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Tuesday, November 15, 2022

ESPN Insider: Inside the champion Astros’ behind-the-scenes turmoil [$]

“Sometimes I wonder if Jim thinks he’s Jerry Jones,” said one Astros employee, who was among the dozen people with knowledge of the organization with whom ESPN spoke to better understand the inner workings of arguably the most successful franchise in baseball. Not since Larry MacPhail in 1947 has a championship franchise parted ways with its top baseball executive so soon after a title, but what became clear over those conversations was Crane’s willingness to meddle in baseball-operations decisions, much like the Dallas Cowboys owner who also serves as GM. It’s a path certainly in Crane’s purview as owner but rare among his peers in baseball—and it suggests that Click’s work always came with impediments.

Crane, sources said, felt coming into the 2022 season that the team needed more “baseball men” involved in operations decisions and invited Hall of Famers Jeff Bagwell and Reggie Jackson into the team’s weekly senior baseball-operations meetings. Crane, sources said, killed an agreed-upon deal for Chicago Cubs catcher Willson Contreras at the trade deadline. Crane, sources said, this week personally negotiated the three-year, $34.5 million contract that brought reliever Rafael Montero back to the team—a deal that was widely seen in the industry as a hefty price to give a 32-year-old with only one good full big league season….

Disagreements over player evaluations furthered the chasm between the sides and further isolated Click. Baker was among those who convinced Crane to kill the trade that would have sent right-hander Jose Urquidy to the Cubs for Contreras. Bagwell, who “Jim might trust more than anyone,” according to one source familiar with their relationship and corroborated by another, was critical of the Astros’ player-development system, even as it was graduating eventual ALCS and World Series MVP Jeremy Peña. Jackson, who joined the Astros in May 2021 as an “executive assistant” despite never playing for the organization, yelled at members of the team’s front office this year and later would apologize, according to sources.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: November 15, 2022 at 10:46 AM | 23 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: astros

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   1. Pat Rapper's Delight (as quoted on MLB Network) Posted: November 15, 2022 at 12:57 PM (#6105638)
If Crane really wants to go full GM/owner a la Jerry Jones, it should provide plenty of schadenfreude for Astros haters for the next 20 or so years.
   2. Nasty Nate Posted: November 15, 2022 at 01:07 PM (#6105642)
Crane, sources said, this week personally negotiated the three-year, $34.5 million contract that brought reliever Rafael Montero back to the team
Hahahahaha
   3. Darren Posted: November 15, 2022 at 11:08 PM (#6105729)
That sounds like a horrible environment. I could see Click leaving even if Crane made him a decent offer.
.
   4. Tony S Posted: November 16, 2022 at 08:24 AM (#6105740)
I wonder what Bagwell's grounds were for criticism of a player-development system that has contributed to two WS championships and replaced star players with rookies without missing a beat.

Crane is looking like Charlie Finley without the baseball acumen (which Finley did have). Surprised Reggie Jackson would buy into that.
   5. VCar Posted: November 16, 2022 at 08:59 AM (#6105741)
Reggie Jackson into the team’s weekly senior baseball-operations meetings


I'd like to see Reggie in an Astros uni during spring training. One of my favorite pix is Dimaggio in an A's uniform, which happened in s.t. during the late 60's. Anyone know of pix of any other HOF'ers in uni for a team they never played for?
   6. Tony S Posted: November 16, 2022 at 09:03 AM (#6105743)
I'd like to see Reggie in an Astros uni during spring training. One of my favorite pix is Dimaggio in an A's uniform, which happened in s.t. during the late 60's. Anyone know of pix of any other HOF'ers in uni for a team they never played for?


Yogi Berra was an Astros coach for a couple of years in the mid-eighties.
   7. Nasty Nate Posted: November 16, 2022 at 09:16 AM (#6105746)
I'd like to see Reggie in an Astros uni during spring training. One of my favorite pix is Dimaggio in an A's uniform, which happened in s.t. during the late 60's. Anyone know of pix of any other HOF'ers in uni for a team they never played for?
It wasn't just spring training, I think Dimaggio was a full-time coach for the team so he wore the uniform all year. I'd guess that there's a bunch of HOF'ers in other uniforms as coaches/managers, like Ted Williams in a Rangers uniform. Here's Warren Spahn in an Indians uniform.
   8. Nasty Nate Posted: November 16, 2022 at 09:27 AM (#6105748)
Despite my laughter in post #2, it's worth noting that the champs are very well set up for 2023. Over-paying relievers won't turn them into a losing franchise right now.
   9. Dag Nabbit: Sockless Psychopath Posted: November 16, 2022 at 09:45 AM (#6105752)
Crane is looking like Charlie Finley without the baseball acumen (which Finley did have). Surprised Reggie Jackson would buy into that.

An owner thinks Reggie is really brilliant and listens to him - Reggie would absolutely buy into that. The man has always been known for his ego.
   10. RickA. Posted: November 16, 2022 at 10:15 AM (#6105757)
Crane is looking like Charlie Finley without the baseball acumen (which Finley did have). Surprised Reggie Jackson would buy into that.


As a Yankees fan, I'm thinking 1970s-80's George Steinbrenner, which is fine with me. And Reggie's involved, too.
   11. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: November 16, 2022 at 10:27 AM (#6105759)
Anyone know of pix of any other HOF'ers in uni for a team they never played for?


Ted Williams with the Senators
Satchel Paige with the Braves
Robin Yount with the Diamondbacks
Alan Trammell with the Cubs (also Padres)

Frank Robinson obviously managed a bunch of teams he never played for.
   12. Nasty Nate Posted: November 16, 2022 at 10:45 AM (#6105761)
There are pictures of Bob Gibson in Mets and Braves uniforms.
   13. McCoy Posted: November 16, 2022 at 10:57 AM (#6105763)
I knew an old timer that worked in media sales for the Chicago market for a long time amd eventually worked for the White Sox. He knew Finley and would occasionally get tickets from Finley. One of the funny stories he would tell is that you could ask Finley for tickets and he'd give them to you but he would charge for the tickets and he would add a 50 cent service fee.

Anyway, the old timer told me about how Charlie "found" talent in the old days. Every year he'd get the baseball register or whatever it was called. I think Sporting News would do it and he'd look at players and their batting average. If you had a good one he thought you were a hitter.
   14. Tony S Posted: November 16, 2022 at 11:26 AM (#6105765)
he would charge for the tickets and he would add a 50 cent service fee


Charlie Finley, trailblazer and visionary ahead of his time.

Anyway, the old timer told me about how Charlie "found" talent in the old days. Every year he'd get the baseball register or whatever it was called. I think Sporting News would do it and he'd look at players and their batting average. If you had a good one he thought you were a hitter.


Not disputing you, but that's interesting, because his A's dynasty teams featured power-and-walks offenses.
   15. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: November 16, 2022 at 11:31 AM (#6105766)
Not disputing you, but that's interesting, because his A's dynasty teams featured power-and-walks offenses.

If he was looking at minor league, college, and HS stats, both might be true. If you're NOT hitting for a high average at low levels, you're not going to make it in the bigs. Having "old player skills" at 20 is a death knell.
   16. SoSH U at work Posted: November 16, 2022 at 11:32 AM (#6105767)
I knew an old timer that worked in media sales for the Chicago market for a long time and eventually worked for the White Sox. He knew Finley and would occasionally get tickets from Finley.


Finley lived for a longtime in NW Indiana (his farm had a big Charlie O's sign above the entrance). My mother-in-law used to wait on him in the restaurant where she worked. Surprisingly, he was a decent tipper.
   17. McCoy Posted: November 16, 2022 at 11:36 AM (#6105768)
Yeah it was for minor leaguers and such.
   18. Walt Davis Posted: November 16, 2022 at 03:21 PM (#6105807)
Heck, I tend to ignore minor-leaguers now if they don't have a high BA ... it's just getting harder to tell what qualifies as "high" these days. Patience is lovely but against inferior pitching, you should be seeing plenty of pitches a (future) ML hitter should mash and should have enough sense to swing at those pitches. Rake is still the most important part of rake and take, show you can rake in the minors, save the take for the majors (within reason).
   19. vortex of dissipation Posted: November 16, 2022 at 06:18 PM (#6105836)
Anyone know of pix of any other HOF'ers in uni for a team they never played for?


Babe Ruth as a Brooklyn Dodger.
   20. chisoxcollector Posted: November 16, 2022 at 11:09 PM (#6105889)
   21. cHiEf iMpaCt oFfiCEr JE Posted: November 17, 2022 at 11:28 AM (#6105916)
What remains unclear is how Luhnow, hardly an old-school guy, managed to get along reasonably well with Crane. Scandal terminated that relationship, not clashes with former ballplayers.
   22. base ball chick Posted: November 17, 2022 at 12:44 PM (#6105927)
i am guessing that crane is the exact kind of shtttthead that luhnow is and LIKEY the brandon taubman kind of scumbag that luhnow values. click is a decent human being.

jeff bagwell doing player development is a bad BAD idea. he dont have no smarts, to be real nice about it. he's in the HOF for his skills with hitting, fielding, running. PERIOD. bagwell is not no chris young, the ivy league kind of person you know what i'm sayin. it is even worse that crane listens to bagwell, than it was when drayton mclane had tal smith and then ed wade. drayton ALSO thought he could run the team - of course back then, he thought that minor leaguers were just there to be traded for Real Ballplayers. seriously. and picking out cecil cooper to be manager too???? he made phil garner look good. i can't imagine who would want to work for an owner who is his own GM. if thinks go downhill, i seriously doubt dusty is gonna want to stay

btw, i will bleeve that crane had noooooooo idea about the cheating when a person born with testicles gets pregnant. crane has his little self a history that has been "forgotten" since he got 2 Ringssss
   23. Bourbon Samurai stays in the fight Posted: November 17, 2022 at 01:56 PM (#6105935)
An all-time great in an Orioles cap

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