Saturday, July 30, 2011

Heart & Soul

“It breaks your heart. It is designed to break your heart. The game begins in spring, when everything else begins again, and it blossoms in the summer, filling the afternoons and evenings, and then as soon as the chill rains come, it stops and leaves you to face the fall alone.” ~A. Bartlett Giamatti

In this case, my heart is broken for a completely different reason.

I’ve been worried about this all week and last night, I received the official news. 

Hunter Pence is gone.

Gone?  Seriously?

Are the Astros really THAT dumb?  Did they really just TRADE their ONLY 2011 All-Star player, a huge fan favorite?   I’ve heard people say “Stay true to your team” (although in this instance, I think there are more outraged Astros fans than there are loyal fans).  If the Astros REALLY cared about “Their Fans” opinions, they wouldn’t have traded Hunter away – fan favorite=major source of income.

In a sport where players actually play the game the RIGHT way – with all their heart and soul, Hunter Pence is a rare gem.  Time after time, I’ve seen him step out on the field, hustle to his position, play the game with everything he had in him, and hold his head up high knowing he gave it his all. 


(Photo courtesy of Google)

Growing up, we were always taught that no matter where you hit the ball, you hustle your butt to first base and try your hardest to stay safe.  If you are hit by the pitch, you shake it off and move on.  If you miss a fly ball, you try harder the next time. 

Not many players play this way.  You do not know how much it infuriates me when a ball is hit in the infield and the batter trots to first like he’s going on a Sunday stroll.  Seriously, you are getting paid to play a GAME!  There are thousands of people who would die for this opportunity.  RUN!

Hunter gave it his all.

I’m going to miss this guy.  I’m glad for his new opportunity and I’m happy he’s going to a team where he has other former Astros to hang out with – but I sure am going to miss him.

As Astros fans, I think we were spoiled to the fact that for so many years, we had consistency with Biggio and Bagwell.  No matter who got traded or who left the team, we knew Biggio and Bagwell would always be there. Hunter was a long-time player and I think people expected him to fulfill that role.  People don’t like change, people like consistency.  I’m one of those people.  I have to keep reminding myself that this is all a part of the game.  Trades happen – but that doesn’t mean that I have to like them. 

I also have to keep reminding myself….I still LOVE this game – it’s my team the Astros that I’m upset with.

“The other sports are just sports. Baseball is a love.” ~Bryant Gumbel, 1981

A quote from one of my top 3 favorite movies of all times – Field of Dreams:

The one constant through all the years, Ray, has been baseball.  America has rolled by like an army of steamrollers – it has been erased like a blackboard, rebuilt and erased again – but baseball has marked the time.  This field, this game – it’s a part of our past, Ray. It reminds us of all that once was good, and can be good again.” --Terance Mann – Field of Dreams

(And yes, I just typed that out from memory! Dork.) :0)

Next weekend, we have tickets to an Astros game. Had I know all of this was really going to go down, I wouldn’t have bought my ticket.

I’m making a shirt (and don’t think I won’t cause I really am) that on the front says:

“I’m only here cause my ticket was non-refundable!”

I’m also going to have a #9 on the front and a #9 on the back.

In the meantime, I’m cheering for the Rangers!  And if the Phillies make it to the World Series, I got their back, too!!! :0)


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