|> >Yes, many former Astro fans in Houston are particularly disgruntled about
|> >the lost '94 pennant race. However, in Houston (as opposed to Cincinnati),
|> >there are some additional considerations which erode support of the Astros.
|> I was curious about that... I've a theory that when the dust settles
|> and final per-game attendance numbers come out, the teams that lose
|> biggest percentage-wise from 1994 to 1995 will be the teams that were
|> having a particularly interesting 1994. Houston, Cincinnati, Montreal,
|> probably a couple of others, though Cleveland seems to have recovered
|> more than nicely...
Hmmm ... the only one with a new stadium ??? Perhaps ...
|> I wonder if McLane can push a suit for damages against the owners'
|> committee that wrecked his income stream to pull an illegal negotiating
Its no secret that McLame is not happy with the other owners, though he is
much too classy (and possibly a bit embarrassed) to scald his fellow magnates
in public. But he is frequently asked the question, "If you had it to do
over ..." and he always responds "No way." I can't help but think a lot of
his unhappiness is associated with having to put up with 27 other idiots.
|> I'd be interested in what additional considerations you think apply in
|> Houston; I can probably stack a Marge Schott story beside each one.
|> Though Marge at least stays out of the runnings of the ballclub other
|> than the manager's job, it's hard to imagine McLane as a worse public
|> relations anchor than Marge.
McLame is actually a *good* PR guy for his team. And in another locale, his
reputation and his sales methodology might even work. Houstonians simply are
tired of being yanked around by the ying-yang by this city's professional
sports team owners. To a large extent, McLame just arrived on the scene at
an inopportune time.
|> From the baseball side of things, though, I'm guessing that trading
|> three-quarters of the team to the Padres was considered a mistake?
Well, to be honest, most of the fans here are aware that the *big* mistake
was signing both hometown boys Drabek and Swindell to 4-year $16 million
contracts. The Padre trade is viewed as a necessary thing by McLame to
offset his losses due to Drabek's and Swindell's ineffectiveness.
|> was trading a healthy catcher for a banged-up one?
That one was heavily criticized in Houston, but Bob Watson took most of the
heat, as it should be. I really think McLame felt betrayed by Watson (and
maybe by Tal Smith too) on that particular deal. And getting rid of the only
high profile Hispanic player (Luis Gonzalez) on the team didn't help much
|> As was letting Terry
|> "I can lose a one-run game more ways than you can imagine" Collins
|> manage another year?
This one is all on McLame. Collins is McLame's kind of guy -- a "hard charger"
(even if he doesn't really know which way to charge).
|> When you look at things from that perspective, was
|> McLane pushed, or did he jump?
McLame is a genuine nice guy and a savvy businessman. The problem is that he
was over his head in MLB from the start. That, combined with bad timing in
arriving in Houston when the fans were about fed up with their team owners,
has created many ill feelings toward McLame and the Astros. Personally, I've
witnessed how he dealt with his season ticket holders -- so his crying about
needing *more* season ticket holders falls on deaf ears with me (and no doubt
many other former season ticket holders).
|> Does this all boil down to Drayton McLane losing his shirt in a business
|> because he has no idea how to run that business?
Unequivocally, YES. From his opening error (Drabek and Swindell), things
have gone downhill from there.
|> My four cents worth. (Ten cents, if it's totally mint.)