There were a couple of emails, a half-dozen texts and voice mails after voice mails. “Luhnowtics,” raged one voice. Another said, “Luhnow’s really gone and done it—he hired a guy from Baseball Prospectus, a writer.” And on and on.
The Houston Astros are bad, historically bad, like the Cleveland Spiders or ‘62 Mets. Believe it or not, they were 22-23 on May 25, which means they are 20-72 since then. They are 10-52 since June 27, during which time they’ve been outscored by 163 runs. As ESPN’s Dan Schulman pointed out, the Reds have won more games in Houston since the All-Star break than the Astros.
They dismissed manager Brad Mills, they’ve let go of a bunch of scouts. General manager Jeff Luhnow has unloaded Carlos Lee, Brett Myers, Brandon Lyon, J.A. Happ, Wandy Rodriguez ...
And hired a writer.
Truth be told, Harry Dalton was one of the great general managers of the last 50 years, and, he, too, was a writer, but so am I.
“I didn’t take this job to be popular,” says Luhnow, who was hired by owner Jim Crane and club president George Postolos last fall. “I didn’t take it to put a team Band-aid on it. I took the job to try to win. Kevin Goldstein is an important part of what we’re doing. Scouting is evolving, and we believe he’s part of the evolution.”
“Thinking outside the box should be respected, not ridiculed,” says Beane, “because sometimes when you don’t crawl out of that box, you’re stuck in a mobile with the Memphis Blues, again.