It what can only be described as a fascinating look into a world most fans only can speculate about, Jeff Luhnow sat down with the newest Astros’ Chron.com beat writer, Brian Smith. Ed Wade was always pretty honest during his sit down interviews with radio stations and other media outlets but fans almost never got a glimpse into what the ‘Stros mindset truly was, outside of the company lines. There is really nothing wrong with that either, this is more about the openness of Luhnow. Given the dis-interest of the current fan base, that’s not a bad thing.
Jeff was incredibly honest on where the team currently stands and what expectations many fans may have. The casual fan may want instant gratification or even a decent team but Luhnow has a plan and he plans on sticking to it. It’s been obvious since the beginning that he wanted to establish long term success. That long term success would come at a cost, 2012 and probably 2013. The diehard fans won’t mind losing, although it got to me a few times last year, if development is taking place and Luhnow has made it clear he is pleased with what he has seen so far. Astros’ fans need to see what the Cardinals built and use that as some type of template but Jeff also made it clear, there isn’t one distinct template but rather multiple philosophies rolled into one.
During the article, a clear emphasis was made on Luhnow’s past experience with the Cardinals and their sustained success. Looking at how great the Cardinals have been, it should give Astros’ fans hope that Jeff has the right mentality in place. Luhnow really did a remarkable job of rebuilding the farm system even though it came at the expense of the major league team. I really enjoyed the overall analysis of the farm system and how it’s graded around the league. As much as certain media outlets think they understand and know baseball, the organization itself is always going to be a step ahead. Sometimes the media is right and many others, the organization already has an idea of what they’re looking for.
Another interesting note from the article revolves around what the ‘Stros might do in free agency and how they will approach it. Luhnow made some curious comments that are not what most fans expected. It appears the ‘Stros may be more active than originally expected and most fans should be happy about that. The question becomes, who will they target and what type of “jackpot” does Luhnow hope to hit. Maybe it’s Josh Hamilton (don’t laugh) or more likely someone of lessor status, whoever it is should be a welcomed addition to the club. Given the roster is at 10 million or so come spring training, I almost feel like they have to sign somebody significant or maybe two players.
Overall, the article is pretty darn well written and a special golf clap to Brian Smith who is the newest Astros beat writer. I won’t hold against him the fact he was the Jazz’s beat writer before this assignment. Hopefully Luhnow will continue to be as open with the direction of the club as he has shown so far.