Astros Analyst: This Team Isn't Taking Anything For Granted

World Series hangover? Steve Sparks doesn't see it happening in Houston

After Hours With Amy Lawrence
March 29, 2018 - 10:36 am

USA Today Images


The Houston Astros enter the 2018 season in an unfamiliar spot. They are not chasing a World Series crown; rather, they are defending one.

That has to be a different feeling, no? Especially after three straight seasons of 100+ loses from 2011-13?

“Well, the one thing that will probably surprise you is nobody is taking anything for granted,” Astros radio analyst Steve Sparks said on After Hours with Amy Lawrence. “The theme basically of spring training was all the questions about the hangover: how are they going to be able to avoid getting off to a slow start after such a short offseason and all the adulation and traveling around the country, going on Saturday Night Live and the talk shows and things like that. It seems to happen quite a bit.”

Sparks, though, doesn’t think it will happen to Houston. Not to this team. Not to these Astros.

“I think when you have players like a Justin Verlander and Brian McCann and Josh Reddick, who keep people accountable for what they do and just the makeup of some of the players – and I’m talking about even the young ones like Alex Bregman – I don’t think they’re satisfied or content or anything like that,” Sparks said. “I think this is a team that’s on a mission. They want to be remembered and leave a legacy in the city.”

The Astros won the first World Series in franchise history last season, surviving the Yankees and Dodgers in seven-game thrillers.

The fact that it came on the heels of Hurricane Harvey made the championship – and parade – even sweeter.

“It was amazing,” Sparks said. “You saw the shots of people in the parking garages leaning over so they could get a glimpse of their heroes. It blew everybody away. Nobody could believe the turnout. You see it on television from time to time, but being in the middle of that and walking through that sea of people and you just see the tears and the elation and people just screaming at the top of their lungs, it was something that nobody that got to ride through that procession will ever forget.”