By Chris Lane
By Jeff Balke
By Aaron Reiss
By Angelica Leicht
By Dianna Wray
By Aaron Reiss
By Camilo Smith
By Craig Malisow
"It was a unique situation," Dolan told the Chronicle. "It was hard to establish traction, which I guess is the best word, when you're in a situation where Milo casts such a large shadow and you're rotating in and out of the booth. I knew it would be a challenge. You just hope you can make the best of it. But that run is over."
While this move is mystifying, it makes sense when you consider just how clueless and tone-deaf this club and its marketing, business, and PR people have become over the past several months. It's like every good thing done by Jeff Luhnow and the folks on the baseball side has to be countermanded by something that will piss off what few remaining fans the team has left.
There was the erector-set billboard blocking the view in left field. There was inviting people to lunch with Joe Niekro. There's the fact they don't know the players on their own team — they tweeted about J.D. Martinez hitting a home run that was actually hit by Fernando Martinez. Or that they tweeted a photo of the lineup several weeks ago with Jed Lowrie batting leadoff but said he was hitting cleanup, then refused to change it when informed of the error. There was forcing the players to pimp tickets on their Twitter accounts.
In the end, most Astros fan will accept whatever changes the Astros make, just as I accepted Brett and Dave — I never accepted Milo Hamilton, however, who will never be as qualified a broadcaster as Gene Elston was. But that's what fans do, they accept, especially if they're going to keep listening to the games.
And it makes you wonder what's next? What happens with Jim Deshaies and Bill Brown? Is Bob Ford, one of the great PA voices in all of baseball , safe or will he be replaced as the team goes about starting over? Should ushers start looking for new jobs because they have to be replaced — after all, they too represented the team this season.
I've supported a lot of what Crane has done on the baseball end. Jeff Luhnow's done a tremendous job of stocking the farm. Hell, that guy was actually able to trade Carlos Lee twice in one week. And Luhnow's made what appears to be a lot of smart hires in the front office.
But damn it, for all of the good done by Luhnow, Crane and the idiots working for him are making it hard to be a fan of the Astros. Sure the team's getting new uniforms, and a new logo, and new colors. Sure they're probably dumping that damn train and bulldozing that stupid hill, but those are just cosmetic changes; changes that don't mean anything, especially when compared with the things that show utter contempt for the fans, like bad billboards and not knowing which former players are dead, or firing two guys who got stuck working with Milo Hamilton and never received a real chance to show what they can do on their own.