“The last few years have been tough,” read a post on the team’s Facebook page. “The one thing we always said was that we’d quit when baseball stopped being fun. When baseball started feeling like a job. A terribly depressing job. And we’re there. And we’ve been there for quite some time. We know this is the right decision and we believe our fans know it, too. They can now move on to other teams and be free. We thank them for their years of support through thick and lots of thin.”
The Astros were one of the better teams in baseball in the late ’90s and early ’00s and even reached the World Series in 2005. But the decline since then has been rapid and increasingly fast. The team hasn’t seen a winning season since 2008 and the last three years have resulted in loss totals of 106, 107 and 111.
“As competitors you always want to give it another go,” read the post. “You always think you’re close and that maybe the young guys coming up through the system will all hit and we’ll be back in the race in a year or two. But what are the chances that really happens? At some point you have to say ‘enough is enough.’ Today we are officially saying that and we feel good about it. No regrets.”
The franchise considered shutting down operations immediately, but with the 2014 schedule already completed, there was pressure from MLB that they play out one more season. The final campaign also gives teams and fans across the league to say goodbye to the franchise that has existed since 1962 when it came into the majors as the Houston Colt .45s.
“What can you say? This is a sad day for our franchise,” said the St. Louis Cardinals. “We have so many good memories thanks to the Houston Astros. We’ll truly miss them.”
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