HOUSTON – Very few teams know of 29 other fan bases have any current players that have been on the roster five years ago. In fact it is likely to be a file Houston Astros.
The similarities and differences between the 2022 Astros and the 2017 team are a source of attraction and well-deserved conversation. There are two reasons for this, and whether they are intertwined is itself a subject of speculation and horror. Are these stars those stars? Who was he He later found out that he cheated by illegally stealing signs in a complex process. Are these stars those stars? Who has won 101 games, the World Championship, and has reached at least a Series Championship every year since then.
Their continued success makes them look like a breed. Consistent strength with a winning formula and a unique identity on the sports scene. However, the literal change imposed by the theft of signals at the highest levels and their continuing relevance has inspired a temptation to distinguish the current recurrence from what came before, or at least downplay the importance of communication.
“It begs the question,” said general manager James Click — who was hired to replace Jeff Luno who was immediately fired after the results of the MLB investigation in January 2020 — “Where did they come from?”
Indeed she is. Since they’ve been so dominant for a few seasons now, it’s only natural to look for the line from 2017 to now, the thing that makes them stars, the thing that makes them win. But finding her and bringing her perfect in the game would be a celebration of cheaters.
While everyone keeps thinking about it, though, these Astros were playing baseball. And after Saturday night in Houston, the 2022 team has at least one very important thing in common with the 2017 team: the championship. And (hopefully) one very important difference: There is no upcoming asterisk attached to it.
to win everything, culminated in a 4-1 win Above the Philadelphia Phillies, the 2022 Astros were themselves.
With the Astros leading three games to two, the World Series returns to Houston this weekend. They won 106 games in the regular season, and swept the League and Series Championships to reach their fourth World Championship in six years undefeated in the post-season, but they still chased the first trophy of the franchise that would not have been claimed by rival fans to be scrapped.
The Velez family proved to be both brave and troublesome. That is, until their exhausted arms began to falter and the large bats shortened.
And so the Astros went into the bottom of sixth, trailing 1-0 and began to display some of their most emblematic abilities. catcher Martin Maldonado sprinted to the plate and allowed himself to hit a pitch, thus putting his body on the line to help the team when he learned he was unlikely to do so with his racket; 12-year-old veteran of the team Jose Altuve hit a ball to avoid double play because despite losing a move at the age of 32, he would still be raucous; Rising Shortstop Feeling Jeremy Rock He hit one in the middle to push Posteason OPS above 1.000 and Secure the Ultimate World Series MVP Honor; And a largely unspoken takeover of the minor league transformed into one of the sport’s best pure hitters, Yordan Alvarez created a one-swing seismic event by blending his third green run on his post-season home run to the moon. The run on his turf three times would have been anywhere between the rotten pillars and over the fence, but it would have looked much better in the retrospective montage because it was 450 feet from the dead center, above the batter eye emblazoned with the Astros sign. “h.”
“Man, that ball was hit hard,” Peña said after the match. “I’ve never seen anything like it before. And if I saw it, it probably came from him too.”
“I’ll need to hit her twice to get this far,” said the third baseman Alex Bergmanwho walked and scored later in the half as well.
Meanwhile, an outstanding corporate success story Framber Valdez He kept the Phillies line-up wildly lopsided and the Bull Astros — the best in baseball during the regular season, with an ERA below 1.00 this post-season — silenced even the whisper of a comeback.
Despite all the potential pop in Velez’s attack, the match looked as good as after Homer Alvarez, his team came out of dugout to celebrate as the stadium shook. Since then, it has been just a matter of counting the outputs. And when Nick Castellanos lined up for Kyle Tucker For the last game, the Astros became the first team since 2013 to win the World Championship on home soil. In front of the only fans who don’t hate them, they became world champions – again.
They will make their own decisions
“I don’t think we’re going out to prove anything to anyone,” said bowler Lance McCullers Jr., one of the five remaining players from the 2017 squad. “I think we wanted to prove that we were the best team in baseball, and we did.”
Call it paradox or hypocrisy, a contradiction that is impossible to avoid. The Astros don’t want to appear defensive, or like they let themselves be defined by the mantle of villain. But first and foremost, each team is the enemy of the other by definition. And the Astros in particular only had two options after being cheated: they could win or they could lose. Either way, it will be seen as a referendum, or at least in relation to the 2017 championship maybe this The real punishment for those indiscretions: Even in their most successful and joyous moment, having finally returned to the top after years of so close, the Astros are questioned about their deepest source of shame.
But the winners at least get champagne.
“We won tonight. Whether that will dampen the naysayers,” said owner Jim Crane, “They will make their own decisions, but we got the trophy.”
“What’s happened before, it hasn’t been completely transcended,” said manager Dusty Baker. At 73, he became the oldest coach to win a world championship. After 25 years, the manager with the most matches (2,093) is no longer without an episode to show. Because Baker, of course, wasn’t an Astro in 2017. He was brought in after AJ Hinch was fired with Luhnow. He was brought in to be loved, and he was, and to preside over a new culture with the same win he has now.
Next, he talked about how he never liked being the Boston Celtics and New York Yankees always dominates.
“But then when I became a player and manager, I longed to be like the Celtics and Yankees. They were beating teams. “You know, it never gets old.”
What makes an Astros an Astros?
earlier this month, The New Yorker has published an article on whether people change their essential selves over the course of their lives, or whether they are the same person they have always been. The sprawling piece consults poetry, philosophy, psychology, personal experience, and the social sciences. The results are interesting and inconclusive.
One of the comprehensive studies cited in the article found that “people’s actions have been permanent over several decades.”
This robustness is due, in part, to the social power of temperament, which the authors wrote is “a machine designing another machine, which continues to influence evolution,” the piece says, referring to that study.
In other words, by acting on our innate traits, we are more likely to create conditions in our social environment that reinforce those traits.
The Despite this, The New Yorker wonders, “To what extent can this kind of work reveal the deeper, more intimate question of our continuity or changeability? That depends on what we mean when we ask who we are. We are, after all, more than just our actions.” The example given is of twins with similar personalities, one practicing politics and the other practicing organized crime.
So what makes an Astros an Astros? Is it the same as it has always been?
They tell you it’s player development or camaraderie; Analytics or ambition. Preparation, professionalism and constant expectation to win.
“Anytime you have an organization that is able to sustain the success that this organization has had, you will never be the same,” Klick said.
However, there are some ideas to be had. Houston, famous for providing data, has been particularly good at translating obsessive things into actionable improvements for players. Click credits for broader advances in technology and cohesion between the club and the front office.
Ten years ago, it was all abstract things, with numbers in a spreadsheet. Now, “We can talk about the point of release, we can talk about span, we can talk about stride length, we can talk about turn rate. These are tangible things to players in a way that I don’t think was the data,” Klick said.
(“A machine builds another machine” is actually the perfect interpretation of a series that continues to attract winning teams by shaping players into an improved image.)
This interpretation reflects a commitment to stay ahead of the curve, and now we’re getting somewhere in search of the Astros’ true disposition.
“The guys have talked a lot at the club over the past few games about not being slack,” Klick said. “This also applies to the front office. We know we can’t do the same thing we did two or three years ago. If we do that, someone else will do it and then we fall behind. So it has to be the same no-nonsense where you are constantly updating And constantly reinventing, you’re constantly turning the mirror on yourself to make sure you’re not feeling complacent. Which is frankly stressful. … and it can be frustrating for a lot of people because they’re like, ‘I don’t understand, why do we need to change?’ This works. But as soon as you say ‘why do I need to change’, you are dead.
Click, by the way, won the world championship after his previous contract expired and without a new one. There is speculation rife in the industry that it will not be brought back.
The Astros are relentless, ruthless, committed to winning at any cost. That’s why they cheated and maybe why they didn’t have to. This is their behaviour. Sometimes they act on it differently. Crane said that part of his success in player development is having a five-year plan in place to replace anyone, even if they are the core of the winning team. Just look at the best player in the world championship – Peña’s success Carlos Correa‘s. So, perhaps the dividing line is continuous evolution.
So is 2022 Astros the same Astros as 2017 Astros? They wouldn’t be Astros if they were.