Crane tours Mets spring facility
Astros owner Jim Crane made another pass through Florida on Saturday, arriving at Osceola County Stadium and taking in batting practice with some of his partners.
Earlier in the day, Crane toured the Mets’ Spring Training facility in Port St. Lucie, which is down the road from his Floridian Golf Club. Crane has previously visited the Spring Training sites of the Yankees in Tampa and the Cardinals and Marlins in Jupiter, Fla.
The Astros are under contract with Osceola County Stadium through 2015.
“As we said last time, we’re kind of looking at all the different spots and we had time to go there this morning and take a tour of the field and look at their facilities,” he said. “Certainly, they’re interested in another team there, but we’ve still got a deal here for quite some time so we’re just kind of learning. We’ll probably go out to Phoenix this week and check out a couple of spots and look at a few more spots in Florida.”
Crane hasn’t said the Astros will move their Spring Training facility when their lease in Kissimmee expires, but the state of Florida is actively trying to keep its 15 teams in the Grapefruit League and prevent any further defections to the Cactus League in Arizona.
“The state of Florida wants to keep everybody here,” he said. “We’ve got to do what’s best for us, and certainly this is a nice facility.”
As far as the upcoming season goes, Crane said Friday’s Opening Day game against the Rockies is approaching a sellout.
“We’re trying to sell out the opening game,” he said. “We’re getting close. We might make it. We’re working hard at it.”
Meanwhile, Crane and the Astros have about a month to submit new uniform designs to Major League Baseball. The Astros have had focus groups with fans to gauge new uniform designs, and it certainly appears the club will have a new look when it begins play in the American League in 2013.
“We’ve got another pass next week and we’ll be making some decisions pretty quick,” he said. “We’ve gotten a lot of good input from the fans in the focus group, but also including some of the players and the guy that washes the uniforms. That’s very important. You’ve got to make sure the uniforms won’t break down on you.
“We’re leaning very heavily towards it and I’d be surprised if we didn’t [change].”