So, yesterday I heard Skip Bayless say there should be an asterisk by Carlos Zambrano’s no-hitter. I understand where he’s coming from, even being the huge Cub fan that I am. It really wasn’t fair to play the games in Milwaukee, and the away uniform protest by the Astros was… warranted. The problem is this though…
While deciding to play the two games at Miller Park in Milwaukee was pretty shady on Commisioner Selig’s part, the problem is that the Houston Astros were primed to be no-hit ANYWHERE outside the state of Texas. Their hearts were clearly not in the game, as I believe it was Hunter Pence suggested on Cold Pizza (which will NEVER be First Take to me). They could have played in Atlanta as Dayf mentioned being under consideration. They could have played in my idea of Kansas City, even if the Royals were at home at the time, which I don’t know for sure. KC is about as close to right in between Chi-Town and Hous-uhh… Town, as it gets. Hell, they could have played at Gerald Field from Hey Arnold!, but the Astros’ hearts would still be back home staring down the hurricane. Their one hit in game two proves that.
And pretty much no matter where they went outside of Texas, the Cubs fans would still be outnumbering the Astros fans at least 60/40. There are Cubs fans literally everywhere in this country, and I think the majority of them are legit, and not bandwagon jumpers, though I’m positive there are plenty of them too. Regardless, no matter where the Cubs go in recent years, the crowds seem to be made up of no less than 30% Cubs fans. No way a neutral site outside of Texas will produce a crowd with a Houston Astros bias, unless about 10,000-15,000 Astros fans are flown in for the games.
Even though the Commish (who is only an Interleague Play and World Baseball Classic above George W. on the competence scale of people in positions of power) couldn’t have chosen a worse place for the games to be played, I could still see the no-hitter happening just about anywhere. No matter where they played, the Astros hearts never left the state of Texas, and they weren’t going to get a pro-Houston crowd regardless of where they went in this country.
As they say, it is what it is, and what it is was a no win situation that the Astros were put in. Everything possible seemed to be working against them, including the league itself. The Cubs just happened to be in the right place at the right time to capatalize and did so spectacularly. It’s unfortunate, but if the Astros are strong enough mentally, they can use this whole situation as motivation for their wild card push.