SBD/July 19, 2013/Franchises

Astros' Jim Crane Pleased With Team's Direction, Says Patience Is Key To Success

Crane said he feels bad about the carriage issues with CSN Houston
Astros Owner Jim Crane said that he is "pleased with the direction of the team" under new President of Business Operations Reid Ryan, according to Jose de Jesus Ortiz of the HOUSTON CHRONICLE. Crane said, "What I probably didn’t understand when I came in here, I knew we were bad at the top, but I didn’t know how bad we were at the bottom. I didn’t really understand how all that worked, because I had never been around it. But then once you get in, you understand how these other teams have built their organization." Crane said former Owner Drayton McLane "didn't sign anybody" in '07, which was "really the killer year." Crane: "When you look back, that really hurt. We got almost all our guys signed and you just restock out of that group." Meanwhile, Crane said of dealing with unhappy fans, "It’ll get there, but it has been tough. I won’t deny it. You can’t go anywhere where people don’t ask you about it. They don’t want to talk about how much freight I’ve shipped. They want to talk about when the team is going to get better." Crane said of working with GM Jeff Luhnow, "I don’t over-manage him. Same thing with Reid (Ryan). Reid can handle that job. Those two guys come to me if I need help. ... Reid’s good at it. That’s one of the reasons I hired him. He’s so good with the fans and he’s so good with the public." Crane on the future of the franchise: "I’m a long-term builder. But then once you get the base in place you’re going to be solid. That happens in business. Once you get to a critical mass you can’t falter hardly. You might not win every day, but our objective is the worst we get is .500. This TV deal will sort itself. I feel bad that the fans haven’t watched a game, but we can’t cut a long-term bad deal. That’s really all I’m working on right now to get that resolved. I’m on the point in that. The buck stops with me on that deal. But we’ll get it resolved" (CHRON.com, 7/17).
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