Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Yeah, it looks like Selig bullied Crane

Hey, Here's an AP article in which a source said that MLB wouldn't approve the sale unless Crane approved a move to the American League.

Crane was forced to agree to move the sale along, a person familiar with the negotiations said Wednesday on condition of anonymity because no official announcement has been made by MLB or the Astros.

NOW how do you feel about Crane?


Anonymous said...

This is not new news. It has been obvious for weeks that it was presented to Crane as a condition. I argued with Brown months ago that this was the case.

That being said, and as I have argued ad naseum to Castleman, it hardly proves that the condition/request was not a bluff. Like I said on the other thread, this is like a bank robbery story where the robber says his bomb in the box is real. If the teller forks over the money and the robber escapes, who the hell knows if there was actually a bomb.

So, mark me down as someone who thinks Crane is a spineless pantywaist. He is however, higher up the food chain than Bud.

Astros County said...

Solid analogy.

Anonymous said...

Now c'mon.

Use your common sense.

What was Selig going to do if Crane turned him down, or on the other hand, if Selig turned Crane down?

In either event, Selig would have two choices:

(a) Plan B... whatever Plan B would be... ostensibly to send MIL to their AL Central roots, and KC to their AL West roots... or

(b) Scrap the 15/15 plan altogether until the next union agreement years from now.

It simply isn't rational to argue about this.

Crane held the leverage here. Selig wasn't going to turn $680 mil down any more than you'd want to see your neighbor turn down a premium offer on their house.

But moreover, there are cold facts that belie that theory. Crane stated this in his first public story in the Chron several weeks ago...

"He says he would consider such a move, but that it's more complicated than simply saying yes... 'We signed an agreement in May, and that agreement hinges off all the economics that were presented to us,' he said. '… If that changes, we've told baseball that if they want us to move to the American League we'd certainly consider that, but we have to understand all the ramifications … That includes travel. That includes paying for a designated hitter that we don't have to pay for. That includes our TV contract.'"

So, what we learned in early September is that Crane was open to the move but that he would demand compensation.

Contrast that to the theory that he had no choice in the matter.

Evidently, Crane was under the impression that he most certainly did.

Hope this helps.

Anonymous said...

Oh, and here's one more "go-figure"...

If Selig the puppeteer and Crane the puppet... why does the person pulling the strings award the puppet $70 million in compensation?

It makes no sense. And it makes no sense that this stuff flies with so little critical analysis. Disturbing. People want to believe a conclusion, and it's like "Coherence? Who needs it?"

Anonymous said...

"If Selig the puppeteer and Crane the puppet... why does the person pulling the strings award the puppet $70 million in compensation?"

This sounds like Maury Brown. By this logic, since Crane took the discount, he WANTED to move to the A.L., which only a fool could possibly believe. Crane took the best of two bad options, i.e., he took the $70 mil and the league switch rather than get rejected.

Also, the discount came from McLane, not MLB, so the "puppeteer" didn't lose anything here. It was win-win.

Mike Castleman Jr. said... know who you are...

Simple opportunism on MLB's part...

1. McLane wants (e.g. needs) to sell.
2. Crane agrees and gets it or declines and never gets a team...let's see...prideful rejection i call your bluff selig vs. I want to own a baseball team...hmmmm
3. Brewers were compensated for moving leagues...precedent
4. What was Selig gonna do? Nothing...he had McClane over a barrell. With a league change...any new prospective owner would come to the table at a HUUUUUUGe was cheap money for McClane to buy down Crane's rate so to speak.
5. Crane had leverage on Selig? I think not...his only leverage was on McClane for the buy down.

Anonymous said...

@ Anon #4: To the contrary... you are not a fool necessarily, but it is foolish to think that a guy who is already extending his credit to the max is going to be resistant to a deal that discounts his purchase price by better than 10%.

And it's incorrect to assume that I'm Maury Brown. I'm not. I'm a social sciences professor who lives in SE Texas, and is a lifelong Astros fan.


@ Castleman: Your analysis is void of any accounting for the fact that the timing of the union agreement... unless he was willing to delay an entire baseball season until Drayton could find another buyer... wouldn't permit Selig any other alternative than the two that I've listed.

How do you ignore that?

"Well, Selig had McLane over a barrel... if Crane wasn't the buyer, the next buyer would not pay nearly so much."

This is incoherent, but that's not an insult toward you, but rather an assertion that your logic leaves out some fundamental elements to the discussion.


First, because it is void of an understanding that Selig, almost as much as McLane, wants that purchase price to be as high as possible from whomever it comes from... why, class?... because that price is another price point from which future ownership transactions will be figured.

Second, if Selig rejects Crane or Crane rejects Selig, it won't matter who is next in line... the union agreement is ready to be made now, and there's just not enough time for it to matter. Selig has one of two choices... shelve the idea til next time, or go with Plan B.

"What if McLane offers to move the team to the AL on his own?"

Would you do that if you were McLane? Not if you recognized Selig's obvious predicament in terms of his timetable, and not if you didn't want to sell at the discount that an AL position translates into... which, current evidence shows, is substantial.

Anonymous said...

Also, Anon #4, check your facts, my friend...

$35 mil reportedly from MLB, $35 mil reportedly from McLane

Anonymous said...

My sense is that I shouldn't be too hard on you guys. You really are only doing these elaborate mental gymnastics to somehow justify your determination to continue to support an AL Astros franchise. You rely on old frameworks that cast Selig as an exclusive villain so that you don't have to feel so bad about the new guy.

I don't mean to be hard on you. I empathize. This is hard. But the reality is, your new owner is counting on you hiding behind these old frameworks that you so anxiously hope will still fit... yet, while not the devil, he's made the deal with the devil. He got himself a baseball team, and he got it at a discount... and what's absolutely off-the-charts awesome is that he might even be able to get away with this having some fans' sympathy and backing.

Meanwhile, there's the 75% of us hardcore fans who see the whole of the situation and are just repulsed. Half of those, like me, are so nauseated by the anal penetration here that we feel there's no principled alternative but to find some other team to support... God knows, the ultimate injustice would be to allow one dime to flow into Jim Crane's pocket given his lack of regard for us.

Yes, he made a business decision. Some people will let him off the hook based on that... but I'm not a fan of a business that happens to be a baseball team. I'm a fan of a baseball team that happens to be a business.

I'm not alone. In fact, I'm feeling a lot of company right now on that point.

Anonymous said...

I honestly couldn't care less at this point. The Astros have become such a horribly run, embarrassingly bad team. I have no intention of following them next year at all.

Mike Castleman Jr. said...

Which is why you can't stop posting so care.'s baseball...lighten up...this all started with your implied "let's kill Crane's revenue and we'll show him" idea

Anonymous said...

To be clear, Castleman, that last Anon was not me, for what it matters.

I've never been a big Ed Wade fan, but comparatively, he's somewhere in the middle.

I'm only done b/c of Crane's decision to choose Selig over us, and the era-ending implications of that.