Tuesday, October 01, 2013

The worst season in Astros history comes to a merciful end

The local baseball club's first season in the American League was also its worst season in franchise history, as the Astros ended the 2013 season with an abysmal 51-111 record that was capped off with a fifteen-game losing streak.

This club is supposed to be rebuilding, but in fact they're only getting worse: they've gone from 106 losses in 2011 to 107 losses in 2012 to 111 losses in 2013. These have been the three worst seasons in a 51-year franchise history that includes a lot of lousy losing seasons. The Astros haven't had a winning record since 2008, and that 2005 World Series appearance now seems like ancient history.

With the mounting losses comes rejection from Houston's fair-weather fanbase. The Astros drew 20,394 fans per game to Minute Maid Park: the second-lowest attendance average since the Astros started playing there and 13th out of 15 American League teams. People aren't watching the Astros on TV, either; just a week ago they managed a 0.0 Nielsen rating for a broadcast, which basically means that nobody in Houston bothered to tune in to the game.

Sure, there are plenty of excuses for this season's failures: the team is the youngest in Major League Baseball, its payroll is the lowest, the franchise is adjusting to a new league, this is Bo Porter's first season as a manager, et cetera. But local sports fans don't care about any of that. They just want to see a winner.

Or at the least, some improvement. And right now, we're not even getting that.

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