Astros Prexy Ryan Addresses Houston SABR

REID RYAN President, Houston Astros August 24, 2013

REID RYAN
President, Houston Astros
August 24, 2013

Pull out all the stops in nailing down who Astros President Reid  Ryan really is: Son of Nolan, Alvin Guy, One of Us, Fellow Who Walked Out on UT, TCU Pitching Ace, Former Minor Leaguer, Founder of the Round Rock Express, Strong Character, Family Guy, fairly new President of the Houston Astros, and genuinely nice and articulate human being. – All of these and many more like them apply, but we need to stop here with the identity attributions and get to what we recall of what he said yesterday when he addressed and took questions from the membership of the Houston Larry Dierker Chapter of SABR, the Society of American Baseball Research, in the Union Station Conference Room at Minute Maid Park. The meeting took place at 4:00 PM on Saturday, August 24, 2013 prior to the 6:00 PM game between the visiting Toronto Blue Jays and our home Houston Astros.

(PLEASE NOTE: All quotes below are paraphrased. My literal memory is not that good.)

On The Early Years: “I grew up in a baseball family in Alvin, Texas. Everything that happened to me came with a touch of baseball and it was all good. From early on, I wanted to be a baseball man too when I grew up.”

His Father’s Advice: “If you have the talent for it, getting to the big leagues is not the hard part. – The hard part is having the strength of character that will allow you to stay there.”

His Own Experience: “As a minor leaguer, the hard part for me was simply trying to find a way to move up to the next level. By age 24, I had found my player mountaintop and it was Class A+ Visalia. I was out of the game and looking for a new start.”

The Round Rock Express: “Fortunately, I had finished my degree by the time my playing career ended, I also had the best advisor in the world available to me in my dad and all his contacts. Since I wanted to own a baseball club, I was able to put that all together for the sake of establishing the Round Rock Express, where I have served as part owner and CEO since the turn of the century.”

The Houston Astros: “When Jim Crane offered me the job as Astros President last spring, I couldn’t wait to say yes. I saw it both as an exciting challenge and a comforting invitation to go home to Houston. I believe in Jeff Luhnow and what this organization is planning to do.

The Comcast TV Standoff: “We (The Astros) are doing all we can to press for resolution, asap. The problem is on the power sides in this argument. The Astros and Rockets are the guys with the plastic spoons. – Comcast is the giant with the nuclear cannon. – And, unfortunately, we, the Astros, need that lost TV money to be ready for the day we have to pay to keep the talent we are raising now.”

(Unfortunately, we found no way around or through this problem in our brief touch upon it at the SABR meeting. As “The Pecan Park Eagle” pointed out to Ryan, his analogy suggests that we are not engaged here in a money war, but a “siege” in which the ultimate winner is already known to be Comcast. All they have to do is wait out the Astros and Rockets to claim victory – and if that happens – will the Astros be left short of the funds to sign the “keepers” now under development? No answer was forthcoming. And it really could not have been expected in this situation, even if the facts dance fairly close to the truth.)

The 2014 SABR National Convention in Houston: “Yes, I want to be involved.”

Future of the Astrodome: Ryan’s many words boil down to these. ~ The Astros will have no organizational response on the issue of restoration versus demolition. Reid Ryan personally thinks the cost of restoration for an asbestos-loaded facility like the Astrodome is both impractical and not viable. If it is preserved at all, Ryan likes the “save the stadium structural beams as a memorial for a park area”.

An Astros History Museum at Minute Maid Park: Ryan says that idea is under active consideration for either MMP or some nearby property that would be appropriate to this purpose. We’ve heard this kind of talk from the old Astros for years. Again, we will have to wait to see if there’s anything new to an old politically acceptable answer on the museum question.

The Game Itself, Astros 8 – Blue Jays 5: At the game, Astros catcher Jason Castro went crazy with the bat, banging out 2 home runs and a double as the Astros took the Blue Jays, 8-5, for their second win in a row and a wrap on the series victory.

One Burning Question Remains: From our seats in right center field, we came close to being the “incoming” sites for both of Jason Castro’s homers – and we also had the chance to study the contrasting uniform-wearing styles of the two starting right fielders.

Please respond with a comment vote!

Regardless of which team, if either, that you support, which player appears to be more in uniform for baseball as he wears his uniform pants? Or does the idea of “uniform” even matter to you?

Here they are:

RAJAI JAMES, RF Toronto Blue Jays August 24, 2013

RAJAI DAVIS, RF
Toronto Blue Jays
August 24, 2013

L.J. HOES, RF Houston Astros August 24, 2013

L.J. HOES, RF
Houston Astros
August 24, 2013

Have a peaceful Sunday, everybody. ~ And please comment on Reid Ryan and/or the uniform question.

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7 Responses to “Astros Prexy Ryan Addresses Houston SABR”

  1. Michael McCroskey Says:

    Bill,

    Sounds like you witnessed a career night for Jason Castro. I like the socks exposed as Toronto’s Davis is sporting. Hunter Pence wears his the same way. He says as a tribute to the tradition of the game.

    I’m also curious to see if any progress will be made towards fielding an All Rookie AL starting lineup up September 27th against the New York Yankees to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the September 27, 1963 all-rookie NL Houston lineup against the New York Mets.

  2. Wayne Williams Says:

    Hoes’ uniform pants looks like he is wearing babies’ pajamas with footies. Josh Outman of the Rockies wears the only true uniform in either league.

  3. Tom Trimble Says:

    I noticed that all the Astros had the same look that Hoes sported. I suppose it’s a fashion thing you might find with a bunch of early-20s guys, but as someone about half a century older I favor the look of Davis, although I didn’t pay much attention to how the rest of the Blue Jays were stylin’.
    A good thing about Hoes’s uniform, though, is that the name seems to make it to the photo caption, whereas Davis’s didn’t. And is Joel any relation to Jason? I empathize. Names: I know ’em, I just can’t remember ’em!

    Did anyone pay attention to the time that Anthony Gose was on first where Brett Wallace was manning the store? I thought they might have something to say since they were traded for each other, but I couldn’t pick up on anything. Of course, if anything needed saying they probably already said it during Friday’s game.

  4. Bob Hulsey Says:

    Aesthetically, I like the tall socks exposed but what Hoes and many others believe is that the top of the socks serve as the “knees” for the umpires strike zone and if they wear the pants down to the shoes, the umpire does not have that crutch for calling the low strike and will give the pitchers fewer strike calls at the knees.

    So there’s strategy involved as well as fashion.

    As to CSN-Houston, I don’t think Ryan is being entirely honest. The Rockets are hostages to Comcast and the Astros but the Astros have over 40% ownership and can get a deal done if the Rockets approve. – and I can’t imagine a scenario where the Rockets want to hold out for a better rights deal. Unlike the Astros, they already have stars to pay.

  5. Mark W. Says:

    Hoes appears to be wearing pajama bottoms. Davis appears to be wearing baseball pants and socks. IMO.

  6. Wayne Roberts Says:

    They’re both classless. But who cares? There’s no tradition in Houston or MLB anymore. A pox on all their houses.

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