New York Yankees‘ Andy Pettitte has had a fantastic career, that much is certain. But when a visiting pitcher comes into an opponent’s stadium and is cheered for louder than the home team, something is probably wrong.
Well, not necessarily; it was Pettitte’s last start, and boy what a start it was as he threw a complete game to send the flailing Houston Astros to their 14th consecutive loss. It left a bitter taste in my mouth every time the Astros faithful roared for Pettitte. He was the opposing pitcher. Maybe it’s a close-minded, near-sighted approach to take, but it was a still a competitive outing, and the Astros are still the worse team in baseball.
The fact that the Astros can only pack in 37,000 when a famous opposing pitcher makes his last start just adds salt in the wound.
Sure, the guy played for the Astros back in the day and it was his last start and all that, but come on — he’s the opposition. It just reinforced the point of how irrelevant the Astros are and have been. Nobody seems to care that rookie Paul Clemens threw a great game and was dealt a loss because of the opposing pitcher’s stellar start.
It was the same when Mariano Rivera came out at the All-Star Game. It’s still a competition, and a team should not be cheering for their opposition when the game is still going on unless it’s to acknowledge a web-gem play or something similar. It completely takes the competitive edge out of it, although some may argue that the Astros lost their competitive edge three years ago.
The fans in Houston were happier with an Astros’ loss then they would have been had they spoiled Pettitte’s final start. Instead, he had his way with Houston, reminded everyone how big of a joke they were, and still managed to send the Houston faithful home happy.