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Thad Levine declines interview for Astros’ GM opening

Nov 30, 2011, 10:18 PM EDT

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The Astros’ hunt for a new general manager began Monday when freshly-approved owner Jim Crane fired Ed Wade. It’s early, but so far the hunt has not been fruitful. In fact, it’s even been a little embarrassing.

Crane and Co. have reached out to Rays executive vice president Andrew Friedman, but most insiders believe that to be a longshot. The ‘Stros have also made contact with Rangers assistant GM Thad Levine, but that’s not going to happen either.

According to Jeff Wilson of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Levine declined an interview for the GM opening in Houston despite being granted permission to seek employment outside the organization by the Rangers’ higher-ups. He deemed his current job, as an assistant to Rangers general manager Jon Daniels, to be a better situation than a chance to become a primary decision-maker in Houston.

Perhaps Crane is setting the Astros’ sights too high. Friedman is a highly-regarded businessman with a personal interest in the Rays and a track record of success, and Levine is one of the top front office talents in the sport with a comfortable gig in an organization that has made consecutive trips to the World Series.

The Astros have a nice stadium and a new ownership group that seems serious about improving the overall product, but they have much rebuilding ahead and a farm system short on elite prospects.

With the Winter Meetings set to begin early next week, it might be time to begin bottom-feeding.

  1. hep3 - Nov 30, 2011 at 10:33 PM

    Isn’t there another Duquette floating around?

    • Glenn - Nov 30, 2011 at 10:36 PM

      If not, Omar Minaya or Steve Phillips should be available – can’t go wrong with ex-Met front office people.

  2. mojosmagic - Nov 30, 2011 at 10:56 PM

    That’s what happens when you let dead head Ed Wade run the ship. Three years and the owner quits, your stars have been traded away for rejects, and you your minor league system is void of talent.

    • stex52 - Dec 1, 2011 at 8:56 AM

      The problems pre-date Ed. Hunsicker was very solid, but he depleted the farm system for playoff runs. Purpura was possibly the most inept I have ever seen, with Tal Smith hovering over him doing not much of anything.

      They were in absolute pit when Wade took over. Things just didn’t seem to get much better, even with a rebuilt farm staff.

      I can’t agree with Drew here. We have had several years of mediocrities. We can’t afford to bottom feed. Take a shot at one of these young and upcoming types if you have to. It will take time, but Houston fans will flock to a winner, and they have supported double their present player budget in the past. It’s a great opportunity for someone.

  3. thekingdave - Dec 1, 2011 at 12:36 AM

    Embarrassing how? Andrew Friedman’s from Houston, grew up a die hard Astros fan, and has possibly maxed out a difficult situation in Tampa payroll wise. Crane and Postolos would be further disliked if they didn’t reach out in light of the league switch fiasco.

    • paperlions - Dec 1, 2011 at 7:23 AM

      It is embarrassing if there are only 30 jobs of the kind on the planet, only a few (if any) come open each year, 100s of people want those jobs, and young front office people that have never had a chance at such a job are turning you down to even interview for your opening.

      • stex52 - Dec 1, 2011 at 9:01 AM

        Someone is there. They may be going a little too much for obvious choices. But they need to take their time and do it right this time. Houston management has been slow to get on board with more modern player assessment tools, and they have let the draft and the farms languish for years while the team got old. They need a really dynamic leader, and you know one of these assistant GM’s want a shot.

      • thekingdave - Dec 1, 2011 at 2:14 PM

        Stop the presses, an assistant GM from a divisional rival who are close to their first World Series chooses not to jump ship at this time. How care the Astros shoot for the moon in rebuilding their franchise!

  4. foreverchipper10 - Dec 1, 2011 at 12:31 PM

    Where do I send my resume?

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