But, the media, and possibly MLB, slipped on Crane’s background. After all, he was on the precipice of owning the Astros in 2008 when he backed out of the deal with McLane. He was part of number of suitors for the Chicago Cubs in 2009. And, last year, he quickly married up with Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban to be part of the bankruptcy auction process that had them pitted against a group assembled by Nolan Ryan and Chuck Greenberg to own the Texas Rangers.
The media failed.
I’m as guilty as the next. Crane was simply referred to as a “Houston businessman”. No due-diligence was done by the media that would have brought some of the unsavory aspects of Crane and his company to light. His company not only was charged with discriminatory behavior, but was also found to not investigate complaints of sexual harassment and destroyed documents that were to be retained as part of Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) investigation. Crane reportedly said to subordinates not to hire blacks. “Once you hire blacks, you can never fire them,” Crane reportedly said.
But, if there’s something that should give those watching the baseball industry thought, it’s this: according to league sources, these aspects – part of the public record – were not fully brought to light until my investigation of Crane for Forbes. As sources indicated to me, until a deal is nearly completed, the league does not begin their investigative work. As one executive said, “If we conducted the process on every suitor involved in the bidding process, we’d expend all our resources. We are thorough in due-diligence for those in the final stages.”
Posted: September 01, 2011 at 08:02 PM | 32 comment(s)
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