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Monday, October 24, 2011

Justice: Jim Crane can make all the right moves for the Astros

For the first time in months, it appears Crane will end up owning the Astros. Major League Baseball officials seem to be reaching a comfort level that Crane has either learned from his past mistakes or was a victim of disgruntled or rogue employees in many of the cases involving allegations of sexism, racism or war profiteering.

I asked an MLB official this week, “Are you past the character issues with Crane?”

“Yes,” he answered quickly.

He stopped himself.

“No,” he said.

He stopped himself again.

“We’re working on it.”

Previously, this official had been brutal in his criticism of Crane. ...

Our thanks to the Houston Chronicle for clearing that up for us.

Joe Kehoskie Posted: October 24, 2011 at 02:07 AM | 10 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: astros, business, rumors

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   1. base ball chick Posted: October 24, 2011 at 03:51 AM (#3972998)
if jim crane sells the team to the DH league for 50 mill bucks plus his blood money of 20 mill a year with his nice empty stadium, there ARE no "right moves" he can make except for dropping dead and rotting in he!!

of course don't none of this matter to justice because this way he gets to see the yankees/redsox every year which is apparently all he cares about now that he knows there will be no more playoffs for the astros

i just wish they'd rename the team
   2. Joe Kehoskie Posted: October 24, 2011 at 04:20 AM (#3973008)
I know there aren't a lot of Astros fans here, but I posted the article because there are a lot of gems therein, including this passage:

Monday: Crane announces he'll be making major changes in the baseball operations staff.

Tuesday: He lowers the price of concessions.

Wednesday: He hires Gerry Hunsicker (or Andrew Friedman or Kim Ng) to be his general manager.

Thursday: He lowers ticket prices.

Friday: He holds a town hall-style meeting with fans in which he listens, laughs and reassures them he doesn't have all the answers but does care deeply.

How's that?

Five days on the job, and two things have happened. First, no one remembers anything else that happened in Crane's life. Second, people are again talking about the Astros, and for the first time in a long time they're saying good things.

Even as best-case scenarios go, this seems incredibly optimistic. I don't see how lowering prices (to see a 106-loss team) and bringing back a long-deposed GM (Hunsicker) will ameliorate Crane & Co. moving the Astros to the American League on their first day of ownership.

I'm not sure what Justice's angle was here, but, if approved, Crane & Co. seem like they're heading for the shortest honeymoon, and perhaps the worst reception, in recent pro sports memory. Even if Crane is being leveraged on the A.L. move, the timing and optics are terrible. Crane is getting crushed on the Houston news and Astros-related sites I've visited in recent weeks.
   3. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: October 24, 2011 at 01:16 PM (#3973096)
I don't see how that gets people "talking about the Astros". What will get people talking about the Astros is a splashy signing/trade or winning.
   4. Tricky Dick Posted: October 24, 2011 at 01:17 PM (#3973098)
BC (No. 1), are there reports of an annual compensation value in addition to the $50 million figure? Where has that been reported?
   5. Bob Evans Posted: October 24, 2011 at 05:46 PM (#3973323)
“We’re working on it.”

I picture MLB as a guy with a pile of money in his hand and waving his other hand toward the pile while looking Crane in the eye and saying, "Keep it coming...more...moooore...forgetting even moooooore..."

What will get people talking about the Astros is a splashy signing/trade or winning.

Hey, we talk about the Royals all the time here.
   6. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: October 24, 2011 at 06:01 PM (#3973335)
Hey, we talk about the Royals all the time here.


Good point. What will get people talking about the Astros is a splashy signing/trade or winning or trading for Jeff Francoeur.
   7. oscar madisox Posted: October 24, 2011 at 06:14 PM (#3973352)
I rarely post (and often lurk) but I'm a fan, which makes at least two. Until BBC checks out.
   8. Swedish Chef Posted: October 24, 2011 at 06:20 PM (#3973363)
BC (No. 1), are there reports of an annual compensation value in addition to the $50 million figure? Where has that been reported?

No, not annually, there was a report that Crane wanted a 50 million discount on the $680M purchase price to go to the AL.

I don't know where the 20 million comes from.
   9. Roger Cedeno's Spleen Posted: October 24, 2011 at 09:23 PM (#3973546)
It's not Boston or New York, but Houston is still a serious market.
Is it really worth railroading a realignment plan (and pleasing the player's union?) at the cost of a fan mutiny in a major market and potentially a permanent loss of revenue?

(The conspiracy theorists are claiming a plot by Nolan Ryan and/or Bud Selig to steal fans and market share from Houston and/or clear the decks for future contraction and a consolidated Texas market.)
   10. Joe Kehoskie Posted: October 24, 2011 at 10:17 PM (#3973581)
I don't see how that gets people "talking about the Astros". What will get people talking about the Astros is a splashy signing/trade or winning.

I agree re: the winning part. The problem with the splashy free agent signing is twofold: The Crane deal to buy the Astros is heavy on debt, which makes major FA signings unlikely, and it's hard to see any of the Big Three FAs signing with the Astros coming off a 106-loss season. It seems like it would take an A-Rod/Rangers-type of overpay to get a top FA to Houston right now, and while it might score some p.r. points, it could also hamstring the team for years to come.

I hit a few Astros sites over the weekend, and the analysis of this $50M that Crane might be getting seems wildly off the mark everywhere. Even if $50M is the number, I don't believe Crane will get a check for $50M. I'm guessing MLB will simply buy or forgive some debt. Theoretically, the $50M would be money Crane would have available to spend, but he'll still reportedly have between $250M and $300M in debt to service. It's not like this $50M would pay off the credit card and Crane could go on a new spending spree.

BC (No. 1), are there reports of an annual compensation value in addition to the $50 million figure? Where has that been reported?

I don't know where the 20 million comes from.

I haven't seen any annual compensation mentioned anywhere except in the comments at Crawfish Boxes. As for the $20M, based on BBC's prior comments, I believe that's her spitballing the Astros' profits based on what other teams have reportedly profited while operating with a low payroll, etc. I might be wrong, though.

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