Baseball for the Thinking Fan

Login | Register | Feedback

btf_logo
You are here > Home > Baseball Newsstand > Baseball Primer Newsblog > Discussion
Baseball Primer Newsblog
— The Best News Links from the Baseball Newsstand

Friday, September 09, 2011

Jim Crane Speaks, But Did It Help or Hurt Him in Securing the Astros?

Maury adds…“Let’s play, “Fall on the sword”.

Jim Crane spoke publically to the Houston Chronicle for the first time yesterday since the mid-May press conference to announce the sales agreement to purchase the Astros. Crane approached the Chronicle in an attempt to address some of the issues swirling around his stalled approval by the league’s owners. It was a needed move, that on one hand, addressed direct issues around the EEOC, war-profiteering and divorce issues, while on the other hand, may have done more harm than good in the eyes of Bud Selig and the league’s owners due to Crane’s comments about being impatient.

On the EEOC investigation involving discrimination (see this 2000 article from the Houston Chronicle for details), Crane said that all of them were unfounded, even though over 200 claims were not fought. According to Crane, it was a matter of business economics, not that they were valid.

“The company ended up settling a small group of claims only because the board felt that it was more economical for the shareholders to go ahead and pay out a small number on cases that we could probably have litigated and won,” Crane said. “I didn’t want to pay the claims, but when it costs $3 million to try them and $900,000 to pay them out, it’s a business decision at that point.”

Repoz Posted: September 09, 2011 at 07:41 PM | 19 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: astros, business, media, site news

Reader Comments and Retorts

Go to end of page

Statements posted here are those of our readers and do not represent the BaseballThinkFactory. Names are provided by the poster and are not verified. We ask that posters follow our submission policy. Please report any inappropriate comments.

   1. Knock on any Iorg Posted: September 09, 2011 at 07:53 PM (#3920521)
It was a needed move, that ... may have done more harm than good in the eyes of Bud Selig and the league’s owners due to Crane’s comments about being impatient.

Anybody hoping to purchase an MLB franchise had better not be in anything remotely resembling a hurry. Bud Selig moves at a pace that makes the term "glacial" seem like the trading floor of the NYSE around 3:30 on a Friday.
   2. Anonymous Observer Posted: September 09, 2011 at 07:57 PM (#3920528)
“The company ended up settling a small group of claims only because the board felt that it was more economical for the shareholders to go ahead and pay out a small number on cases that we could probably have litigated and won,” Crane said. “I didn’t want to pay the claims, but when it costs $3 million to try them and $900,000 to pay them out, it’s a business decision at that point.”


He'll fit in nicely with Jeff Loria and David Glass.
   3. base ball chick Posted: September 09, 2011 at 08:53 PM (#3920570)
richard justice just went to town with that interview

bout freaking time

interesting how many people believe that because foxsports said the problem is crane refusing to go to the AL, people can't believe it is anything else. in spite of the fact that most of the sale price is borrowed. and in spite of the fact that crane sure looks like a bladder catheter urine bag guys with prostate have to wear

(i'm tired of doosh bag - using some kind of female something to mean ickyness)
   4. Joe Kehoskie Posted: September 09, 2011 at 10:03 PM (#3920629)
Maury has led the way in covering the Astros sale, but I think he's too dismissive of the realignment angle. MLB has two built-in excuses for rejecting Crane -- the amount of debt and the number of partners -- and the fact MLB hasn't used, or even threatened to use, either of them seems to speak volumes.

I'm starting to feel like the Astros sale's version of a birther, but I just can't see MLB passing up a golden opportunity to accomplish a long-desired goal like realignment, especially in the midst of a CBA negotiation in which realignment is also a top MLBPA priority.
   5. Greg K Posted: September 09, 2011 at 10:10 PM (#3920634)
(i'm tired of doosh bag - using some kind of female something to mean ickyness)

I, for one, am happy to jump on board your sack of piss Crazy Train.
   6. Walt Davis Posted: September 09, 2011 at 11:35 PM (#3920676)
a bladder catheter urine bag guys with prostate have to wear

take the shortcut to colostomy bag.

I'm starting to feel like the Astros sale's version of a birther, but I just can't see MLB passing up a golden opportunity to accomplish a long-desired goal like realignment, especially in the midst of a CBA negotiation in which realignment is also a top MLBPA priority.

Why is realignment an MLBPA priority?
   7. NTNgod Posted: September 10, 2011 at 12:09 AM (#3920701)
Stark mentioned the realignment angle in today's column as well:
Sources say MLB officials summoned prospective Astros owner Jim Crane to a meeting recently, for the specific purpose of strongly "encouraging" him to allow them to move the Astros franchise to the American League. And Rumblings has been told that while baseball has other concerns about his ownership credentials, the delay in approving his purchase has nearly everything to do with applying leverage on Crane to change leagues.
...
Increasingly, it appears that the players won't sign off on expanding the postseason to include an extra wild card unless the owners agree to realignment and a more equitable schedule
   8. Bhaakon Posted: September 10, 2011 at 01:31 AM (#3920775)
I like the 15 teams per league idea, but not at the cost of expanding the playoffs.
   9. Maury Brown Posted: September 10, 2011 at 04:57 AM (#3920898)
This is getting strange. Justice, myself, and now Nightengale, have all heard from sources that the AL jump is not the driving factor in Crane's approval. The other reports, especially the one from FOX 26, I could poo-poo, but when it's Jayson.... Something fishy is going on. Media is being pulled in two directions.
   10. Joe Kehoskie Posted: September 10, 2011 at 05:51 AM (#3920915)
Something fishy is going on. Media is being pulled in two directions.

If Stark is right about the Crane/MLB meeting, that would seem to take this beyond the conspiracy-theory stage.

I wonder if the dogs that didn't bark today were noteworthy -- i.e., the lack of an MLB response to Crane or any comments from McLane. Unless MLB decided to play it cool, perhaps Crane's interview yesterday wasn't a surprise to MLB or even occurred with MLB's blessing. Even if Crane switches to the AL West, he'll want/need it to look like he was dragged there kicking and screaming, and yesterday's interview at least partly helped that cause.
   11. valuearbitrageur Posted: September 10, 2011 at 10:42 AM (#3920945)
I like the 15 teams per league idea, but not at the cost of expanding the playoffs.


I enjoy making my wife happy, but not at the cost of having more sex.
   12. A big pile of nonsense (gef the talking mongoose) Posted: September 10, 2011 at 01:22 PM (#3920960)
take the shortcut to colostomy bag.


I think "Take the Last Train to Clarksville" sounds a lot nicer, but whatever.
   13. Maury Brown Posted: September 10, 2011 at 03:45 PM (#3921020)
Speculating... It's an out scenario
   14. Don Geovany Soto (chris h.) Posted: September 10, 2011 at 03:55 PM (#3921026)
Speculating... It's an out scenario

How do you mean?
   15. Joe Kehoskie Posted: September 10, 2011 at 07:57 PM (#3921143)
How do you mean?

I think he means that by publicly protesting the move to the AL, it gives Crane a way to walk away from the deal with his head held high, rather than after being formally rejected by the owners or having the deal rot on the vine.

I heard people float this idea over the past 1-2 weeks and it made some sense, but if Stark is right that a formal meeting took place a few days ago, I have a harder time believing that this is all being crafted as a cover story.
   16. McCoy Posted: September 10, 2011 at 08:07 PM (#3921152)
Well, you don't want to embarass buyers of teams and you don't want people to be hesitant when it comes to buying teams.
   17. Joe Kehoskie Posted: September 10, 2011 at 08:34 PM (#3921164)
Well, you don't want to embarass buyers of teams and you don't want people to be hesitant when it comes to buying teams.

That's definitely true. It's been a long time since a deal got this deep into the process and was rejected (Royals with Miles Prentice?), and it's not good for MLB for such things to happen.

For a deal that was supposed to be routine if not boring, the back stories on this deal seem fascinating. Last year during the Rangers sale/auction, sources in MLB claimed Crane was "unapprovable." Then, only 7-8 months later, McLane and Crane held a press conference to announce their deal -- a press conference Maury Brown and/or Richard Justice have reported MLB didn't want to happen. Now you toss in the various stories about Crane, the Dodgers and Mets messes, and MLB's desire for realignment, and there are a lot of angles and moving parts.
   18. Joe Kehoskie Posted: September 10, 2011 at 09:45 PM (#3921188)
Just when everyone else seems to be beating the "Jim Crane might not get the Astros" drum, this is from Jon Heyman's Sept. 9 notes:
Jim Crane seems likely now to be approved as new Astros owner. He does not want to move to the American League, but as a new owner, he may not have a choice in the matter. MLB folks are trying to sell him on the AL, where he would have a rivalry with Texas and would benefit from the big gates of the Yankees and Red Sox. Assuming the Astros are coaxed into the AL, an extra wild-card team will be added next year.

It's unclear if Heyman filed this before or after Crane's interview in the Houston Chronicle was published, but it's really amazing how all of these writers are all over the map on this deal.

Anyway, Heyman might not have meant this sentence literally:
He does not want to move to the American League, but as a new owner, he may not have a choice in the matter.

... but it's not necessarily true and it provides an interesting subtext. MLB has some built-in excuses for delaying or even rejecting Crane's bid (debt, number of partners, the EEOC business, etc.), but at some point, the ML Constitution has to count for something. That is, if this remains a stalemate, for how long could MLB get away with telling McLane he can't sell his team unless he finds a buyer willing to ignore the same ML Constitution that otherwise governs the sale process?
   19. Joe Kehoskie Posted: September 13, 2011 at 08:30 PM (#3923709)
Here's Maury's latest on Crane/Astros:

"Are the Conflicting Reports on the Astros to the AL an Exit Strategy for Jim Crane?"

Forget Moneyball: The Movie. The Astros/Crane sale has "Oliver Stone" written all over it.

You must be Registered and Logged In to post comments.

 

 

<< Back to main

BBTF Partner

Support BBTF

donate

Thanks to
James Kannengieser
for his generous support.

Bookmarks

You must be logged in to view your Bookmarks.

Hot Topics

NewsblogOT: Politics, October 2014: Sunshine, Baseball, and Etch A Sketch: How Politicians Use Analogies
(3751 - 11:16am, Oct 25)
Last: BDC

NewsblogYost's managerial decisions make for extra-entertaining World Series | FOX Sports
(2 - 11:13am, Oct 25)
Last: Everybody Loves Tyrus Raymond

NewsblogOT: The Soccer Thread, September 2014
(923 - 11:12am, Oct 25)
Last: Swedish Chef

NewsblogDave Dombrowski: Injury worse than expected, Miguel Cabrera 'is as tough as you can possibly be' | MLive.com
(8 - 11:05am, Oct 25)
Last: Mayor Blomberg

Newsblog9 reasons Hunter Pence is the most interesting man in the World (Series) | For The Win
(17 - 10:57am, Oct 25)
Last: BDC

NewsblogPhils' philospophy beginning to evolve | phillies.com
(4 - 10:49am, Oct 25)
Last: Jeltzandini

NewsblogOT: Monthly NBA Thread - October 2014
(387 - 10:47am, Oct 25)
Last: PASTE Thinks This Trout Kid Might Be OK (Zeth)

NewsblogMLB - Royals' Ned Yost keeps managing to win - ESPN
(4 - 10:45am, Oct 25)
Last: JE (Jason)

NewsblogRoyals get four AL Gold Glove finalists, but not Lorenzo Cain | The Kansas City Star
(16 - 10:41am, Oct 25)
Last: RoyalsRetro (AG#1F)

Newsblog2014 WORLD SERIES GAME 3 OMNICHATTER
(517 - 10:40am, Oct 25)
Last: RoyalsRetro (AG#1F)

NewsblogBoston Red Sox prospect Deven Marrero enjoying turnaround in Arizona Fall League | MiLB.com News | The Official Site of Minor League Baseball
(2 - 10:32am, Oct 25)
Last: Steve Balboni's Personal Trainer

NewsblogBuster Olney on Twitter: "Sources: Manager Joe Maddon has exercised an opt-out clause in his contract and is leaving the Tampa Bay Rays immediately."
(82 - 9:30am, Oct 25)
Last: TerpNats

NewsblogGambling Bochy creature of habit when it comes to pitchers | CSN Bay Area
(1 - 9:25am, Oct 25)
Last: JJ1986

NewsblogCurt Schilling not hiding his scars - ESPN Boston
(23 - 7:32am, Oct 25)
Last: Merton Muffley

NewsblogJohn McGrath: The Giants have become the Yankees — obnoxious | The News Tribune
(13 - 7:15am, Oct 25)
Last: ursus arctos

Page rendered in 0.3365 seconds
52 querie(s) executed