Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Crane gets his discount, Selig gets his balanced leagues

Okay, so lots of info coming out yesterday evening about the Astros final sale price, and just what kind of a discount Jim Crane is getting for moving to the American League, which - as Mark Berman reports - is a condition of the transfer of the franchise.

Richard Justice reported that the final price was $610 million, $70 million less than originally agreed to. Major League Baseball is kicking in $35 million, and Drayton is kicking in $35 million (although, if you recall, Drayton was kicking in some money to Crane and retaining a minority investment) to lower the final price to $610 million for the Astros and the RSN.

So despite Drayton saying that he wouldn't accept less money because any deal was between Crane and MLB, it seems like Drayton either backed down, or was railroaded.

Why give Crane that discount? One MLB Official:
"We understand that Houston has been a National League city for 49 seasons, and there's some resistance about moving. We also understand there could be some damage (to the franchise), and that's what these negotiations were about. We wanted to be fair."

I'm not going to sit here and rail against moving to the AL, and how unfair it is, and OMGWHYNOTMOVETHEBREWERS, because it does absolutely no good now. Moving the Astros to the American League may hurt the franchise, but as long as it's in the "best interests of baseball," Selig can get away with it. The Astros were vulnerable, and they got moved because it was the path of least resistance.

Nolan Ryan, obviously, is very excited, according to the official:
"I spoke to Nolan Ryan, and he's really excited. He thinks it's going to be a very good thing."

Of course he does. The worst team in baseball just got added to his division.


Anonymous said...

Sure, MLB could make a move to the AL a condition of sale. However, no franchise can move without the consent of the owner. Crane defenders can't deny that.

Also, I find it funny how it is now being portrayed as more than a threat, but an absolute condition. When you fold, the other player doesn't have to show his hand. Maybe MLB only had a pair of deuces. Maybe they would have folded if Crane had stayed in the game til the end.

People talk about equalizing the leagues as something that had to be done before the labor agreement. What a joke. If Crane had said FU to MLB, what would MLB have done? Most likely nothing. Remember, they couldn't do it without the consent of an owner, or a patsy in our lucky case.

Berman's article contrasts greatly with Justice's. Less of a discount. No MLB contribution.

I think Nolan has much greater reasons to be excited than just wins. He now has a greatly weakened regional rival, many fans of both teams will now gravitate towards his, and possibly the closing of TV markets to the Astros, but I'm not sure how that works.

Mike Castleman Jr. said...

1. Crane is not the owner...
2. Their ace is they don't approve him...
3. If Crane said no then they don't approve think that's a bluff...i think it's real. Desire for balanced schedule with additional playoff games more valuable to league than this transaction

You are right that an owner can't be forced to move. But an owner does not have to vote to approve a sale of someone else's club either. In this case, it was clear since June that MLB was fabricating a backstory to obfuscate their primary goal which was league re-alignment.

Crane tried to determine if they were bluffing...they were not.

Anonymous said...

Yes, Crane is not the owner. That is why the actual timeline will be: Crane is approved, then Crane agrees to move. I doubt it will shouted from the press that way as the Houston press is too stupid and lazy to report things in depth.

As to your assertion that it was not a bluff. Again, if an assumed bluff is not called, no one ever know the true intent behind the bluff.

You also neglect to mention that were risks and consequences for MLB to deny Crane. That denial would not have brought MLB one step closer to a balanced league. All MLB would have got out of that scenario is a lame duck club, lower overall franchise values and a 16-14 league. There were certainly consequences on both sides of this standoff.

Mike Castleman Jr. said...

League approval is a contract which no doubt require him to move. Dude...they won't approve him unless he has agreed and obligated himself to move. If he doesn't agree to move as a condition of approval...they won't approve him...clear cut.

McClane is selling...Crane turns it down and every other buyer is on notice that a move is a condition of sale and price goes down. McClane spent $35M to save himself from losing $100M.

Anonymous said...

We are spinning wheels here. That article states what everyone agrees to: specifically MLB said approval was contingent on the move. Duh. That is like saying that a bank robber stated that the box he was holding was a bomb. It is hardly evidence that MLB was not bluffing.

Additionally, I notice that you continually fail to address the risks to MLB of denying the sale should Crane have held his ground. I repeat, there were risks and consequences to both parties. The fact that Crane swerved first doesn't mean MLB wouldn't have eventually swerved.

Mike Castleman Jr. said...

There is no risk to MLB...they just screw McClane

Anonymous said...

No risk?? Think again. Like I said earlier. MLB would be left with a lame duck franchise, another team on the market (like having multiple homes for sale in a neighborhood) and the loss of franchise values that Crane's purchase price would have accrued to all 29 other clubs. There was certainly risk, you just seem unable to see it.

Anonymous said...

I hope Mike Castleman is at the table the next time I play poker.