Thursday, January 26, 2012

What's in a name?

It's not enough that Jim Crane is moving the Houston Astros from their home in the National League over to the American League. Nope. Now he's even looking to change the team's name.

Change the uniforms? Okay. They've worn the white, the pinstripes and the red for a decade now. It's probably time for a change. I'd love to see an homage to the tequila sunrise uniforms of the early 80's.

But changing the name of the team? This isn't what we signed up for. We already know we're destined to watch the Astros struggle to avoid another 100-loss season in 2012. We know that Crane isn't going to spend any money to improve the team this year. In fact, if he could find a way to deal away the few remaining high-priced players he has, he'd do it in a heartbeat.

But to change the team's name. That's a whole different story. Maybe he figures if he changes the colors and the name that he can fool the fans into thinking it's a new team. Maybe then the fans won't be upset that the team is mired at the bottom of the standings. As long as Crane's making money from TV and merchandise sales, it's all good.

Jim, baseball is all about tradition. It's about fathers taking their sons and daughters to Opening Day every year. It's about sitting in the bleachers on the 4th of July. The numbers always mattered in baseball because the game didn't change. Why do fans continue to buy tickets to see a team that stinks year after year? It's because it's baseball.

Now we're less than a month until pitchers and catchers report. The time of year when every fan of every team deludes themselves into thinking that this could be the year. Reality will set in pretty quickly here in Houston and changing the name on the front of the jerseys won't do a thing to change that.

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