The Astros Start Play On Sunday: Does Anyone Really Care?

Categories: Baseball, Sports

csn houston.jpg
These people think that you are idiots.
The 2013 season begins for the Astros on Sunday night when they host the Texas Rangers on ESPN. And frankly, I'm at the point with Jim Crane and flunkies that I really don't give a damn.

Is anyone really excited about this Astros season? The team is going to be bad. The owner and his minions keep pissing off the fans. There's the price gouging for opening day, the lack of a television deal, and George Postolos crapping all over Larry Dierker. There are the games being moved to a radio station with a weak signal while the games are called by a minor league broadcaster.

So as the season starts, I thought I would express a few thoughts on a few things regarding the Astros that are really, really pissing me off.

4. NO-SEE TV

More shots were fired in the great CSN Houston battle last night. CSN Houston president Matt Hutchings once again fired out with his standard line of bull that it's all the fault of unreasonable cable and satellite providers without actually offering up any legitimate evidence to support his claims. Then Jim Crane opened his mouth and said the Astros wanted a rights fee that is competitive with the Rangers and the Angels. The problem with Crane's logic, of course, is that he's not actually offering up a product that is competitive with the product the Rangers and the Angels are providing to cable and satellite providers.

CSN Houston is still not available to most of the viewing public in Houston or in Texas. The commercials on TV and radio make it sound like all the evil cable and satellite providers are taking the Astros away from the public. Hell, there was even a spokesman for the mayor falling for this line of crap the other day. But it's a lie. And it's a lie that needs to stop.

The Astros, and the Rockets, are the ones who are responsible for you not being able to watch their games. They're the ones who decided to form a venture and start up a sports cable network from scratch. And they're the ones who decided not to renew a contract with Fox Sports Southwest, available throughout Houston and Texas, for a new network that can only be seen by people who have Comcast, and frankly, signing up for the awful service provided by Comcast in order to watch a bad Astros team just isn't worth the cost, just as it's not worth it to Direct TV, Dish, U-verse and Time-Warner to pay the same amount to Comcast to air the Astros as regional networks in California have to pay to air the Dodgers.


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Minute Maid Park

501 Crawford, Houston, TX

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15 comments
gcl01
gcl01

i would never say 100% of your comments were correct, but from what I have knowledge of you are closer than anyone who has commented on the situation in any form of media to date.  Much of the problems may stem from an ownership group with too many owners and too little operating capital.  Astro fans were spoiled by the mega wealthy Drayton McLane who owned the whole thing. He certainly harmed the clubs success when he decided to sell out and started trimming players with large contracts to facilitate the sale.  But for most of his ownership the Astros were better than they had ever been.  Mistakes he made including not knowing the value of putting more money into scouting and development and spending it on some free agents that did not pay off.  But until the last two years he DID want to win.  The new ownership is trying the only thing they an afford.  The problem is they are basing so much on television revenue which may be a long time coming to its full potential they are ignoring the fact that fans can make up a lot of revenue, too.  They are also not a football team.  If they were they would still be pulling in large gates win or lose.  (The Oilers did until it was determined they were definitely leaving town.)

Lance Berkmans's recent statement that Texans support only winners--except for Aggie fans--is not far off the mark.  Football just gets a longer leash than baseball or basketball.

The Astros HAVE to WIN to get their full fan base back.  They also have to be smart enough to know that because the club is not good and not expected to be in 2013 they don't have as much to sell to DirecTV or U-Verse or Time Warner than if they were.  A number of sports fans will support win or lose, but that number is not large and certainly not as large in this region of the country for baseball as it is for football.


davesmall
davesmall

Jim Crane is looking a lot like the new Bud Adams. We fans need someone to hate and he's stepping into the void big-time!

However, I don't think he's as dumb as Bud Adams. He hired Jeff Luhnow and Jeff is a stud. The Astro farm system is way better and will continue to improve so long as Crane keeps hands off and lets Jeff do his thing.

This is a really good article. The whole CSN Houston thing is a disaster for fans and the Astros. We  missed all the Rocket games this year and I think Crane is the primary cause.

Drayton was bad. Crane is smarter but even cheaper.

davesmall
davesmall

Jim Crane is looking a lot like the new Bud Adams. We fans need someone to hate and he's stepping into the void big-time!

However, I don't think he's as dumb as Bud Adams. He hired Jeff Luhnow and Jeff is a stud. The Astro farm system is way better and will continue to improve so long as Crane keeps hands off and lets Jeff do his thing.

This is a really good article. The whole CSN Houston thing is a disaster for fans and the Astros. We  missed all the Rocket games this year and I think Crane is the primary cause.

Drayton was bad. Crane is smarter but even cheaper.

davesmall
davesmall

Jim Crane is looking a lot like the new Bud Adams. We fans need someone to hate and he's stepping into the void big-time!

However, I don't think he's as dumb as Bud Adams. He hired Jeff Luhnow and Jeff is a stud. The Astro farm system is way better and will continue to improve so long as Crane keeps hands off and lets Jeff do his thing.

This is a really good article. The whole CSN Houston thing is a disaster for fans and the Astros. We  missed all the Rocket games this year and I think Crane is the primary cause.

Drayton was bad. Crane is smarter but even cheaper.

davesmall
davesmall

Jim Crane is looking a lot like the new Bud Adams. We fans need someone to hate and he's stepping into the void big-time!

However, I don't think he's as dumb as Bud Adams. He hired Jeff Luhnow and Jeff is a stud. The Astro farm system is way better and will continue to improve so long as Crane keeps hands off and lets Jeff do his thing.

This is a really good article. The whole CSN Houston thing is a disaster for fans and the Astros. We  missed all the Rocket games this year and I think Crane is the primary cause.

Drayton was bad. Crane is smarter but even cheaper.

davesmall
davesmall

Jim Crane is looking a lot like the new Bud Adams. We fans need someone to hate and he's stepping into the void big-time!

However, I don't think he's as dumb as Bud Adams. He hired Jeff Luhnow and Jeff is a stud. The Astro farm system is way better and will continue to improve so long as Crane keeps hands off and lets Jeff do his thing.

This is a really good article. The whole CSN Houston thing is a disaster for fans and the Astros. We  missed all the Rocket games this year and I think Crane is the primary cause.

Drayton was bad. Crane is smarter but even cheaper.

memo
memo

My quick thoughts, for whatever they are worth.

1) Drayton definitely ruined this team. Sucked all of the resources dry, elevated the price, and bailed. However...

2) Crane over-leveraged to buy the team. When the deal was going down, I remember thinking, "How can this guy afford this team?" I know he has partners, but, in most businesses, partners are likely to want to hold-the-line on expenses.

3) I think a "rebuild" is a brilliant idea, and a long time in coming. But they have to be transparent about it, and stop doing things that offend fans like dramatically raising prices on opening day. Me and some buddies were going to go to opening day this year, and last year, but the prices weren't worth it. If they want to BUILD a fan base, they have to LOWER opening day prices, just to get people in the seats. Sports fans aren't stupid. 

4) If I were the owner of a basketball or baseball team in a football town, I would do everything I can to get viewers. The Rockets and Astros whine and complain about how the Texans own this town, but they aren't doing much on their part to change that. That's on them. 

txjboy
txjboy

I never thought I'd say this, but I'm really missing Drayton about now.

RebeccaS
RebeccaS

Jim Crane can go ... do we have to keep it clean here? ... himself. I don't care if the teams sucks or not, I'd get behind them if they didn't have such an azzsnozzle as an owner. I still can't fathom the ticket prices. Absolutely ridiculous. Shame on him. 

RebeccaS
RebeccaS

@txjboy HAH! I'm older than you -- I'm missing John McMullen and I quit being a season ticket holder because of him. Shit, Ford Motor Credit wasn't a bad owner either. LOL

Tiglath-Pileser
Tiglath-Pileser

@RebeccaS-- Well, I'd like to care, but I cannot pay what the team wants.  I am going to the opening game at a big price to see my son from Arlington and my wife root for their Rangers. Last year, I really enjoyed going to Minute Maid Park to watch the Astros.  Perhaps, later in the season, I can afford tickets to a low-demand game, but without the local TV deal, it will be hard for me to keep interested in the Astros.


I guess, I'll watch the Rangers this year, and only look for 'stros' tickets when I have absolutely nothing to do.

gossamersixteen
gossamersixteen topcommenter

@RebeccaS He's also the reason we have no baseball, basketball, or soccer on TV for over 60% of Houston too, him being the majority holder of Conca$h Sportsnet Houston..

txjboy
txjboy

@RebeccaS @txjboy You may not be older than me.  I was at the first Colt .45's game when I was in high school.

RebeccaS
RebeccaS

@Tiglath-Pileser I became a TX Rangers fan the year McMullen dumped Nolan Ryan. Been a fan ever since. There is no way I can afford to go to a game, probably even the less in demand games. I'm new football fan, so I'm waiting for the Texans.

JimWC
JimWC

@gossamersixteen @RebeccaS Smart guy, he is.  How in the hell does Sportsnet Houston make money when no one will pay to watch it or air it?

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