Well, it's pretty clear that Jerry Crasnick has been in Kissimmee in the last few days, given All Two of the articles on ESPN.com devoted to the Astros (up from a previous high of One article, a streak that dated back to 2006).
The first to which I'll call your attention is this one, on Nolan Ryan and the Astros. We all pretty much know by now that Nolan Ryan didn't exactly gel with Jon Daniels. So how in the world will he fit in with the new-look front office? Pretty well. Luhnow:
I was very comfortable with the value added that Nolan could provide
and he was very comfortable with the approach that we were taking...So far it's been a wonderful fit. I can't see any downside
to it, to be honest...He has such a breadth of knowledge, he asks really good questions and
tells us ways he's seen it done in the past. It's not,
'This is the way you should do it.' It's more. 'Have you guys thought
about this or that?' It's been very eye-opening and beneficial to us.
Look, any friction in the front office has to go both ways. It's clear there was friction between Nolan Ryan and Rangers GM Jon Daniels. Nolan addressed this in the Crasnick piece:
But when I came into that situation, I was dropped in J.D.'s sandbox. He
had his organization and his group of people, and all of a sudden --
boom! -- Nolan Ryan was there. It was a dimension they didn't
anticipate. It probably wasn't handled properly with my coming in.
Daniels has been very politically correct about the whole Nolan Experiment. But if it had gone well, then Nolan wouldn't be in Kissimmee, would he? Credit the Astros for explaining what they're doing - whether you like what they're doing or now - to Nolan. And credit Nolan for coming on board and offering his expertise.
The second is this piece, which is a nice little breath of fresh air, on the rising prospects in the Astros system. Notable is the fact that the Astros didn't know Singleton was going to air it all out to Kristie Rieken and the AP about his marijuana use. Luhnow:
My reaction at first was 'Oh my goodness,' but after I reflected on it,
it didn't take long for me to realize this is a good thing. We're
providing him with all the resources that he needs. As anybody who's
gone through addiction knows, you're never out of the woods. You have to
stay completely on top of it. We have experts working with him. We’'re
making sure he knows he has the support, and we're encouraging him to
We also get a Jeter comp to Carlos Correa (in work ethic and "devotion to his craft," not "range"), and find that Correa, Springer, Singleton, DeShields, etc. haven't been reassigned to minor-league camp yet because the Astros want them to talk to the Major Leaguers, and experience fully a Big League camp.
Hand slaps all around, you guys.