Well, this has been quite the week.
All the work getting this here blog set up and getting my player comments written for The Hardball Times Season Preview 2010 (yes, I certainly WILL tell you when it is finished and available) and getting ready for Christmas.
And now, I find out that all the rumors I have been hearing for the past couple of years are true – Drayton actually really DID have a deal in place to sell 51% of the Astros, but the buyer backed out. I heard about him “trying” to sell the Astros from a few people last year, but because Buddy Boy has to approve all sales, and there was nothing about this, AND because I couldn’t get any proof, I didn’t say anything.
Richard Justice heard those self same rumors and ASKED Drayton, and got his face lied to.
Drayton threw Gerry Hunsicker out on his ass after the end of the 04 season, thinking he could do a better job all by himself, and installed Tim Pur-puppet. Drayton was wrong, and in just a few short years, he turned the Organization from a good one with a good reputation (for a non-media darling) into a laughingstock. I would guess he knows very well what the national baseball guys are saying about him, NOT behind his back. Whether or not he admits it, he knows that all the rest of the baseball men talk about his bad reputation, that good baseball men don’t want to work here in Houston.
He sees a bad team in front of him, in spite of all that blather about “being a champion” and he knows the decisions were his (except Brandon Lyons – that one is on Ed Wade, and we all know it.) Does Drayton want out of the mess he made?
Who knows? He said he was approached by the man who offered him a lot of money, but he sure nuff didn’t say – NO WAY. He would have back in 2005 or 2006, before things completely fell apart. Perhaps it was his making a national fool of himself by refusing to evacuate the team with Hurricane Ike approaching – it made national news that he wanted to make the Friday night game a doubleheader, skip the Saturday game (day of hurricane), then play the Sunday game as if nothing had happened. After the fiasco of playing the games at Wrigley North (thank you friend Bud), the rest of the baseball world didn’t stop laughing and that must have been when the buyer caught him at a low point.
I know that lots of fans WANT Drayton to sell the team. They dream of Mark Cuban (who will ever get near a baseball franchise over Bud Selig’s dead body.) They live in the fantasy world that this new owner will WANT to spend his OWN money on the team. Bud Selig wouldn’t ALLOW an owner in who would do something like that – it would set a BAD precedent. But I keep saying, you know, it COULD be worse.
We could just get another David Glass/Bob Nutting – owners who are more than content to have bad teams year after year and take home their 20-30 mill profit. They have exactly zero reason to change the status quo, especially as the networks have less than zero interest in seeing, say, a Royals/Pirates World Series. Can you imagine having a World Series with a team like the Pirates? Or Royals? I mean, what kind of “story” can you get with Kansas City after saying 100 times that it is not in Kansas, how weird?
Honestly, where do people GET these strange notions…
What Drayton actually NEEDS to do is something he doesn’t WANT to do – hire a GOOD baseball man/woman and step back and let them run the ball club without interference. It would also behoove him to hire some stat people to, you know, bring the club into the 21st century. Perhaps after this year, which is going to be another bad BAD losing year (unless something changes which I don’t see happening) and rapidly declining attendence with long time season ticket holders like my mother refusing to re-up, AND watching the Astros rapidly losing media relevance IN HOUSTON, he might could just possibly do what he needs to do.
Either hire a good management team, or sell out.
And last, but not least, I am going to try to change the Astros Pic Of The Month to show an Astro in the retro uni. And no, I am NOT gonna change my mind on NO ICKY BRICK RED!!!!