OPINION: Astros should stay silent about heckling

Angels fans who brought signs to heckle the Astros.

Sports fans rarely have short-term memories when their respective team is wronged by an opposing team or player. Unfortunately, for the Houston Astros, they seemed to have forgotten that this is the case.

With a myriad of spiteful comments and actions being literally thrown towards the team as they begin their 2021 campaign, the Astros seem to be annoyed that any of this is happening to them.

But what did they expect?

The complex ways that the team went about stealing signs, justifiably, ticked off the entire MLB community. Spring training in 2020 featured raucous ovations when players like Jose Altuve and Carlos Correa went down on strikes, but in no way was that enough to satisfy other fanbases.

Houston, as awkward as it may sound, was lucky that there were no fans in the stands last season. It allowed them to focus on a season like no other without the added obstacle of dealing with feisty fans when playing on the road.

In 2021, however, fans are back in ballparks across the country, and those fans have almost two years’ worth of hazing that they want to unleash on the Astros.

On Monday’s game against the Angels, both real and inflatable garbage cans were hurled onto the field by frenzied Angels’ fans. This was just the latest attempt at shaming the Astros in a visiting ballpark, as the team was bombarded with jeers, signage and more by Oakland fans in their first series of the season.

Astros manager Dusty Baker, clearly upset by what his team has been forced to endure, attempted to try and flip the script by asking people to evaluate their lives instead of faulting the Astros for what transpired just a few seasons ago.

"How many in the stands have never done anything wrong in their life? We paid the price for it,” Baker told ESPN. “How many people have not cheated on a test or whatever at some point in time? I mean, it's easy if you live in glass houses, but I don't think anybody lives in glass houses."

Baker makes a valid point, as everyone has taken a shortcut in life at one point or another. Here’s the problem with this comment, though: In what world are people going to look back and agree that Baker is right and they should stop this? If anything, his attempt to get people to look in the mirror will just further aggravate fans of other clubs. In their eyes, their team was screwed and lost games due to the Astros violating the honor and respect of the game. We all know how important the honor of the game is to the MLB higher-ups, don’t we?

So, Baker and the Astros should roll with the punches. Instead of complaining about fans unleashing pent-up anger at the team, Houston should go on the field and do their thing without giving people that satisfaction they want by publicly complaining about it.

After all, the Astros are winning games right now, sitting at 4-1 so far in the young season. At some point, this will all end for Houston. Fans will get it out of their systems, and their signs and throwing objects on the field will be reduced to booing and the occasional jeer.

Until that time comes, Houston should resist commenting on the matter.