The major league baseball season is over as of last night’s victory by the Giants. Though it was a sweep, I watched more than I had originally anticipated and found each of the games to be fairly exciting. It was similar to the 2005 Series, in which the ‘Stros, in their only appearance in the Fall Classic, also got swept, but each game was a nail-biter. It is a memory ‘Stros fans will have to remember fondly for at least a few more years, since the team will be truly awful for the foreseeable future.
Who knows if the moves by the new regime will bring the team to playoff contention in the future. It will take at least a couple more seasons to get an idea unless a miracle happens. It is doubtful to be found on the end of the season roster that consisted of, maybe, five legitimate major leaguers.
As the team’s fortune goes, so goes the Astros attendance. It is much like it is nearly everywhere. The ‘Stros will need to do a lot to attract fans who will otherwise stay away because of the losing home team. The policy to allow fans to bring in their food was a good move last season. I did not see a single fan with their own food during any of the half-dozen games I attended, but it certainly generated good publicity. The tiny, crappy beer for $5 was a cynical joke, and the new signage above the leftfield stands is amazingly obnoxious. So, the new ownership batted two out of three in terms of moves concerning the fan experience last year. With that last one they appear especially ham-fisted and crude, and in need of suggestions.
I have one, or another one as the case may be. The new World Series champion Giants finish up their victories with Tony Bennett’s signature rendition of “I Left My Heart in San Francisco.” The often World Series winners Yankees conclude with Frank Sinatra belting, “New York, New York.” Houston happens to be fortunate in having had a famed Italian-American crooner record a song about it, Dean Martin. Not too many other cities can claim this; only Chicago comes quickly to mind (and there even is one for each squad). It’s surprising but true, and the song actually one of Dino’s better efforts, the simply named “Houston.” Martin’s smooth tenor and phrasing even manages to make the relatively downbeat lyrics concerning poverty and loneliness feel pretty hip.
Playing “Houston” after a ‘Stros victory might put us on the road to joining the recent and once-and-future World Series champs. It might not get played often, but it’s a great song, nonetheless, and a fitting way to exit out into the summertime humidity.