Houston Astros 5:1 LA Dodgers The Aftermath of Hurricane Harvey

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I never did think that I would be writing a baseball article. I am from the West Indies after all where cricket (a vastly superior sport to baseball by the way) is king. However, ever since Hurricane Harvey devastated the city of Houston, I have paid a bit more attention than I usually do to Houston sports franchises. That’s because in the aftermath of that hurricane, the sports media almost immediately started to suggest how “great it would be for that city if ‘the Texans, the Rockets, or the Astros’ won their respective championships.”

It was a bit suspicious to me that it was  so important to the media to put that out there. What does a sports franchise winning a title, have to do with recovery efforts after a disaster strikes? Then I remembered the New Orleans Saints after Katrina, and it began to make sense.

This is what happens in sports, particularly American Sports. The narrative is more important than the event. The LA Dodgers had been the best team in baseball throughout the year. That’s what their record told me, that’s what their impressive dismantling of the defending champion Chicago Cubs told me, and that’s what the media told me throughout all of this. Yet it wasn’t enough to overcome the Harvey narrative that has already begun in full swing since the end of Game 7.

Houston Astros World Series

This is at the beginning of a report by ESPN after the game:

“Just a little over two months ago, the Astros were displaced, disconsolate and helpless, grieving that they could not do more for a city ravaged by Hurricane Harvey and its aftermath. All the Astros could do then was play baseball, to give their fans common cause and a little distraction.”

It’s clear in the above what’s important to ESPN: the Hurricane Harvey story. It sounded in the above as if the MLB’s Hurricane Harvey donation was the Houston Astros World Series.

Houston Astros World Series victory, may be enough to satiate the narrative mongers out there, but it will be important to keep an eye on the progress of first the Texans, and then the Rockets, to see if they win championships themselves.

The Houston Astros are a good baseball team and were second or third best all year. They deserved their World Series berth, but the title? I think narrative even more than talent, decided the outcome of the World Series.


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Dean Nestor

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