Postolos departure may make Astros people happy but won't help record

George Postolos isn't the reason the Astros are 10-28.

But all that means is that Postolos' departure as club president on Monday isn't likely to have much impact on the team's on-field play or on the long-term plan. What it could do is have a (positive) impact on the working conditions on the business side of the team's front office.

Postolos played a major role in helping Jim Crane buy the Astros from Drayton McLane two years ago. He and Crane had worked together as Crane tried to buy other teams.

Even then, people in the Astros organization say, there was an expectation that Postolos wouldn't stay around long.

"Everyone thought he'd be gone within a couple of years," one former Astros employee said Monday.

While he was there, Postolos helped Crane significantly reduce the non-baseball part of the Astros' budget, as many front-office personnel were either fired or chose to leave. Current and former employees described Postolos' management style as "polarizing," saying he was difficult to work with and seemed to lack people skills.

But Astros people said Postolos wasn't heavily involved in the baseball side of the operation, where Crane is said to trust general manager Jeff Luhnow. In fact, some in the organization were already speculating Monday that Postolos' departure could see Luhnow's responsibilities expand to include some of the business side of the operation.

Besides being challenged on the field, the Astros face some significant business-side issues, too. Their new cable network, CSN Houston, isn't available in 60 percent of their market. Many fans in outlying areas, including Austin and San Antonio, are able to watch the Texas Rangers but not the Astros.

When Postolos' resignation was announced Monday, some people speculated that it could open up a way for Nolan Ryan to move from the Rangers to the Astros. But one baseball person familiar with the situation said he'd be surprised to see Ryan make such a move.

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