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: Jan 6, 2008
Posted on: November 17, 2011 1:36 am
 

Astros ownership saga to close with move to AL

Baseball is dead in Houston, it's going to be fun in five years to read about how the astros have only been drawing 10,000 a game as an America league And the league is thinking of moving them to a another city.


And of course they will blame the fans and say "Gee it's too bad those people in Houston can't support a baseball team". I don't think this will actually kill baseball in Houston but it will leave a very sour taste in a lot of mouths for a long, long time.





Since: Jan 6, 2008
Posted on: November 17, 2011 1:28 am
 

Astros ownership saga to close with move to AL

No one wants to be the one to move, but someone had to. The Astros just made the most sense right now, because of the team sale and the fact they’re in the central. The Brewers moving to the ALwest doesn’t make any sense, geographically, and you would probably have to move another team.



I don't see where the Astros in the AL West make any more geographic sense than the Brewers.  But in this case I think geography should be trumped by history.  Move a team whose entire 50 year existence has been in the National League or move a team who has been in the National League only since 1994, and who had been an American League team for 24 years prior to that? On its face that decision should take about 3 seconds---until you throw in the key variable that one team is owned by the family of the Commissioner. Then you know which team is going to get its way.




Since: Dec 31, 2008
Posted on: November 17, 2011 1:08 am
 

Astros ownership saga to close with move to AL

Nobody likes change. No matter what happened, somebody would end up upset. I can’t blame the fans of the Astros for being ticked off about the shift to theAL, but somebody had to get moved, and it had to be from the one division that had 6 teams to the one division that only had 4: the NL Central to the AL West. Otherwise, you would have to do a complete overhaul of the entire league, and its much easier and makes more sense to make 1 move instead of a dozen.

 

I'd sell my soul to have full scale realignment. But i'm not lucky enough to get my Orioles outta the AL East. I'll be stuck watching my beloved Camden Yards filled up by Yankees and Red Soxs fans for 18 games a season... :sigh:

 Even if they did realignment, I don’t see any scenario in which the Orioles weren’t in theALeast, unless they moved to the NL.Baltimoreis about as East as you can get, there is no way they would move them to the Central or West. I can understand not wanting to fight the two biggest spenders,BostonandNew York, for a playoff spot, but you cant seriously think the O’s weren’t going to be in an eastern division.

I think the Padres would have been the best choice. They fit right in an AL West full of good pitching and big yards.

Except the Padres don’t have good pitching, and they would be the only one with a big yard besidesSeattle. I mean, you can sayOaklandisn’t a bandbox by any stretch, and could be considered larger than normal, butTexasis a hitters dream. Guys salivate over the chance to hit at the Ballpark inArlington, and Angels Stadium isn’t considered a pitchers park; its pretty even.

And like I said, you have one division with 6 teams and one with 4, moving the Padres would require moving another team’s division to balance them all out. This way, every division has 5 teams with one move. It’s the easiest way to handle the problem.

No kidding it should be the run down Brewers not the Astros moving to theALbut at least every division will be balanced evenly now.

No one wants to be the one to move, but someone had to. The Astros just made the most sense right now, because of the team sale and the fact they’re in the central. The Brewers moving to theALwest doesn’t make any sense, geographically, and you would probably have to move another team.

Are they going to bring the DH to the NL?  If they are going to have more interleague play they need to make things even.  

I don’t see how this makes any sense. Its always been the same way: if you play in an NL park, the pitcher hits, if in anALpark, you use the DH. I don’t think there is going to be moreALgames this way at all, there is no reason for this to even come into play.

 

I personally think they should do away with the DH altogether, but I know plenty people feel the complete opposite way.




Since: May 2, 2010
Posted on: November 17, 2011 12:57 am
 

Astros ownership saga to close with move to AL

Interleague play sucks.. this is a HUGE turn off to me.
I can't believe there is going to be an interleague series EVERY WEEK now.



Since: Oct 9, 2010
Posted on: November 17, 2011 12:52 am
 

Astros ownership saga to close with move to AL

Way to go owners. Once again you bow to Dictator Selig and his twisted vision for the future of baseball.  If this was just about balancing the leagues, why not look seriously at realignment? Why is it more important that a natural rivalry be established in Texas instead of New York, Chicago, Missouri, Florida, Ohio, Los Angeles, or the Bay Area?  There are ways to realign baseball that make more sense.  Instead of leagues, have geographic East-West conferences.  The Astros are moving because Selig saw an opportunity to extort the incoming owner and knew his favorite puppet, Drayton McClane, wouldn't object as long as he got his payday.  In there entire history, Milwaukee baseball has a total of 26 seasons of NL baseball, and lost a team to Atlanta, Houston has been supporting an NL franchise for 50, and was a minor league affiliate of the Cardinals before that.  Also a long time NL resident.



Since: Oct 21, 2011
Posted on: November 17, 2011 12:46 am
 

Astros ownership saga to close with move to AL

Baseball is dead in Houston, it's going to be fun in five years to read about how the astros have only been drawing 10,000 a game as an America league And the league is thinking of moving them to a another city.





Since: Oct 6, 2007
Posted on: November 17, 2011 12:15 am
 

Astros ownership saga to close with move to AL

Are they going to bring the DH to the NL?  If they are going to have more interleague play they need to make things even. 



Since: Aug 7, 2008
Posted on: November 17, 2011 12:03 am
 

Astros ownership saga to close with move to AL

No kidding it should be the run down Brewers not the Astros moving to the AL but at least every division will be balanced evenly now.



Since: Aug 25, 2006
Posted on: November 16, 2011 11:34 pm
 

Astros ownership saga to close with move to AL

It's about time they balanced out the leagues but it should have been the Milwaukee Brewers going back to the AL. Bud Selig is a manipulative jerk and the worst commisioner ever.



Since: Nov 27, 2007
Posted on: November 16, 2011 11:30 pm
 

Astros ownership saga to close with move to AL

I attend several Astros games a year. I would love to see the yankees and redsox on a regular basis but not at the expense of moving to the AL. We are a NL city. I love seeing the pitchers bat. That's what baseball is all about. Everyone that takes the field needs to bat.


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