Dear Astros,

It’s tough to find the words to describe how happy the Texanist was two years ago, when you procured Texas’s first-ever World Series championship. So excited was the Texanist about the whole shebang that he saluted you in the 2018 Bum Steers package, which was otherwise devoted to mocking folks he finds ridiculous, or worse. 

Since that banner year, however, you failed to make it back to the Big Show in 2018, and while you did return in dominating style in 2019, you just couldn’t close the deal. That’s baseball, though. It happens, even to the best of teams.

But boy hidy, there have been times lately when you haven’t seemed like the best of teams at all. Like that moment, after clinching the 2019 American League Championship Series, when assistant general manager Brandon Taubman taunted a group of female reporters by yelling, “Thank God we got Osuna! I’m so f#*&ing glad we got Osuna,” referring to relief pitcher Roberto Osuna, whom the team had controversially acquired in 2018 while he was serving a 75-game suspension after being accused of domestic violence. And then, after that incident was reported in Sports Illustrated, do you remember saying that the article was “misleading and completely irresponsible”? And then, after belatedly looking into the matter more fully, do you remember firing Taubman, retracting your statement, and offering an apology to SI’s reporter, who had been one of the targets of his strange outburst?

And then, after losing to the Washington Nationals in game seven of the World Series, do you recall how you became embroiled in an investigation involving allegations of sign stealing?

Sign stealing? What the heck is the deal, Astros? If this magazine had compiled a “Best Things in Texas” list back in 2018, the Texanist is confident that you would have topped it. But instead, here y’all are getting a Bum Steer Award for squandering a gift any team would kill to have: the unwavering love of your home city and the respect of your home state!

As you proceed through the year 2020, please plot a return that includes all of your erstwhile joyfulness and pluckiness. Texas will be watching. And so will the Texas Monthly Bum Steer Committee.