FanShot

Houston Revels In Its Vindication Against Astros Haters

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Houston, TX - The Houston Astros may have edged out the NY Yankees as the team to hate, but their fans don’t care - they’re reveling in it. An estimated one million plus Astro fans showed up for the Space City team’s victory parade on Monday after they took down the Phillies 4-1 in game six of the 2022 World Series for their second Championship. As if to taunt the opposition fandom, the crowds chanted the battle cry that rivals had used to challenge the Astros: "We want Houston! We want Houston!" Throughout the season and postseason, Houston showed up for their team in force, and often carried signs with slogans like "Make America Mad Again." In the parade on Monday, third baseman Alex Bregman raised a sign given to him by a fan that read "You wanted Houston, You Got Houston!" The Bayou city’s joy and sense of vindication were voiced by Houston-native, freestyler Wesley Weston Jr., a.k.a. L’il Flip. "I’m grateful, I’m glad, I’m happy we got another one – just to show ‘em," he said in an interview with KHOU11. The Astros angered MLB fans when they used sign-stealing to their advantage and won the 2017 World Series. They used cameras and banging to notify their batters of upcoming pitches. Sign stealing has long been a part of baseball, but an MLB investigation ruled that the Astros’ real-time notifications went too far. Resentment against the Astros has persisted even though the scandal led the MLB to change its rules to prevent similar violations. Not even changes to the team’s leadership nor their make-up (several players have moved on to other clubs) seem to have calmed grudges. But here’s the thing. The Houston Astros reached four World Series in the last six seasons, and three since 2017 – a feat that certainly proves their worth. Space City never doubted their boys. This year’s parade route was double the length of the 2017 bash to accommodate the increased crowd size, and downtown Houston was awash in orange-and-blue Astros gear; crowds five to six rows deep on either side of the route waved flags and pom-poms, danced and threw confetti; some fans cheered from balconies and draped parking garages with Astros banners. Online, Astros supporters toyed with opposition fans and their anger over the team’s leveling up. On Twitter, haters expressed their disdain with comments like "(I) don’t respect y’all, cheaters," which was promptly followed by a supporter’s comment that said "I’m so glad we cheated. More haters = more fun." Another comment charged "Frauds, forever cheaters," which was followed by "Cry harder." And still another jab: "Revenge Tour Completed." Despite the negativity, there is a lot of love for Astros’ manager Dusty Baker, who joined and stabilized the team after its scandal. Sports lovers in the media and social platforms are celebrating Baker’s win, his first in his nearly 30-year career as an MLB manager. At 73, Baker is the oldest manager to clinch the championship, and the third Black manager to do so. A revered figure in baseball, with a history of wins as both a player and a manager, Baker is a crowd favorite, with Houston fans often raising signs that read "Do It For Dusty,’ during the 2022 games. In the parade Monday, the crowds chanted his name as he alternated between waving and raising the trophy. Mosconi Cup 2022 Complete Schedule

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