Every franchise has moments they look back and can clearly see their path being formed. For the Astros, signing Nolan Ryan, trading for Randy Johnson and acquiring Roger Clemens and Andy Pettitte are just a few of those moments. The next franchise defining moment may be upon us very soon as Jim Crane has begun searching for his next general manager. Normally, finding a general manager isn’t going to be the flashy organizational move that you’d associate with something so significant but this doesn’t feel like just another hiring. This whole process, since Jim Crane was approved as owner, feels like someone hit the system restore button on your laptop and we are waiting for the factory settings to be setup. I would imagine this is as close to having an expansion franchise without really having one, even more when considering the league change and possible uniform change. So with very little doubt, the first major hiring under Jim Crane will be a historic decision that will either lead the Astros back to relevancy or deeper into obscurity.
Would writing a blank check and handing it over to Andrew Friedman along with complete control of the organization be that moment, this time around? How about hiring Thad Levine to form a super team along with George Postolos, would that be the turning point in the Astros’ franchise? The point is that the Astros have an exceptional opportunity to make the wrong things right and set the franchise on a straight course back to respectability. Ed Wade began the process but he had other issues that made his job more blurred than what the new GM will have to face.
For this reason, the Astros can be a very attractive option to many prospective GMs. Andrew Friedman can help rebuild his hometown team and create that defining moment for a franchise he rooted on from the bleachers at Astrodome. Thad Levine could help create a similar legacy to that of Gerry Huniscker and prove his worth as a GM. All the gentleman that come to be involved in this new version of the Houston Astros will have a chance to create their moment and help setup their laptop as they see fit best. So you could say the Astros are a land of opportunity for everyone involved.