Put me on the spot and I still can’t name the new Houston Astros general manager from memory. Jeff Loon–, uh, Lunny–. Something Jerry? I know more about the Texans’ twelfth-string quarterback than I do the new head of the Houston Astros.
It’s Jeff Luhnow, of course. Add a ‘z’ and you’ve got Jeff Luhz-now, a role that the guy accepted so hastily it may well have been built into his contract (a 4-year deal).
“It’s a responsible plan,” Luhnow said in his introductory press conference, in reference to his game plan. “It doesn’t steal from the future to make things a little bit better in the present.”
Luhnow’s speech could pass for the deputy mayor’s annual address at the Elks Club Lodge in Lake Wobegon. But this deputy mayor is gonna gut the system. He even looks the part of the unassuming hatchet man. He’s taking over baseball’s equivalent of General Motors, and his job is to return a crap factory to its former glory. Not a job for a cowboy or a biker rebel. It’s an inside job, a quiet restructuring.
The next step–now that the guy has declared his unyielding patience and sensibility–is excitement. Excitement for the tumult of a team full of youngsters can bring. Excitement to watch a group of nobodies take to the field and stir the pot against all odds. Excitement about the first pick in next year’s draft. Excitement about our last year in the NL, and our future in the AL.
You’re in the front door, Luhnow, now it’s time to turn on some Zeppelin and rearrange the furniture!