I have gotten hopelessly behind in game write-ups for a good reason -- between work, life, and the Astros schedule, I haven't had much time for watching live games. With the Astros losing the vast majority of their games, there is really not much incentive to watch the games that I already know were losses after the fact. Some years, I've made a point of trying to watch at least part of each game, staying up late on Saturday nights to watch the Sabbath games I missed, checking out even the losses to find something to like. This season just isn't like that.
I listen to the broadcasters make excuses, how the team is trying hard, bad luck, if only... But the truth is, we're playing a really bad team, which does not appear to be particularly well managed. Having missed going to Spring Training this year, for the first time since 2004, I never developed the kind of connection to the players that you get from seeing the players in person. And being a fan in exile, I won't see the team play a season game until September, when they come to Washington. Two of the three games against the Nationals will be on the Sabbath - so at most I will get to see the Astros just once the whole season.
I don't really have a problem with cheering for the underdog -- that was most of my childhood growing up in Houston. But it is hard to keep up the connection without other fans to commiserate with -- at the ballgame or online through blogs, Twitter, Facebook and other social media. Earlier this season, I used to find plenty of people to tweet with during the games, and we could keep each other company while watching the Astros lose. But recently, when I tweet "Hey #ASTROS FANS..." at the start of a game, no one tweets back. I don't think it's anything personal, of course; I just don't think that many of the other fans are bothering to tweet. Maybe they aren't even bothering to watch the games? Hard to tell.
Last night I turned on the computer after the Sabbath, just in time to watch the Astros lose. Today, I got home from work (proposal season doesn't stop for weekends) just in time to watch the bottom of the 9th, with the Astros down 14-10. With 10 runs scored today, there are probably some fun innings to watch, and maybe I'll do that when they post the game to the archive later this evening. On the other hand, with 14 runs allowed, that's some painfully stinky Astros pitching -- from Happless to Melanconly. Maybe it's a night for a glass of wine and Angry Birds instead.
For the record, I am officially giving up my game write-ups for the year. I'll post to the blog when there's something interesting to comment on (like changes of management or swapping out the entire roster and bringing up the whole Oklahoma City team). I'll keep checking for other fans to tweet with during games -- I'm AstrosFanInXile, in case you're not following me yet. Tweet back! It gets lonely out here in exile.
Meanwhile, I'm going to keep considering whether I should just TRY to cheer for the Nats next year. There's something to be said for actually getting to see your team play now and then!