Crystal Ball Part Deux: Looking Ahead to 2013 Houston Sports, Astros/Dynamo/UH/Rice Edition
Yesterday, we took a look at the futures of the Texans and Rockets. Predictions were made. Accusations were tossed about. But no one is Carnac the Magnificent. All we can really do is guess...except when it comes to the Astros.
A Big year in Houston sports. Didn't I make that joke already?
Yeah, kinda like that.
The Astros have been one of the worst teams in baseball the last couple years and that should continue as they make their move to the American League West this season. If they don't lose 100 games again, it will likely be considered a successful season.
Since Jim Crane bought the team, he has dismantled virtually every part of it from the front office to the dugout to the field to the broadcast booth to the uniforms. He, team president George Postolos and general manager Jeff Luhnow are reshaping the team -- for better or worse -- to hopefully create a better future for the team. Unfortunately, that future isn't right now.
The move to the American League West, a deep and talented division, will be made even more complicated by the change to the roster that requires a designated hitter, hated by many fans. The Astros recently signed Carlos Peña to fill the position, but Peña hit below the Mendoza line last year and it's doubtful he'll contribute significantly to the lineup.
As long as the team needs to continue building its farm system after it was plundered under Drayton McLane to keep those turnstiles spinning, the product on the field, no matter who is the manager or GM, will be a very long work in progress. But that's the point for now.
A new conference, new kinda throwback unis, a new manager, a designated hitter, a new television home -- assuming CSN Houston will air on cable networks other than Comcast by then -- and a new broadcast team will hopefully begin to stabilize a franchise and put them back on a path towards winning.
Until then, it gon' get ugly. Our own John Royal, who covers the team, said, "Astros attendance will drop to levels not seen since the mid-1970s as the team once again struggles not to lose 100-plus games." Yeah, that ugly. Get more of Royal's predictions in his post from a couple weeks ago.