All Things Astros and a whole lot more
If the honeymoon isn’t over for Jim Crane, it will be at some point in 2014. It’s time for Jim Crane to own the Houston Astros.
You can inherit a mess, but sooner or later the keys, batons and reins are fully passed and the jalopy becomes yours.
It’s time for Jim Crane to own the Houston Astros.
Yes, Drayton McLane tore down the organization in his final years in an effort to create a lean product to sell. Any business owner slims down to make the bottom line more attractive.
In baseball, that primarily occurs in player payroll, meaning the final few years of the McLane era certainly weren’t the best. But for fans to say he did nothing after the ’05 World Series is bunk.
You can argue the Astros should have started the rebuild in 2006 or 2007, but you can’t make a valid argument that McLane and the Astros didn’t try to win.
But I digress. You see, it’s no longer about Drayton McLane. It’s time for Jim Crane to own the Houston Astros.
Crane purchased the Astros in 2011, meaning he’s in Year 3 of ownership. McLane has retired to Temple and has largely been quiet and out of the picture. Still, Crane is blaming the former owner for nearly everything, especially the gone-awry Comcast deal.
Dude, you had months, even years to review the organization, ask all the questions, dig into the relationships, talk to the Rockets and others and make your own independent assessment. You could have balked, altered the deal or completely walked away. But if you’re gonna buy the house and you’re gonna invest a ton of money, you check for termites, take a look at the electrical and plumbing and you have a professional inspector come in to “investigate”. Once you buy the house, it’s yours.
Yes, it’s time for Jim Crane to own the Houston Astros.
The odd thing is that Crane is actually in a pretty good position right now. He’s righted the ship, seems to have a bit of money, and the organization seems to be moving in a positive direction. The minor leagues are looking good, some top prospects will make it to the major league level this year and next, a core is beginning to manifest and Crane has solidified his business and baseball teams (coaching staff, Nolan and Reid Ryan, George Postolos gone, TV/radio crews, etc.).
Is the rebuild moving as quickly as fans would like? No, of course not. But with so many prospects brimming at the top of the heap, one or two could break loose and it could get even more interesting if players like Mark Appel, Carlos Correa, Delino Deshields Jr., or Domingo Santana progress faster than expected.
Still, it’s time for Jim Crane to own the Houston Astros.
If Crane wants to endear himself to fans and media alike — and that’s a tough road — he’d jettison the past, including lawsuits, references and gripes. Obama blamed Bush for his problems way too long and it didn’t get him anywhere.
Crane should be proactive. Take the bull by the horns. Get into a closed door meeting with Comcast, the Rockets and the judge and insist on some type of deal before anyone can leave.
Make Minute Maid Park a great fan favorite and create some excitement and a reason for the fans to come to the park — other than just the on-field product.
Invite the national media to Kissimmee for a press conference. You’ve got a tailor-made opening week with the Yankees and Angels in town. Talk about spotlight! Bring your top prospects to town for interviews, showcases. Fireworks every night! Free hot dogs, dollar nachos!
Invent! Innovate! Inspire! Initiate!
Yes, nothing cures the ills like a winning team, but if a .500 season and playoff contention aren’t in the mix, what else can you do to create that fan attraction? Just do it!
No doubt, it’s time for Jim Crane to own the Houston Astros. He could come out of this situation smelling like the proverbial rose, but he won’t as long as he’s wrestling in the mud.
Some of you believe that Crane is a scoundrel, and you may be right. Time will tell. Frankly, I’m not worried about Crane. I’m focused on the product, and right now, the product is on the right track.
But it will get better quicker if Crane will own the Houston Astros.