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.

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnBaseball on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.
Comments

Since: Jun 25, 2010
Posted on: November 17, 2011 10:25 am
 

Astros ownership saga to close with move to AL

Is this good news for Cubs fans, or bad news? 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. So, mathematically, the Cubs chances of winning their division and a chance at their first World Series win in over 103 years improves. But, the team that is being removed is the worst of the six teams, and the only team in the division that was worse than the Cubs last year. So, Bud Selig ("BS") is taking away the Cubs top patsy, and, since they will still play 162 games, those Astros games will now be replaced with games against better teams - and worst of all, they likely will be against stronger AL teams! 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. Not good news after all.



Since: Aug 21, 2006
Posted on: November 17, 2011 10:21 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.


~~~~~~~~~~~

How is this a mistake? The writer thought of the teams in that order. Who cares?



Since: Aug 19, 2006
Posted on: November 17, 2011 9:55 am
 

Astros ownership saga to close with move to AL

If only the Padres had good enough pitching to compete in the AL.



Since: Sep 28, 2010
Posted on: November 17, 2011 9:50 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. Also the astros will play 81 games at home in their time zone and another 8-10 games in Arlington in the same time zone. And then factor in any midweek day games and any weekend day games and you are probably looking at around 50 games starting 2 hours later than usual. I love when my Rays play out west and the game starts at 10 eastern time, its a nice change.  I think what is worse than the Astros playing later games is the Angels, A's, and Mariners fans having to watch games that start at 5-5:30 west coast time. They won't even be home from work yet.



Since: Aug 7, 2008
Posted on: November 17, 2011 9:50 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. 

"Learn from the sportswriters" might not be weird as it sounds. If you remember the Seinfeld show there was a character named George who always got things wrong. Then one day he did the opposite of what he would normally do and he was successful in life.

After all, it was the sportswriters who suggested to McLane that he give Roy Oswalt a massive deal and looked how well that turned out.



Since: Aug 24, 2006
Posted on: November 17, 2011 9:45 am
 

Astros ownership saga to close with move to AL

A Dodgers fan calling the Astros a travesty. HI-larious. No MS-13 at Minute Made Park.



Since: Aug 24, 2006
Posted on: November 17, 2011 9:43 am
 

Astros ownership saga to close with move to AL

As a long time fan I'm ok with this. I'm not ok with bowing down to Bud effin' Selig. Won't be watching those 9pm road games, but then again I won't be watching much of the Astros anyway for the next few seasons. Will be nice to catch games in Arlington as well as in Houston, though.



Since: Dec 22, 2009
Posted on: November 17, 2011 9:40 am
 

Astros ownership saga to close with move to AL

Jimmy Winn and Cesar Cedeno are spinning in their graves (uhh, if they're dead).  I agree with the aformentioned D-Backs, or Brewers, move to the AL.  The problem is NO NL TEAM wants to move to the "bush league" AL with their strategy-less and DH games.



Since: Mar 17, 2008
Posted on: November 17, 2011 9:40 am
 

Astros ownership saga to close with move to AL

The Astros may not have been the ideal choice geographically speaking, leaving Texas with two AL teams and no NL teams. But the fact is, this is about perfect timing for baseball to make this transition (which is what the PLAYERS want). Fans will adapt, they always do. Outside of Houston, this makes great sense to the rest of the world~and obviously the new owners. As far as starting times on the West Coast as noted before in comments - Umm, the Rangers already deal with this, and if anything this will be strategically better in the fact both the Rangers and Astros now will have away games still in Texas! Making travel even easier. The west coast is so different than the east coast as you can't really drive to away games anyway (but now in Texas you can).




Since: Nov 4, 2006
Posted on: November 17, 2011 9:36 am
 

Astros ownership saga to close with move to AL

This is garbage. I know if this was my favorite team I'd be pissed off. This is the Astros being bullied becuase they don't have the money and leverage to say no to this. Why not the Cubs? Why shouldn't they move? They're just as far west geographically as the Astros. Why not the Dodgers? They're actually on the west coast. Why not the Brewers? Hell, they were in the AL before, why not put them back. I just don't like this when I know it's all becuase they're the little guy. I'm sure Houston fans love NL baseball just as I do being an Arizona fan.


The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com