Fred Faour: Astros make a surprising name for themselves outside of Houston

Mandatory Credit: Photo by Gail Burton/AP/Shutterstock (13419472ax) Houston Astros’ Jose Altuve in a baseball game, in Baltimore Astros Orioles Baseball, Baltimore, United States – 25 Sep 2022

Fred Faour: Astros make a surprising name for themselves outside of Houston

It started as a fun experiment to see how much other fan bases hated the Astros.

It evolved into something surprisingly different.

On a recent trip to Las Vegas for a series of World Poker Tour events, I decided it would be fun to wear Astros gear everywhere, including the poker tables, and see if Twitter – where hatred of the Astros is over the top – was a fair gauge about how non-Astros fans felt about the team.

As usual, I found out Twitter was not a good standard to use.

Oh, there were a few “Cheaters!” yelled at me, and an obnoxious Mets fan had to let me know that “WE GOT VERLAN-DUH! HE DOESN’T WANT TO BE A CHEAT-UH! THANK YOU FOR VERLAN-DUH!”

But everyone else was actually really cool. And it shows the Astros are something other than hated. They are relevant.

It started in the Uber from the airport, where the driver joked that he picked me up despite the fact I was wearing Astros gear. He explained he was a Dodger fan. Other than the joke, he could not have been more pleasant. We talked about how the teams were built in a similar way, and how much fun it would be to have another Astros-Dodgers World Series.

At one point, I met a nice Detroit Tigers fan who expressed how happy he was Verlander got traded to the Astros in 2017. “He deserved a World Series. We had such great teams in Detroit and could never get over the hump.”

Like a lot of people, he wondered how Houston fans felt about Verlander leaving. I gave him the standard, “he will be missed but the Astros will be OK.”

A Chicago White Sox fan asked the same question. She also said she was sad to see Juan Abreu jump ship and that the Astros were getting another good player.

A Phillies fan was actually cordial and continued to lament lost chances in the Series. He also asked if I had heard of Mattress Mack and did he actually make those bets.

I’m familiar with him.

Most of the conversations wound up being about hot stove stuff, the Astros GM search, and some really good in-depth conversations from people who were fans of the game. There is still some blowback over the scandal, but for the most part, the people I ran into appreciated just how good the Astros have been, and there is always much love for Jose Altuve.

After talking to real people face to face, my original idea kind of disappeared. So the results of my experiment? Twitter is not the real world. Or I just happen to collect friendly people in person.

Most importantly, the Astros are relevant outside of Houston, and in a good way.

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  • Lot’s of Astro fans here in Albuquerque, Bregman’s hometown. This despite the fact that Albuquerque was the Dodgers AAA location for decades.

  • I had a very similar experience going to Vegas literally the day after we won.

    I agree, the fans have a different perspective than Twitter. But, it’s not just Twitter. It’s the national media continuing the narrative and nauseum because it gets clicks or views.

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