Thursday, October 20, 2011

That $50m(-ish) isn't coming out of Drayton's pocket

Here's an update from Steve Campbell on the news today that the Astros are probably going to the American League for $50m.

An Industry Insider Familiar With The Negotiations:
“Baseball seems very interested to cause this to happen."

“We’re not changing the sale price. The engagement is between Jim and his group and baseball. They have not talked to us to reduce the sale price.”


Anonymous said...

Can't tell for sure, but it seems like Drayton is sort of pissed.

Now that MLB has all but admitted that the character stuff is settled, why doesn't Crane (or McLane) come out and use it to their advantage. Simply find a willing reporter and say: "Since MLB is apparently over their character concerns, why isn't the deal approved."

The time for this statement is now ripe. Before, MLB has their lame plausible deniability. That deniability no longer exists.

This would make MLB publically admit that their approval is contigent upon extortion. Now I realize that MLB can legally do this, I am just not sure they would be willing to do it so publically. They realize it looks real bad; that is why they have been lying through their chosen reporters for so long.

Astros County said...

It's the Astros - they're an easy solution, because no one's going to make a big fuss (except Astros fans, and there's what, 24 of us?).

The Astros are vulnerable, and have a weaker fanbase than every other NL Central team.

It's the shortest distance between two points.

Anonymous said...

I understand what you are saying, that from a pure power perspective, the Astros are easy pickings. However, I still feel MLB is unwilling to publically take a stand that it is "move to Al or no approval." Thus, the string of stories about charcter, kids, debt, McCourts, etc.

These stories demonstrate just how uncofortable MLB was in publically extorting a potential owner, and/or publically screwing over one of their own. Instead of just saying "Houston, we got you by the balls. Submit," MLB went to great lengths to concoct a tale. That shows they are concerned about PR, and that concern is a weakness (from Crane's perspective). That weakness can be exploited. However, exploiting that weakness would be easier with the help of an active an awake press.

Astros County said...

I totally agree with you. But it makes no sense for MLB to issue a statement, and make an issue out of something that 95% (maybe higher) of baseball fans aren't really interested in, to begin with.

Anonymous said...

If I portrayed it as issuing a statement by MLB, that is wrong. It is more like the press issuing a statement/story.

Headline: Character issues apparently solved. (insert text stating that since approval hinges solely on move to AL and that ongoing negotiation, we can conclude that the character issues are beyond us.)

Then basically make the argument that makes MLB uncofortable. Basically, (this is extortion, extortion is bad for your present owner, potential future owner, and MLB's reputation. Who is next? Is MLB going to extort every franchise from here on out as a condition of approval?)

This story makes many owners uncomfortable, both from an ethical standpoint, and from the standpoint that they could be the next poor sap in Drayton's shoes. If they were comfortable with this story, they wouldn't have gone to all this trouble concocting their tales.

Anonymous said...

It's always been obvious that the character issues were a smokescreen, regardless of what Richard Justice and Maury Brown might still claim. The fact MLB is willing to overlook not only Crane's character issues but also the huge amount of debt and huge number of investors has been a dead giveaway for months. Big whiff by local media.

Imasalmon said...

The sale isn't approved because the next owners meeting isn't until November. While they could call for a special vote, they won't do anything that distracts from the playoffs, and especially the world series.