Once the Houston Astros gather in spring training and begin their preparations for the 2020 season, it seems inevitable that this group of competitive professionals will eventually and reflexively rally around a mantra of "We'll show you."
You don't think we were the best team in baseball in 2017? We'll show you. You think we hit those home runs and piled up those big numbers because of sign stealing? We'll show you. You believe that we're defined by the cheating scandal? We'll show you.
The Astros will be bombarded with criticism from the stands everywhere they play, and some of them will undoubtedly come to look at it as disproportionate and unfair. The resentment that grows out of this treatment may help fuel them on a given day, or longer.
But it's possible that the backlash will negatively affect some individual players.