The Astros Lowering Ticket and Beer Prices, Maybe Changing Unis and the Name?

Categories: Baseball, Sports

blue shooting star.jpg
Let's go back to the future and make these the new uniforms.
I've written a lot of snark about Jim Crane in the months since he purchased the Astros. And let's be honest, I'll probably have a lot more snark in the days, months and years ahead. But let's be more honest, there's a lot that Crane has done with this team since assuming full control of the franchise that, as a Houston Astros fan, I'm very, very happy about.

I like what I've seen of Crane's philosophy, and it's something I've been advocating for this franchise for years. He knows that this squad is in sad shape. That it has gone about as low down as it can go. That it's going to take some time before the Astros are competitive again. That this is something that can't be fixed by throwing a lot of dollars at the likes of Prince Fielder (or Jack Cust).

The Astros yesterday announced a number of items which they're hoping will regenerate some interest in the franchise. No, they didn't announce any big free agent signings. They didn't name a new manager, or announce that they were bulldozing Tal's Hill. But they did announce some rather significant things.

They're reducing ticket prices by a significant margin in various parts of the stadium -- some field box seats will now go for $29, with some club level seats going for just $35. Full-season and 27-game ticket packages will receive five percent rebates if they renew by January 31.

Domestic beer can now be purchased for five dollars -- and if the Astros are anywhere near as bad as they were last year, then it's going to take a lot of beer to make it through the season. And the Astros will now allow fans to bring their own food and water into the ballpark -- the Astros have been the only team in MLB to forbid fans the luxury of bringing their own food into the stadium.

Crane also stated they are considering other ballpark matters, like changing outfield dimensions and possibly doing something about Tal's Hill. They're even considering changing uniforms, which is perhaps the best news to come out of Minute Maid Park since Ed Wade and Tal Smith were dismissed from the team.

The current uniforms have to be the most boring uniforms in baseball, and have long been an embarrassment to a team known for distinctive uniforms. While I doubt Crane's reading this, I want very much to advocate a return to the dark blue shooting star uniforms that the Astros wore in the late '60s. And since differing jerseys are the key to merchandising dollars, might I suggest going to the orange shooting star uniforms of the early '70s when the team is on the road -- and for alternate jerseys, try the old Colt .45 jerseys for Sundays and day games and the rainbow jerseys on Saturdays.

orange shooting star.jpg
And let's use these orange unis for the road games.
For all of the good that he did, Crane made a bit of a slip-up yesterday when he announced that he was considering changing the name of the team. This isn't an unprecedented move seeing as how the Astros were originally the Colt .45s and seeing as how Drayton McLane considered changing the team's name when moving from the Dome to Minute Maid Park.

But that was then and now the natives are restless. Many of the natives are still pissed about the team moving to the American League in 2013, so maybe now's not the time to be discussing a name change.

I'm not too thrilled by the prospect of a name change, but I can understand the thinking. When a product is as bad as the Astros, nothing is sacred. And with the Astros moving to a new league in 2013, and with a new owner and a new management team, why not go with a new name. It's like making a brand-new start.

That said, it's very, very doubtful that Crane changes the name of the team, new league, new start aside. But it does make sense to consider it, to study it. To find out just how damn damaged the brand really is because of the neglect and incompetence of the previous owner and management team.

There's nothing to indicate the team's name is really being changed, and while I'm not in favor of a name change, exploring the topic does make sense. So let's not go into a panic. Not yet, anyway. Instead, let's focus on the positives: cheaper tickets, free food options, five-dollar beer and possible new uniforms.

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9 comments
furniture stores Corpus Christ
furniture stores Corpus Christ

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SmokeologistDJ
SmokeologistDJ

I don't see what the big deal is about the possible name change. It's not like the Astro's name has a legacy of winning championships attached to it.And, as to the change to the American League, it just means they'll be getting their butts kicked in another league. In either case, I wouldn't go see them play even if they were playing in my backyard. I say good riddance to the name and the team. They've never been anything more than a farm team for the other clubs in the National league. Witness the so-called "Astros Syndrome". They have a history of dumping players just before they reach their prime, and the team that the player is traded to generally winds up in the play-offs or World Series a year later. If you don't believe me, it goes back to the days of Mike Cuellar and Joe Morgan. They traded Cuellar to Baltimore for Curt Blefary...the Orioles wind up in the World Series the same season. Same thing with Morgan and the rest of the players traded to the Reds. Michael Bourbe should be ecstatic being traded to the Braves....He'll have a ring next year.

MASSMURDERMEDIA
MASSMURDERMEDIA

the only name change that makes sense is going back to the colt .45's...  i doubt any name change will happen...  but for those us pining for the old .45's name, ponder this...  if crane seriously considered it, how far would it go?...  would selig and the other owners allow this in the age of political correctness?...  one thing i'm confident of that will likely never be proven is the colt .45's merchandise skyrocketing in sales to #1 nationwide, not just houston...    

btw, keep tal's hill... what's wrong with having some unique real estate among the majors?... i do know the rash of torn acl's that was feared it might cause hasn't materialized...

Jim C
Jim C

Bring back Alan Ashby.  Change the name of the team to the Romneys.  Then fire him again.

DuckDuckGoose
DuckDuckGoose

Ticket and beer prices, uni design, name change ...

Deck chairs, meet Titanic

JB
JB

Did Crane actually "announce" that he was considering changing the name or did he respond to a question about a possible name change with a general statement saying that he would consider anything and every in due course?

big red
big red

Crane has shown himself to be smarter than Drayton already. While Drayton loved sky high concession prices and overpriced tickets, Crane is smart enough to realize that you can make more money by having more people buying fair priced food and drink. The last owner to recognize this fact was McMullen when he used to sell $2 gold seats at the dome and had one dollar hot dogs. More revenue means more net profit and that hopefully means a better team. And now if Crane will only bring back the Colt .45 name.

mollusk
mollusk

Changing the name to the Buffalos makes historic sense, too - that's what the AA and AAA club that played at what is now Finger's Magnificent Furniture Center on the Gulf Freeway was called.

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