Introducing Astros Worry Bird

~ ASTROS WORRY BIRD, 1965 to 2017
….and ongoing!


Hello, Astros Fans! Please allow me to introduce myself!

My birth name’s “Yershitenme Bigtime Daingerfeld”, but I prefer to simply go by my painfully earned nickname, “Astros Worry Bird.”  I’ve been watching this club since 1962, when Houston joined the big leagues, but I didn’t worry so much those first three seasons the club played as the Colt. 45s (1962-1964). Even the younger version of me was smart enough to know that expansion clubs never win anything with players they had to rescue from a baseball pool, but that quickly changed once we moved into our first permanent home. (Did you get that? I said “first permanent home.” In the world of my mind, you can’t even be sure that your permanent home is forever.) 

Anyway, once we moved into the Astrodome in 1965 and changed our team identity to the Houston Astros, I started to worry plenty. The futuristic grandeur of that place just brought out all the negative thoughts I ever had about Houston having enough money and power to acquire and keep the kinds of players it was going to take to reach and win a World Series even once, let alone, do it over and over and over again in dynasty-fashion like the New York Freezin’ Yankees!

Unfortunately, the next 35 years of Astros play in the Astrodome (1965-1999) proved that my concerns were based in reality. When the Astros literally ditched the Dome to go to the current ball park at Union Station in downtown Houston in 2000, they made the exodus from their total MLB history to that point with a complete club record of 38 seasons, 0 World Series wins, and 0 National League pennants. Had all these players acted out the 1999 move as though it were owner Drayton McLane as Moses leading the Israelites across the parted waters of the Red Sea and out of Egypt, just to take a team that had never won anything downtown, God might have taken a closer look at that loser history scoreboard, then waited until the team reached the middle of the sea behind McLane, and then gently lowered His Mighty Hand and allowed the waters to close together around the lot of them.

But God did not so fatally act in 1999. The Lord is far more forgiving than most baseball fans.

So, here we are. In 17 seasons downtown at the place we now venerate as Minute Maid Park, the Astros still have zero World Series wins, but they do now have that one World Series appearance from 2007 and that one National League pennant from 2007 that made it possible. Now playing in their 4th season (2014-2017) as members of the American League, the Astros now have the best record in the big leagues with a 49-24 mark overall – and that is good enough this morning for a 12.5 game lead in the AL West.

You will now sometimes hear from me here at the Pecan Park Eagle, but don’t worry, I will try to keep the expression of my worries in proportion to the existence of an actual threat so that will keep my concerns down to a precious few.

This morning I only have one concern.

I read in the July 22, 2017 Houston Chronicle that Astros reliever Jandel Gustave had to have Tommy John surgery and that he will now have to miss the rest of the 2017 season and most of 2018. That’s not good – so I got to thinking: “What if all the other Astros current roster pitchers also suddenly had to have Tommy John surgery too? Uh! Oh! That could really screw up our World Series plans for this fall!”

Then I remembered why the blackbird is the symbol for all negative thoughts and let go of that whole stupid idea. Now I’m back to feeling like “Mellow Bird” – the fellow I am when I get into the here and now present and just hang out for the sheer joy of breathing life into my soul.

Negative thoughts are like blackbirds. It only takes one to land in your mind and start cackling.

Unless you know it’s there and shake free of its grasp, the first blackbird thought that lands starts cackling for its like-minded negative friends. Left alone to cackle, these blackbirds of the mind just keep cackling until they have built up the worry to some preposterous level – like all the pitchers going out with Tommy John surgery in near time to each other.

Ain’t going to happen!

So, what’s the remedy for Worry Bird?

  1. Say boo to the earliest negative thoughts that land in your mind. They cannot grow unless you feed them.
  2. Worries cannot grow once you scatter the blackbird thoughts.
  3. Put your energies into the here and now present.
  4. Accentuate the positive.
  5. Eliminate the negative.
  6. Don’t mess with Mr. In Between.
  7. Play or take in a baseball game.
  8. And don’t feed the peanuts and sunflower seeds to the blackbirds of your mind.

See you again here, possibly. In the meanwhile, watch out if I try to land in your minds individually.


Bill McCurdy

Principal Writer, Editor, Publisher

The Pecan Park Eagle



2 Responses to “Introducing Astros Worry Bird”

  1. Tom Hunter Says:

    You’re the skull jockey, Bill, but I think the flip side of the Worry Bird is the Cocksure Bird who crows about a team’s seemly obvious march to the post season.

    I tend to downplay the success of the ‘Stros current winning streak out of sheer superstition about what the ancients called hubris. If I’m quietly hopeful about my team’s chances, the gods will ignore me. Or so I hope.

  2. gregclucas Says:

    Worry Birds have reason. With the levels of post season playoffs now, having the best record and a division title is nice, but it doesn’t automatically get you to the World Series, let alone win it. You can worry about that if you are inclined.

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