After MLB owners voted unanimously to approve his purchase of the Astros Jim Crane left the owners meetings, flew home to Houston, and held a press conference. A relieved and exultant Crane spoke for about four minutes and then fielded a few questions. One interesting nugget was Crane’s description of the final purchase price as “whatever MLB announces it as.” Crane insists that he wasn’t given any money for moving to the American League, just a reduction in the price. That after saying “this was an A.L. deal- the N.L. deal wasn’t going to work.”
Crane also said “our goal is to rebuild the minor league system, we will continue to focus on that.” The new owner went on to say “we’ve got a lot of plans, right after Thanksgiving you’ll see us make a few moves.” You may be asking what sort of moves? As Brian posted earlier, Ed Wade could be out as G.M. and Andrew Friedman could soon be headed to Houston. Is it possible that Crane has had Friedman in his back pocket all along? Maybe. When asked about the futures of Ed Wade and Tal Smith, Crane smiled and said “we’ll be focused on everybody.” Everyone except Pam Gardner, that is. Crane said Gardner will stay on as the Astros president of business operations. When I put two and two together here I’m coming up with bye-bye Mr Wade.
When asked about waning fan support Crane said he would “try to convince them we’re going to put a good product on the field.” I think the fans need some convincing, alright, and that statement really doesn’t begin to help. Crane continued, “fan support and corporate support will increase revenue and allow us to increase payroll.” He cited the Texas Rangers as a model and said “we’ve got to slowly build our way back.” Although there was nothing slow about the Rangers experiencing success under Nolan Ryan.
So maybe Crane isn’t the world’s greatest public speaker, but he’s pretty adept at using contractions. On the other hand, Crane is a very shrewd businessman. What a coup it would be if he landed Andrew Friedman.