Next up, Owners Meetings

Drayton McLane has started the countdown, again. In five days McLane hopes to be able to deposit a large check into one of his many bank accounts and hand the keys to the Astros franchise to Mr. Jim Crane.

MLB owners will meet in Milwaukee this week. A vote on whether or not to approve Crane as the new owner of the Astros is officially on the agenda. The vote has reportedly been scheduled for Thursday. But we’ve heard it before. In August, owners met in Cooperstown but decided to delay their vote on the sale of the Astros. Commissioner Bud Selig cited many reasons excuses for that particular delay. Meanwhile, there seems to be a groundswell of support to approve the Houston businessman once accused of war profiteering and discriminatory hiring practices. That support seems to be stemming from Crane’s willingness, for a price, to move the Astros to the American League.

How much of a discount is Crane asking for, and where is that money coming from? It was originally reported that Crane wanted $50 million, but more recent reports suggest as much as $80 million has been discussed. As I see it Crane and McLane have already agreed on a price. If MLB wants to railroad Crane into switching leagues they need to be the ones to come up with the cash. Bud can pass a hat around the room and hope for the best.

I really expect the deal to get done this time around. Selig has hinted that he may retire after the 2012 season and has a lot of work to do to secure his legacy as anything other than a failure. Approving the Astros  sale will allow Selig to move on to more pressing issues in Los Angeles and New York. Selig has wrestled control of the Dodgers away from Frank McCourt and will sell the team through a “court supervised process.” Mets owners Fred Wilpon and Saul Katz have become quite familiar with court proceedings as well. As former investors with the infamous Bernie Madoff, the two brothers-in-law are facing lawsuits claiming they knowingly profited from Madoff’s ponzi scheme. Selig continues to stand behind Wilpon and Katz. But if some of the allegations against these guys are true, they make Jim Crane look like a Saint.

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Tags: Drayton McLane Houston Astros Jim Crane Owners Meetings

  • Stroscrow

    I don’t know what to think about Jim Crane as the owner. The past issues don’t really concern me as I doubt it would ever come up with the Astros organization. Two things really concern me, but the extent of that concern is uncertain. The amount of debt involved in the purchase by Crane and his investors is concerning. But being that he has a solid supporting cast of investors I would suspect that we wont have to worry about any dodgertype situations in the future. 80 million coming off the bottom line would also ease some of this fear.

    My other fear is the decreasing budget. This appears to be a Mclane priming the team for the sale and Crane rebuilding, but it still amazes me that as the 4th largest city in the nation the 50 million payroll is all we can muster up.

  • Stroscrow

    Also, Crane will probably not be viewed positively to the casual fan because they will associate him with moving the team to the AL when in reality Crane had little say in the matter if he wanted to own the team.

  • astrosince1975

    I’m with you 100%. Only time will tell if Crane is the man for the job. I think he needs to upgrade the front office personnel and scouting departments. Right now he looks like a bit of a cheapskate, but his hands have been tied while waiting for approval. I think we may be on the right track. The real question is, how long before we can compete for a playoff spot.

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