Blog Entry

Astros ownership saga to close with move to AL

Posted on: November 16, 2011 7:21 pm
Edited on: November 16, 2011 7:26 pm
By Matt Snyder

The Houston Astros are soon to be owned by Jim Crane and will be moving to the American League West prior to the 2013 season. As we've previously reported, expect everything to be finalized Thursday, ending six months' worth of waiting.

Jim Crane agreed to purchase the ballclub (along with Minute Maid Park) for $680 million all the way back on May 16. Since then, everything's been on hold as Bud Selig and the baseball owners mulled over whether or not to approve Crane. The latest -- via the Associated Press -- is that Crane had to agree to switch the Astros to the American League in order to gain approval. In return, evidently to grease the wheel a bit, Crane reportedly received a discount on the sale from the original dollar figure.

The two 15-team leagues has been requested by the MLB Players Association to better balance the schedule. Of course, having an odd number of teams in each league means there will be interleague play throughout the entire season, more resembling an NBA schedule than what baseball fans have been used to for years. But it definitely evens out the chances at the playoffs and makes the schedules far less intra-division heavy.

The Astros will join intrastate "rival" Texas Rangers in the AL West, along with three west-coast teams -- the Los Angeles Angels, Seattle Mariners and Oakland Athletics. This means lots of very late road games for Astros fans living in the Central time zone.

Drayton McLane bought the team in November 1992 for about $117 million and put the franchise up for sale in November. He turned down an offer from Crane to buy the team in 2008. McLane said he was "sad" to be selling the team, but "I hated getting out of college, but I knew I needed to get to work."

Crane, who founded a Houston-based logistics company in 2008, is also the chairman and chief executive of Crane Capital, a private equity fund company. In 2009, he was in the running to buy the Cubs and last summer teamed with Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban in an unsuccessful bid to buy the Texas Rangers.

On his way out, McLane's advice to Crane? "Learn from the sportswriters."

I guess that's a fitting head-scratcher to what has been a very weird transition in ownership.

All quotes via Danny Knobler's Twitter feed.

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Since: Sep 20, 2006
Posted on: November 17, 2011 12:28 pm

Astros ownership saga to close with move to AL

Every division has 5 teams except for the AL west and the NL central, the move makes sense to me.  AL West only has 4 teams, NL Central has 6.  Now all the divisions are equal.  Stop complaining.  The Change was inevitable.   MLB needs to make one more change while there at it,  eliminate the pitcher from having to bat make the DH the norm in both leagues.  Those who think there is more strategy involved with having a pitcher bat are stupid, you can make the same Strategic decision (asking your #9 hitter to bunt) that you can with your pitcher.  The automatic out at the bottom of the order is retarded.

Since: Oct 12, 2011
Posted on: November 17, 2011 12:20 pm

Astros ownership saga to close with move to AL

Better League? Oh yeah because the AL won the world series this year..wait. Well they won the world series last year...oh. Well, but take away the Yankees and historically...oh. Besides have some compassion. The mere fact that you, like so many AL folk, claim your league is superior should give you pause and make you realize how sad you'd be to have your team switch leagues. Especially when that moron Selig's team was from the AL anyway. And he seems to be doing a lot of the forcing here.

Since: Sep 26, 2011
Posted on: November 17, 2011 12:19 pm

Astros ownership saga to close with move to AL

I so sick of listening to whinning idiots, who keep bringing up the fact Milwaukee should move back because the originally were an American league team. A little history leason for you guys. Milwaukee had a National League way before the Astros even existed. By the way the team is not owned by a Selig family member anymore, read a little bit before you go spewing incorrect facts. The fact is your team is rebuilding and changing owners, it's a move that needs to be done and your SOL. Whats easier to do ask 29 owners once if it's okay to move team from the NL to AL or to ask 29 owners multiple times for each team that you move around. Plus then you have to get each specific owner to agree to the move. The astros do not really have an owner right now so they get moved.

Since: Apr 22, 2009
Posted on: November 17, 2011 12:19 pm

Astros ownership saga to close with move to AL

This is a money deal. It is about ensuring that the TV teams (Yankees, Red Sox,Cubs, Dodgers) have a better chance to make playoffs. 

Since: Aug 15, 2007
Posted on: November 17, 2011 12:12 pm

Astros ownership saga to close with move to AL

Both the City of Houston and the Astros have become painfully accustomed to getting screwed by Bud Selig and MLB.  After all, it was only 3-years ago, with the City still digging-out from Hurricane Ike, and the Astros trailing Bud's Brewers by only 2 games in Wild Card race, that Bud and MLB decided the only fair option for making-up the Astros home games against the Cubs that were postponed by the hurricane was to play those games in Milwaukee...a leisurely 90-minute drive from Chicago.  In spite of being on a 38 win / 16 loss run, the Astros lost both of those games, effectively eliminating them from playoff contention.  Now, MLB holds a gun to the Organization's head again, and demands the new owner agree to allow MLB to move the Club to the AL West or have his purchase of the Club rejected by the owners.  It’s nice to know that from day 1 Bud has Jim Crane’s jewels in a jar on his desk. MLB has shown over and over that it really doesn’t give a rat’s rear-end about the fans in general, but Astros fans in particular seem to be singled out frequently in their heavy-handed dealings.   

Since: Feb 4, 2008
Posted on: November 17, 2011 12:10 pm

Astros ownership saga to close with move to AL

noone can complain about divisions unless you are a Blue jays, Orioles, or Rays fan... AL east is out of control

Since: Oct 23, 2006
Posted on: November 17, 2011 12:05 pm

Astros ownership saga to close with move to AL

But what is a big deal is to discard 50 years of tradition and 50 years of rivalries simply because it is convenient for MLB. Now I haven't been around for the Astros entire 50 year existence but I am old enough to have fond memories of my Dad taking me to the Astrodome to see the Reds, or the Braves and even the hated Dodgers. All of that tradition will be gone, and that probably sounds like it's not a big deal--unless it is your team that is forced to do it. Rivalries and tradition don't just happen overnight.  They take years, decades even.
I have to say as a lifelong fan of the Tigers, if they had forced this on Detroit when they were down and out I would be livid!!!

Since: Nov 17, 2011
Posted on: November 17, 2011 11:53 am

Astros ownership saga to close with move to AL

"That's not necessarily true.  Interleague series will have to be played all year, but that's only 162 games worth of interleague play.  At the moment, figuring 12 games for each of the 30 teams, they currently play 180 interleague games a year.  It's not necessarily a forgone conclusion that MLB will change how many are played once the leagues are balanced."

You dolt.  15 teams in each league is an odd number.  Do you really thing baseball is going to have "bye" weeks?  LOL think before you write...

Since: Nov 17, 2011
Posted on: November 17, 2011 11:49 am

Astros ownership saga to close with move to AL

First, who still reads the paper to get scores?  Isn't that what the internet is for?

Second, It's much easier and better to watch a game with a 9 o'clock start time than to try to watch a game with a 4 o'clock start time or 9AM start time (when the Halos visit the east coast).  At least you can watch the game.  When the Angels swing out east, I'm lucky to be able to catch an innning or two because some of us actually work till 7 when the game is either ended or nearing completion.

The Angels, Dodgers, Padres, A's, Giant's, and M's fans don't seem to have a problem drawing or keeping fans and they play quite a number of games with 4 o'clock and 9 o'clock AM start times.  Why would the Astros with a few 9PM starts?  Ridiculous statement.

Besides, isn't it rather exciting to know you'll be playing in the better quality league every night?  Yankees, Angels, Red Sox, Rays, Twins, Tigers, Rangers, Athletics, Mariners, Indians, Blue Jays....Great baseball and competive baseball night after night.  It will make your Astros a better more exciting team to watch just being in the same league as these guys.

Since: Nov 17, 2011
Posted on: November 17, 2011 11:48 am
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