Houston losing money

Houston losing money

Post by steven m geswe » Mon, 30 Oct 1995 03:00:00


It's been recently discussed here that Houston is losing money (though
the usual questions about the reliability of the numbers still apply),
and Cincinnati's attendance problems were documented pretty well by the
empty seats at the NLCS.

I get the sense from occasional glimpses at Cincinnati media and the
Reds' mailing list that Reds fans were more annoyed than most over the
strike.  The reason being, Reds fans missed the end of the 1994
Reds-Astros race, which had been running neck-and-neck for a month or
two and was "decided" by a half game when play ended.

Just curious:  is this a reason that people are staying away from the
Astrodome as well?  Is there any report of this in Houston?

--

My four cents worth.  (Ten cents, if it's totally mint.)

 
 
 

Houston losing money

Post by Scott R. Sus » Wed, 01 Nov 1995 04:00:00




|>
|> >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
|> tactic?

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.

|> As
|> 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
either.

|>  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.)

SRS

 
 
 

Houston losing money

Post by Jeff Hildebra » Wed, 01 Nov 1995 04:00:00



Quote:

>|> 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.

        Ok Scott, an honest question. If the problem here is that McLane
is losing money because he didn't know how to run the business, why is
that an example of something wrong with the structure of major league
baseball? It seems to me that it's an example of something wrong with
the people running MLB, not with the structure of the leagues themselves.

-Jeff
--

My friends and I have had a hard time
bruising our brains, hard up against change
                        -Indigo Girls, The Wood Song

 
 
 

Houston losing money

Post by steven m geswe » Wed, 01 Nov 1995 04:00:00



Quote:
>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...

I wonder if McLane can push a suit for damages against the owners'
committee that wrecked his income stream to pull an illegal negotiating
tactic?

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.

From the baseball side of things, though, I'm guessing that trading
three-quarters of the team to the Padres was considered a mistake?  As
was trading a healthy catcher for a banged-up one?  As was letting Terry
"I can lose a one-run game more ways than you can imagine" Collins
manage another year?  When you look at things from that perspective, was
McLane pushed, or did he jump?

Does this all boil down to Drayton McLane losing his shirt in a business
because he has no idea how to run that business?

--

My four cents worth.  (Ten cents, if it's totally mint.)

 
 
 

Houston losing money

Post by Patrick Kavanaug » Thu, 02 Nov 1995 04:00:00


Quote:


>From the baseball side of things, though, I'm guessing that trading
>three-quarters of the team to the Padres was considered a mistake?  As
>was trading a healthy catcher for a banged-up one?  As was letting Terry
>"I can lose a one-run game more ways than you can imagine" Collins
>manage another year?  When you look at things from that perspective, was
>McLane pushed, or did he jump?

>Does this all boil down to Drayton McLane losing his shirt in a business
>because he has no idea how to run that business?

Actually the Chronicle down here had a pretty good article last week that
showed that the attendance last year and this year are not that far off
of the historical averages.  The strike definitely hurt last year's
average because the attendance was picking up for the pennant race before
the strike.  Also don't underestimate the bitterness towards the players.

When the Astros tried to bring up Craig McMurtry (a replacement
player) and the rest of the players whined and altogether treated him
like dirt, the fans reacted bitterly,  booing the leaders and cheering
for Craig the loudest I've heard, except for Bags and Biggio.  Also after
that incident the average attendance dropped 6K!  That my friends is alot
for an incident like this and just underscores the lingering resentment
towards both the players and owners.

PK

 
 
 

Houston losing money

Post by Scott R. Sus » Thu, 02 Nov 1995 04:00:00




|>
|> >|> 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.
|>
|>   Ok Scott, an honest question. If the problem here is that McLane
|> is losing money because he didn't know how to run the business, why is
|> that an example of something wrong with the structure of major league
|> baseball? It seems to me that it's an example of something wrong with
|> the people running MLB, not with the structure of the leagues themselves.

Excellent question, Jeff.  Actually, the answer is complex and lengthy.  And
unfortunately, I've addressed it before, so it would be meaningless to get
into it all over again.  But briefly, the basic problem is that there is no
incentive for anybody who gets into the business to actually *know* something
about it before they do.  Nor is there any incentive for owners, *after*
they're in, to *then* learn how to run a franchise successfully.  The anti-
trust exemption is the greatest culprit, followed closely by the fact that
almost every MLB team salle/purchase is to somebody who views his/her MLB
ownership purely as a status symbol and his/her participation as a hobby.

We've bantered back and forth for a long time about how idyllic it would be
if MLB had no a-t exemption -- how that would *force* owners to run their
teams as a business instead of a hobby.  And I'm all for that.  But its not
going to happen, at least in the forseeable future.  We're left with
discussing things as they are and as they *can* be -- far, far from idyllic.

Back to your question.  Given this scenario, I would submit that the two
things you mention are almost one and the same:  what's wrong with the owners
*is* what's wrong with the structure of the MLB enterprise.  As fans, we can
only deal with it in our own way as *customers* -- either happy and satisfied
or unhappy and dissattisfied.  I choose the latter, as far as the Houston
Astros and Drayton McLame are concerned.  And I really can only speak for
Houston, and from my own perspective.

|> -Jeff
|> --

SRS

 
 
 

Houston losing money

Post by Greg Frankl » Thu, 02 Nov 1995 04:00:00


Quote:
>When the Astros tried to bring up Craig McMurtry (a replacement
>player) and the rest of the players whined and altogether treated him
>like dirt, the fans reacted bitterly,  booing the leaders and cheering
>for Craig the loudest I've heard, except for Bags and Biggio.  Also after
>that incident the average attendance dropped 6K!

From what to what?

Quote:
>That my friends is alot
>for an incident like this and just underscores the lingering resentment
>towards both the players and owners.

Question: wasn't McMurtry called up by McLane specifically *because* he had
been a strikebreaker? I recall a claim here that McMurtry was not the
best-qualified prospect out of the minors Houston could've chosen to fill
their roster hole at the time.

BTW, all of this cheering and support from Astros fans impelled Craig to a
7.84 ERA in 10.1 innings (11 appearances), 9 BB, 4 SO. Logically, the fans
should have cheered the regular Astros for not wanting to put up with a turd
(ethically and athletically) on their club!

Greg

 
 
 

Houston losing money

Post by Scott R. Sus » Fri, 03 Nov 1995 04:00:00


|> >When the Astros tried to bring up Craig McMurtry (a replacement
|> >player) and the rest of the players whined and altogether treated him
|> >like dirt, the fans reacted bitterly,  booing the leaders and cheering
|> >for Craig the loudest I've heard, except for Bags and Biggio.  Also after
|> >that incident the average attendance dropped 6K!
|>
|> From what to what?

From *few* to *very few*.  :-)

|> >That my friends is alot
|> >for an incident like this and just underscores the lingering resentment
|> >towards both the players and owners.
|>
|> Question: wasn't McMurtry called up by McLane specifically *because* he had
|> been a strikebreaker?

McLame's motivation is still unclear.  He never publicly commented on what
his reasons were.  But speculation in Houston centered on it being a "reward"
for McMurtry doing "a favor" for McLame by being a replacement player -- *not*
just *because* he had been one.  McMurtry and McLame are neighbors in the
Temple Texas area.  I wouldn't be surprised to see McMurtry offered a job in
the Astros organization (if McLame ends up keeping the team, that is).

Of course, seeing how the moron MLBPA players reacted to McMurtry -- ***ing,
moping, dogging it (11 game losing streak), not to mention their personal
treatment of McMurtry -- I'm not sure how much of a "reward" Craig actually
thought it ended up being.

And, of course, it was all repeated again when Dave Hajek came up.  Except
that time, Head Moron Dave Magadan decided to open his big mouth and make it
even worse.

|> I recall a claim here that McMurtry was not the
|> best-qualified prospect out of the minors Houston could've chosen to fill
|> their roster hole at the time.

It was between McMurtry and Donne Wall.  The Astros needed a long relief man.
Wall was pitching (starting) pretty well in Tucson and the Astros apparently
wanted him to keep starting so that he could come up later and move into the
rotation.  Wall would have been politically the better player.  And since we
now know that McMurtry pitched like doo-doo, it was a waste to bring *him* up
at all.

|> BTW, all of this cheering and support from Astros fans impelled Craig to a
|> 7.84 ERA in 10.1 innings (11 appearances), 9 BB, 4 SO. Logically, the fans
|> should have cheered the regular Astros for not wanting to put up with a turd
|> (ethically and athletically) on their club!

But it speaks volumes about the fans' attitude, does it not?  They hate the
MLBPA players.  They hate Drayton McLame.  McMurtry was the only thing at the
Astrodome they could cheer for.

|> Greg
|>

SRS

 
 
 

Houston losing money

Post by Scott R. Sus » Fri, 03 Nov 1995 04:00:00

The Greater Houston Partnership (the organization that was trying to rally
Houston to commit to buy more Astros' season tickets) announced yesterday
afternoon that it had failed miserably in its attempt.

Its personnel personally contacted 270 medium to large sized corporations in
the Houston metro area to ask if they would be interested in buying Astros'
season tickets.

Only 12% said yes.

Another 18% said they *might* be interested in mini-season ticket plans.

70% said no.  *** 70% *** !!!

That translated to a net gain of about 5000 aadditional season tickets,
according to the GHP -- added to the approximately 9000 McLame says he
already has, that falls woefully short of the 25,000 McLame said he needed.
(Not that I believe for a minute that he already has 9000 -- its looks more
like about 5000 to me, after many people and companies dumped their season
tickets after the '94 strike).

Now, I knew MLB had its problems -- and especially in Houston -- but *this*
is downright amazing.

SRS

 
 
 

Houston losing money

Post by Jeff Hildebra » Fri, 03 Nov 1995 04:00:00



Quote:
>they're in, to *then* learn how to run a franchise successfully.  The anti-
>trust exemption is the greatest culprit, followed closely by the fact that
>almost every MLB team salle/purchase is to somebody who views his/her MLB
>ownership purely as a status symbol and his/her participation as a hobby.

        Ok, so given this, what possible reason is there for the players
to agree to a salary cap or some other form of salary restrictions? I
don't see how the addition of such a system would change either of these
problems. In fact, it would give a greater cushion to the owners who come
in with absolutely no idea of what to do, so it would, if anything, make
matters worse. If the problem is incompetent owners, you want them
out of there as fast as possible.

-Jeff
--

My friends and I have had a hard time
bruising our brains, hard up against change
                        -Indigo Girls, The Wood Song

 
 
 

Houston losing money

Post by Wenthold Paul » Fri, 03 Nov 1995 04:00:00



Quote:
>The Greater Houston Partnership (the organization that was trying to rally
>Houston to commit to buy more Astros' season tickets) announced yesterday
>afternoon that it had failed miserably in its attempt.

>Its personnel personally contacted 270 medium to large sized corporations in
>the Houston metro area to ask if they would be interested in buying Astros'
>season tickets.

>Only 12% said yes.

>Another 18% said they *might* be interested in mini-season ticket plans.

>70% said no.  *** 70% *** !!!

>That translated to a net gain of about 5000 aadditional season tickets,
>according to the GHP -- added to the approximately 9000 McLame says he
>already has, that falls woefully short of the 25,000 McLame said he needed.
>(Not that I believe for a minute that he already has 9000 -- its looks more
>like about 5000 to me, after many people and companies dumped their season
>tickets after the '94 strike).

>Now, I knew MLB had its problems -- and especially in Houston -- but *this*
>is downright amazing.

I don't know why you consider this to be a MLB problem, Scott.
I'd call it a Houston problem.  If they moved to Wash DC and
then tried and failed, I'd see it as more of a problem.  But
it looks to me that corporations in Houston don't want to
support the Astros.  No more.  No less.

If that's not good enough for McLane, leave.  Go somewhere
where your wanted.  And then don't have the people of Houston
whine because the Astros left.

paul

--
*  Dr. Paul G. Wenthold             Officially pronounced a     *
*  JILA Research Assoc.           "Philistine of Huckleberrian  *
*  Univ. of Colorado at Boulder              Dimension"         *
*  (303) 492-7768                      by Roger Maynard         *

 
 
 

Houston losing money

Post by Scott R. Sus » Fri, 03 Nov 1995 04:00:00



|>
|> >they're in, to *then* learn how to run a franchise successfully.  The anti-
|> >trust exemption is the greatest culprit, followed closely by the fact that
|> >almost every MLB team salle/purchase is to somebody who views his/her MLB
|> >ownership purely as a status symbol and his/her participation as a hobby.
|>
|>   Ok, so given this, what possible reason is there for the players
|> to agree to a salary cap or some other form of salary restrictions?

Because 90% of everything is better than 100% of nothing.  Note:  This is
*not* an endor***t of a salary cap, only a reason why the players might
want to accept one (like the NBA players did), with or without the owners
ever actually opening their books.

|> I
|> don't see how the addition of such a system would change either of these
|> problems. In fact, it would give a greater cushion to the owners who come
|> in with absolutely no idea of what to do, so it would, if anything, make
|> matters worse.

Possibly, yes.

|> If the problem is incompetent owners, you want them
|> out of there as fast as possible.

To be replaced by whom?  New incompetent owners?  Hello?  McFly?

|> -Jeff
|> --

SRS

 
 
 

Houston losing money

Post by Scott R. Sus » Fri, 03 Nov 1995 04:00:00






|> |> |>
|> |> |> >they're in, to *then* learn how to run a franchise successfully.  The anti-
|> |> |> >trust exemption is the greatest culprit, followed closely by the fact that
|> |> |> >almost every MLB team salle/purchase is to somebody who views his/her MLB
|> |> |> >ownership purely as a status symbol and his/her participation as a hobby.
|> |> |>
|> |> |>       Ok, so given this, what possible reason is there for the players
|> |> |> to agree to a salary cap or some other form of salary restrictions?
|> |>
|> |> Because 90% of everything is better than 100% of nothing.  
|>
|> Sorry, but this doesn't fly.  "Once you pay Danegeld, you can never get
|> rid of the Danes".  There was NO reason for the players to give into the
|> owners demands, so the players didn't.  There was every reason for the
|> players to strike, as without a strike, the NLRB doesn't get involved,
|> and no court action happens.  Without a strike, there is no 1995 season.

We'll never really know, but I kinda doubt the owners would have sacrificed
an entire season.

|> |> Note:  This is
|> |> *not* an endor***t of a salary cap, only a reason why the players might
|> |> want to accept one (like the NBA players did), with or without the owners
|> |> ever actually opening their books.
|> |>
|>
|> True, but if the owners can't even be trusted to report revenues to their
|> minority partners, how can they be trusted to report revenues to the rest
|> of the league for the formation of salary caps.

Who said that a salary cap *had* to be tied to revenues?  As I've said before,
the best salary cap possible from the players' perspective would be one that
is negotiated *independently* as part of the CBA.  There is *no* need to trust
anybody with this type of cap.

|>  Plus, caps restrict
|> player movement and destroy the ability of teams to keep their players.

That would depend entirely on the peripheral rules surround the cap (i.e.
hard or soft and any number of variations in between).

|> (Which means that Selig realy doesn't want one.)

Yeh right.

|> |> |> If the problem is incompetent owners, you want them
|> |> |> out of there as fast as possible.
|> |>
|> |> To be replaced by whom?  New incompetent owners?  Hello?  McFly?
|> |>  
|>
|> How about this:  allow public ownership or municipal ownership.  The City
|> of Green Bay seems to be ok as an owner of the Packers, and I can think
|> of tons of people who would give their left nut to buy stock in a major
|> league team if it didn't cost $100,000.

I'd sure like to see it tried in MLB.  Of course, the other owners would
never stand for it -- the publicly owned team might actually be good on the
field *and* turn a profit.

|>  Plus the stupidity of a CEO
|> could be ousted at a board of directors  meeting.  (but at that it should
|> stop, I could see it now:  "I think that I should be the CEO of this team
|> since I'd hire Lou Gorman to be GM" - prospective CEO  "NEXT!!" - Board.

I wonder exactly how the Packers do this.

|> --
|> Ira

SRS

 
 
 

Houston losing money

Post by Ira K Bl » Sat, 04 Nov 1995 04:00:00



|> |> Sorry, but this doesn't fly.  "Once you pay Danegeld, you can never get
|> |> rid of the Danes".  There was NO reason for the players to give into the
|> |> owners demands, so the players didn't.  There was every reason for the
|> |> players to strike, as without a strike, the NLRB doesn't get involved,
|> |> and no court action happens.  Without a strike, there is no 1995 season.
|>
|> We'll never really know, but I kinda doubt the owners would have sacrificed
|> an entire season.
|>  

I have a feeling that the hard liners were quite willing to do this.

|> |> |> Note:  This is
|> |> |> *not* an endor***t of a salary cap, only a reason why the players might
|> |> |> want to accept one (like the NBA players did), with or without the owners
|> |> |> ever actually opening their books.
|> |> |>
|> |>
|> |> True, but if the owners can't even be trusted to report revenues to their
|> |> minority partners, how can they be trusted to report revenues to the rest
|> |> of the league for the formation of salary caps.
|>
|> Who said that a salary cap *had* to be tied to revenues?  

The owners did.  

|> As I've said before,
|> the best salary cap possible from the players' perspective would be one that
|> is negotiated *independently* as part of the CBA.  There is *no* need
|> to trust anybody with this type of cap.

Unfortunately this is almost as bad, since unless the total amount of
revenue can be predicted over the course of the CBA one side or the other
(undoubtably the players as there was no floor for the cap) would get
screwed if the revenue stream changed considerably.  Or, if the amount of
the cap was changed yearly, then there would have to be protracted
negotiations every year.  The only thing I can see would be a cap of 50%
of the National TV revenue must be spent on player salary and from there
on, teams can do what they want with the rest.  Or a cap of 50% of all TV
revenues must be spent on player salary (with appropriate values for the
Cubs and Braves included) with the rest free.  This allows for only
verifiable caps.  But these caps aren't truly such, since a team can
still spend itself till its broke from other revenue streams, but it is
verifiable and does solve the problems addressed.

|>
|> |>  Plus, caps restrict
|> |> player movement and destroy the ability of teams to keep their players.
|>
|> That would depend entirely on the peripheral rules surround the cap (i.e.
|> hard or soft and any number of variations in between).
|>  

Soft caps still destroy the ability of teams to keep their players as
rookies have to be signed.

|> |> (Which means that Selig realy doesn't want one.)
|>
|> Yeh right.

Actually, I think Bud would live with revenue sharing with no cap as long
as he can be sure that he wouldn't have to share any of HIS revenue.  The
guys a leech.  Plus, can you see the Brewers payroll approaching the cap
level?

|> |>  Plus the stupidity of a CEO
|> |> could be ousted at a board of directors  meeting.  (but at that it should
|> |> stop, I could see it now:  "I think that I should be the CEO of this team
|> |> since I'd hire Lou Gorman to be GM" - prospective CEO  "NEXT!!" - Board.
|>
|> I wonder exactly how the Packers do this.

I don't know.

--
Ira

Go Rangers and Phillies (and Cowboys and Mavericks and Speed Racer Go!)
Benji Gil for AL Rookie of the Year!!!
"You might be a Redneck if"
- Jeff Foxworthy
Please direct all flames to /dev/null

 
 
 

Houston losing money

Post by David Niepore » Sat, 04 Nov 1995 04:00:00


Quote:



>> more than nicely...
>> I wonder if McLane can push a suit for damages against the owners'
>> committee that wrecked his income stream to pull an illegal negotiating
>> tactic?
>Would be a waste of time with the antitrust exemption that the Supreme
>Court has repeatedly said can be lifted only by Congress.  Also, McLane
>was one of those hardliners wanting to bust the union.  (Too bad they
>didn't succeed, but that is a different discussion)

Yeah, it would be so much better if the players would just play for
whatever their owners decided to give them, and shut up about things like
market value.

Quote:
>> 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.
>McLane is liked by most Houston fans, and he is by far the best owner ANY
>pro team in Houston has ever had.  The most telling thing is that when Bud
>"***Head" Adams tries to hold Houston hostage with his football team,
>everybody is rushing to help him pack his bags for Nashville.  When McLane
>says he's loosing his shirt, the city is rallying to sell more season
>tickets than ever, and County Judge Bob Eckels is floating the idea of a
>new stadium (we will hear from Mayor Bob Lanier support this after he is
>reelected as mayor next week).

Perhaps had they rallied during the season to go to games, that would
have helped McLane more.

Quote:
>> From the baseball side of things, though, I'm guessing that trading
>> three-quarters of the team to the Padres was considered a mistake?  
>Loosing Caminiti was a shame because the Astros suffered at 3d base, but
>the Astros gained Bell who put up offensive numbers that Caminiti could
>only dream of.

Only one person dreaming around here -- the one who slept through
Caminiti's last two seasons, where he put up better numbers than Bell did
this year, while supplying some actual defensive value.  Hint: it's you.

(Bell, 1995: 334/385/442.  
Caminiti 95: 302/380/513.  
Caminiti 94: 283/352/495  Okay, this one was a wash.)

Quote:
>> As was trading a healthy catcher for a banged-up one?  As was letting Terry
>> "I can lose a one-run game more ways than you can imagine" Collins
>> manage another year?
>Don't blame that on Collins.  Those close games were lost by an overworked
>bullpen that had to make up for very inconsistent starting
>pitching--especially from Drabek, Swindell, and Kyle.

Perhaps if they called up relievers based on merit rather than on scab
credentials the bullpen would have been better.

Quote:
>> When you look at things from that perspective, was
>> McLane pushed, or did he jump?
>> Does this all boil down to Drayton McLane losing his shirt in a business
>> because he has no idea how to run that business?
>I don't think so.  He has good people such as Tal Smith running the
>baseball side of the business.

This is a troll, right?

What's Tal Smith good at, precisely?
--
David M. Nieporent         "We don't want 'rational' decisions made in

Deer Creek/Plainsboro, NJ     We have our own." -- RLM in r.s.b, 10/27/95
DAVEY JOHNSON & ORIOLES 1996!!!!!!!!