The Astros can bounce back

Can the Astros ignore the noise and play good baseball?

The Houston Astros are going to hear a lot of noise this season. They’re going to get booed in every ballpark, they’re going to face scrutiny from the media and get hit with a lot of pitches, and frankly — they deserve it.

However, this is baseball, a professional sport, cheating is not going anywhere. America’s pastime has had more cheating scandals than you can count, whether it’s the 1919 Black Sox scandal, the steroid era and now the Astros.

This storyline isn’t going away until late October when the season wraps up. But can the Astros get to October? I think so.

The Astros are a good team; they were good in 2017 when they won the World Series, they were good when the Red Sox beat them in the 2018 ALCS and they were good when they lost in game seven of the World Series in 2019.

But can they have a successful campaign this year? They sure can.

Astros general manager Jeff Luhnow is gone, along with manager A.J. Hinch, who both were suspended one year by the MLB and dismissed from the team. The Astros also parted draft picks and $5 million as part of their punishment. However, the players swinging the bat and catching pop-ups are still there.

2017’s American League (AL)  Most Valuable Player second baseman José Altuve is still on the roster, as are all-star: shortstop Carlos Correa, third baseman Alex Bregman and outfielder George Springer. On opening day, all these guys are playing.

Just like how he gets to keep his ring from 2017, Altuve, much to the chagrin of Yankee fans who believe outfielder Aaron Judge should’ve won MVP, still holds his title as 2017 AL MVP. You hate to see it.

The players were part of this scandal and they are playing, for not one suspension was given to these players for cheating. When someone hits an Astros player with a pitch, if and when that player is suspended, he’ll be doing more time than any one of the Astros players.

The Astros situation is unique because the players involved are still playing. Many times has baseball seen players face severe scrutiny over cheating allegations in the twilight of their career, or even after their playing days are over like the Mark Mcguire, Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens.

The Astros, however, are at the height of their powers. Their core of all-stars like Altuve, Correa, Bregman and Springer are all in their prime.

So the big question is: Can they ignore the noise and win while they’re still in their prime? It’s been done before.