Friday, February 26, 2010

Drayton is finding his way in this big, big world

Richard Justice's article paints a picture of a Drayton McLane skipping across Houston, turning, and waving, inviting you to join him.

“There's not just one dimension in life. I'm 72 and think about other things you can do. What do you want to do next in your career, in your life? Can you make a meaningful difference? That's how I've tried to measure my life. I think particularly at my age we've got to hand off to the next generation better than we've done it."

And on changing his ownership style:
It's a huge financial investment, and we haven't played well the last two, three years. We've made some bad choices. The more I work with Ed, the more confidence I get in his ability. I really have a huge amount of confidence in him. We needed a manager that could lift this club, and I think we got it in Brad Mills. I need to see how they function, and maybe I'll spend less time with them and get more involved with other projects.”

On 2010:
“This is going to be a bigger challenge than last year. The economy has not rebounded. People may have jobs, but they're cautious about how they spend their money. I just think we're going to have to play well and sell hard. We're going to have to work harder running the franchise.”

In an article like this, it's hard to see Drayton selling the team, even though Drayton has apparently approached his sons, who aren't sold on running the Astros (who are these guys? And where can we smack some sense into them?). Justice also reports that Drayton doesn't yet have a buyer. And as we've seen, the Astros' payroll will decline siginificantly over the next 3-4 years. So if they can stay competitive with a $95m payroll, Astros fans should continue to come to Minute Maid - though not in the ways they did in 2006, or even 200 - until the payroll shifts dramatically.