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Jim Crane = Aloof, Unapologetic, Insensitve Step-Dad Figure

January 17, 2012

Some may stumble upon this website as the result of the prompting of a friend or family member, and wonder, “What’s motivating Astros fans (and now, ex-Astros fans) to feel so offended?”

Perhaps this analogy can help convey the feeling in a way that many can empathize with…

Once upon a time…

My mom was forced into marrying a guy who turned the family’s world upside down. He moved the family to a different area of the world, without any clear sense that he gave us or my mom any input into the decision. And it was particularly suspicious since it’s known that he’s profited, not just millions, but tens of millions by doing so. To say he had no choice in the move makes one wonder why the authority paying him to move rewarded him so handsomely without actually having any incentive to give him one red cent.

Since that happened, not only has his extremely brief explanation left gaping holes that made no sense (such as the one just posited), but he’s palpably tried to suppress anything further being said, under the pretense that he only wants to be forward-looking and as-if we all ought to just embrace him anyway.

Heck, we’re not even sure he’s in love with our mom… all that we’ve ever known is that he’d had a lifelong love of our mom’s biggest rival, but she never was available. He proposed to two others, but was rejected. Our mom turned out to be his easiest target. On the wedding day, and since then, he has only spoken of her in the very cold terms that affirm this was/is a business relationship, not a romantic one.

I’ve visited this new area of the world where he’s taking the family, and I’ve been repulsed by the quality of life there. And I am old enough that I recognize that I have a choice in the matter, and to refuse to go with him and support him.

Some of my sibs are staying in the household regardless. They feel like they have no choice. They love their mom, even though she’ll always necessarily be his to do with as he chooses, and they’re left to accept it. I understand that love, and so, it’s been easy to give up quickly in reasoning with them about the whole situation. Emotions run very deep, and no one’s going to be persuaded otherwise when their emotions demand a predetermined conclusion.

More galling, though, is that by sticking around, they’re actively financially supporting the household, giving him a pass, and as a result, only helping the step-dad add to his wealth while exponentially reinforcing the disrespectful mentality that he entered the marriage with–that they’re all pushovers, not only willing to overlook any offense, but who will even admonish other siblings who would dare call the new step-dad into question; and moreover, that the family’s memories and history in our former residence is inferior, and to be readily brushed off as inconsequential.

It’s frustrating to watch. And justice takes a blow to the crotch to the degree that we just ignore the step-dad’s offenses against the family.

….Returning to the real world, of course, context demands that we recognize that this isn’t a family.

No. It’s entertainment. It’s a consumer choice. Free enterprise. In the same way that it was a business decision that Crane made to allow this to happen, it is a business decision for me to make to respond as I see fit. Bearing that in mind, the fact that any of us choose to not align ourselves any longer with the Crane form of entertainment, does not have anything to do with the degree to which any of us is a loyal person.

As an informed consumer, I’m not okay with Crane’s decision. I’m perturbed that the entertainment product I’ve enjoyed for 40+ years is getting altered… and moreover, it is repugnant that he and his ownership group actually profited from allowing that alteration to happen.

So, not only am I, in effect, choosing to drink Pepsi, but I’m doing my best to make sure that New Coke ends up showing itself as a huge, colossal, badly-conceived blunder on his part. Again, Astros baseball has been a part of almost every summer of my life. So, responding in this punitive way is not just justifiable. It is the right thing to do. (And, to be honest, the converse is true as well, but none of us can control anyone’s judgment and resultant behaviors but their own.)

Someone may ask, “But aren’t you actually just holding a grudge?” I would choose to call it, instead, an “appropriate response.” However, if a “grudge,” please recognize that it is different from most grudges in two ways:

First, it is an honorable, righteous grudge. Karma smiles on this because in our own grassroots way, as a group, we are taking an active role in attempting some degree of re-balancing the ledger… of compensating for his $70 million windfall… of justice.

And second, it is different because it is a non-controlling grudge. Most grudges have a dark, imposing, all-consuming aspect on individuals’ lives. They can barely function. In this case, there is none of that. Alliance with this endeavor is not a burden. We are merely intending to make a few different consumer choices than we might otherwise.

So, perhaps this helps outsiders to see the larger picture. Hope so. And hope you won’t be an outsider any longer, but that you’ll be part of this effort.

See you here on the weekend of Saturday, April 7, to view the first ever Crane-cott list.

4 Comments leave one →
  1. Becky:) permalink
    January 21, 2012 3:42 pm

    Crane will see the team on about 6-8yrs. And…….WHO KNOWS what the NEXT owner will do. Crane tires easy of unchallenging companies, and the Astros will be so irrelevant by that time, he won’t see much use in keeping the team competitive…..JUST like Drayton did. *THAT’S* what burns me up! Keep up the good work.

  2. Becky:) permalink
    January 21, 2012 3:43 pm

    I meant “sell” no see!!!

  3. Gerald Meadows permalink
    January 21, 2012 10:44 pm

    The damage has been done and the only response left for traditional fans is a grudge. If the grudge doesn’t hurt Crane’s bottom line though, he could care less. I don’t like American League baseball and I won’t stay up all night to watch all of the West Coast games, because I work for a living and being a baseball fan costs me money. I won’t let it cut my productivity or my bank account in order to improve Crane’s bottom line. So goodbye Astros, I’ve been a fan since before there were Astros, but no more.

  4. February 9, 2012 7:14 pm

    It’s been months now since the move was announced, but every time I think about it I sink into a state of depression. I just can’t express my heartbreak in any rational way. The team I loved from early childhood has been irrevocably changed, and not for the better. Where are my games against the Cubs, Cards, Braves, and hated Dodgers? Where is Nolan Ryan trotting around the bases in his blue warm-up jacket after popping a homer in Riverfront Stadium? Where is the league that my team called home for half a century?

    Above all else, the move to the AL and the name change fiasco feels disrespectful to me as a fan who has supported this team for his entire life. What next, is Crane going to suggest that we change the name of the city in which the Astros play? Perhaps he will end up just changing the city in which the Astros play. In either case, the Astros are dead to me now.

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