The night Jeff Luhnow was speculated and then confirmed as the new GM of the Astros, I began to search around the twitterverse to see what the reaction would be to the hiring. Honestly, after years of getting laughed at and ridiculed for the good or bad moves Ed Wade made, I expected a negative reaction. My expectation came, not due to Luhnow being a bad choice, but rather because Logan White and Bill Geivett had been seen as big name candidates. To my surprise, in my search all I found was praise by most of the national writers and disbelief from Cardinals’ fans. I continued to search the next day and found the same, praise from all angles about the clear direction the club had chosen. I’ll be honest; I hadn’t felt so proud of the franchise since Gerry Hunsicker was in charge making bold trades for superstar like Randy Johnson and Carlos Beltran. Shortly after Albert Pujols gave the Cardinals’ fanbase another punch to the gut, I searched the twitterverse again to get reaction. I was blown away by the number of Cardinals’ fans that agreed, losing Pujols hurt badly but Luhnow was a bigger loss. It spoke so much about the quality hire the Astros had made and the credibility they had instantly gained.
After reading so many positive remarks and comments about Jeff Luhnow, I truly believed I couldn’t be more encouraged about the hire. Well, that was until I heard his introductory press conference, Luhnow blew me away. His demeanor and baseball philosophy were both breaths of fresh air and the confidence he displayed was electric. The radio interviews on MLB radio only helped to confirm my thoughts and created incredible excitement among Astros’ fans. He described the hiring process and his 14 hour interview, 14 HOURS. Also noted his powerpoint presentation that helped win over George Postolos and Jim Crane, which explains their numerous meetings. I already knew the right guy had been hired but a tweet early Saturday morning by Peter Gammons emphasized it. I know now the Houston Astros are finally going in the right direction.
It certainly is fun and exciting to imagine what a Jeff Luhnow lead organization might look like in three years, time will only tell, but even the great general managers like Andrew Friedman and Jon Daniels have made very bad deals. Astros’ fans need to give Luhnow time to mold his team in his image and what he believes will be a long term winner. There might be some deals that look odd or don’t make initial sense but with analytic GMs like Luhnow, it isn’t about this move but always about the next. The Astros finally have a direction, a leader, and to an extent purpose. With Ed Wade in charge, it seemed like a team striving to finish 9 innings without embarrassing themselves but I get the sense that Luhnow’s goal will first be to establish an identity, now that sounds like fun.