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New Astros GM says the Rangers are spending like “drunken sailors” in Latin America

Mar 2, 2012, 8:01 PM EDT

Jeff Luhnow AP

UPDATE: Astros’ general manager Jeff Luhnow told Zachary Levine of the Houston Chronicle that he shouldn’t have used “drunken sailors” to describe the Rangers’ activity in Latin America. He also clarified his comments by saying that his point “was more about the magnitude of their investment prior to future limitations. Not saying it’s a bad strategy but one that many teams can’t afford.”

Hey, can’t blame the Rangers for getting while the getting is good. Luhnow would probably do the same if he was in the same spot as Daniels.

8:01 PM: The Astros and Rangers play in the same state and will soon be in the same division, but they shouldn’t exactly be considered rivals. Not yet, anyway. However, new Astros’ general manager Jeff Luhnow fired a shot across the bow earlier this afternoon in reference to the back-to-back American League champions.

Luhnow, who was in attendance for the Sloan Sports Analytics Conference at MIT, said that the Rangers are spending like “drunken sailors” in Latin America thanks to a new television contract.

Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News spoke with Rangers’ general manager Jon Daniels, who responded to Luhnow’s comment by saying the following:

“I couldn’t be more proud of what our scouts and coaches have accomplished with the support of ownership. No need to respond to comments like that.”

Rangers’ president Nolan Ryan also refused to take the bait:

“I wish I had something witty to say,” Ryan said. “But my mother always told me that if I don’t have anything nice to say than to just be quiet.”

The Rangers have been pretty aggressive in Latin America over the past year, signing Cuban outfielder Leonys Martin to a five-year, $15.5 million deal last May and Dominican outfielders Ronald Guzman ($3.5 million) and Nomar Mazar ($5 million) a few months later. But they really ruffled some feathers among MLB executives earlier this week by agreeing to sign Dominican outfielder Jairo Beras for $4.5 million when many teams believed he was only 16 years old and thus ineligible to sign until July 2, which is when the new international spending cap goes into effect. The signing is currently being investigated by MLB.

  1. brewcrewfan54 - Mar 2, 2012 at 8:22 PM

    I don’t see where there should be outrage. The Rangers have money to spend and the Lastros GM used a sweet metaphor to describe how he sees them spending that money. I spend money like a drunken sailor on payday myself sometimes.

  2. firstandonlywarning - Mar 2, 2012 at 9:01 PM

    As a drunk sailor Im confused what the problem is with how I spend my money

  3. proudlycanadian - Mar 2, 2012 at 9:17 PM

    Does he want MLB to throw the Rangers in the brig until they are sober?

  4. dirtycrumbs - Mar 2, 2012 at 9:28 PM

    And if all that money they’re throwing around yields big results, other teams will follow suit and diminish whatever advantage the Rangers may enjoy in Latin America.

    Until then, it’s their money, their investment, their risk. Stop whining and just focus on improving your crummy team.

  5. jwocky1 - Mar 2, 2012 at 11:08 PM

    As a Houston guy I have to say SHUT UP. Nolan’s right as always.

  6. anxovies - Mar 3, 2012 at 12:00 AM

    What’s wrong with saying “spending like a drunken sailor”? As an MP in the Marines on shore patrol I saw a lot of drunken sailors and they were all broke when we rounded them up. Drunken Marines too. But I do have to say that sailors far outshined the Marines when it came to getting drunk. Maybe that’s why nobody says “spending like a drunken jarhead”.

  7. spytdi - Mar 3, 2012 at 12:39 AM

    Jealousy will breed hate and that will work out just fine with them sliding over to the AL West next season.

  8. skerney - Mar 3, 2012 at 12:56 AM

    Put Nolan Ryan in the longboat til he’s sober. Problem solved.

  9. JBerardi - Mar 3, 2012 at 8:30 AM

    “UPDATE: Astros’ general manager Jeff Luhnow told Zachary Levine of the Houston Chronicle that he shouldn’t have used “drunken sailors” to describe the Rangers’ activity in Latin America. He also clarified his comments by saying that his point “was more about the magnitude of their investment prior to future limitations. Not saying it’s a bad strategy but one that many teams can’t afford.

    No, not every team can afford to spend a huge amount of money on amateur talent. Just financial powerhouses like Kansas City and Pittsburg.

    The Rangers spent less on the three dominican kids mentioned in this article as Houston did on Brandon Lyon. For that matter, you could sign about 25 or 30 of them at those prices for what they paid Carlos Lee. And let’s not forget about that sweet sweet revenue sharing money that small market teams are sucking up these days. Luhnow’s argument is simply dishonest on it’s face.

  10. stex52 - Mar 3, 2012 at 12:01 PM

    The comment is rather disingenuous at best. The Astros could make a major investment in young Latino players. I’m not even concerned about the bad investments made in the past. They have the cash flow to make that kind of investment, with the way they have cut payroll.

    Bad start, Jeff. I’m not a Nolan Ryan fan in the least. But you just made him look better.

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