Major League Baseball’s Success Story: The Houston Astros

By Paul Mahaney

It’s the first day of September and the call-ups are coming, the dog-days of summer are in the rear view mirror, and pennant races are developing. Time to talk Houston Astros baseball!

Sorry about the smell its smelling salts. Let me help you up and forgive me for using another one of my exclamation points—yes I am fond of them.

I know it was a bit of a shock mentioning the Houston Astros and pennant race in the same breath, but you have to admit both are diametrically opposed, and that makes it interesting right?

Likewise the Los Angeles Dodgers and Houston Astros are on opposite ends of the spectrum. Or maybe they are not.
News broke this week that Houston Astros owner Jim Crane was caught smiling, I mean like the cat and the canary kind of smiling.

What could possibly bring such glee to the face of a guy who owns a team with the worst record in baseball? Glad you asked why I asked that question.

Ah…..he’s rich. No not like Mr. Rich Crane, well maybe rich Jim Crane, but yes, he’s loaded.

Won’t be long now and fans of the Houston Astros—must be about two left now—will feel guilty that they helped owner, Jim Crane, amass approximately $99 million. It seems Mr. Crane has been making a rather tidy profit for himself, and yet he keeps downsizing the Astros payroll.

Now this may be great from a business perspective, but then again that might not be true for much longer. In fact there is only one player on the Astros who makes over a million a year, pitcher Eric Bedard, and his is only a one year contract.

Yes I wanted to use another exclamation point there, but my English teacher would have broken my finger.

On the other hand we have Magic Johnson and the Los Angeles Dodgers who feel no salary is too big, and no quest too large in order to restore imbalance in the quest for baseball supremacy. Yeah, buy a title at all cost, or Hail to the Marlins approach, back when the Marlins had money to burn.

Now I admit Jim Crane believing in saving money while making all he can from people willing to throw it at a bad product will work, but I also believe this approach to be completely unethical.

In defense of Mr. Crane he is also trying to pay down an enormous amount of debt that he acquired along with the Astros back in 2011. Yes that is the fiscally responsible thing to do especially if he intends to make good on his said desire to rebuild the club from the minor league system on up.

But given the Astros track record since 2005—worst winning percentage in all of baseball since that year—one wonders if the new regime is really serious about winning, say nothing of being involved in a pennant race any time soon.

Profitable or not one thing is crystal clear, the Houston Astros and their ownership will not seriously contend for a title anytime soon.

In other news, rumors abound that Moses is planning to lead an exodus from Houston to Los Angeles, better known as the Promised Land.


Posted on September 1, 2013, in 2017 and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

  1. Another great blog Paul. Right on the money.
    Go A’s…back on top.
    Ken Perry

  2. The A’s are smoking hot at just the right time. Thanks for the praise Ken.

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