The Houston Astros introduced Reid Ryan as their new president on Friday.
It's possible somewhere down the road we'll look back at that moment as the turning point in their organization's history. For now, though, they're still the same old Houston Astros, which means losing games in every way imaginable will continue.
For example, let's look at Friday night's 5-4 walkoff loss to the Pittsburgh Pirates. The Astros held a 4-1 lead through five innings, but saw that evaporate by the time the ninth inning rolled around. The all too familiar sense of impending doom had to be consuming Astros fans at this point, and especially so when Pittsburgh loaded the bases with one out after pitcher Edgar Gonzalez botched a would be 1-6-3 double play.
However, as bleak as it looked for that moment, fans were able to let out a temporary sigh of relief after Gonzalez recovered to strikeout Neil Walker for a huge second out. Gonzalez then made the biggest pitch of the game, getting Russell Martin to hit a weak fly ball into short right field for what should have been the third and final out of the inning.
Only one little problem... Impending DOOM finally arrived at PNC Park.
In charged right fielder Jimmy Paredes. Out went second baseman Jake Elmore. They met at the baseball, and then they collided, allowing the ball to pop loose from Paredes' glove and hit the ground to give Pittsburgh the stunning victory.
Especially for Paredes, who was charged with the error.
''I'm anticipating the ball being hit to me, just like I do on every pitch,'' Paredes said. ''All I'm thinking about is catching the ball for the third out. That's all I wanted to do. I was watching the ball and then I hit into him. Sometimes things like that happen in this game, and it's frustrating to lose like this.''
You almost feel bad when a game ends on a play like that. At least initially. Then you remember how easily it could have been avoided had two professionals simply communicated.
But, hey, manager Bo Porter says that wasn't the problem here.
Honestly, that's what he said.
''It's not a lack of communication, because there's only one person that should be communicating,'' Porter said. ''The infielder is not saying anything. If he gets underneath the ball, the outfielder is running in and he's looking at the infielder. And if the infielder is waving his hands and under the ball, you let him take the ball.''
OK, but if nobody is communicating verbally and the guy who's supposed to be looking for waving arms isn't looking, then it's a lack of communication, no? And shouldn't the outfielder be looking at the ball to determine his chances while listening to the infielder? After all, he's got the better angle and the momentum. If he can get there, it should be the outfielder's ball, I would think.
Maybe I'm just confused, too. All I really know is the baseball hit the grass, the Astros are a league worst 11-31, and there's no end to their misery in sight.