Chronicle’s Brian Smith is an Honest Man

Aside from the fact that probably thousands of Astros fans swore back in 2013 that they would never again see a Houston game because of the Bud Selig shift of the franchise to the American League, the 2017 Astros and their juggernaut-level winning style seems to have softened a few hearts. If the Astros’ current plus 30,000 attendance average is any measurement, it appears that either a lot of broken local hearts have either mended in four years – or that there’s an endless stream of new followers who will gladly pay to watch a club that possesses the ability to bludgeon a foe by 19-1 at any time and place.

Houston Chronicle writer Brian Smith, whom I’ve come to enjoy more and more over time, is that he dances through the case for Astros fans forgiving Bud Selig as though he were Demosthenes himself.

Smith doesn’t bully pulpit that we should forgive Selig for moving the Astros to the American League. He simply uses his own words to suggest that many fans may now have done so, based upon what has happened.

Here’s an example of Smith’s honesty in his search for the larger truth:

Had it not been for the AL move and the concurrent rise of Jeff Luhnow as our Astros GM, we would not have had the rebuilding opportunity to pick some of the young talent that is now propelling the club into the “best club in baseball” discussion that goes with our 60-29 mark at the All Star Game break. Or, as Smith puts it, the league shift now leaves the Astros as one of the five best teams in baseball, but the only one now located in the more somnolent AL.

Smith even writes in language that would have been read as heresy in 2013, but maybe not so much in 2017 – due to the monster offensive club the Astros now possess. Smith says “…. this (2017 Astros) team isn’t as dangerous if (pitcher) Brad Peacock is hitting instead of Carlos Beltran or Evan Gattis.”

Better watch out, Brian! It almost sounds like you don’t mind the presence of the DH in the current Astros lineup! Are you implying that you would rather see Marwin Gonzalez come to bat as a DH in the 6th inning of a tie game with the lead run on 3rd base and two outs – when you could be watching reliever Chris Devenski take his cuts at helping his own cause at the plate?

Here’s the link to Brian Smith’s column. Read it over and let us know what you think. Is Houston really ready to thank Bud Selig for all he did to put us in this winning position?


Bill McCurdy

Principal Writer, Editor, Publisher

The Pecan Park Eagle



4 Responses to “Chronicle’s Brian Smith is an Honest Man”

  1. jeff share Says:

    I also like Brian Smith’s wriitng; nice fellow too. Problem i have with being in the AL is all the late night games when they’re on the coast. I don’t think it would be so bad if they refigured the schedule so that they played less games inter-division and more with the other 2 divisions, and perhaps dump interleague play. Another question: how many of the current players came via Luhnow vs. Ed Wade?

  2. Larry Dierker Says:

    We were in the N. L. West with the Reds and Braves. Way more West Coast night games — but not televised.

    I would rather have Hinch agonize over taking Devinski out to pinch hit Gonzalez or leaving him in, hoping for a miracle or to score later. Plus with no DH he would take batting practice and wouldn’t be so lame.

    • Fred Soland Says:

      I too am not a fan of the DH. The strategy Larry refers to above is eliminated. To me, the game is much more simple to manage. The fans love offense. Let’s face it, there really aren’t any pitchers out there today with the exception of Madison Baumgartner and Noah Syndergard that are going to strike fear into any of the opposing pitchers. Larry was a respectable hitter in his day, and there were several such as Don Drysdale, Bob Gibson and Larry’s old teammate, Tom Griffen who could do damage with the stick. Today, hitting is a lost art among pitchers due to the DH in college followed by the DH in the AL. The NL just proves how many pitchers can’t hit. Hell, most of them only hang in for 5 to 6 innings anyway. The complete game is also a thing of the past, with rare exceptions.

      As a former pitcher, I was a respectable hitter and I liked hitting…..most of the time. On those 104 degree days however, I very much enjoyed not having to run the bases because my main concern was pitching a complete game. I was selfish that way, but I believed that game was mine, and I needed no help….most of the time.

      I prefer the old school game without the DH, but, as much as it simplifies the game and pains me to say it, the DH does have merits too.

      Regarding Bud Selig, my opinion has not changed. He was a snake and a liar and I will never speak well of him.

      • Tom Hunter Says:

        I think hitting is also a lost art among many position players, illustrated when the entire infield shifts to one side and the batter can’t hit to the opposite field. How many players even play pepper anymore. It’s all about “power through the zone.” I enjoy watching pitchers like Madison Bumgarner show that they take hitting seriously.

        I don’t like the DH and didn’t like the move of the Astros to the AL, but it didn’t stop me from rooting for the same team I have followed since their inception as the Colt .45s in 1962.

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