Hey, the Astros Are Back Tonight. Remember Them?

Tonight's the night. The start of a new season. A new beginning. The Houston Astros are no longer the joke of baseball. Or so say the supposed experts of baseball. The Astros were a semi-competent team toward the end of last season, and some of the much ballyhooed young talent finally started to blossom as the team went 70-92.

This is the first time in several years that most Houstonians will be able to watch the Astros on a regular basis as the CSN Houston debacle has given way to ROOT Sports Houston, which is available on Comcast, U-verse and DirecTV systems in Houston. And the team the Astros will field this season is radically different from the one most Astros fans last saw on TV on a regular basis, and it's actually a much different team than the one fans saw play last season.

This team will have the capacity to hit more than 200 home runs, but it also has the potential to shatter the single-season strikeout record of 1,535 that the Astros set in 2013. On the plus side, if the Astros don't score runs, the winds generated by the strikeouts should be able to supply the power needs of the entire state of Texas for the next century or so. But if the promised power doesn't happen, the team might have problems because the pitching staff, while much improved over years past, is still rather mediocre.

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John Royal is a native Houstonian who graduated from the University of Houston and South Texas College of Law. In his day job he is a complex litigation attorney. In his night job he writes about Houston sports for the Houston Press.
Contact: John Royal