Okay, I felt as though this was worth a separate post after having received some comments along the lines of:
It appears the Astros blogosphere got all worked up into a lather before they had all the facts.
According to the CEO of HAWC, the donations from the Wives Gala last year was only about 3% of their total budget. People are freaking out like this whole charity is going to fold and no longer exist. At this point, it seems like people are just looking for an excuse to pile on and bash the Astros some more.
I am a loyalist. Read this blog long enough and you will find that we (collectively) will give the Astros so much rope that they can all hang themselves from the Chik-Fil-A Fowl Poles lined up like a dadgum Three Stooges episode. And I'm also not a sensitive guy. I don't respond to comments all that much, which I should probably be better at, but I feel as though that's a place for you - dear reader - to weigh in.
But I'm not going to back down from how poorly this HAWC situation was handled. Is it sweet of Jim Crane to up the Astros Foundation endowment to $18m? Yes it is. But for all we know, he decided that mid-morning today.
That KHOU piece was posted at 6:57pm on May 13. The Astros response to CultureMap Houston which, no offense to CultureMap, isn't exactly the Houston Chronicle, didn't go up until 1:25pm on May 14. That meant that we all had almost 18 hours to ask ourselves, and each other, "What the Hell, Astros?" before we heard from the team.
According to a number of reports today, Jim Crane terminated the event back in January. The report surfaced today. This means the Astros had three and a half months to get in front of this story. As soon as they found out, "WE DON'T HAVE ANY WIVES!" they could have immediately made alternate plans for some other group to host it: Coaches Wives. Scouts Wives. Bloggers Wives (hell yeah we have wives). But they chose to let it simmer until it came out last night.
The Astros could have come out in February and said, "You know, we have a young team, they're not married, but we're going to show them how it's done. And we're also upping the Foundation endowment to $18m. So suck on it, bloggers." And they could have invited the spouses of former Astros players to lead the gala. There were a hundred ways to handle this better than the way they did. They chose not to. They said, "We'll handle it from here," and then cancelled it. And THEN, after KHOU did their thing (and good on them), the Astros talked about the direction in which they are going with their charitable giving.
$250,000 out of an $18m endowment. That's not a high percentage. Both ends could have been achieved easily and without a PR hit. And the reason they took the PR hit was because they didn't control the narrative. They gave us the opportunity to overreact, if that's what we did. And if I'm going to err, I'll err on the side of sticking up for a women's shelter.
I know this ownership group has been breaking ties with the past: Dierker, Deshaies, Strech Suba. Anybody who shook Drayton McLane's hand was doomed. I just didn't imagine it would extend to the Houston Area Women's Center.