Astros Will Play With ‘A Bit Of An Edge,’ Jim Crane Says

HOUSTON (SportsRadio 610) -- Despite all of the mess, this Astros team is still among the most talented in Major League Baseball.

It's not out of the question for them to make their second straight World Series appearance and third in the last four years, even without manager A.J. Hinch in the dugout and Jeff Luhnow pulling strings in the front office. 

Astros owner Jim Crane fired them both last week in the wake of the electronic sign-stealing scandal. 

Since then, the Astros have interviewed seven candidates to replace Hinch. Among them are Dusty Baker, Buck Showalter, John Gibbons and Cubs third-base coach Will Venable.

Eduardo Perez has also been linked to the managerial vacancy. 

Crane said he hopes to wrap up interviews early next week and a decision should be following. 

"We’ve had some great candidates in this week and have a lot of great choices," Crane told SportsRadio 610 at the Houston Sports Awards. "We’re going to narrow that down. It takes chemistry and we’ve got some internal guys. It takes good chemistry with the coach and the bench coach and so we’re trying to get those matchups right and get the right personalities. But certainly some very qualified people that will add some stability to the bench and can handle the situation." 

Truth be told, almost any literate person should be able to manage a team with George Springer, Jose Altuve, Alex Bregman, Yuli Gurriel, Carlos Correa and Yordan Alvarez. 

Crane even joked about it himself. 

"If you can write and fill out a lineup card, you can pretty well run this team," Crane said. "You’ve got to figure out the bullpen, but the lineup is pretty strong. 

"I think everybody that we’ve interviewed is excited and knows this team can win. And this team’s gonna come out with a little bit of edge."

As for how the players are responding publicly, Crane said they will get a clearer message on how to address the scandal. 

When Altuve and Bregman appeared at Astros Fanfest over the weekend, both wisely declined to speak in depth on the issue. But neither apologized for what happened, as Crane expects.

"The message is going to be very simple. We apologize for what happened to the fans and sponsors. We’re sorry," Crane said. "We’re going to make this right and we’re going to do the right thing. I think we started on that track. 

"It’s been a difficult week but we’ll recover from it. I think we’ve had great support from the sponsors and the fans. I think we can really move forward in a positive way."

Listen to Sean Pendergast and Clint Stoerner interview Crane around the 8:20 mark. 
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