Tuesday, January 24, 2012

It's Not That We Don't Trust You ...

Dear Mr. Crane ~

Here's the deal.  During the lead up to your purchase of the Astros, your name was dragged through the mud.  Fairly or unfairly, many Astros fans really didn't trust you from the start because of this.  I have tried to keep an open mind because, having been in the business world for many years now, I know that things are rarely black and white.

Then came the whole American League thing.  Personally, I believe that you had no choice in the matter.  I firmly believe that whether you bought the Astros, another entity bought the Astros or McLane retained ownership of the Astros, the Astros were going to the American League.  Bud Selig decided it and it was so.  But there are a lot of fans who don't believe that was the case.  They think you sold them out.

Now, after long-time fans have had to swallow the AL move and have just started coming to terms with that, you throw out as kind of an after-thought that you're looking at possibly changing the Astros name.  I have no defense for you on this one.  The whole idea is simply indefensible.  We have had our 50+ year National League history ripped from us and now you're thinking of voluntarily changing the name?  The only possible reason to change the name is for money, pure and simple.  Merchandising revenues are down so why not stir things up a little?  Really bad idea.

Let me give you a little free advice.  John McMullen is still universally detested for asking Hall of Famer Nolan Ryan to take a pay cut and chasing him out of town.  Bud Adams is still hated for, among other things, demanding that the Astrodome scoreboard be removed to make room for more seats.  If you push through a name change, Houstonians will never forgive you.

If, as has been suggested, the idea of a name change was simply a trial balloon and a way of getting a free focus group, shame on you.  You have not earned our trust yet.   If you continue to do things like this, you never will.

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