At the start of the introductory news conference, Dana Brown was a little tense.
No smile. Measured breathing. The mood of the room.
This moment was a long time ago.
In Major League Baseball, a living man who did it the old-fashioned way — get it (John Houseman voice) — Brown was named the Astros’ general manager on Thursday.
Don’t let first looks fool you. That’s why Brown was built.
By the end of his 30-minute session with the media, after sharing some of his philosophy on building and maintaining a winning organization, Brown was laughing comfortably about his early confidence in telling his wife he was getting married. .
It happened when he was in sixth grade on an amusement park ride. He was right.
Dana and Cassandra will celebrate their 31st wedding anniversary in February.
Sporting a slick orange tie chosen by his better half, Brown was introduced by Astros owner Jim Crane as the right choice for the position after a “pretty strong” search.
“His credentials are incredible,” Crane said. “He did all the work.
He just stood out, and we had some very qualified people for the job.
Despite helping the team to the American League Championship Series in 2020 and the World Series in 2021 and 22, the team and James Klick have parted ways.
He and Crane simply didn’t click.
Crane screams at the idea that it’s hard to make or work.
“I don’t ask anybody to do anything I don’t want to do, and I work hard,” Crane said. “So I expect[those who benefit me]to do the same, and I expect results.
“If you run any baseball team or any business, you have to be successful or you’re out of business. I push hard, but I lead by example.
“I don’t think I’m hard to work with. I am fair. I want everyone to do well for me.
Brown liked what he heard in his meeting with Crane, a man he said was “pretty humble” and didn’t hesitate to pick up lost trash.
Crane also learned that driving hard wins.
Brown is a New Jersey native, so he’s definitely no wallflower.
‘You know what?’, I said, going outside. It’s a little high, but I’m from the Northeast. This is going to be a perfect storm,” Brown said with a laugh.
As opposed to having to rebuild, the Astros want to re-establish depth in their farm system so they can continue to reload at the major league level.
Brown’s experience is similar to that of former Astros GM Jeff Luhnow, the chief architect of the franchise’s unprecedented run of success.
A college teammate of Astros legend Craig Biggio in the mid-1980s at Seton Hall, both of whom are in the school’s Hall of Fame, Brown was trained by old-school scouts who used their eyes to evaluate numbers. He said the best review would understand all the information available.
“We have a saying that you have to weigh all the evidence,” Brown said. “When you weigh all the evidence, you can minimize the mistakes made.
“We really feel that analytics is a big part of this.”
After 33 years in baseball, Brown became the only black general manager in the major leagues. He and Dustin Baker are the second black GM-manager duo in MLB history. The White Sox had manager Jerry Manuel from 2000-2003 and GM Ken Williams, now Chicago’s executive vice president.
As insignificant as the hiring process is, it’s very important in terms of impact. We are talking about a sport that has been around for over 150 years, yet such a first is yet to come.
Brown in 2010 He interviewed for the general manager job with the Mets in 2010 and the Mariners in 2015, but was not named a finalist for either.
His time is now.
Putting his stamp on this team will be a challenge. The Astros have played in six consecutive American League Championship Series games and have won two World Series since 2017.
A microscope is better than a bulldozer.
“It takes time to figure out if something is missing,” Brown said. It’s hard to say anything is missing when you win a World Series.
Sustaining the team’s success is a long-term goal. This is where Brown’s extensive scouting made him even more valuable as a candidate.
“We want to be greedy about winning,” Brown said.
Cassandra Brown says her husband was a great talent and dreamed of becoming an MLB general manager.
The latter has finally come true.
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