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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.

Jim Crane embraced Bud Selig’s plan from the beginning, as long as a few million dollars was being made part of the transaction for the credit- and cash-starved prospective new owner.

Saturday, April 7th can’t come too soon.

Crane’s dispassionate business decisions require us to react with our own dispassion… not only ceasing from any support of his operation directly, but moreover, boycotting the promotional partners that are clearly most supportive as well.

No doubt, it will take awhile to recoup the $70 million of damage that the man has visited upon us.

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