Kiss Your Astros Goodbye?

Three good reads today, one of them among the best and most moving baseball-related pieces I’ve read in a long while.

Firstly, the Houston Astros may change their name (again). Last time they did this, from the Colt .45s to the Astros in 1965, they got involved in a drawn-out lawsuit over the use of the name. So, what next, the Houston Streets? The Houston Hellos? This would work for the rabidly diminishing franchise: The Houston We-Have-A-Problems.

Multiple tributes around the net for the late Andy Musser, Phillies’ announcer and one of the greats of local television in that city. For a time in the ’70s Musser was in such demand that he did the local CBS station sportscasts in Philadelphia on weeknights, and the ones in New York on weekends. Terrific pro, whom I had the pleasure of meeting several years ago. He began by courteously telling me how much he loathed my politics but admired my skills, and I told him I’d been a fan since I was a kid and politics weren’t going to change my opinions. The rest was laughs and kind words – and evidently that was the story of his life.

Lastly superb piece by Tom Dinard on one of the favorites of the Yankees’ media relations’ department, Stefan Wever, and the extraordinary life he’s led in the thirty years since his one and only appearance in a major league uniform, a single start for the 1982 Yanks. Take the time to read it all – well worth it. There aren’t a lot of color images of Wever in a Yankee uni — here’s one:

9 Comments

WTF? Change the name of the Astros? Is nothing sacred? My suggestion is expanding by two teams and 4 four team divisions in each league. First place only. Best record gets home field ALL rounds (including the World Series; All Star Game to determine tiebreaker for World Series home field advantage ONLY).
Personally I like the Houston We-Have-A-Problems.

So bummed about this. Wasn’t it bad enough that they have to go to the AL West? This is another in a long string of bad decisions, going back to allowing Bagwell to come to bat at all in the ’05 World Series.

“He began by courteously telling me how much he loathed my politics but admired my skills….”

Seems to me a certain goalie could learn a lot from this story.

I wish the Astros would find their way, but damn. The idea that a NAME CHANGE is going to fix it – HA. Besides, I like team names that reflect local culture or history. I like Houston We-Have-a-Problems, that’s good.

NAME CHANGE? I was a Pilots fan in 1969! So don’t give me that! Howzabout those Orioles/Highlanders/Yankees? Or howzabout those Brewers/Browns/Orioles? Senators/Twins? Senators/Rangers? Expos/Nationals? At least they are not moving out of Houston. Makes a fella proud to ne an Astro.

They should keep their name as the Astros and go back to their 1980s uniforms, which they will be wearing on some Fridays in 2012! They will be my favorite AL West team once they get there– Brownie and J.D. are awesome announcers. I’ll just miss the trips the Mets make to Minute Maid when Keith (the other Keith) talks about the big oranges in the train and Gary talks about Hunter Pence’s eyes looking like the cow on the “fowl” pole.

Andy Musser, like Marv Albert, Bob Costas, Len Berman and Ian Eagle (and, um, me) was a proud product of Syracuse University.

“A rose by any other name…” Poot! They may go the way of ASTROWORLD, which I loved and took all the kids to every three years the whole time everybody was growing up! Stayed at the Astrohotel and rode the Astrotrain to the park! Well, we all used to go there when we got sick too! I was in St. Lukes not long after my MS diagnosis, Daddy had his cancer surgery at MD Anderson. Hm. The Houston Heart Attacks? Maybe not. Houston Streets give me chills. One wrong turn and you better find the police station! I have long said Hell is the 610 Loop with no exit! (Shivering now.) Can’t do Houston Hacks. How about Houston Haggles? Half-cocks? Not nice. Sorry. Houston Hammerheads? They are close to water. Hamstrings? Naw, might jinx ‘em! Houston Hangdawgs? Just wrong! Houston Hatchetmen? Hey, my brother lives there! Houston Have-nots? Bonk! Houston H-bombs? Boom! Houston Headaches? Am I getting close? Houston Heartaches? Valentines Day is near! Houston Heartburn? Pass the jalepenos! Houston Heifers? Great for that beef industry there, but wrong gender! Houston Heros? Not the sandwich, either. Houston Hillbillies? Naw. Not far north enough. Houston Hikers? Too close for comfort. Houston Hogs? Nope. That is why I skipped Hams, too! Houston Honeybees. Too sweet. Sticky. Houston Honky-tonks? Maybe. Houston Hoppers. Juvenile! Houston Hotfoots. Hang on. I’m getting close. Houston Hotshots. Hey! Houston Hotwires! Damn! Houston Hydraulics? Won’t work unless someone wets his pants. Uh-oh. I am getting to the end of the H’s. I guess I will go with Nick and Sara. After all, what’s in a name? Houston Hustlers? Stop!

To argue that the Astros nickname no longer applies because the Astrodome is behind them is like saying Los Angeles should abandon the Dodgers name because they are no longer dodging trolleys in Brooklyn. That said, the Astros name hasn’t exactly been lucky for them!

A note or two on Andy Musser. One, we all could learn from a man who didn’t like someone’s politics but could get along with him. Two, he had to be a man without ego. He was at least third in Philadelphia fans’ hearts behind Harry Kalas and Richie Ashburn. It brings to mind Vin Scully’s perfect description of Jerry Doggett, who spent more than 31 years in his shadow with the Dodgers: he had an unwrinkled heart.

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