Jim Crane's Discrimination Issue Likely Won't Stop Him From Owning Astros

The New York Times put together some facts on the recent discrimination case against Astros owner-to-be Jim Crane. While it’s definitely not a good look for Crane, the Times may be going just a bit overboard here in their search for a story.

Rob Manfred, an executive vice president of baseball, would not address the findings of the E.E.O.C. He described Crane as a “viable candidate” to take over the Astros.

Thus, the accusations against Crane — which were made public a decade ago and have gained notoriety again in recent weeks — create a potential problem for Selig and baseball. On Monday, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People issued a statement describing what it called Crane’s “dismal record in the area of discrimination,” and saying that he should be closely monitored.

According to a person involved in the Rangers’ sale, Selig at the time called Crane “unapprovable.” Manfred, the baseball executive, this week denied Selig had ever made such a determination.

“To the extent that someone suggested that there was an approvability problem at the time of the Rangers’ transaction, I believe that to be incorrect,” he said.

Is the accusation troubling? Sure. Should he be monitored closely, as the NAACP postulates? Probably. But it’s hard to see Selig letting Crane get this far in the process without already having pre-approved him to own the team. Particularly given the size of the loan Crane is going to take out with MLB itself.

There are some legitimate concerns about Crane’s ownership off-the-field, that much is clear. But it won’t be anything that will keep him from actually buying the Astros.

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