25 High And Low Points Of The Decade In Astro-Land
Yesterday we looked at the decade's highlights and low points for the Texans. Here's a look at the Houston Astros.
1. October 2005: The Astros drive past the Atlanta Braves and St. Louis Cardinals in two memorable NL playoff series to make the first World Series in the history of the franchise.
2. October 2005: The Astros are swept by the Chicago White Sox to lose the World Series.
3. Even worse than the World Series loss were the whining fans complaining that it was too cold outside to open the roof.
4. March 30, 2000: The Astros open up the tax-payer funded, Drayton McLane pleasure palace Enron Field.
5. March 30, 2000: The first home run in the history of Enron Field is hit by Ricky Ledee of the New York Yankees.
6. April 7, 2000: The first regular-season game in the history of Enron Field is played. Of course, the Astros lose the game. The first home run in regular season is hit by Scott Rolen of the Phillies.
7. But here's a little something I'm sure the Astros would like for you to forget. The ceremonial first pitch for that first regular season game was thrown by Ken Lay.
8. September 28, 2000: Jose Lima sets a National League record when he surrenders his 48th home run of the season to Brian Giles of the Pittsburgh Pirates.
9. October 2001: Following a 93-win season and the team's fourth playoff appearance in five seasons, team icon Larry Dierker is fired as the team's manager. Dierker pitched for the Astros, broadcast for the Astros, nearly died for the Astros, and managed the Astros. Yet the fans didn't really seem to care.
10. October 14, 2009: Following another awful year in which the team sucked, Drayton McLane dismisses first-base coach Jose Cruz. For some reason, the fans think that Cruz should have this job for life and get extremely upset by the move. Then again, most Astros fans seem to like that stupid hill in centerfield, too.
11. June 28, 2007: Speaking of team icons, Craig Biggio gets his 3,000th hit. He is promptly gunned down at second base on an ill-advised attempt to get a double.
12. February 7, 2002: Enron is stricken from its linkage to the Astros as the stadium becomes known as Astros Field. On June 5, 2002, the stadium becomes known as Minute Maid Park.
13. October 15, 2004: Jeff Kent's dramatic three-run, ninth-inning home run gives the Astros a 5-2 win over the Cardinals and a 3-2 advantage in the NLCS.
14. October 9, 2005: Brad Ausmus' two-out, ninth-inning homer sends game four of the NLDS between the Astros and Braves to extra innings. Chris Burke then homers in the 18th inning to not only give the Astros the 7-6 win for the game but wins the series and sends them to a NLCS rematch with the Cards.
15. October 17, 2005: Brad Lidge's career with the Astros effectively ends when he surrenders a two-out, two-run ninth-inning home run to Albert Pujols that wins NLCS Game Five for the Cards. The home run ball has yet to land.
16. December 12, 2003 and January 12, 2004: Drayton whips out his pocketbook and pays big money to free-agent pitchers Andy Pettitte and Roger Clemens. Along with Roy Oswalt, this forms the Astros' best rotation since 1998.
17. July 12, 2004: The Astros host the Home Run Derby which features a murderers row of `roiders: Miguel Tejada, Barry Bonds, Sammy Sosa, and Rafael Palmeiro.
18. July 13, 2004: Speaking of `roiders, Roger Clemens starts the All Star game for the NL and is rocked for six runs in one inning as the AL wins 9-4.
19. December 12, 2007: The Astros trade five players for former AL MVP shortstop Miguel Tejada.
20. December 13, 2007: The Mitchell Report is released. Miguel Tejada is named as a steroid/HGH user.
21. April 17, 2008: ESPN reports that Tejada has been lying about his age.
22. June 25, 2008: Pitcher Shawn Chacon expresses his dismay with being pulled from the starting rotation by putting GM Ed Wade in a chokehold. Wade lives and Chacon is released.
23. February 12, 2009: Tejada pleads guilty to lying to Congress regarding his involvement with HGH.
24. September 2008: Drayton McLane attempts to force the Chicago Cubs to fly into Houston despite the onrushing Hurricane Ike. He then attempts to blame Bud Selig when the Astros are forced to play the games in Milwaukee.
25. Sometime after the 2008 season, Houston businessman Jim Crane backs out of a handshake deal to buy the Astros, condemning the fans to further years of Drayton's ownership.