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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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5 Comments leave one →
  1. Aditya permalink
    April 8, 2012 1:15 am

    No complaints about most of what you’ve written, but questioning Crane’s motives for growing up a Cardinals fan is no different to saying Bagwell wasn’t a true Astro because he was a Red Sox fan when he was traded to the organization. Crane has over 800 million reasons to root for the Astros.

    • April 8, 2012 7:51 am


      Here’s the point, though, and I guess I should have spelled it out, so thanks for bringing it to light…

      There’s no sin in having not been an Astros fan from childhood. But when one has the chance to make historically-significant changes to a franchise, as Crane has, and when one clearly made no substantive effort to resist those changes… that is, even when one has the power of a by-law behind him and, in this case, to force the Commish to approach his own franchise (MIL) to do what he’s tried to compel the Houston one to do…

      THAT… to me… is where the sin lies.

      Can’t convince me that he would have not put up a huge fight if it were his own Cardinals that had been put under the gun.

      Make sense?

  2. May 2, 2012 12:18 am

    So you’re going to throw out the no owner can be forced to move without that owner’s permission card again are ya?? Here’s the thing—Crane wasn’t the owner. If McLane would have kept the team then yes, the Astros would have been able to avoid having to move until the Padres sale came up. However, as Crane wasn’t the owner, he had no say in the matter. As McLane was selling the team and would not be the owner anymore, he had very little if any say in the matter. Baseball (Selig The Snake) wanted this and made a condition of the sale. ANYONE who bought the Astros would have to swallow the American League pill.

    • May 2, 2012 5:55 am

      Let’s first look at what is correct about your assertion, which is, indeed, McLane had to give approval, and in fact, did.


      McLane would not have approved without first gaining Crane’s approval.

      Now how do we know that.

      We know that because, to have approved of an AL transition, empirically not just presumptively, would have (and did) devalued the franchise that McLane was trying to sell for as much dinero as possible.

      Having said that, McLane shares blame in the situation. Had he locked arms with Crane from the beginning and said, “Move Milwaukee and Kansas City, because we’re not budging,” none of this could have occurred. The by-law is the by-law.

      Selig had no political leverage… only bribery.

  3. May 7, 2012 10:40 am

    One of the most astounding things to me, aside from the by-law, is that the price Crane paid for the Astros was the 2nd highest price ever paid for a franchise. It would have raised the value of every other franchise, thus the owners likely wouldn’t have turned down his offer had he held his ground to stay in the NL. But then $70 million fell into his pocket so he didn’t use this leverage.

    I think some Astro shirts with “By-Law 2-b5” printed on them would be pretty cool.

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