Why? I have been asking myself that question a lot recently. In all honesty, I am not sure that I have gotten a sufficient response, but I have kept my faith. At least until last night.
Jim Crane (Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports)
I have defended the Astros as they have become the butt of jokes for the national media and the baseball world in general. Moves that were baffling and tone deaf seemed to be a regular occurrence. But that did nothing to soften my enthusiasm for the Astros. I continued to look for the positive in every situation.
From the moment Jim Crane and the Astros began being mentioned in the same sentence, not much has gone right for our beloved Astros. At this point, we know what all of the mishaps are, and they have been discussed at great length. To put it simply, nothing is the same as it was before Crane took over. The easy conclusion to draw, is that things were changed just for the sake of there being change. And not much of it made sense.
I am not going to list all of the Jim Crane era indiscretions here because that is really just beating a dead horse. There is no point to pour salt onto open wounds. But all of those errors can, at some point, be forgiven and forgotten. Time can heal these wounds, or at least make them more palatable. I mean after all, the focus is ultimately on the field for a baseball fan.
What happens between those white lines is what matters. Granted right now the majority of you cannot watch said games, but in time Comcast will eventually be available in all homes. And then, slowly, things will get back to normal. Before you know it, George Springer, Jarred Cosart, and Jonathan Singleton will be calling Houston home, and we will be on the road to recovery.
Excuses were made, will be made, and can be made for Crane’s blunders. But then, last night, news came out that was beyond an excuse. This is something that is beyond spin control and statements issued through public relations professionals.
After all of the pain and suffering that we have had to live through in the past year, what could have happened that would really outrage Astros fans? What was so bad, that the only response was for blogs like The Crawfish Boxes, Astros County, and What the Heck, Bobby to go silent today?
In a perfect world, I would have had the time to post this article either late last night or early tomorrow morning, but that was not possible. I know this topic has gotten a lot of coverage on the web in the last 24 hours, but I feel that it is something I need to address.
After 23 years of support, the Astros will no longer be fundraising for the Houston Area Women’s Center. Over $4 million has been raised for the charity since the Astros Wives Organization began lending their support.
Right there, that is the issue at hand causing the outrage. This is an emotional issue, and rightly so. The decision came down from Jim Crane, and quite simply the HAWC now has a void in their funding.
Excuses are being made, and fingers are being pointed. Quite frankly, I don’t care. None of them are plausible to me. It is inexcusable, whatever the logic (really lack thereof) was.
Also, that is not entirely the point here. While this was inexcusable, it really is just one more slap in the face. It is part of what has been becoming a growing trend. And for that reason, Astros fans can react however they please.
Being a fan is an investment. An investment in time, money, and emotion. I, or anyone else for that matter, do not have the right to judge how people react to this news. That is your business, and yours alone. What I do know, is that something must be done because the wrong decision was made.
We, and I mean all fans, have to let our voices be heard. Something needs to change, because this is not the same Astros team I used to root for. Nor is it an organization I want to root for.
Despite all of these sentiments, I am still watching the game tonight. The Astros are still my team regardless of how inept Jim Crane seems to be at running a baseball team. It is about the players on the field, not the owner. Well at least it should be, but Crane is making it awfully hard.
I will never have the stomach to stop watching and following the Astros. But that does not change the fact that cancelling the annual fundraising gala that benefits the Houston Area Women’s Center was just plain wrong. And for that there are no excuses.