Houston Franchise Needs Some Help (In More Ways Than One)

A roundup of all the Astros sale rumors

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Houston Franchise Needs Some Help (In More Ways Than One)


It's not often that we get two articles which dovetail so nicely with each other on the same day. Both Ken Rosenthal and Richard Justice opined Tuesday on the state of the Houston Astros and made some very solid points. Let's run through the points that each of them makes.

First, Rosenthal tackles the Astros sale and transfer to new owner Jim Crane:

  • The Astros will be sellers at the deadline, shopping Wandy Rodriguez and Michael Bourn among others. Expect Brett Myers and Jeff Keppinger to also be shopped.
  • The untouchables are Bud NorrisJordan Lyles and Hunter Pence.
  • Ed Wade may get fired, but it won't be right away. Crane will take his time to evaluate the system and see what Wade's leadership skills. Andrew Friedman will almost certainly be one of the main targets once a decision has been made.
  • Crane and George Postolos also figure to bring a more statistics-driven model to running the franchise.
  • Sadly, though, all these wonderful changes won't happen right away. That jerk Frank McCourt's bankruptcy craziness is what's putting off Crane's confirmation as the new owner. Also got some interesting notes on how the voting process goes. It apparently doesn't have to take place in a meeting with all the owners present, but can take place by mail. Unfortunately, the McCourt situation is wreaking so much havoc that they can't even take a vote that way. That pushes back the timetable on the confirmation from mid-July to August. 

As for Justice, he tackles the other end of the spectrum, discussing how the franchise got into the current situation. He calls Drayton out for playing "Sweet Caroline" during the Red Sox series, but rightly points out it wasn't the 20th lowest point in his tenure as owner. However, the whole experience this weekend (and this year) has been pretty terrible.

Justice has never stopped harping on Drayton for running off Gerry Hunsicker, but that was much more of a turning point for this organization than just the firing may look like. At that point, Drayton started asserting more control over things, including new GM Tim Purpura. A guy like Hunsicker had enough experience to resist Drayton's influence, but Purpura wasn't. That led to things like Woody Williams and Carlos Lee signing and the dearth of the 2007 draft.

Justice also put it best at the end of the article

Why the Astros decided to play the other team's fight song speaks volumes about the people in charge. I began getting emails almost immediately. Why would they play their song in our ballpark?

They also served lobster rolls in the stadium club, and I wonder why they didn't honor Tip O'Neill and John Havlicek.

It's not the most important thing on earth. Maybe the Astros were just thankful to have more than a few thousand people in the stadium regardless of whom they were cheering.

But it's one of those little things that serve as a reminder of how out of touch these people have become. They are out of ideas. They are out of imagination. They just need to go, and the sooner the better.

I couldn't put it better myself.


Report: Astros Sale 2-3 Weeks Away

According to this tweet from KPRC’s Randy McIlvoy, the proposed sale of the Houston Astros to Jim Crane could now be two to three weeks away. McIlvoy said he talked with Drayton McLane about the move and that the Dodgers bankruptcy is causing that timeline.
That means the sale will be completed just before the trade deadline, which could severely limit the time Ed Wade has to get returns on Wandy Rodriguez, Hunter Pence and the rest of the team.
Crane agreed to buy the team back in May, but has been slowly moving through the process to get approved by Major League Baseball. Forbes has brought up numerous concerns about his former company, Eagle Global Logistics, and a spotty record with the Equal Employment Opportunities Commission. Add to that a charge that EGL was selling goods to the armed forces at drastically increased rates and MLB may have needed to thoroughly vet Crane this time around.
On the other hand, since Crane has been involved twice before in attempts to buy teams, he’s a known commodity to Bud Selig’s crew. The problems now may all stem from Frank McCourt’s messy divorce and public contests of strength with Selig.
Either way, it sounds more and more likely that Crane will be approved by the trading deadline. Stay tuned…

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