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 Astros.com 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
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...