The Houston Astros are now World Series bound, after blanking the New York Yankees in Game 7 of the American League Championship Series. As Astros fans know, this franchise has come a long way in just a few short years. It lost 111 games in 2013 as it went through one of the biggest rebuilding projects in recent baseball history.
And now, the Astros — AL pennant winners and winners of 101 regular-season games — are four wins away from making good on a destiny that was predicted four years ago, back when the Astros were in the middle of a 92-loss season.
Back then, Sports Illustrated ran a cover story on the Astros rebuilding project and anointed them “Your 2017 World Series Champs” — on June 30, 2014. It was a bold prediction at the time, but it’s not looking so bad right now. Sure, the Los Angeles Dodgers are the World Series favorites, but the Astros are closer than 28 other teams.
Anybody who knows sports, knows about the long-talked-about SI cover jinx. And while Astros fans might fear this is the SI cover jinx playing a long game, the Dodgers got a big cover story this summer that wondered if they might be the best team ever.
So it seems like, in this scenario, the matter of the jinx might be a push.
Cover jinx aside, for the Astros to get even this close to winning a World Series in 2017 proves that “Baseball’s Great Experiment” turned out all right.
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