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Houston Astros rebuilding, but new owner comments may rile fans 82

Credit: SportsLogos.net

The Houston Astros are certainly the poster child for a rebuilding franchise.  And it had to be done.  However the savvy fans are naturally impatient, and understandably so.  They’ve lost 213 games over the past 2 seasons, by far the worst 2 seasons in franchise history and pushing the all franchise records if they don’t improve sooner than later.  This less than a decade after their one and only National League Pennant in 2005.  The ballclub has methodically unloaded fan favorites Michael Bourn and Lance Berkman (both went to college in Houston), Hunter Pence, Jeff Keppinger, Carlos Lee (Houstonian), Brett Myers, Roy Oswalt (2nd most wins in franchise history), Wandy Rodriguez (last member of the 2005 team), and Chris Johnson.

So new owner Jim Crane should be wooing and cajoling and wining and dining fans.  And for the most part he has.  But he seemed a little callous to fan concerns in a recent Wall Street Journal article .  Crane said about fan impatience:

“It doesn’t bother me that people want us to spend more money…but it’s not their money. This is a private company, even though it’s got a public flair to it. If they want to write a check for 10 million bucks, they can give me a call.”

While technically true that it’s not a public company, sports franchises really do belong to the fans.  Or at least their fortunes do.  Very rarely do you see a successful franchise without steadfast fan support year over year (Marlins are the exception).  Fans are spending their same $50 on tickets for this team as they were 10 years ago.  In fact, prices were significantly raised for Opening Day.  An Opening Sunday Night that will be nationally televised (probably their only of the season).  But the Space City fans are probably getting restless and probably don’t want to hear about how many million dollars it takes for them to have a say. The money they pay at the turnstile and to beer vendor should be enough.

– Dave (@lhd_on_sports)

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