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: May 22, 2011
Posted on: November 16, 2011 11:03 pm

Astros ownership saga to close with move to AL

So now fans in Texas can only watch AL games or AL Interleague games. No NL games in Texas anymore. This is a huge joke. Milwaukee should of been moved back to the AL where they belong!!!! They are NOT the Milwaukee Braves,as Selig seems to think. He got his way at the expense of the Houston Astros.  Selig is demented!!

Since: Oct 3, 2006
Posted on: November 16, 2011 10:52 pm

Astros ownership saga to close with move to AL

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

Since: Dec 12, 2006
Posted on: November 16, 2011 10:52 pm

Astros ownership saga to close with move to AL

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:


Since: Aug 28, 2006
Posted on: November 16, 2011 9:52 pm

Astros ownership saga to close with move to AL

No good reason?  Every year the AL got a pass by having 2 less teams to compete for a playoff spot.  This is long overdue.  It sucked having to beat out 5 other teams instead of 4 or 3.

Since: Jan 6, 2008
Posted on: November 16, 2011 9:46 pm

Astros ownership saga to close with move to AL

This is one Astros fan who hates this move.  Hates it. The late night games don't bother me that much. The Astros used to play in the old National League West with the Giants, Dodgers and Padres, so that is not a big deal.  But imagine rooting for a team for over 30 years, and counting other teams among your rivals and knowing that you have to beat them, year-in and year-out if you have any hope of the playoffs, and all that is suddenly taken away. One of the beauties of baseball is its reliance on tradition, and passing things down from one generation to the next. Maybe I'm being overly sentimental but I hate to see that just ripped away, especially for no good reason.

From the expanded playoffs, to interleague play, and now apparently interleague play every day, to the All-Star winner gets home field in the world Series, I do not like the changes baseball has made under Bud Selig.

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