Jim Crane, James Click, Astros discussed on Baseball Tonight with Buster Olney


For ESPN and Alvin. How are you doing? I'm doing great, but how are you doing man? I'm doing okay. We got news late last night. It has agreed to plead guilty to a federal charge for lying to law enforcement officials about sports bets. He's agreed to pay a fine of at least $55,000, the crime that he's agreed to plead guilty to carries a maximum sentence of 5 years in federal prison. We haven't gotten word yet on exactly how much time he would serve. It feels serve any time, but Adam, when you heard this, I'm curious about what your reaction was. Just tragic buster. It really is. Somebody who lived in LA when we came up and just really just dazzled people out here and just it was just you stop thinking about just sort of what this means for his baseball future because I don't know that many people were thinking about him making a comeback from Major League Baseball. He just sort of worry about him and just where his life is going. I remember a few weeks before that, he posted this Twitter thread about his mental health and how he had finally started to get that together and had the proper resources in place and I was kind of rooting for him. But the thing with yasuo Puig and I hate to say it, he's never been able to get out of his own way. And this is just another example of that. Just and I don't know what this is going to go, but this is a very serious problem and it's just tragic. There's no other way to say it. It's just tragic. Yeah, he's going to be someone that there's going to be a 30 for 30 on, right? In like 20 years and you'll go back and say, this amazing time when he broke in with the Dodgers and the thought that the incredible skills that he had, the hope that he represented that time and then it all went away, you know? And I don't think he'll ever play Major League Baseball again. For sure. All right. So since we had a podcast last, dusty baker agreed to a one year extension with the Houston Astros and James click was offered a one year deal to continue his general manager of the Astros, but he and the asterisks are parted ways. He clearly was not happy with what Jim crane offered him, I'm sure you heard as I did in the summer of 2021 that Jim crane was not happy with James clique. I think this was fully expected. I really believe based on what I heard on both sides is that this was essentially an oil and water situation that James was not a good fit with Jim crane. He was looking for somebody to be more aggressive, more dynamic. And from James click's perspective, his feeling might be, hey, we made the World Series last year and we won. But I wasn't surprised when it came down. What about you? I wasn't either. I will let the GF meetings when James click showed up and they Astros a few minutes before he was scheduled to speak to reporters announced a press conference for the following day not saying what the press conference was for. And what an awkward scene in the lobby in this Vegas hotel where James clay said he has no idea he doesn't know anything about a press conference, you know what? The sentiment I got from executives throughout the sport was good for James click. Good for James click because that manages what a World Series when you win a World Series, you get a multiyear extension. You get a major raise. That's not what happened for him. He got a one year extension. That was a slap in the face. It really was. I don't think Ukraine ever truly trusted him, but I think that trust really eroded in that final year. From what I heard, it's just that James click wasn't Jeff ludo. And Jim crane did not trust James click like he did Jeff luda. I know that sounds weird because he had the ultimately fired Jeff Lew now in the wake of the science dealing scandal. But, you know, when you have people like Jeff Bagwell and Reggie Jackson who don't have baseball for an office experience who have, in some way, more saying in your transactional stuff than your general manager does, that says something, I think it's also obvious that Jim crane felt like he had to give him some sort of extension because they won the World Series and that's the only reason why he gave it to him. So good for James. I know David stern squashed those rumors about going back to Houston. He has to because he's under contract in 2023. So that's at least one element of it. And it's just going to be really interesting to see where the astral's goal from here with the general manager. I mean, Jim crane got very involved in baseball operations decisions in 2022. And so who's he going to hire that he trusts? I would think it's somebody who used to work with the Astros, I don't know who that name is right now, but it's going to be really interesting. This team is going to be really good next year. The infrastructure in place, but now they need a general manager. Yeah, and he's been really involved for a while. You know, in 2017, when they were right at the cusp of making that deal for Verlander, I remember, you know, at that time, hearing about how Jeff had gotten real close to a deal and it was Jim crane stepping in and said, get it done. In so many words, agents have told me, you know, 2018, 2019 that if you wanted something done that in some ways, Jim was the guy that you wanted to contact. You know, he was the guy who would talk about financial parameters and he was more aggressive. And so he's been involved in baseball ops talks for a long time. And so as I said, I was not surprised that this happened. I'm a little bit surprised about dusty and maybe that's because I've known him a long time and one good things to happen for him and part of me was hoping that he would walk away. You know, I want him to finish on a high, but hey, it's dusty's life. He knows what he wants to do. He loves being around players. He loves being around the game. Yeah, and I thought, too, when the Astros clinched their World Series birth, they were in The Bronx and you saw players chanting for dusty baker when they beat the Yankees. I thought, oh, this is going to be dusty baker's last year. And I'm with you, buster. I really didn't think that once he won the World Series, he was going to walk away, but he kept saying this towards the end. He said, what I would want, I want to win a second. And I think there's something about that lifestyle. I think being dusty baker right now is a great thing in your life. I mean, I think he's having a lot of fun. He's managing a really good team. They want he's a celebrity everywhere and I think he loves that lifestyle. I don't blame him because what's he going to do? He's approaching his mid 70s and he's going to stop doing this thing. I feel he probably thinks what am I going to do with the rest of my life?

Coming up next