It seems that demonizing Jim Crane is all the fashion on twitter, the blogs and the fan sites these days. "Run him out of town on a rail." "Tar and feather him." What many people seemed to have missed is this. THE ASTROS WERE GOING TO THE AMERICAN LEAGUE WHETHER JIM CRANE BOUGHT THE TEAM OR NOT. The die was cast a long time ago.
Drayton McLane has always done everything that Bud Selig told him to do. He closed the roof during the World Series in 2005. He allowed a home game against Chicago to be played in Milwaukee in 2007. Heck, it's only been the last couple of years that McLane has paid over slot in the draft. With that in mind, do you really think that, had the deal with Jim Crane fallen through, McLane wouldn't have agreed to appease Bud and make the move? Do you really think an owner that would allow "Sweet Caroline" to be played during a game against the Red Sox IN MINUTE MAID PARK really gives a big whoop what the fans think?
Well, you say, Jim Crane didn't have to agree to the move. Of course he did. If he wanted to buy the team, he had no choice. Bud Selig has the power and he wasn't ever going to let the ownership deal come to a vote unless Jim Crane agreed. You can call it extortion. You can call it morally bankrupt. You can call it unfair. But Bud Selig never had any intention of approving Jim Crane OR ANYONE ELSE unless they agreed to the AL move.
That doesn't mean that you don't have a right, as an Astros fan, to be angry or frustrated or upset or depressed (although if you never sent a letter or e-mail or made a phone call protesting the move, maybe you don't have that right after all). I've already been through the 5 stages of grief.
But there were only going to be two possible outcomes to this situation. Either Jim Crane was going to be approved and the Astros would go to the American League. Or Drayton McLane was going to retain ownership and the Astros would still go to the American League. So, the real choice is do you want an owner who knows and loves baseball or an owner who has become totally disengaged and doesn't care anymore? Those were your only two choices, thanks to Bud Selig - that's who you should be demonizing.
Jim Crane hasn't even been approved yet. Other than getting George Postolos involved, we really have no idea what his plans are. How about we give him a little time and see what happens. He may turn out to be a terrible owner. He may turn out to be the best owner the Astros have ever seen. I suspect that he will fall somewhere in between, but let's at least give him a chance. The good news is that the Astros can finally emerge from the purgatory they've been in since May and we should be able to see some real direction. At least I hope so.
Finally, for those of you who intend to abandon the Astros over the move to the American League, I have a little unsolicited advice. You're only punishing yourself. Baseball will go on with you or without you and despite Bud Selig. If you liked Jose Altuve, Bud Norris, J.D. Martinez and Jordan Lyles yesterday, you'll still like them tomorrow. If you love Houston today, warts and all, as I do, you will still love Houston tomorrow. Give it a chance. But, Mr. Crane, no more "Sweet Caroline" please.
Off Soapbox -----------> Exit Stage Right