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Will Astros Really Change Under Crane?

In the short term, the answer is an astounding "no". There are simply no short term fixes for a god-awful baseball team. Most baseball fans understand that, so hopefully most Astros fans are patient because of it.

But what about three, say five years from now? Will the Astros really be a different organization under Crane's new regime?

Astros fans will soon see what type of owner Jim Crane is. He will be immediately judged by who he fires and hires. But one thing seems to scare me about Mr. Crane: his love for baseball.

Now, lets take a quick look at who he's replacing and why everyone is so ecstatic about the replacement. What made Drayton McLane a non-championship owner (note: I didn't say bad, just non-championship) was his inability to let his workers do their jobs. By that I mean McLane got a little bit too involved with the baseball side of the business. 

McLane made his money not judging off-speed pitches. Nor did he get filthy rich by chasing down fly balls in center field (if he did, maybe he wouldn't have put a hill in the outfield). No, McLane made his money from the produce section of your local grocer. 

He happened to like sports, so he figured it'd be a good idea to buy a professional team. Heck, I might've done the same thing if I had $700 M to spend.

But McLane happened to be a very opinionated owner, as most owners are.

However, his opinions hindered the team. The Astros lost a lot of classy baseball personnel because of this (what's up Gerry Hunsicker). It was McLane's way or the highway in many cases. Good owners simply let their employees do their jobs, and that was a little bit of a problem for the past two decades. 

This is what I fear could happen with Crane. Crane was a gifted baseball player in college and he seems to understand the game. With his baseball background, it's easy to see a possible reincarnation of the McLane era. Crane may very well be an opinionated and passionate owner. I hope he is. But I hope he lets his people do their jobs.

I don't think he'll be quite a control-freak as McLane was, but it's certainly something to be weary of. 

Images by eflon used in background images under a Creative Commons license. Thank you.