Darwin Campbell, Sports Editor, African-American News and Issues
HOUSTON-When Houston Astros Owner and businessman Jim Crane ushered in a new era of Astros baseball, some of his main community goals he listed were to be fan-friendly, take fan feedback and first and foremost having he himself and the front office team hold sessions to keep the momentum going that further improves the fan experience.
In an effort to reach out to the African-American News and Issues, the Astros media office sought to arrange a meeting with Owner and Publisher Roy Douglas Malonson at facility headquarters in Acres Home, but only offered to bring in Black limited partner, “pinch hitter” - Houston businessman Shawn Taylor and Houston Astros Media Vice President Gene Dias.
Taylor is not the majority owner of the Houston Astros. He is an African-American and has only been a limited partner since November 2011.
“This is another insult to us and if you disrespect the African-American News and Issues just how do you really feel about the African-American community. This situation proves that Jim Crane’s team doesn’t really know the African-American community,” African American News and Issues Publisher Roy Douglas Malonson said. “Jim Crane’s people just don’t get it. We want to meet with Jim Crane. We are not open to meeting with a limited partner minority piece.”
Mr. Malonson made it clear in emails to the Houston Astros that he would be open to a meeting to discuss the issues between the newspaper and the Astros directly and only man-to-man with the Houston Astros Owner Jim Crane.
He said all he expected was for the Astros organization to be honest, upfront and face the situation, not make a “pitching change” in early innings of the game and defer the matter to a “substitute”.
The latest response raises more questions including does Jim Crane’s beloved Houston Astros and media office listen to Crane, follow his vision and do they really fully know community and understand respect for Black history and the culture in our community?
“It is truly insulting to bring in a Black person under these circumstances to meet with another Black person and think this that is satisfactory to us,” Mr. Malonson said. “We requested Owner Jim Crane who is White. Not a Black man named Shawn Taylor It is stupid, dumb and retarded (on the Astros part) to think that Taylor is that important that he can come into the Black community for Mr. Crane and represent him. He is no Mr. Crane.”
The Astros continue to be under fire for the way they handled the credentialing process when the African-American News and Issues made a request to cover the teams Black manager and players.
The attempt to do this was part of the newspaper’s goal of helping connect African-American players with the African-American community hoping to help generate more interest in baseball in Houston.
The nature of the story changed after Media Office General Manager Steve Grande was disrespectful to Malonson in a phone call and raised numerous concerns about the newspapers motives for covering the team.
Further issues were raised when credentials were denied (contained in e-mail section of story below) and verbiage used in correspondence on issuing credentials included only issuing to “people we trust” and another e-mail to “people we know”.
The newspaper raised serious questions about the credentialing process and raised questions about being discriminatory nature of how the Astros screen “applicants” for credentials and about the “nuts and bolts” policies and procedures that goes into the selection process.
“The community made an investment in the Houston Astros,” Malonson said. “The African-American News and Issues community deserves an opportunity to sit down with Mr. Crane.”
That is if he truly is serious about the words in his bio that state a sincere desire to reach out to each and every fan. That outreach should include us community and the understanding that we are part the Black community.
Understanding the Issue From a Baseball Perspective
It is not gentleman-like to send in a “relief pitcher” before the “starting pitcher” ever throws his first pitch.
We must make it clear in baseball terms since it appears the Houston Astros media office does not understand. Mr. Malonson is one of the best hitters for Houston Team Black community and Jim Crane is the ace pitcher on the hill for Team Astros.
Malonson was on deck waiting for Jim Crane to come to the mound. Malonson has moved into the batter’s box and is taking cuts and waiting for the pitch. As he stands in the box, he looks up and is puzzled that pitching ace Jim Crane is yet to come out of the dugout and onto the field.
Astros management does not understand that Malonson is waiting to face the number one man on Team Astros in Jim Crane.
However, in an attempt to “Play Ball” they send out a new pitcher… Shawn Taylor….Never heard of him. Has no record in the league and know little about Mr. Malonson or the Houston Black community…Huummm??…
Malonson steps out of the batter’s box and calls time.
That is where things stand. Jim Crane is the pitcher Malonson wants to face Crane and nothing can move forward with the Houston Astros until management understands the kind of disrespect and un-gentleman-like conduct underway in sending in the “scrubs”.
The African-American News and Issues refuses to deal with “Minor League” Players.
The right thing to do is to “Bring Jim Crane to the mound“.
“All we wanted was some press credentials to report on Black players and their contributions to the
game of baseball,” Malonson said. “We did not want to fight, but we still want to make it clear that we will not be disrespected by anyone.The Astros owe the African-American News and Issues a public apology.”
We are not afraid of the Houston Astros or anyone else.
Stop the B.S., stop the insults and disrespect thinking we settle for anything just because we are Black.
He that hath ears…Let him hear… Jim Crane!!!
Are You listening Astros? Only Jim Crane
More to come…