Astros' New Owner Won't Commit To Keeping 'Astros'

Jim Crane officially took over as the Houston Astros' owner, and announced some fan-friendly changes in 2012 while refusing to rule out the possibility of changing the team's name.

Monday, Jim Crane officially became the new majority owner of the Houston Astros. And at his press conference, Crane made a couple of significant fan-friendly gestures:

Ticket prices for more 5,000 seats have been lowered, as have domestic beer prices. And for the first time since Minute Maid Park opened, fans will be permitted to bring in their own food and beverages.

"We feel this is the right thing to do," Crane said. "It is a way for us to let our fans know how vital they are to our success, and to let them know we've been listening to them."

That's all great news for Astros fans, of course. And the smart thing from Crane's perspective. Once he's got the fans on his side, he can start raising ticket prices every year. Especially if the club's actually winning.

For the rest of us, though, the real news comes from another source:

Crane says they'll even evaluate the name "Astros" before next year. No change promised.
Jan 23 via Twitter for iPhone Favorite Retweet Reply

I'll bet decent money the name stays the same. If the club takes a survey, the opinion will be overwhelmingly against switching from Astros after 47 seasons. The great majority of today's fans weren't even alive when the Houston Colt .45s became the Houston Astros upon moving from Colt Stadium to the Astrodome in 1965. Astros is all they know, and (mostly) love.

But it's worth at least mentioning that the Astros were named for a stadium in which they no longer play, and which might someday be demolished. I don't think you can blame them for at least considering a change.

It's exceptionally unlikely to happen, though. If only because most of the good names are taken already.

If you've got a good idea for a new name for the Houston club, please share in the comments.

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