Pleasant Dreams On Halloween

Halloween 2015 01

Pleasant dreams on Halloween. And, whatever you do, don’t think of the 2013 season while you are falling asleep. Freddy Krueger may be listening and bring your nightmare back to life as a reality, with the help of Michael Meyers using his long sharp knife to cut off all possible avenues of escape.

Coming off an exciting return to MLB as a competitive club this season has been a big plus for the City of Houston and Houston Astros fans everywhere. It has been an affirmation that GM Jeff Luhnow’s plan is really working – and it even has landed on the predicted and often mentioned timeline of 2015 as the date we could expect to see progress. And we even got see progress beyond anyone’s wildest dreams as the Astros simply didn’t stop at returning to the winning side of the schedule. They jumped out to take first place in the AL West, holding it most of the year until a September decline left them grabbing the second wild card spot and rallied to advance into the ALDS round against the Kansas City Royals.

The Astros came up a dominant relief arm short in the top of the 8th of Game 4, losing a 4-run lead that could have elevated them that same day to the ALCS and – who knows what, from there? They might have taken the AL pennant and be playing the New York Mets in the World Series right now, but as we either know by now, or should, the clock doesn’t wind on what might have been. Things are what they are, and we may as well settle for the blessing that progress – substantial progress – was made this season in the gritty, grinding everyday business of the Astros returning to the highest competitive level in baseball without soaking the payroll with fat cat talents who never – or rarely – seem ready to live up to the performance level of what we now expect of them as gazillionaires.  They just seem to take the money and coast – or to become regulars at big events featuring the wide spectrum of culturally anointed ones who ride the clouds above those of us who make up the Hoi Pal Loi realm of everyday life.

Thanks for sparing us the weight of that elevated perspective, so far, Mr. Crane. Let’s just hope that our new success doesn’t evolve into a baseball world remake of “Who Wants to be a Millionaire?” – There would be no suspense. We all know that we need the better talents to become handsome millionaires for the Astros to finally return to the World Series and win the thing – but we, the fans,  nor can you, afford to underwrite a baseball battalion of billionaires.

Hope you do the best for us Astros fans as possible without crossing the unmarked Rubicon that leads us beyond the Land Of Common Sense. If that should happen again, this time in Houston, maybe it’s time for our American culture to finally re-examine the role that all professional and highly competitive collegiate sports have come to play in our lives. If we cannot afford the price, and only the biggest of spenders have a reasonable shot at winning in any given competitive sport, why are we spending all this money, time, and energy watching  talented super rich athletes “win for us.” We may be trying to fill a hole inside ourselves that cannot be filled by others – no matter how much damn money we pay them to “win one for the Gipper.”

Here’s my hope and belief.

As long as there are baseball players like Jimmy Wynn, Jerry Witte, Larry Miggins, Larry Dierker, Frank Mancuso, Solly Hemus, Craig Biggio, Derek Jeter, Yogi Berra, George Brett, Red Munger, Jim Basso, Roy Sievers, Don Lenhardt, J.W. Porter, Jose Altuve, Carlos Correa, Stan Musial, Ned Garver, Deacon Jones, and Gary Gaetti, just to name a few; and for as long as there are baseball people like Gene Elston, Bob Brown, Tal Smith, Bill Gilbert, Greg Lucas, Bob Dorrill, Mickey Herskowitz, Marie Mahoney, Sam Quintero, Bill Borst, Fred Heger, Bud Kane, Erv Fischer, Allen Russell, Paula Homan, Tom Keefe, Red Hayworth, Ira Liebman, Darrell Pittman, Marsha Franty, Peggy Dorrill, Bob Hulsey, Rick Bush, Tom Hunter, and the late Arthur Richman, also only naming some, I will happily follow baseball. These are the kinds of people who keep the spirit of baseball within me what it was when it filled every pour in my body and soul, acting as the visceral fountain of joy during my childhood sandlot days in the Houston east end neighborhood of Pecan Park.

Trick or Treat, Baseball Fans! – Spring will be here before we all know it!




One Response to “Pleasant Dreams On Halloween”

  1. Doug S Says:

    Very well said

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