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Even in a Pandemic, Everyone Still Hates the Astros

“I need to think about that,” he said.

For his part, Kelly brushed aside the fact that he previously pitched for the Boston Red Sox, who were deemed to have cheated intermittently in 2017 and during their championship season in 2018 — with Kelly on the roster both years. Boston beat the Astros in the playoffs in 2018 and won the World Series that year, also against the Dodgers.

But the Red Sox’ cheating was minor compared with what the Astros did, and Kelly, through his mocking facial contortions, quickly tapped into the general animus that many in the baseball world still feel toward the Astros.

“You’ll never get over it,” Stripling said on the podcast. “Absolutely never get over it.”

Maybe not, but the 2020 Astros Shame Tour provides players and fans with a continuous resource for everything negative about the Astros, and any tidbit is welcome. When the actor Rob Lowe appeared on Joe Rogan’s podcast wearing a hat with an H pasted over an orange asterisk, Donley shared it. When George Springer, the Astros’ talented leadoff hitter, had his star status downgraded in a video game, Donley posted that, as well.

Shame aside, the Astros have faced a litany of other baseball issues this year, including injuries to Justin Verlander, Michael Brantley and Yordan Alvarez, all while Baker tries to manage a shaky bullpen with nine rookies in it. No surprise, then, that the Astros are off to such a disappointing start — not that people outside Houston are upset over it.

“They are definitely not the same team, and that makes me happy,” Wilson said. “They need to feel what it’s like to be in last place, to finally have some tangible consequences. Because so far, they haven’t had them.”

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