring training, a fan showed up to the park and began banging on a trash can:
The sad thing is that this is only the beginning for the Houston Astros when it comes to opposing fans trolling and threats from players. With all the outside noise going towards this team, it will be something to look out for if the guys inside the clubhouse pay attention to the outside noise and let it affect their play. Games on the road will be more difficult than ever before.
The 2020 season will be the most interesting Houston Astros season in years due to the changes this ball club has gone through these past five months. From now to the end of the season, the players on the current roster will be mentally and physically tested.
The road to October, and redemption, begins now.