#2 Jim Crane
Jim Crane is the best owner in Houston sports history. He's turned what was once an irrelevant franchise into a dynasty.
He also set them well behind the eight-ball this offseason.
He effectively fired James Click after the World Series. Click laregly built the Astros lights out bullpen, and even landed talents like Yainer Diaz, but because of differences in personality, Crane moved on.
Should Click have bet his career on Jake Meyers? No. But he's a brilliant baseball mind. Crane parted with the General Manager last year when he'd have been better served parting with the Manager.
The Astros then spent all offseason operating without a General Manager. Crane desired to be surrounded by "baseball men", so he turned to Jeff Bagwell and Reggie Jackson.
$60 million later, and the Astros got one of the worst players in baseball this year in the aforementioned Abreu, Rafael Montero, who has been better in the second half, but pitched like a AA player in the first half while getting paid like Mariano Rivera, and they received 12 games out of Michael Brantley.
Houston built a power with forward thinking minds like Click, Jeff Luhnow, Mike Elias, and Sig Mejdal. They were once one of the most forward-thinking organizations in sports. None of the four ever played baseball professionally. Elias and Mejdal are again building a power in Baltimore.
But because of a desire to be around "baseball minds," Crane went back to thinking like 1994. Let's hope Crane reverses thinking this offseason before it's too late.
He then hired Dana Brown after the free agent period was effectively over. Brown was then forced to part with their two best-prospects to re-acquire Verlander after Crane and his advisors opted not to sign a starter in free agency.
Had Crane continued to let the analytical minds do what they do best, Houston would have remained a machine. Now they're having to fight for their playoff lives.
But his worst decision of the off-season? Bringing back the #1 culprit to blame.