Wednesday, November 27, 2013

What in the world was Jim Crane thinking?

I've been pondering this for a couple of days, and it showed up in the comments of one of the below posts, but I just can't let it go. In an article saying that Jim Crane is "optimistic" that 2014 will be better - which, if you'll allow me a second, how in the world can they be worse? I would rather Crane have said, "We'll be better or I'm going to kill everybody. That's a promise." - we get this little nugget from Crane:

When you keep looking back on the last two years, I think if I had to say the mistake that I made, I underestimated how weak our Minor League system was...

For crying out loud:
*The Astros had the worst cumulative organizational record in 2009.
*Baseball America said the Astros were the worst minor-league organization in baseball in 2009.
*In April 2009, FanGraphs said the Astros' farm system was "laughable."
*Baseball America named the 2010 Round Rock Express as the 10th-worst team in minor-league baseball.
*In March 2010, Dave Cameron ranked the Astros 30th in FanGraphs' Organizational Rankings.
*In May 2010, then-BP's Kevin Goldstein wrote:
Pirates and Royals fans think they have it bad, and their long-term history of losing seasons is worthy of their misery, but if one were to take a snapshot right now, and ignore the past, no team in baseball has a more bleak future than the Houston Astros
*Seven months later Goldstein wrote:
A combination of bad contracts, little young talent, and a poor minor-league system leaves the Astros with a big hole to dig out of.

*In 2011, Baseball America ranked the Astros 26th in Organizational Talent.

That took about ten minutes to compile. And by "compile" I mean "I looked at posts from Astros County over the last three years from FanGraphs, Baseball America, and Baseball Prospectus."

No one who paid any attention at all to the Astros would be surprised that the minor-league side was awful. I'm just surprised that the guy dropping $680m on the team didn't take ten minutes to read what FanGraphs thought...


Anonymous said...

Doesn't Goldstein work for us now? So he was either desperate for an ML job or he has giant balls and wanted to take on a challenge. Interesting.

On the plus side, at least our new owner learned quickly that he has no business messing with the personnel side of the team. Makes sense the talk of Crane simply giving Luhnow a budget to work with, thats better than having Luhnow having to go to the owner and say I want X player at Y price, do you agree? That seems to be how most teams in most sports operate so that may be an interesting change.

Lucas Levin said...

You can't expect them to rise to the level of genius that you are!

I am as frustrated with the state of the Astros as probably any fan. I am a little more die hard than most and read on the Astros almost every day.

It's obvious that Crane wanted a baseball team. Plain and simple. I don't think he realized how much would need to be able to make this team as a whole good.

It's like buying a BMW and then getting ticked when you change the oil because the $19.99 special at Jiffy Lube doesn't work on your vehicle.

Anonymous said...

Like I've been saying for a year "Shut up and let Luhnow and Reid talk".
Every time he opens his mouth there is a stupid result

Shrek84 said...

^^^^^^^^ The Truth

Anonymous said...

2015 will be good if we can hold our noses one more year.

Anonymous said...

I don't know that I can blame crane based on that particular comment. Even fully understanding that the Astros probably had the worst farm in baseball doesn't mean that it was easy to fully grasp just how bad.

It's like the concept of infinity. You kinda get it but can you really imagine the infinite emptiness of deep space (aka the 2009 Astros farm system)??

Anonymous said...

I reluctantly agree with all of you. o_O

Lyle said...

I think you're taking Crane's comment too seriously. It seems like a throw away statement... b.s. talk to a reporter.

And he's let Luhnow restock the farm. If he was truly ignorant he would just jumped in to throwing big money around to free agents.

Lyle said...

Also, per the first comment.

Crane had his organizational model set before buying the team. He wouldn't have hired Luhnow (Luhnow wouldn't have come) if Crane had wanted to mess with the baseball side of things.