Conflicting Reports Paint Grim Picture Of Astros Sale

New information leaking out from MLB's front office suggests Jim Crane may not be the next owner of the Houston Astros.

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MLB's Plan To Fracture Crane's Bid From Within?

Boy, the hits just keep on coming for Jim Crane's bid to take over the Houston AstrosMaury Brown has been on a roll with his reports on Crane's problems getting approved.

Today, he reveals another possible reason for the delay. It seems that Crane's very large ownership group is starting to feel some pressure with their investments. With the volatility in the stock market, there has been some worry that the bid may break up before the approval process is completed.

That's one of a host of reasons included in the article above, including Crane's bitter divorce from 2000, which is the first I've heard about that. I know Major League Baseball is very afraid of the Frank McCourt situation, but that seems ridiculous. I wonder if this deal is just doomed to fail and we will never really know the reasons behind it.

I also wonder about the note on the Greenberg situation with the Rangers. If MLB pushes through Crane but makes him add someone like Kenny Friedman as the managing partner, how long before Crane gets pushed out just like Greenberg. It's a really bad situation that doesn't seem to get better any time soon, but there is still a chance that things get done. I won't be happier than when this thing has some resolution one way or the other.

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Sale to Jim Crane May Never Happen

It's still too early to tell, but this week there have been enough reports seemingly suggesting that Jim Crane may not end up as the newest owner of the Houston Astros

First, Richard Justice brought the noise in a blog post about this, bringing up some really brutal points. I'm not sure how many other baseball writers are as tied into Bud Selig as Justice is, so when he says things like Bud told Drayton McLane not to hold that press conference announcing the sale, I believe it.

Drayton did it anyway, which started this topsy-turvy summer. We found out this week that Drayton thought his buddy Bud (who liked him b/c Drayton never spent more than he should on the draft) would just push that sale through if it were announced. We also found out, that despite all the growingly dire news coming out of MLB, Drayton thinks the sale is still going through in the next week or so.

All indications are that this is not nearly the case. 

What's more shocking, considering Crane has been involved in three different bids to buy major league baseball teams since 2008, MLB owners were surprised by the allegations that surfaced about his past business practices. In fact, Maury Brown says in this post that MLB officials didn't start vetting Crane for these things until after his investigative piece for Forbes exposed many of them. 

He's right in that every media outlet fell down on Crane's background. But, it's very, very sad that MLB also didn't know who it was getting in bed with. I also agree with his assertion that Frank McCourt has scared more than Bud Selig off of sketchy owners. Crane's chances plummeted more and more with every crazy story coming out of the Dodgers

Will Crane still be approved? There are reports out now that it may not happen until November, if at all. Meanwhile, Drayton has checked out of running the team, leaving Tal Smith and Ed Wade in charge. Are you as filled with confidence as I am?

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