Entitlement Inevitable, Even With Astros

“Let’s see. – This new crown entitles us to what’s next – whatever that is!”
Art by Giselle Silvestri


Merriam-Webster defines entitlement as a belief that one is deserving of or entitled to certain privileges.

Add to our clearer understanding about this condition these simple facts about the presence of entitlement in all human relationships to a minor or major degree:

1) Over time, entitlement will be present in some minor to major form, in all human relationships.

i.e., Men who marry women who like to cook may come to feel entitled to a prepared dinner on a nightly basis; employees on the clock may come to feel that the quality of their work entitles them to show up daily at a time that is more compatible with their personal convenience.

2) Expectations that once were attached to the hunger of our desires and our willingness to earn certain goals by personal effort are now being fed by the hunger-sated idea that we have become entitled to the fulfillment of those same expectations because of who we now are and what we have done previously – and if these expectations are foiled or unduly misdirected, it is now someone else’s fault.

i.e., Between 1920 and 2009, starting in 1923, the New York Yankees have won 27 of the 40 World Series they have participated in 0ver the course of the entire 89 year period they have reached the great final event of each baseball season. At what point did the Yankees start feeling entitled to each World Series win. Even though entitlement alone never guarantees victory, some may argue that any endeavor using the “New York City” brand name starts out feeling entitled to success above all others in the field, but it would be a harder-sell to NY clubs using the “Giants” or Mets” brands. Still, even they would get there.

3) The short conclusion: The 2017 Houston Astros have a healthy team self-esteem, one that balanced well with the club’s superior talent ability to win a World Series on an “earned” basis. The problem is that the next evolving developmental step over is the potential for team-esteem evolving over time into entitlement – and that’s a process that can be as slow and surprising as the birth and growth of mold in humid Houston. (i.e, One day you don’t see it; the next time you look, it’s all over the place.) Once it arrives, the presence of entitlement becomes a big part of every decision the club makes. We’ve never really had it in Houston before 2017, but neither had we won a World Series until now. Whether it now happens glacially slow or super-fast remains to be seen, but it will happen, to one degree or another. It’s just the nature of the beast. How we deal with it is up to us. All of us. Fans included.

4) An ancient lesson: Although he didn’t call the grinding dynamic in this example by its clearer name, entitlement, I once had the good fortune of taking some courses in political science at the University of Houston under a bright and smiling little professor from “Persia” (Iran). I was only 18 or 19 when this happened back in 1956-57, but I’ve never forgotten what he told us. Dr. Razi will always be one of those rare people who give us something to recall from a nutshell of information that never goes away. And what he said that last day of lecture in my final formal course in political science has remained with me for a lifetime. It also has everything to do with the tough point I’m trying to make here today.

Perhaps, Dr. Razi’s words about political science in general are still a better way to explain the presence of entitlement in baseball and everywhere else which starts with hunger.

“If you students remember nothing else about political science from what I’ve tried to teach you this semester,” Dr. Razi said, “remember this much:

“Political Science is the story of the eternal struggle between the ‘haves’ and the ‘have nots’.

“The ‘haves’ get to control everything that is important to life until they grow too fat, unconcerned, or unable to defend what they are keeping to themselves.

“At the same time, the ‘have nots’ are growing lean, ambitious, and hungry from their own deprivation of contact with everything of value that the ‘haves’ still control.

“Then. One day. By war or revolution. The ‘haves’ grow too fat to hold on any longer. And the ‘have nots’ hunger turns into a bite that takes out the old rulers.

“The lean and hungry former ‘have nots’ are now the new ‘haves’. The former fat and full ‘haves’ are now the new ‘have nots’.

And the cycle begins again.

5) Please feel entitled to draw your own conclusions as to how the Houston Astros could someday get hung up on their own evolving sense of entitlement.



Bill McCurdy

Principal Writer, Editor, Publisher

The Pecan Park Eagle

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4 Responses to “Entitlement Inevitable, Even With Astros”

  1. Larry Dierker Says:

    What happens if the “have nots” are not lean or hungry?

  2. Larry Dierker Says:

    As far as the Astros, we were close to feeling entitled after three division championships in 2000. Then we moved to Enron and our pitchers lost confidence. Then we all lost it. I opened every spring by telling the guys that we would have to get better. I said that we could not just stay the same. We could not just go through the motions assuming the division was ours. But when the venue changed we all panicked. I was as guilty as anyone. I abandoned strategies that had worked when they stopped working.

    I applaud your effort to take on this difficult subject Bill. The guys who will influence the Astros self image the most are not entitled to manager of the year or executive of the year in 2018 either. That’s what I liked most about their slogan in 2017. Earn it!

  3. Fred Soland Says:

    David slew Goliath when Goliath was the overwhelming favorite. The day you underestimate your opponent is the day you start getting surprised. Swagger is okay, as long as you can back it up. Once you get too much talking, the actions become harder to back up.

    My old high school coach used to have a saying ” Don’t let your alligator mouth overload your tadpole butt”. I have never forgotten the message in the 40 years since I graduated high school.

    On the flip side of the coin….it feels so good to have to worry about this problem of being the pursued.

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