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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Comments

Since: Dec 6, 2010
Posted on: November 17, 2011 11:44 am
 

Astros ownership saga to close with move to AL

Oh I laugh at all you purists out there that can't handle a little bit of change. This is a flat out money deal and it makes a whole lot of sense. There is no team out there that cares about their crazy purist fans. They want the whole world to take interest. The purist is almost always a has been, never-was, never-will-be, insert favorite quip here.  I would be fine with the brewers going back to the AL. I think it would be great for them to be back in the East even as I would be able to watch the Yanks and Sox a lot more, and be able to bring my kids to games where they can see the best of the best play.

Someone wrote that they won't be able to see the box score in the newspaper because the game wasn't complete. This guy either lives in a nursing home, or is too stupid to turn on their computer or their local morning news show. All you complainers will eventually be drowned out by the talk of spring training and the upcoming season. Just think of it as a new beginning and an opportunity to see some different teams play, and if you can't stay up to watch those late night west coast games. Go for a walk, play with your kids outside, do something productive other than making sure you watch all 162 games on tv. That's about 486 hrs of TV or the equivilent of watching baseball for 20 straight days 24/7. Get a life people. It's just baseball.

Looks like February 20th or so is when Pitchers and Catchers will be reporting. Looking forward to a great summer of baseball in 2012.



Since: Aug 16, 2006
Posted on: November 17, 2011 11:42 am
 

Astros ownership saga to close with move to AL

Interleague games will now have to be played all year long, so there will be more interleague games, which have been dominated by the AL for the past several years.
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. 

Cubbies have complained for years about having to be in the division that has six teams, giving them only a one in six mathematical chance of winning the division, while other teams have a one in five chance, or even one in four in the AL West.
Furthermore, Cubs fans need to stop crying.  Each team in the NL Central has the exact same odds of winning the division.  The Cardinals haven't seemed to have a problem doing it.  What is it now, 3 World Series appearances in the last 8 years and 2 Championships in the last 6?  That's pretty impressive for a team that is, in your opinion, behind the 8 ball.  Good teams win.  Bad teams lose.  Don't blame scheduling, division dynamics, or anything else beyond bad play for the "misfortunes" of the Cubs.



Since: Jan 6, 2008
Posted on: November 17, 2011 11:25 am
 

Astros ownership saga to close with move to AL

Stop whining about the time zone difference and having to watch late games, the Rangers have been doing it for years and their fans have no problem following the team


For most Astros fans the different time zone is not a significant factor.  It isn't a big deal for me.  I grew up watching the Astros play the Giants, Dodgers and Padres in the old National League West so games in the pacific time zone don't bother me. In fact I wouldn't have  a problem if they moved the Astros to the current NL West and moved the Diamondbacks or Rockies to the AL.  That would at least reunite the Astros with some of their traditional rivals.

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.




Since: Jul 14, 2011
Posted on: November 17, 2011 11:18 am
 

Astros ownership saga to close with move to AL

Its a dis-service to all of texas baseball fans who now have no national league team! Selig needs to be fired , he is hurting the gane of baseball . All for himself and the brewers !



Since: Aug 18, 2009
Posted on: November 17, 2011 11:04 am
 

Astros ownership saga to close with move to AL

Why are the Oakland Athletics mentioned AFTER the Seattle Mariners? I can understand Los Angeles mentioned first because of the large market, but to list Seattle THEN Oakland does not make any sense for the following reasons:

1. Alphabetically, "Athletics" comes before "Mariners".
2. Alphabetically, "Oakland" comes before "Seattle".
3. Geograpically, Oakland follows Los Angeles and Seattle follows Oakland....if you were to make you way up the west coast.

Matt Snyder is still making rookie mistakes. This is not a major mistake like listing someone's name incorrectly or not even listing his name in the byline....but still.....these little mistakes add up over time. 


I think mom locked the basemant door again!



Since: Oct 2, 2006
Posted on: November 17, 2011 11:00 am
 

Astros ownership saga to close with move to AL

ASTROS to the AMERICAN LEAGUE.  It's just not right.  Send the Brewers back to the American League.  How can you ask this of the Astros who have always been in the NL

Too Bad for Astro Fans.




Since: Aug 24, 2006
Posted on: November 17, 2011 10:55 am
 

Astros ownership saga to close with move to AL

How are the Astros the Cubs "top patsy"? Check out the head to head record, especially the last two seasons when the Stros have been awful, and try again.



Since: Jan 6, 2008
Posted on: November 17, 2011 10:49 am
 

Astros ownership saga to close with move to AL

Houston is squarely in the Central Time Zone, but in 2013, the Astros will be playing in the AL West. After six months of limbo, MLB is set to approve new owner Jim Crane -- on the condition his club switches leagues.
-from the main page...

Where do you think the Rangers are located?
 



Since: May 17, 2008
Posted on: November 17, 2011 10:42 am
 

Astros ownership saga to close with move to AL

Why are the Oakland Athletics mentioned AFTER the Seattle Mariners? I can understand Los Angeles mentioned first because of the large market, but to list Seattle THEN Oakland does not make any sense for the following reasons:

1. Alphabetically, "Athletics" comes before "Mariners".
2. Alphabetically, "Oakland" comes before "Seattle".
3. Geograpically, Oakland follows Los Angeles and Seattle follows Oakland....if you were to make you way up the west coast.

Matt Snyder is still making rookie mistakes. This is not a major mistake like listing someone's name incorrectly or not even listing his name in the byline....but still.....these little mistakes add up over time.
Wow, you need to find something more important to worry about.  There is no "rule" on the order in which you list a series of names.  Nothing requires it to be in geographical or alphabetical order.  Relax.



Since: Mar 21, 2010
Posted on: November 17, 2011 10:39 am
 

Astros ownership saga to close with move to AL

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 -- -- 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.
As the old saying goes, money talks and BS walks. From what I heard on the radio this morning the amount of the discount being talked about in this purchase of the Houston Astros is in the neighborhood of $70,000,000. This figure appears to be fairly accurate because it was reported last month that Jim Crane was seeking a discount of $50,000,000 to purchase the Astors and move them to the American League. Here is the link: . The bottom line is that Crane has at least 50,000,000 reasons to move the Astros to the American League.


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