Drayton finally responded to McTaggart in an effort to clear things up with the falling-through of the Astros sale last Fall.
Basically it's this: He did try to sell the team, but isn't anymore. Which sounds remarkably like when someone gets in trouble, they did do something bad, but haven't done said bad thing in quite some time.
"If somebody comes to me or one of my sons and was a highly credible person or organization and had the financial wherewithal, we'd talk to them. If you ask me, 'Are the Astros for sale?' No."
So the Astros aren't for sale, but they are sellable.
McTaggart explains that the matchmaker who made a match between McLane and Crane (who would have immediately been dubbed "McCrane") was former Rockets President/CEO George Postolos:
McLane said he was approached in 2007 by Postolos...about selling the team to Crane. Postolos left the Rockets in 2006 to form a group that helps with the acquisition of sports franchises.
This wasn't some random encounter. Captip to McTaggart for pointing that this wasn't two Houston boys sitting down and a light being flipped on. Postolos helped buy and sell teams.
"George worked for him, and George first approached me in late 2007. I told them I had no interest, and they came back later with a very attractive price and said they were willing to pay for the Astros. We started negotiations, but never reached a financial agreement, nor did we sign a contract. Jim changed his mind. The recession started in 2008, and he called and said he wanted to end negotiations. I have no hard feelings towards him. I had mixed emotions about selling in the first place. We never got close to finishing a deal."
This is immediately refuted by McTaggart:
McLane did say he and Crane shook hands and agreed on a price.
"We still had to work out all the details. We were working out the details and beginning to work towards a contact but never finished the contract. It's kind of like when you and your wife go out and look at houses and you talk to someone two or three times and negotiate with them and either you change your mind and he changes his mind and it all goes away."
Just like buying a house. A $500 million house. The wife was willing to go to $600 million, but I was standing firm at $480 million. It ends with blahblahblah "next year will be wicked good" and all. But I bet you won't see Ringolsby, McLane, and Jim Crane out at dinner anytime soon.