ASTROS OWNER PITCHING ‘CAMP STRIKE’ Houston Astros owner Jim Crane this week confirmed rumors that the team is interested in building a facility for a new Astros Triple-A team 41 miles up I-45 from Minute Maid Park — on the grounds of Camp Strake in Conroe. Johnson Development is expected to complete its purchase of the 2,083-acre former Boy Scout campground by the end of this year. Crane tells Fox 26’s Mark Berman he’s had initial conversations with the new owners about securing a portion of the property, but will wait until after the closing to complete his own deal. Crane will likely go shopping for a new Triple-A team to move to the area once a facility is built. [MyFoxHouston; previously on Swamplot] Photo of PuffUp Webelos Camp at Camp Strake: Adolfo Chavez III
No need to shop for a AAA team to play up at Camp Strake. Crane’s already got one playing in downtown Houston he can use.
What a throwback experience – Strake has mosquitos just as large as we had back at Colt Stadium.
That wooden “pirate ship” brings back memories from childhood. However, there was always water underneath it back then.
This guy has a nerve, he guts the Astros, has a 14!! Million dollar payroll, allows them to become a MLB joke, allows a payoff to move Out of the National League even though die hard Astro fans were completely against it, now he wants to build this, I’m sure at a huge profit to him. He’s the worst kind of owner, he’s cheap. Drayton fell in love with players past their prime and allowed the farm system to become horrid, but he cared about the fans and wasn’t cheap. I’m sure as soon as the Astro farm players demand big bucks he’ll trade them for future picks. He plays Billy Beane baseball with a top market club! I was an Astro fan as a kid, but I wouldn’t spend a dime to put money in this misers pocket.
This is an awesome idea. Dallas/Fort Worth has three minor league baseball teams; Houston only has a semi-legit one with the Sugar Land Skeeters. Minor league baseball is a great experience, and that part of the metro area is an excellent location for it.
I wish he would spend whatever this is going to cost on the Astros payroll.
Patience people. In about 3 years the Astros will be contending again. Farm system is stock with future stars. Its called rebuilding. Yes Crane comes off as being cold and cheap, but he inherited the depleted farm system from Drayton.
@Shannon You do realize Billy Beane is a GM and not an owner right? Kind of a ridiculous comparison if you ask me.
I don’t understand why he would want to compete with his own team. Why drive from the Conroe/ Woodlands to watch the Astros when I can do it cheaper and watch a real AAA team in my backyard.
What im saying is Crane is running the Astros(and make no doubt he’s the real GM)like Billy Beane runs poor small market broke Oakland while the A’s play in a complete dump. The Astros are in a top market, a wealthy market and thet have a 14!!!!!!!! Million Dollar payroll, that’s an insult. He could have made them at least not the laughing stock of the league. Is that really too much to ask! The more I read about how Crane made his money and how he ran his companies I knew we where screwed –15 game loss to end the season, over 110 loses–the Astros are a disgrace, a double A team masquerading as a major league team. A complete embarrassment.
*and Drayton was the defacto GM when he owned the Astros, that’s why he clashed with his best GM.
*oh and Crane made an obscene amount of money on the Astros because of this payroll that would have never been allowed in the NFL or NBA. There is like a 140 million dollar difference between the Astros an the top payroll, so Crane pockets all that saved money and still collects all those suite revenues and still gets all the money from Fox, it really is a disgrace. You can’t tell me he couldn’t have spent another 50 million and at least not have them be a joke of Major League Baseball, get real, he doesn’t give a shit about the average Astro fan, if he did he’d have never have let them get THIS pathetic, then have the nerve to charge MLB prices for what I could see in Round Rock
If rather John McMullin he at least kissed you before f***** you
Shannon, I take back anything bitchy I may have said in the past and agree with you 100%. Patience and rebuilding my ass. I’m almost as old as the muthafakking franchise and am tired of waiting.
He’s looking to move his minor league team out of Minute Maid Park?
Shannon and Crunch, remember to stay off the bandwagon once they start winning again …. what Crane is doing is necessary but unpopular, restocking a depleted farm system so they will able to compete for years to come instead of buying expensive, older free agents for a short term fix (ex. Carlos Lee, Miguel Tejada) …. Everything will be fine again in a few years …..
Hmmm, if only we had a baseball stadium that was already built, and desperately looking for a new use, these guys could move in at a fraction of the price of new facilities. Too bad we don’t have anything like that around here…ehem…
The low payroll doesn’t bother me quite as much as the fact this guy can’t get his team on a big chunk of the local television market. I don’t know what leverage he thinks he has in negotiations. Cable providers ought to get a discount for showing the Astros.
Give me a break, Crane has used the “excuse” of rebuilding to have a 14 million dollar payroll, 111 loses, and no name players. Sports Illuattated had an scathing article on how Crane screwed Astro fans, I’m hardly alive in this feeling. This guy squeezed every dime out of the Astroes this year, it’s a disgrace. I’d be ashamed to charge MLB prices for a team that couldn’t beat the San Antonio Missions! I can assure you I won’t be jumping on any bandwagon, I’ve been an Astro fan since I was a kid, I remember being on my fathers knee watching Nolan Ryan, but I can’t stand watching Crane use the Astro’s like a Corporate Raider, taking every penny and giving nothing back. A 14 million dollar payroll for a MLB team in a top market is simply robbing the fans, period! Even John McMullin had more shame!
This is one very clever deal! No way will he need all 2,083 acres (probably with mineral rights as well) for his ball camp. There just isn’t a lot of large lot prime property left along I45N till you get up the other side of Conroe so he will likely sell off the bulk of the property at a profit to a developer with eyes on making the newest mini version of The Woodlands.
While I would dearly love a AAA team in Houston, I’m not sure I would brave the hell that is I-45 traffic to see them. Sure, baseball fans in The Woodlands, Montgomery County and points north would finally have a team close to them, but fans from Houston proper, Fort Bend or Brazoria counties may decide that the 35+ mile trek is too much.
My take is that Crane can’t afford a big payroll because he needs the cash flow to pay his debt holders.
In most cities in the USA and in the world, at least some ( if not all ) of this land would be set aside as a badly needed park / reserve / public recreation area. But this is Houston.
Crane is doing a great job with the Astros. I like his approach. 3 number one picks in the draft and getting the number ones to sign for under the recommended amount. Strong moves that will lead to a strong franchise for years to come.
I’d rather a ballpark at Grand Lake than houses!