Jeff Luhnow had a plan that was sound as a bell. He was cool as a cucumber coming in to the season, but injuries and ineffectiveness hurt like a size 6 shoe on a size 8 foot. Luhnow isn't exactly dumb as a box of rocks. He knew that a good season would be about as easy as nailing jello to a tree, but it quickly became as clear as day that all was not going according to plan.
Most of us would be sweating like a lady of the night in church, but Luhnow was still fresh as a daisy, confident that the future would prove him to be smart as a whip. He started dealing like a Riverboat hustler to ensure that the farm system would be strong as an oak.
Yet for those of us watching everything like a hawk, it was easy to get more discouraged than a Trekkie at a Victoria's Secret models convention. It is plain as the nose on one's face that it is hard as nails to watch one's hometown team struggling like a bug caught in molasses.
Things are always darkest before the dawn and, at times it was black as midnight. But I prefer to focus on the smooth-as-silk debut of a pitcher with an arm like a whip or another rookie pitcher with the heart of a lion. Or the human highlight reel taking hits away like taking candy from a baby, again and again and again and again, when he wasn't hot as blue blazes in the batter's box. Matt Dominguez was as slick as a whistle at third base and even made baubles look as right as rain. Matty D and Jason Castro also proved themselves to be strong as oxen.
Despite some of these highlights, it was about as much fun as a root canal for the fans at times, but Luhnow and company have started the process of separating the wheat from the chaff. And as sure as God made little green apples, those players who move forward will be forged as strong as steel by going through this baptism by fire, as will the fans who have slogged through the swamp of futility with the patience of Job.
Congratulations to all of us who are still Astros fansAnd at the end of the day, the integrity of the game is as fit as a fiddle despite the best efforts of the Astros to destroy it, and the future is bright.
— Astros County (@AstrosCounty) September 29, 2013
There is a light at the end of the tunnel.
There is a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.
Yes, the future is as bright as the sun, as far as the eye can see.
*With apologies to John Prine