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The Astros Are World Series Champions. Get Over It. Or Don’t.

The Houston Astros celebrate being World Series Champions in 2022
via John Shapely/Houston Chronicle

After all the scandal, the boos, the conspiracy theories, the FUCK ALTUVE chants, the heartbreakers against the NL East, and a LONG 5 years the Houston Astros are your World Series Champions! Haters don’t have to like it. They don’t have to begrudgingly respect it. Hell they don’t even have to accept it. There’s baseball fans across the nation who cried themselves to sleep last night trying to cope with the fact that the Astros did it again. But this ain’t about the haters and losers (of which there are many). This is about US.

It’s H-Town vs Everyone, and goddamit H-Town we’re the WORLD SERIES CHAMPIONS. Again!

World Series Champion and MVP Jeremy Peña

What more is there to say about Jeremy Peña that hasn’t already been said? Even if this guy – the rookie phenom, Gold Glove Winner, and ALCS MVP – had folded under the bright lights of the World Series he would have been an October Legend already. But of course Jeremy “The Prince Who Was Promised” Peña didn’t fold. He went out there and BALLED every time the Astros needed him. With defense, with plate discipline to get on base, with RBIs, with clutch HRs, the kid did everything and more.

Houston Astros SS Jeremy Pena celebrates being a World Series Champion after Game 6 of the World Series at Minute Maid Park on Saturday, Nov. 5, 2022, in Houston.
Photo via Yi-Chin Lee/Houston Chronicle

There’s no way even the most optimistic Astros fan could’ve predicted this after Carlos Correa, justifiably, left the team in search of a major pay day. But Jeremy Peña – the kid from Rhode Island by way of the Dominican Republic who couldn’t hit for power until he built muscle by shoveling snow in Maine – delivered every single time he was called upon.

Jeremy Peña, you’re a World Series Champion.

World Series Champion Yordan Alvarez

You probably already know the story of how Yordan Alvarez became an Astro by now. But it’s worth repeating for the millionth time that the Los Angeles Dodgers cast off 19-year old Alvarez in a trade for a fair-to-middling 30-year old relief pitcher.

Back in 2016 when the trade happened, the Astros knew Alvarez had “exciting offensive upside”. But now that looks like the understatement of the century after Yordan Alvarez dominated pitchers all season, hit a clutch walk off homerun in the ALDS, hit another game winner the next day, and then launched a 450-ft MOONSHOT to win the World Series for the Astros.

At just 25-years old now and locked in with the team through 2028 after a wise investment in a contract extension, Yordaddy is nowhere near finished. But no matter what happens with the rest of his Astros career, he’s a baseball legend forever.

Yordan Alvarez, you’re a World Series Champion.

World Series Champion Trey Mancini

It can’t be overstated how happy I am for Trey Mancini. After being diagnosed with colon cancer in March 2020, Trey Mancini beat cancer and fought all the way back to become a formidable hitter again. Who can forget his performance in the HR Derby last year?

After getting traded to the Astros at this year’s deadline, Mancini got off to a hot start. His first few hits for Houston were all HRs, including a Grand Slam, but since then it’s been tougher times for Mancini. He hit .176 in the regular season and struggled mightily in the playoffs. He was hitless in the playoffs until Saturday night.

But when Yuli Gurriel got injured in Game 5, Mancini played 1B for the first time in a month and responded when his number was called. His clutch defense helped save the Astros that night.

He got his first hit of the Postseason.

And now, through it all, Trey Mancini you’re a World Series Champion.

World Series Champions Bryan Abreu & Ryan Pressly

Bryan Abreu & Ryan Pressly just led what may have been the greatest Playoff run for any bullpen ever. Every guy in the bullpen deserves a ton of credit because each and every one of them balled out. But Abreu & Pressly were a different level of dominant.

It gets no better than that. Both dudes were nearly unhittable. Throughout these playoffs, the game was over if the Astros handed a lead to this bullpen. It’s crazy to look back and think that Bryan Abreu showed up to camp overweight and almost got DFA’d by the Astros. And on top of that, at the time of the Ryan Pressly trade some folks said the Astros gave up too much because the then 29-year old reliever was already at his peak. Look at them now. 2 of the most dominant postseason relievers we’ve ever seen.

Bryan Abreu & Ryan Pressly, you’re World Series Champions.

2x World Series Champions Altuve, Verlander, Bregman, Gurriel, and McCullers Jr.

It’s been said over and over again, but there’s only 5 guys still here from that 2017 Astros team that everyone loves to hate.

Jose Altuve

Jose Altuve, possibly the greatest Astro there ever was, struggled mightily in this postseason. For reasons I don’t care to get into right now, he’s become the object of baseball fans’ blind hatred for the last couple of years and at times this postseason it looked like it may have all finally gotten to him. He started October 0 for 25. But like always, Altuve was right there in the trenches for his teammates hyping them up and never letting the struggles affect his attitude and leadership. And his production picked up on the biggest stage.

Houston Astros second baseman Jose Altuve celebrates as the team raises the World Series trophy after defeating the Philadelphia Phillies at Minute Maid Park on Saturday, Nov. 5, 2022, in Houston.
via Karren Warren/Houston Chronicle

Justin Verlander

We didn’t know for sure that Justin Verlander could do this again. In fact, after his injury and TJ surgery some Astros fans speculated he’d hang em up. Back in 2021, Verlander announced a press conference and rumors started flying that he was retiring. Not only did he come back and sign a new contract with the Astros, he went out and had one of his best seasons ever at 39-years old. Which is saying something when you’re already one of the greatest pitchers of all time. He’s going to win another Cy Young, he’s got his first career World Series win, and an adorable, supportive family to boot.

Photo via Brett Coomer/Houston Chronicle

Alex Bregman

Alex Bregman, Mr. Daddy Hacks himself, came back in a big way after struggling last postseason. This time last year a struggling Bregman was batting 7th in the lineup because he couldn’t produce like he needed to. But this year was an entirely different story. He told us back in July that he was about to go off, and he went tf off.

Alex Bregman celebrates being a World Series Champion for the 2nd time.
via @Astros on Twitter

Lance McCullers Jr.

Lance McCullers Jr. – the trillest to ever do it! The man who gave us the iconic quote BURY ME IN THE H! Like Verlander, he fought back from Tommy John surgery to get here and he balled out this season. He was NAILS in the elimination game of the ALDS, and despite struggling in the ALCS and WS he was still one of the team’s clubhouse leaders and he deserves another World Series Grill as much as anyone.

Houston pitcher Lance McCullers Jr. celebrates with his family after the Astros won the World Series over the Philadelphia Phillies at Minute Maid Park on Saturday, Nov. 5, 2022, in Houston.
via Jon Shapley/Houston Chronicle

Yuli Gurriel

Gurriel got injured in Game 5 while trying to extend a rundown to give Chas McCormick enough time to move into scoring position. But the boys went out there and won for him. This could be the end of the line as an Astro for the 38-year old 1B, but if it is, what an end it was. After struggling at the plate throughout the regular season Yuli balled out with clutch hit after clutch hit throughout October and I’m so glad he’s gotten rewarded for it. What a guy, what a run.

World Series Champion Dusty Baker

Look, I know some of y’all have had your beef with the Astros’ manager and his decision making over the past couple years. Maybe he didn’t make the same bullpen choices you would’ve made, or he didn’t play your favorite prospect enough, or didn’t set the lineup the same way you would have. Perhaps he didn’t say exactly what you would’ve wanted to hear in a press conference. Hell, he may have made some costly errors that cost us a game or 2.

I don’t give a good god damn.

This man has given damn near every day of his life since he was a teenager to the game of baseball. Players across decades, across generations, love him for the kind of man he is. For the heart he puts into the game and the perseverance and faith he has in himself and his players.

Houston fans hold up a sign for manager Dusty Baker Jr. after the Astros won the World Series over the Philadelphia Phillies at Minute Maid Park on Saturday, Nov. 5, 2022, in Houston.
via Brett Coomer/Houston Chronicle

After all of it, the 2,093 regular season wins, 51 postseason wins, heartbreaks, starting over and over again, he fucking did it. Dusty fucking did it.

So from here on out, whenever you speak on Johnnie B. Baker Jr. as a manager, that’s WORLD SERIES CHAMPION Dusty Baker to you!

I Love You, Houston

There’s so many folks I’m happy that I get to call a World Series Champion now. Chas McCormick, the kid from Philly, rose up and became a legend this postseason after we didn’t know if he could be our everyday CF. Framber “The Framchise” Valdez. Martin Maldonado. Christian Vazquez. Kyle Tucker. MICHAEL FREAKING BRANTLEY. The list goes on and on. Every single guy on the roster has an amazing story and I wish I could tell them all. I’m sure they’ll be told in due time. But to wrap this up I want to talk about who I’m happiest for.

Houston, Texas hoe!

Jim "Mattress Mack" McIngvale celebrates the Houston Astros being World Series Champions at Minute Maid Park on Saturday, Nov. 5, 2022, in Houston.
Photo via Brett Coomer/Houston Chronicle

Fair or foul, right or wrong, we’ve been the most hated fanbase in baseball for the last 2 years because we didn’t bow down and beg for mercy while folks called the Astros cheaters, said our ring had an asterisk, and built entire companies on lying about our team. We’ll probably keep being the most hated fanbase in the MLB going forward too. A lot of people have made it clear they’ll never get over the Astros cheating and they’ll hate the team and the fans for forever. They’re not ready to move on or let it go and they never will be.

Fuck all that. It don’t matter now.

You don’t have to waste your time trying to change their minds or prove them wrong. Don’t worry about their respect. Their respect means absolutely nothing. Whether they want to accept it and move on from the cheating scandal or not, the facts don’t change.

And the fact is: H-Town we got us another one!

Soak it all in. Don’t take it for granted. You’ve witnessed the greatest run in Houston sports history and there’s no telling if it’ll ever be like this again. Spiting the haters is one hell of a motivator, but take a moment to truly be happy for yourself, your team, and your city. Naysayers be damned.

FOR EVERYBODY IN HOUSTON, TEXAS AND ALL THE ASTROS FANS AROUND THE WORLD READING THIS RIGHT NOW, YOU’RE WORLD SERIES CHAMPIONS.

Shoutout to everybody who’s been rocking with Apollo and our Houston Astros coverage this baseball season. We’ve got an amazing group of people to do this with and an incredible community of fans. THANK YOU.

It’s been an incredible ride, and it’s not over yet. We’ll be covering your World Series Champion Astros all offseason into next year. Plus check out our Houston Rockets, College Football, NFL, and Pop Culture coverage in the meantime.

Follow @ApolloHOU on all platforms so you don’t miss anything!

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