Whiny Astros column wonders if MLB rule changes were created to harm Houston

Houston Astros v Chicago White Sox
Houston Astros v Chicago White Sox / Michael Reaves/GettyImages

We've written some whiny Yankees columns in our day. When six consecutive seasons end with punkings at the hands of your chief rivals, you simply have to whine. But give us credit: we've never written a whiny pile of gibberish directly after winning the World Series.

If we're lucky enough to witness a title in the coming years, we'll spend the entire offseason celebrating every pitch, dinger, lead and save. We will not sob a monologue onto the internet about how MLB's wide-ranging rule changes were designed specifically to hurt our poor little team.

Those Houston Astros simply can't catch a break, folks, and MLB's latest rule changes, which were intended to speed up pace of play and inject more action into the game, are the latest example of the league absolutely railroading the champs. Because, naturally, that's what's first and foremost in Rob Manfred's mind at all times, the commissioner who didn't strip the Astros' ill-gotten 2017 World Series title or punish any of the on-field offenders. He's the kind of hardass who's simply always thinking, "I've gotta screw the Astros," and the evidence is ... well, isn't it obvious? It's not? Oh ...

On the verge of their 2023 title defense, Houston writer John Lopez asserted in a column that Manfred could be leading a vast conspiracy to cut into the Astros' strengths by making the bases larger, discouraging pickoffs and installing the pitch clock. Either that, or ... (spooky ghost voice) ooooh, these rules have been a long time coming and affect all teams!

Please enjoy the article -- shared by Mattress Mack, the man who won $75 million on the World Series but still feels aggrieved -- written on his very own sports website.

Astros writer wonders if MLB rule changes were meant to neuter Houston's advantage

If so ... who cares? Just cheat harder? Clearly, MLB isn't interested in eradicating that. This is a no-spin zone, but you guys have certainly found a way to increase that in the recent past, post-sticky stuff.

Want to read a chunk of this misery? Of course you don't. But here it is anyway:

"The reality, of course, is the MLB most likely does not hate the Astros. However, still scarred from the 2017 sign-stealing scandal, many Astros fans pounce on every opportunity to feel wronged despite winning the 2022 Redemption World Series. Welp. Get ready to go full-Triple Lindy with these new MLB pace-of-play rules that will be implemented in 2023. On the surface, they seem perfect for the game. Perfect for everyone – especially fans. The new pitch clock alone took an average of 26 minutes off time-of-game in the Minor Leagues. And banning the shift could be a boon for pull-hitting teams, especially the Astros. Jose Altuve, Kyle Tucker, Yordan Alvarez, and Alex Bregman could feast. But here is where it could get dicey for the Astros. When it comes to three key elements of the Astros’ success – defensive shifts, the bullpen, and preventing opponents from stealing bases – the new rules will be a challenge to say the least."

John Lopez

So, within five paragraphs, this writer has asserted:

  1. MLB does not hate the Astros.
  2. Astros fans still "pounce on every opportunity" to pretend they do.
  3. The rule changes will be great for the game/for fans.
  4. They should even be helpful to the Astros! The team's pull-hitting offense "could feast."
  5. Astros fans should feel directly targeted anyway.

Come for me, Houston. I've been here before. I'll be here again. Remember when you called Yankee fans ridiculous for claiming the wind was out to get them in the ALCS? This is that, but a bigger stretch by a factor of 10.

The article goes on to claim that Martin Maldonado's defensive impact could be lessened by the new base running rules, which were surely intended to harm Houston specifically, considering everyone knows Maldonado is the only catcher in baseball.

Red Sox fans have long been the kings of pretending they invented baseball and only they play the Pure Game, while the rest of the league is overrun by corporate greed and cutthroat cheaters. Houston Astros fans, especially after turning a title celebration into a four-month conspiracy lap, have now taken the cake, eaten that cake, then launched a full-scale investigation into where the cake went.

That won't stop them from commenting 50 times on this article that we're mad, despite the embedded Houston article being the literal maddest thing I've ever seen.