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Crane-cott: Boycotting the 10 Most Visibile Crane-Friendly Consumer Brands

April 7, 2012

All who feel motivated to offer their tacit objection to Jim Crane, Bud Selig and Drayton McLane’s maneuvers during the 2011 off-season that, essentially, spat in the collective face of long-time Astros fans everywhere, are invited to participate in the 2012 Crane-cott.

Based on nominations and voting by visitors to this site, participants are asked to eliminate or severely reduce their purchase of products and services from the following, and to choose other competitors instead.

Though financial impact on sales is obviously one temporary aspect for as long as these brands continue to be associated with supporting the Jim Crane-owned baseball franchise, the fundamental intent is simply to corrode Jim Crane’s income streams stemming from corporate partnerships.

By doing so, Astros fans and ex-Astros fans gain increasing restitution over time for the $70 million bribe that Cardinals fan Crane accepted from his good friend Bud Selig to choose his interests over Astros’ fans interests.


By popular vote, Methodist Hospitals were considered to be the most visible sponsor of the 2012 season. As opportunity allows, please consider any responsible alternatives to the flagship Methodist Hospital in Houston, as well as satellite locations Sugar Land, Houston West (Katy), Willowbrook, and San Jacinto (Baytown).


Consider other juice alternatives to the namesake brand of the Astros’ home park, Minute Maid such as Tropicana.


Important point illustrated in naming Budweiser to the list: The Crane-cott is intended to discourage marketing directors from using Jim Crane’s business as a promotional vehicle for their brands.

Thus, Crane-cott participants are being asked specifically to eliminate or reduce their consumption of Budweiser only, and not any of the other Budweiser labels such as Bud Light.


Crane-cott participants should look to substitute Pepsi products or other Coca-Cola brands.


While we all generally want a Texas-based brand like H-E-B to be successful, Crane-cott participants, for now, will eliminate or reduce their patronization of H-E-B in hopes that the company will decide for 2013 to re-direct their marketing dollars elsewhere.

Click the jump to see #6-#10

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How Crane Can Be a Houston Hero

April 12, 2012

Petco Park: Home of the Future American League San Diego Padres???

Note: The following comes from Bob Hulsey, the talented writer whose work is most often found at To be clear, he has not lent his support specifically to the Crane-cott. However, here, he offers a new brainstorm for “how,” and to some degree “why,” Jim Crane could instantaneously restore fan confidence and the fan financial support that goes with it. Is he serious? He says he is. It’s an amusing idea, regardless; that is, as long as your name isn’t Nolan Ryan.

There are a lot of people unhappy with how Jim Crane became the owner of the Houston Astros. Most aren’t unhappy that Crane and his group wanted to buy the Astros. They’re unhappy that he agreed to switch the ballclub to the American League, beginning next year.

That’s a decision Crane claims he had no choice but to accept and, when he agreed to buy the club from Drayton McLane, there was no hint that this was going to be his fate. I’ll take Crane at his word that he was happy about buying a National League team. Ever since the switch became official, Crane has been excoriated on this site and elsewhere for “selling out” 50 years of National League history and a segment of Astros fans.

There’s no way to know for sure why attendance at Astros games was down this week but some will say that the league change is part of the reason. Some will blame it on last year’s losing team and the lack of star talent.

(There are some who claim that attendance is not really down at all; that it’s just the way the numbers are recalculated sort of like the way the national unemployment rate is calculated. America is not really out of work and Houstonians really are showing up to watch the Astros. Yeah, if you say so.)

But the Lord moves in mysterious ways and it’s possible He has just put a huge gift in Crane’s lap if he’s bold enough to take advantage. The Los Angeles Dodgers just got sold for more than a winning Mega Millions ticket and that has caused San Diego owner John Moores (a Houstonian) to put the San Diego Padres up for sale. Moores has retained Steve Greenberg and John Moag to find prospective buyers.

Sound familiar?

Greenberg was the guy McLane hired to find a buyer for the Astros which is how Crane’s group became the front-runner for the sale.

When a front-runner is announced, Crane should be all over it, suggesting the Padres be switched to the AL instead of the Astros. He should even offer the Padres’ new owner the $70 million he allegedly agreed to as a condition for switching the Astros. It will be public relations gold if he appears sincere.

Although the Padres have 43 years as a National League franchise themselves*, I don’t think Padre fans will care the way many Astros fans do and they won’t feel so offended that arms were twisted to extort (thanks, Lance) their cooperation the way Houston fans feel was done to them. If the switch is promoted as a condition of sale, it will seem kosher to many….

* Worthy of noting that, unlike the city of Houston which as been affiliated with the National League for all of its nearly-100 baseball years, the city of San Diego was affiliated with the American League through most of its Pacific Coast League years.

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For Many Fans, the Psychological Need to Acquit Jim Crane is Overwhelming

April 7, 2012

To even the most forgiving of us, the foul stench of what our Houston-based version of the Three Stooges (Drayton, Bud and Jimbo) concocted last season resulting in the move to the American League is palpable.

How is it, though, that in spite of all of the known facts that are confounded by Jim Crane’s public statements, some give the man a pass?

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Crane Claims Fans’ AL Outrage Has “Died Down,” Asks “What’s the Difference?”

April 5, 2012

Q: With the move to the American League, a lot of the feedback we hear has been pretty negative. Has that been your experience, and what are you telling fans now who are still upset?

A: I think it’s calmed down considerably once people understand that was our destiny. That’s the way baseball had decided – whoever owned the Astros was going to be in the American League. You can argue anything I guess, but what they did does make some sense for baseball. When you look at the two Texas teams, it evens out that, keeps the Rangers from traveling more. Our TV partner Comcast feels it’s a stronger deal for us with the East Coast teams like Detroit and Cleveland and some of the old traditional teams – the Yankees and Boston – and we’re going to do better on the network because of that.

The downside that we’ll see is the DH and a little more travel, and we’ll try to get games scheduled so that when we get getaway games they’ll be in the afternoon so you’re not going to see that many late-night games.

I think it’s died down. People understand it, and we’re just going to do our best with it. What I tell everybody: to win the World Series you’ve got to beat everybody, so what’s the difference?

Interestingly… but not surprisingly… Levine doesn’t challenge Crane to explain his assertion in light of By-Law 2-b5, which clearly and completely contradicts Crane’s contention that whoever owned the Astros was going to have to put them in the AL.

To this fan, it remains the most astonishing thing about this whole episode.

Also, we get affirmation in this article that, indeed, we now have a St. Louis Cardinal fan as our team’s primary owner and chief decision-maker.

Ain’t that just great.

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Crane-cott T-Shirts Will Be in Fashion at MMP This Season

April 3, 2012

If you would be interested in purchasing a Crane-cott t-shirt to wear to this season’s games, complete the form below.

Submission of the form does not commit you to purchase–we’re just getting an estimate of the number of t-shirts to be ordered, so that we can determine what quantity ought to be anticipated.

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BI: Astros Reject AL Transfer, Join SEC Instead

April 1, 2012

04/01/2012 7:01 AM EDT

HOUSTON – Houston Astros Owner and Chairman Jim Crane announced today that  the Astros will reject the decision by Major League Baseball to transfer the team from  the Central Division of the National League to the Central Division of the  American League, and will instead affiliate with the South-Eastern Conference of  the National Collegiate Athletic Association.

“We listened to our fans, who were almost unanimously upset at our being  forcibly realigned into the American League, where we would lose all the  rivalries we’ve developed throughout our history,” Crane said.  “After a lot of  soul searching, we recognized that the best fit for both the organization and  our fans is to become part of the SEC.  If we’re going to get realigned after  our 50th year as a National League franchise, it’s going to be on our own  terms.”


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Amid the Berkman Flap, Jim Crane Says He “Probably” Would Prefer the NL

March 21, 2012

…As part of the negotiation, Crane received a $65 million discount from the $680 million sale price. On Tuesday, he said the sale was “a good deal for baseball.”

“Would we have preferred to stay in the National League? Probably, yeah. But that wasn’t the deal that was presented to us,” Crane was quoted by Crasnick as saying.

As for Berkman’s “extorted” comment, Crane told Crasnick he wouldn’t use “that strong a term.”

“I think it was just a business deal that got renegotiated,” Crane said…

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So, Jim Crane says he “probably” would have preferred to have kept the Astros in the National League.

Probably, eh? To most of us who would have hoped for an owner who would have answered, “Absolutely,” that doesn’t exactly strike us as the response of a man who offered any resistance whatsoever to Selig.

If you’re one of those hardcore Crane apologists who is still not ready to admit that, then let Mr. Crane help you out…

He goes on to say, contrary to his September 8, 2011 comments to the Chron that indicated no such AL conversation had yet taken place, that “that [i.e., staying in the NL] wasn’t the deal presented to us,” that ‘extorted’ is a “strong” term, and that he merely considers the whole ordeal as a “business deal that got renegotiated.”

In the original Crasnick story, Crane reasons aloud that “I think it was a good deal for baseball. I think it was a good deal for our owners.”

In sum, he’s shrugging off his own fans’ interests, and giving his new best friend Bud Selig all the love and insulation from criticism that he can.

Were he more candid, he might just as well have said, “Who are the Astros? Who are these fans? Who takes them seriously? What have the Astros ever accomplished that is worthy of giving their history any regard? No. What matters is what is a good deal for the rest of baseball, and for MLB owners.” And, implicitly… a good deal for himself and his ownership group.

What little debate was hanging out there can now be set aside. The man has zero regrets about any of this, even now. He truly doesn’t get it.

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