Perhaps as a blogger I became too attached to the Houston Astros. Perhaps. But I think that when it comes to fandom, any fandom, change is hard. It broke my heart when Rob Lowe left The West Wing. I didn’t like it when the Twilight Series replaced the actress who played Victoria. And when Jerome Bettis retired from the Pittsburgh Steelers, I felt as if it was a foreign team. Change, it seems, is hard to swallow when you’re a fan.
I guess then it shouldn’t have been too surprising when, at the end of the 2012 season, I’d had enough. I was watching the Houston Astros make change after change after change and I couldn’t take it anymore. I needed to step away, get a little perspective and find a way to love my favorite baseball team again.
I haven’t written anything about the Astros really since the World Series. I took my own off season of sorts. I didn’t stop paying attention. I know about the coaching changes, the trades, the signings, the firings, the logo, the Spring Training schedule and everything else. I just didn’t talk about it.
Those of you who follow me on twitter have seen a comment or two, some of them sarcastic and bitter, some of them just happy for the things that are starting to take shape. I’m not back here talking to you about the Astros because the Astros did something to make me happy. I’m back here because I’m finally over it.
I am a Houston Astros fan.
I’m not a fan of one particular person in the organization or one particular player. I’m not a fan of a GM or a Manager or an owner. I’m a fan of a team. I cheer for the Houston Astros because I grew up watching them play and somewhere around age 11 they found a way to become a part of my life, like family, but in uniforms. And like family, I don’t always agree with their choices or how they treated me or talked to me, or that they didn’t ask my opinion before committing to something. But like family, when push comes to shove, I have their back.
So here we are, just a few short weeks away from the first players reporting to Spring Training. It’s the first time in 51 years that the Astros will field a team in the American League. They’ll do it under a logo that is new and yet familiar. They’ll take the field with a crop of players that likely won’t make the Hall of Fame someday and likely won’t be All-Star selections. But they’ll take the field knowing that the decisions of 2012 and 2013 were and will be necessary in order to make me smile in 2014 and beyond.
2013 will be a historic season in more ways than one for the team from Houston. Not every way they make history this year will make us cheer, but I’ll be there, in orange and blue, cheering, because that’s what you do when your family is going through a hard time. Yep, change is hard.
Terri Schlather (AGirlintheSouth) is the tortured Senior Houston Astros Writer for Aerys Sports. You can email her at email@example.com, or follow her ridiculous ramblings on sports, vodka and the weeone on twitter @agirlinthesouth.