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Discussion in 'The Mainboard' started by bro, Nov 13, 2022.
I wish you all nothing but the worst.
Won’t be watching
No mention of the Astros. Unfollow.
I’d say we’d be trying to trade for some Pirates, but I don’t think they have any good players left. Lol
I’m not predicting a Joey Meneses MVP, but I’m not not predicting one
Pohlad don’t cheap out & pay Correa
Twins will cheap out
god, it's going to be a long 4 months
Most intriguing Orioles offseason maybe of my lifetime
Can we hit on 2nd tier pitchers and a hitter and how much will ownership actually spend
Excited to see which teams get who and where the players go.
Yankees will win 90 games, the division and be sent packing, again, by the Astros in the ALCS
Sure thing bud
Is Kyle Bradish anything more than a potential mid-rotation starter?
His highs and lows were insane. Like the worst starter in the league then 1 hitting the Astros in a couple starts.
I can’t answer to his future
I hope they miss on all of them and Adley demands a trade
Someone lock the old thread pls
Seems like a lot of teams have big bags to give out this offseason. Probably going to mean the Boris players will sign just as late if not later then ever as he lets the lower level free agents set the floor
I'm sure the Astros will keep winning for at least a few more years, but this makes the title this year seem kind of miraculous.
Gone. What was it?
Just talking about the consequences of his actions. Deportation and such.
Care to spoiler the article for us poors?
Inside the champion Astros' behind-the-scenes turmoil
Troy Taormina/USA Today Sports
12:00 PM UTC
In the six days between the Houston Astros winning a World Series and getting rid of their general manager, members of the organization, from players to coaching staff to front office, called one another trying to piece together what was happening.
Over the last year, the disarray in the Astros' front office had exposed itself often enough that employees at all levels wondered how, exactly, an organization so adept on the field could be so chaotic among those tasked with building that on-field unit. They knew about the palace intrigue, had watched the behind-the-scenes machinations that had persisted throughout the season. They had one Hall-of-Fame advisor with a reputation for yelling at people, another frequently questioning the organization's direction. All the while, a general manager was under siege, and the owner who had vowed to take a more hands-on approach because of that crisis watched it all play out.
But suddenly, last week, the information spigot turned off. Rumors swirled about the future of the organization, and no one could get an answer. By Friday, after the news of James Click's eyebrow-raising ouster, one thing was clear: The only person with clarity over what was happening with the Astros -- owner Jim Crane -- was disinclined to tip his hand.
Now, those inside the Astros are asking questions that World Series-winning teams rarely must ask. Is the team that reached six American League Championship Series, four World Series and won a pair of championships in the last half-dozen seasons really considering pivoting from the analytics-heavy approach that built the team into a monster? Without Click, who will shepherd the team forward? And is the answer to that question perhaps the person already at the center of the front-office dysfunction?
"Sometimes I wonder if Jim thinks he's Jerry Jones," said one Astros employee, who was among the dozen people with knowledge of the organization with whom ESPN spoke to better understand the inner workings of arguably the most successful franchise in baseball. Not since Larry MacPhail in 1947 has a championship franchise parted ways with its top baseball executive so soon after a title, but what became clear over those conversations was Crane's willingness to meddle in baseball-operations decisions, much like the Dallas Cowboys owner who also serves as GM. It's a path certainly in Crane's purview as owner but rare among his peers in baseball -- and it suggests that Click's work always came with impediments.
Crane, sources said, felt coming into the 2022 season that the team needed more "baseball men" involved in operations decisions and invited Hall of Famers Jeff Bagwell and Reggie Jackson into the team's weekly senior baseball-operations meetings. Crane, sources said, killed an agreed-upon deal for Chicago Cubs catcher Willson Contreras at the trade deadline. Crane, sources said, this week personally negotiated the three-year, $34.5 million contract that brought reliever Rafael Montero back to the team -- a deal that was widely seen in the industry as a hefty price to give a 32-year-old with only one good full big league season.
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It's a trend that began in February 2020, during the Astros' first press conference addressing the crisis-causing sign-stealing scandal, when Crane said he planned to be more hands-on with baseball operations. Crane had brought on Click and manager Dusty Baker after firing GM Jeff Luhnow and manager A.J. Hinch in the wake of the scandal.
What Crane had appreciated most about Luhnow was the conviction with which he made decisions, sources said. Crane appreciated, two sources familiar with his thinking said, the efficiency and ruthlessness of Luhnow's operation, seeing it was similar to how Crane ran his other businesses.
Over time, Crane would learn that was not Click's style. Though Click wasn't indecisive, he did not preen about with what one person deemed Luhnow's "institutional arrogance, which Jim actually thought was an admirable thing." Going to an ALCS in his first season and a World Series in his second bought Click little goodwill, and he came into the 2022 season in the final year of his contract and with support at the ownership level withering, sources said.
Disagreements over player evaluations furthered the chasm between the sides and further isolated Click. Baker was among those who convinced Crane to kill the trade that would have sent right-hander Jose Urquidy to the Cubs for Contreras. Bagwell, who "Jim might trust more than anyone," according to one source familiar with their relationship and corroborated by another, was critical of the Astros' player-development system, even as it was graduating eventual ALCS and World Series MVP Jeremy Peña. Jackson, who joined the Astros in May 2021 as an "executive assistant" despite never playing for the organization, yelled at members of the team's front office this year and later would apologize, according to sources.
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Had the Astros lost in the postseason, Crane almost certainly would have fired Click before his contract expired Oct. 31. But they didn't lose. The team Click helped assemble -- the team he had stabilized in the aftermath of a scandal that left it tottering -- kept winning.
When Crane did discuss a contract with Click, between the team's championship parade and Click leaving for the GM meetings in Las Vegas, Crane offered him a perfunctory deal: one year with a minimal raise, according to sources. Compared to the contracts extended to Click's peers with similar resumes, the offer was seen by the industry as an insult. Click went to Las Vegas anyway, continuing to represent the organization, and said he was "optimistic" they would come to an agreement. Instead, three days later -- six days after he earned his first World Series ring -- he was out of a job, as was Scott Powers, one of the assistant GMs he hired this year. (Click declined to comment for this story, as did the Astros.)
For now, Crane has elevated new assistant general manager Bill Firkus, one of the highest-ranking officials left from the 2017 championship team sullied by sign stealing, to manage the day-to-day operations of inquiring about free agents and potential trades, according to teams speaking with the Astros. Firkus, along with Andrew Ball, one of Click's assistant GMs, and Charles Cook, whom Crane promoted to assistant GM earlier this week, remain. They are the braintrust, though multiple people in the organization fear their authority, like Click's, will be usurped by the former players to whom Crane regularly listens.
Internally, multiple names have surfaced for who could take over as general manager, from Baltimore assistant general manager Sig Mejdal (also a vital front-office member of the Astros during the Luhnow era) to recent Oakland A's bench coach Brad Ausmus (the former Astros catcher was in Houston on Friday, according to sources, and met with Bagwell, though it was unclear whether the possibility of Ausmus joining the front office was broached). David Stearns, a well-regarded former Astros assistant GM under Luhnow, resigned in October as president of baseball operations for the Milwaukee Brewers but plans to stay for the final year of his contract in an advisory capacity. "I'm just going to reiterate what I said previously: I'm not going anywhere," Stearns told MLB.com.
The notion of Crane turning his back on the quantitative analysis that underpinned Luhnow's decision-making strikes some Astros employees as biting the hand that feeds him, though Crane has suggested he's seeking more of a balance between scouting and statistics, sources said. Which of the reported candidates becomes the ultimate decision-maker in the baseball-operations department could foretell Crane's leanings there.
Mejdal was hired in 2012 as the Astros' director of decision sciences, a title that drew sneers at the time, but today illustrates how advanced the team was. A former NASA engineer, Mejdal is regarded as one of the smartest people in the game, adept at numbers and talking baseball. He joined former Astros scouting director Mike Elias, who went to run the Baltimore Orioles in 2018, as an assistant GM and has helped oversee the organization's transition from laughingstock to budding power.
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Whether or not Ausmus is ultimately a candidate, someone of his ilk -- a former player whose ability to grasp analytics makes him more suitable to the modern game -- could appeal to Crane. Ausmus, who has managed Detroit and the Los Angeles Angels, has expressed an openness toward potentially taking a front-office job in the right situation, according to sources. He previously served as a field executive with the San Diego Padres and a special assistant to the GM with the Angels.
If Crane does fill the job -- multiple people inside the Astros believe he could decide to run the team a la Jones -- the lessons are clear: The person needs to appeal to Crane's impulses, as Luhnow did more than Click. Crane, sources said, is a demanding boss -- generally in a good way.
"He gave us resources," one longtime Astros front-office member said, "and he expected us to do the right things with them."
The undercurrent of Crane's desire to be involved, however, especially took root three years ago and only increased during Click's tenure. Now, he has advisors. He has a group of subordinates to execute his decisions. And the clock on a hire is ticking, with free agency already underway, trades being discussed and the reality that a new GM might mean even more confusion for a front-office staff that's never quite sure who to believe.
So he could hire someone to do the job. Or he could follow the path of another Texas billionaire and do it himself. For all of Arte Moreno's intrusiveness with the Angels, all of Jeffrey Loria's prying with the Miami Marlins, the last baseball owner to so assert himself was George Steinbrenner with the New York Yankees, the archetypal organizational puppeteer. Crane is not there yet, but he's come closer than most. Like Jones and Steinbrenner, his thirst for winning has taken him to places others won't go.
Regardless of who takes over, the Click affair has proven one thing unequivocally: When it comes to who's running the Houston Astros, neither titles nor contracts matter. It is one person and one person only: Jim Crane.
Truman left out a bit of information from the article spoiled below
fuck the astros
I’m fine with this. He was great last year but a long term commitment seemed silly
Love early hot stove action
glad joc got a big deal even if its just for a year
good for him getting that extra year.
rather the Dodgers create a rotation with more of their young guys and some big FA acquisitions than piecing together another season with guys like TA. Hopefully he has a few more great seasons in LAA.
Yea I expect this to be his one good seasom
Rizzo stays in NY
At least he's not an astro
Yea I'm happy with that for sure
Astros playing chess out here. Getting the cheating yanks to overpay.
Gave him a million dollar raise and an extra year
Dodgers will turn that pick into a top prospect that will either be a consistent 4 win player for them or be a centerpiece in a trade for the next superstar to get traded before they are up for a mega contract
downtown baseball in KC
I’d have given him more. fuckin love Rizzo
He would have helped our lineup for sure.
Hope KC taxpayers tell the owner to go fuck himself.
he says they “won’t take more than they currently get” but that could mean any number of things like “yeah keep paying us the same amount but for another 20 years” etc
He also said that it could create 20,000 jobs, so my hippo isn't particularly sure that his claims will hold up to scrutiny.