Jose Altuve was roundly booed by Detroit Tigers fans during his first at-bat of spring training. No surprise there, though the anti-cheering was emphatic and sustained.
Altuve, you'll remember, has denied any wrongdoing and has been passionately defended by Carlos Correa as one of the guys who refused to cheat while the rest of the Astros cheated. So, uh, that whole buzzer business was a pretty big deal in the court of public opinion.
Everyone seems to understand that Houston will be hated in each and every one of its 81 road games. But I still think the true fury is going to be underestimated until it happens at every opposing ballpark.
Remember how fervently fans let alleged cheaters have it during the PED era? That was individualized. This will be a blanket boo, relevant at any time.
One of two things will happen. Either the self-made adversity will galvanized the Astros, or the cumulative vilification will sit heavy on their shoulders and keep them from ascending to the high heights they aspire to climb.
Also consider how every trip will come with the same batch of questions and re-litigation from that city's press. It'll be an annoying and uncomfortable bed, but, hey, they made it for themselves.