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SBD/March 24, 2014/Franchises
Astros' Crane Hopes For Quick Turnaround; Looking For New Spring Training Home
Published March 24, 2014
EAST BOUND AND DOWN? The AP's Chuck King noted Crane "hopes to have a deal for a new spring training home for his ballclub within six months." The Astros are "looking to replace their current home in Kissimmee with a site on the east coast of Florida." Osceola County Stadium was "considered state of the art when the Astros moved there in 1985, but Crane said the complex is 'probably the worst' in the Grapefruit League now." The Nationals and Astros have been "looking at sites in Palm Beach County, Martin County and Port St. Lucie." Crane: "There's a couple decent sites. I think it's just, approve the location, go ahead and verify the funding, and then go for it." Crane "pledged that much of the money to fund the complex construction will come from a local bed tax." Crane: "If you live here, it's not coming out of your pocket. I think people need to understand that" (AP, 3/23).
THINKING OUTSIDE THE BOX: CBSSPORTS.com's Jon Heyman wrote the Astros "are not like other MLB teams," as they "just do things differently." They "employ a staff economist," they "employ a guy who left NASA, and another guy who used to design semiconductors." Finally, they "hired two guys who were bloggers, albeit very smart bloggers, in key front-office roles." GM Jeff Luhnow said, "New ideas are welcome. We're not afraid to try something new." If there is "indeed a box, the Astros couldn't possibly see it from where they are." It is MLB's "grand experiment, with perhaps half [of] baseball rooting against it and even reveling in their back-to-back all-time bad seasons, and half hoping it is a monstrous success, if only to show there is a different way to do things" (CBSSPORTS.com, 3/23).