As the Astros left for Atlanta on Sunday, one common theme seemed to rise from the questions players were asked in the clubhouse. Has the sale of the team been a distraction?
If the report on Chron.com Sunday night was any indication that change was coming. That is that the sale of the Astros from Drayton McLane to Houston Businessman Jim Crane’s group could be announced later today. It was about six months ago that McLane announced that the team was for sale. A source with knowledge of the situation informed Zachary Levine of the Chronicle about the news.
Players like Michael Bourn have great memories of what Drayton has meant to this franchise over his years of ownership. “He’s did a lot of things business wise, team wise, and gave a lot of us the opportunity to play,” Bourn said. Now he’s passing it on to the new man (Crane), wish him the best of success, so we’ll find out what happens once we get back here.”
Bourn has been with the Astros since being traded from Philadelphia in the fall of 2007.
Hunter Pence has been with the Astros since his rookie season in 2007 and that includes a trip to the All-Star Game in 2009. “You know he gave me a wonderful opportunity to play the game,” Pence said. “He comes everyday with positive energy and gives us everything he has. I thought he did a great job and I’m very grateful to play for the Houston Astros.”
Very few people know what it is like for Houston Astros baseball to not involve Drayton McLane as its owner. In fact, he’s been in charge of the franchise since 1993. In that time, he saw a drought of non-playoff seasons come to an end in 1997 when the franchise won its first of three straight National League Central Division titles. Before that, the Astros had won Western Division titles in 1980 and 1986. The city also saw the opening of the club’s current home, Minute Maid Park in 2000, when it was called Enron Field.
An All-Star Game came to the city in 2004. As well as the franchise’s proudest moments, with trips to the National League Championship Series in 2004 and 2005. The Astros finally kicked in the door in 2005 and made it to the World Series, to eventually be swept by the Chicago White Sox.
During his time in Houston, fans got to see players like Jeff Bagwell, Craig Biggio, Roger Clemens, Andy Pettitte, Billy Wagner, Roy Oswalt, Lance Berkman, and others put on the Astros uniform.
Drayton McLane has seen a lot in Houston over the years and now Astros fans wait to see what’s next in store for the franchise with Jim Crane’s group. Stay tuned to SportsRadio610, as information continues to come forth about this story.