Minute Maid Park Is Not Wrigley Field South. Oh, and the Astros Still Suck.

Okay readers, you’re going to have to excuse my ignorance, because I thought the Astros were supposed to have positioned themselves back into the playoff race. That was what that 7-4 kick leading into the All-Star Game was all about, wasn’t it?

Getting some momentum, moving into position to make a run at the Milwaukee Brewers.

I didn’t think that it was about getting set to be swept by the Chicago Cubs in the first three games back from the All-Star Game.

I thought wrong.

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What can one say about these past three games? That Jason Jennings looked like Jason Jennings. That Roy Oswalt looked like Woody Williams. That Wandy Rodriguez looked Roy Oswalt looking like Woody Williams.

It was ugly.

When the Astros jumped out to that 5-0 lead yesterday, did anybody really think that the Astros were going to hold on? I sure as hell didn’t.

The Astros record has dropped to 39-53, and the teams sits solidly in fifth place, 12.5 games behind the Brewers. I just don’t see any hope for this team. Does anybody? Well, anybody not working for the Chron? If the Astros are going to win any games, then the next three days are a good place to start, what with the Astros moving on to Washington, D.C. to play the hapless Washington Nationals. Of course, I’m somehow thinking the people of Washington are waiting for the hapless Astros to come into town so that the Nationals will have a chance to win some games.

And because the guy continues to bug me, is there anyone out there besides Jesus Ortiz who thinks that Minute Main Park is Wrigley Field South? People are showing up to MMP just for the ambiance? That’s a joke, right? What ambiance? Plastic? Tackiness? A cheap imitation of the ballpark experience at most every other park in the majors? Is that what Ortiz means by ambiance? He surely can’t be trying to say that the ambiance emitting from MMP is the equivalent to that at Wrigley. Wrigley’s one of the great parks in baseball history. MMP is an eyesore that will probably be destroyed in about 25 years when the next owner holds the city hostage for a new pleasure palace.

But the really stupid thing that Ortiz writes – yeah, I know, Ortiz wouldn’t write something stupid – is that he goes about comparing MMP to Wrigley Field South with the fans showing up for the ambiance, then writes that the Astros fans are smart and love baseball. Well, if Houston fans understand and love baseball, then they can’t be like fans who go to Wrigley. If the fans who go to Wrigley really cared about baseball, then Wrigley would be empty most of the time because most of the time the Cubs suck. And fans who understand and love baseball don’t continue to sell out ballparks and support losers. Because there’s no reason for ownership to improve a club and turn it into a winner if the fans show up no matter what. So, if Astro fans are turning MMP into Wrigley South and showing up for the ambiance, then they can’t be smart and love and understand baseball, because what reason is there for Drayton to try and improve the club if people show up anyway?

Now, I think most people who show up at Astros games don’t really know and understand baseball. How else to explain the continued fan support for Brad Lidge and the feeling that Craig Biggio has earned the right to play whenever he wants. But there’s no way in hell that MMP can in anyway be compared to Wrigley Field. I could halfway understand how someone who’s never traveled or seen another ballpark to think that Wrigley and MMP might be comparable, but Ortiz is supposed to have traveled with the Astros, he’s supposed to have been to Wrigley, so does he really think that Wrigley’s comparable to MMP?

But what I really want to know is: just who are these “some [who] might even it call Wrigley South?” And we these “some” are located, I think that the authorities should be located and that these “some” should be locked up in an asylum somewhere. – John Royal

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