I want to address Richard Justice's story from November 13th titled "Astros cutting payroll, so how do they get better? It's up to you."
"Good seats are still available, and I'm urging you to buy. Don't forget T-shirts, jerseys and those great Milo bobble heads. Please, friend. Do the right thing. Don't abandon our baseball team in its time of need."
Good seats are still available because no one cares about this team because the organization doesn’t care enough about the fans to put a legitimate product on the field. Drayton McLane rarely gave Biggio and Bagwell any help so why should anyone think Berkman, Lee and Oswalt are going to be given anything to help them win. This organization has done nothing to make people want to buy their merchandise or go to the big juice box where you can watch your home team get ripped and you can sell your soul for a hotdog and a coke (keeping it kid friendly as possible). If you have a team who has a real shot at the playoffs each year people are more willing to pay a little more. The kids are excited to get a Astros jersey to wear to school. People want to go see a champion and they will pay to do so. HECK!! You sold out the Yankees and Boston series even after raising ticket prices just for those games. Why?? Because we expected to see the Astros win?? NO!!! We wanted to see two REAL organizations who are committed to winning.
"This was one of the best run teams in baseball for about a decade."
This was a very good organization when Gerry Hunsicker was the GM. I can’t say anything about Ed Wade other than up to this point he’s done a good job. Bringing in Bourn may be a stroke of genius that few of us thought was a good thing last year. But when Gerry had the reigns of this team it was consistently a playoff contender and had one of the best minor league systems in baseball. Tim Pupura steps in and kills the entire organization. Now what? You hand Ed Wade a shovel, bag of fertilizer and no seeds and ask him to grow something beautiful. It just doesn’t work that way.
"Now times are tough, and what do you do? You give up. You stay home and pout. Is that the spirit of America?"
No Richard it isn’t. The Astros fans spirit has been ripped out. We just can’t stand another losing year with an organization that isn’t even trying and an owner who is not committed to winning. I’m not sure if he’s committed to anything other than himself and his dang grocery trucks.
"Was it over when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor?"
I hope you were trying to be funny here. I personally find no humor in what this owner is doing to my favorite sports team.
"Drayton McLane needs to know that you still care, and the only way he's really going to know is if you put your money where your blog posts are. Buy early. Buy often."
If there was only something worth buying we might buy. Let’s see do we care?? 3+ million through the gate in 2006 and 2007, 2.7 million through in 2008 and it appears around 2.4 million through the gate in 2009….DO WE CARE?!?!?! How dare you ask that after we have supported this worthless franchise knowing we have ZERO chance at the playoffs for the last three years?!?! You’re dang right we care and that’s why we post what we do. If we didn’t care no one would say anything. Do you really think that the Florida Marlins have people up in arms over their franchise? They sure don’t show it. We have more fans at batting practice…..no…Kissimmee than they do all year long. YOU BET WE CARE!!
Last piece: "If you buy enough, Drayton might be prompted to go get some pitching and some home runs. Go ahead and roll your eyes. I believe in hope and change, but it starts with you."
It does start with the fans. We have supported this team. But if you think Drayton will spend if we spend your fooling yourself. If we come out in droves…… if we empty shelves of jerseys and caps…… If we bring huge groups and buy out all the hot dogs, sodas and beer Minute Maid has…….he will think, "They love me, they love the team as is and they’re making me money. Why should I change anything?" HE DOESN’T GET IT………WE WANT A WINNER…….If we show interest in the current product he’ll think everything is just fine.
In closing; Drayton is obviously a good business man. He wouldn’t be a billionaire if he wasn’t. But his business isn’t baseball. He’s a grocery man. If his customers keep buying his groceries he doesn’t have to change. If they don’t; he makes adjustments. Apparently we have not done enough to show that we don’t want his "milk". It’s sour. I don’t want Drayton to spend like Steinbrenner; but to spend 120-130million is not unreasonable in baseball today. Adding a pitcher and a REAL third baseman to help this team contend again isn’t asking too much. And it probably won’t get him to the previously mentioned amounts if Ed Wade is smart about it and I believe he is. Some have endured 45 years of baseball with only one sniff at a championship. I have only been a fan for 30 of those 45. But I believe the fans here deserve better than what we’re getting.