Much hyped Astros super-phenom George Springer made his major league debut Wednesday night. His big league promotion became known Tuesday night, and Astros fans greeted Wednesday with the same glee Buddy the Elf greeted the fake Santa at Gimbels. Sure the Astros lost Springer's debut game, but finally, the future was in sight for the few remaining Astros fans.
The day was not without issues. The primary one being Springer's name being spelled as Gerorge Springer on the huge-ass video screen. Mistakes happen, but it was a pretty big mistake -- because that screen's huge -- and the media jumped all over it (making Deadspin is almost never a good thing). The thinking being, I guess, that the typo was just the embodiment of all things wrong with the Astros. (And yes, I also piled on about the mistake).
There are lots of things that embody the wreckage of the Houston Astros. There's the whole CSN Houston fiasco. There's being shifted to a radio station that most fans have trouble picking up outside the city. There was the debacle of the erector-set billboard that blocked the view out of left field. There's the current owner suing the former owner for fraud arising out of the sale of the team. There's firing a broadcast team because they weren't positive enough about a team losing 100-plus games. Hell, there's even losing 100-plus games for three seasons in a row.
All of those things embody where the organization has gone wrong. But misspelling a player's name on the huge-ass video board? That's a mistake. An embarrassing mistake, yes, but still, just a mistake. These things happen.
Let's dwell on the important things. Like the team's fascination with Alex Presley. Let's mock the things that need mocking, like Chris Carter trying to play defense. Let's hang our heads in anguish over the club's continued desire to offend its fans by selling opposing team merchandise. And let's just howl at Drayton McLane for creating a damn Regional Sports Network that almost no one can watch, instead forcing on us a steady diet of Texas Rangers baseball.
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I'm sure the Astros video crew is mortified to be associated with this "Gerorge Springer" error, but it epitomizes nothing when it comes to the overall state of the Houston Astros baseball franchise, but for the fact that nobody is perfect. Go to just about any major sporting event and you'll spot errors on the video and scoreboards. They're not always so damn obvious.
Here's a confession: When I worked on the Astrodome DiamondVision crew, I made mistakes just as bad. Most of my time there I handled the video board graphics. And no matter how careful, I screwed up. For years, instead of typing Barry Bonds, I typed Bobby Bonds. Another one I constantly screwed up was that I often wrote Miami Marlins instead of Florida Marlins -- I choose to think of myself as just being ahead of the curve on that one. And I constantly inputted Richard Hildago instead of Richard Hidalgo. One of the reasons I so despise Tommy Lasorda is because he would always change his lineup just before the game started, and there's no bigger cause of typos than changing names, stats, etc. in a mad rush as a game is getting started.
Most of these errors never made the big board because the director would spot them before they went up on the screen, and I could do a quick fix. I wasn't always so lucky. But the thing was, even when it got up there it was never noticed. Sure, the video boards were smaller at the Dome, but getting the first name wrong of an All-Star is a big thing.