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
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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: Aug 16, 2006
Posted on: November 17, 2011 4:17 pm
 

Astros ownership saga to close with move to AL

Sorry, I'll make it much easier for you by quoting what you said, followed by what I said.

15 teams in each league is an odd number.  Do you really thing baseball is going to have "bye" weeks?
Interleague series will have to be played all year, but that's only 162 games worth of interleague play.
Hurp.  Read before posting, moron.



Since: Aug 16, 2006
Posted on: November 17, 2011 4:15 pm
 

Astros ownership saga to close with move to AL

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...
Wow, you must be partially retarded.  Interleague games, played by 2 teams at a time for an entire year equals 162 games.  You know, just like every other team out there plays 162 games?  That means they don't have to play as many series in a row like they do now.  So, instead of having the big interleague matchups for 3 weeks at a time, like they do now, they split that over the course of an entire season.  Which part of that do you not get?  Should I dumb it down for you further?



Since: Jan 6, 2008
Posted on: November 17, 2011 1:21 pm
 

Astros ownership saga to close with move to AL

Selig and his cronies drug this process out to force this issue because they could


Yup.  That's what this all boils down to.  The pending sale of the Astros gave MLB a great big sword to dangle over the Astros head and Selig was not shy in using it. Because of Selig's connections to Milwaukee it was never going to be the Brewers forced to move even though they made the most sense. They are the team with a 25+ year history in the American League. They are the team whose move to the NL created the mess that would eventually come back to bite the Astros.








Since: Jul 9, 2009
Posted on: November 17, 2011 1:18 pm
 

Astros ownership saga to close with move to AL

Clarification to my last post: "The NL didn't win just this last W.S., but three of the last four" meant three of the last four including this last one, not three of the last four before that.



Since: Jul 9, 2009
Posted on: November 17, 2011 1:12 pm
 

Astros ownership saga to close with move to AL

Bearish (12:47 p.m.), both you and the poster you were responding to left out a few things.  The NL didn't win just this last W.S., but three of the last four, as well as both of the last two All-Star Games.
the NL had home field advantage thanks to another of BS's brilliant moves . . .
Oh, so that's why the NL won, eh?  Excuses, excuses.  In case you weren't aware, the "brilliant move" wasn't made just for this past year's World Series, it's been in effect for a good while now.  How eager were you to attribute the A.L.'s World Series wins in the several prior years to the home-field advantage they earned in the ASG? 

Another ASG factor you omitted was the A.L.'s built-in advantage of having to make sure only 14 teams were represented as opposed to the N.L.'s 16.  At least now you'll have to find someone to represent 15 clubs, and the N.L. will have to find someone to represent only 15.  Could change the relative quality of the All-Star benches.

As to interleague play,
With some of the AL's stud pitchers moving to the easier NL in free agency, the disparity is diminishing,
And it will diminish more, with the Astros on your side now rather than ours.  'Course, that's assuming our NL teams continue beating up on the 'Stros in interleague play just like they've been doing in NL play.  (A fair assumption to make, at least for the foreseeable future.)



Since: Jan 20, 2008
Posted on: November 17, 2011 1:07 pm
 

Astros ownership saga to close with move to AL

Sorry to see you go to the AL Astros. I'm a Phillies fan but the first game I ever saw when I was young was Phillies/Astros at the Vet. I always liked the 'stros and wish them and their fans great sucess in the AL. Good luck!



Since: Apr 4, 2008
Posted on: November 17, 2011 1:05 pm
 

Why not?

I would love to have seen the Rockies move to the AL West instead. Why?
1) Love the idea of any intra-state (or city) rivaly potential for the World Series.
2) Imagine adding a DH to the Rockies in that ballpark. Awesome!



Since: Nov 17, 2011
Posted on: November 17, 2011 1:01 pm
 

Astros ownership saga to close with move to AL

This is hideous. Moving the Astros to the NL West would've been better, but to the AL is just kicking a team and city while it's down. Either Arizona or Milwaukee would have made more sense, but Bud wasn't moving his team back to the AL for a combination of reasons that includes his desire to have the Brewers play the Chicago Cubs. Apparently he doesn't think much of the White Sox.


The Astros rebuilding will now take even longer for reasons that include the additional position.


Selig and his cronies drug this process out to force this issue because they could. It's not the first time he's inserted himself in the Astros business and it won't be the last. He doesn't seem to mind. He would never treat a team from New York as he's treated Houston over the years.

The 15-team leagues creates constant inter-league play, which will cause it to lose some of its appeal. But baseball, as great as it is, has many issues.   


      
;  



Since: May 22, 2011
Posted on: November 17, 2011 12:56 pm
 

Astros ownership saga to close with move to AL

So let's see, some people are complaining that the 2 leagues don't have an equal number of teams and is not fair.
Back in 1998, Arizona and Tampa Bay were added as expansion teams in the NL and AL respectively.This created two leagues with 15 TEAMS!!  Since this would create problems with the schedule, MLB decides that one AL team would move to the NL to create a 16/14 split.
I guess they didn't want Tampa in the NL, because Florida(A natural rival) was also in the NL.
So instead Selig moves HIS Milwaukee Brewers team to the NL where he imagines that they are the team from his childhood, The Braves.
NOW in 2011, MLB decides this 15/15 split is not so bad and strong arms the Houston Astros into the AL!!The same league as their (natural rival) Texas.
What has changed since 1997....Milwaukee is a NL team and Houston will be a AL Team. SELIG had this in mind all along!



Since: Jul 9, 2009
Posted on: November 17, 2011 12:52 pm
 

Astros ownership saga to close with move to AL


Of course, having an odd number of teams in each league means there will be interleague play throughout the entire season . . .. But it definitely . . . makes the schedules far less intra-division heavy.
Unfortunately.  But why should that be done?  If it's the teams in your division that you're fighting for your division crown, those are the teams you should have a preponderance of your games against.  Why have the division title even more influenced than now by games played outside the whole league, let alone outside the division?  Actually, there should be less interleague play, not more, but . . .

Anyway, the article doesn't even say (1) how much more interleague play there'll be, or (2) whether the powers-that-be have figured out yet how to eliminate the inequities that have plagued interleague scheduling right along: having one team in a division playing a tough interleague schedule and another team in the division playing a weaker interleague schedule, as happens with some frequency

Along those lines, for those of you who pride yourselves on thumbing your noses at baseball tradition, you should be remembering that part of the supposed justification for interleague play up till now has been to set up--or accommodate--"traditional"
; head-to-head rivalries between certain pairs of teams (Yanks/Mets, Dodgers/Angels, etc.).  Any problem with "tradition" there, hotshots?  More to the point, how long do you think that that "tradition" will continue if they really do make the interleague schedules more equitable--and replace some of those games with Dodgers/Orioles, or Yankees/Padres, or Mets/Royals, or whatever.  Real excitement there, what?  I prefer the division games, sorry.


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