It sounds weird, but Ric Flair could be the Astros' ticket to another World Series win
Millions of people watch professional wrestling, and many of these folks grew up watching those bulky demigods get up in the ring and smash each other in the face with steel chairs. And the scripted drama -- there's so much drama.
I never got into pro wrestling as a kid, though. Despite my friends having action figures and the matches (are they called "matches"?) on TV all the time, I must have had some kind of aversion to it. I know the big, huge names: Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson, Stone Cold Steve Austin, "Undertaker," and so on.
I also know who Ric Flair is. Astros outfielder Josh Reddick was my gateway to Flair, given his penchant for impressions and big wrestling belts he'd bust out in the clubhouse while with the A's and, later, the Astros.
One of the most decorated and legendary wrestlers to ever get in the ring, the man they call "Nature Boy" paid a visit to Reddick's Astros at Minute Maid Park before Wednesday's game with the Tigers, and the scene was electrifying. When Flair got up near the mound for his ceremonial first pitch, the shouts of "WOOOOOO" raining down from the stands were deafening. It made him take a few extra seconds before he could actually throw the pitch.
Ric Flair! The stylin', profilin', limousine riding, jet flying, kiss-stealing, first pitch wheelin' and dealin' son of a gun. pic.twitter.com/SCg7NijauG— Houston Astros (@astros) August 22, 2019
This spectacle taught me something. The Astros are already a cheat code, a nearly unbeatable bunch of baseball villains poised to spoil the October plans of whoever they go up against. But they could be better.
Houston, I suggest this: Get Ric Flair to each of your home games in the postseason. It might be what you need to tip the scales even further in your favor. When the man's at the stadium, the vibe is on another planet.
Back in 2017, Houston got a pregame "WOOO" from Flair on the Jumbotron before dismantling the Yankees in Game 7 of the ALCS, and the team went on to take down the Dodgers in the World Series. Flair wasn't able to make it to each Houston home game during that October run due to health issues, but his impact was felt.
Get him there again this October, though, and get tens of thousands of fans to scream "WOOOO!" as loudly as possible? That'll do the trick. Or, really, figure out a way to harness the emotional power of everybody screaming "WOOOO!" for minutes on end and find a way to have it directly applied to the team.
Like Michael's Secret Stuff, or something. I don't know. I'm not a scientist. Go find a scientist.
Any of these scenarios would make the Astros even more of a monster come October, so I think they should consider it.
Adrian Garro joined MLB.com in 2016. Throughout his travels, both Bartolo Colon and Vin Scully have placed their hands on his shoulders. Not at the same time, though. That'd be amazing.