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More Updates On Astros Sale To Jim Crane

Another day, another update on the sale to Jim Crane. This time, we hear from Maury Brown (again) on what could possibly be holding up the Astros sale. You'll have to check out the link for all his reasons, but I'll deal with his last one here:

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5) The Astros Into the American League

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The last of the 5 has to be brought up, but it’s the easiest to answer. With all the buzz about radical realignment in which the Astros would move to the American League, thus giving 15 clubs in the AL and NL, questions surfaced yesterday as to whether Crane’s possible balking at the move was part of the delay. The answer is, no. For one thing, there’s no certainty that the realignment will happen any time soon, if at all. That’s not the holdup.

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There is certainly a possibility that Bud Selig and MLB could be forcing a move on Crane as part of his sale, but it doesn't seem likely. For one, the sales contract Crane entered into with Drayton McLane did not have that as a stipulation. I'm no lawyer, but I'm sure that'd complicate the process if baseball tries to force it along with the sale. Of course, they could easily get away with it, saying it's not a requirement of the sale, but negotiated afterwards. By bringing it into the confirmation process, though, they leave themselves open to the kinds of lawsuits that could hold up this sale for a long time.

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Which is why I don't think realignment gets decided for a while and certainly not when Crane is confirmed as Astros owner.

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