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Crane-- "Astros Name will not Change"

Discussion in 'Houston Astros' started by juicystream, Jan 23, 2012.

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  1. Hey Now!

    Hey Now! Contributing Member

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    Please, please, please stop comparing this to the Dodgers, where the owner was borrowing money to make payroll while ownership of the team became the centerpiece of a nasty divorce.

    While not ideal, MLB is filled with apathetic and/or cheap owners who do the bare minimum and run sub-standard product onto the field every night. What’s the harm in adding potentially one more in McLane?

    He didn’t whine and I didn’t portray it as such. He mentioned it rather matter-of-factly.

    Evidence: “(H)e loves the National League game. He grew up in St. Louis. This is not something he's looking for. This group certainly didn't buy the team with the intention of it becoming an American League franchise."; the protracted approval process; the pay-off – all are highly suggestive of a new owner that did not “willingly” agree to move the Astros to the AL.

    Look… I don’t love the move, either – though, ultimately, I don’t really care. But this wasn’t *about* Houston and it certainly wasn’t about the fans. The owners AND players’ association wanted this. The Astros were just a convenient pawn. But let’s not go out of our way to villainize Selig and MLB here. I’m not saying you have to like or even accept the deal – but this had nothing to do with screwing over anyone. SOME team was going to move; the Astros’ sale made them an easy target. But any idea Selig sat in his office MUHAWHAWAWing while twirling his mustache is silly.

    Yes, Hillboy. He’s been trying to buy a MLB for YEARS. I’m sure this transaction alone took many years to formulate, between raising funds, recruiting investors, negotiations, paperwork… I find it comical you seemingly believe this is something he threw together willy-nilly on a rainy Sunday afternoon.

    Hell, it took SIX MONTHS just to approve the sale, Hillboy.

    LOL. Hillboy, there isn’t a division at any level of baseball that would be beneficial to the Astros right now.

    You don’t make long-term decisions based on short-term concerns. But how’s this: Yes, the Rangers are an elite organization right now. The 10 years prior? They averaged 78 wins and posted two winning seasons. The Angels have a TON – and I do mean TON – of money invested in their payroll, showered on older-skewering players. The A’s are a low-budget franchise that has turned in five consecutive non-winning seasons. And the Mariners have posted a losing record in 6 of the past 8 years, including fewer than 67 wins in three of the last 4.

    I wouldn’t categorize that as any tougher than the NL Central, which is home to the World Champions, BTW – their second title in five years.

    Know what other teams employ this strategy? Every other one. You can’t name a team – a good one, at least – that hasn’t built a sound internal organizational structure. You would be among a very small minority of Astro fans – likely numbering 1 - who thinks rebuilding this organization from the ground-up is a bad idea. Most of us – even the “Crane sold us out!” crowd - is on board with an organizational overhaul.

    The Rangers are a terrifically-run organization. But Daniels floundered for several years before the Texeria trade. And it still took two years afterwards for all the parts to finally come together.

    Building a baseball team is hard.

    Well, gosh, Hillboy – if those are conveniently my only options because you’re apparently dim enough to believe those are the only teams that build organizations from within… I guess you’re right.

    Can you name the team Jeff Luhnow came from? Oh – he’s the Astros new GM. Stop guessing: it’s the Cardinals. They’ve been pretty good, lately, haven’t they? But yeah, sure – they’ll be the Royals. Seems like a perfectly logical conclusion to draw because they’re moving to the AL.
     
  2. justtxyank

    justtxyank Contributing Member

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    Seriously, people are grossly overstating how much baseball would have been upset if Drayton still owned the team. They wouldn't have cared. The Pirates have pocketed a fortune in revenue sharing while fielding a garbage team. No one has done anything to force out the owner. The Royals, Marlins and Rays all made profits when they moaned about the high payroll teams because they were taking revenue sharing money and putting it away.

    Nobody would have cared if Drayton stripped the team down in payroll and ran a losing franchise. The Dodgers got seized because the owner LITERALLY couldn't pay his bills without negotiating loans. Bud Selig and the other owners would have been perfectly happy to let Drayton keep owning the team and have a perennial loser.
     
  3. MadMax

    MadMax Contributing Member

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    That's not the issue. Crane blew the doors off what was expected for the Astros. They weren't going to let his offer get away...because it would have gone down significantly once his group was no longer bidding. The sales price of the Astros directly affects the value of all major league clubs.
     
  4. Bandwagoner

    Bandwagoner Contributing Member

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    Why do you keep saying this? Compared to the Rangers, the Astros has a better ballpark, more profitable TV deal and is in a more populated city.
     
  5. MadMax

    MadMax Contributing Member

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    Because no one expected it. He bought the NL chartered Astros for $680 million. Most estimates I saw had the value being no higher than about $550 million. I remember reading one that suggested he didn't think it would sell for more than $500.

    Had Crane walked away, that absolutely would have put downward pressure on the price.

    As an aside, DFW media market is bigger than Houston's.
     
  6. Hey Now!

    Hey Now! Contributing Member

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    We have no idea what the next owner would have offered. But given that MLB team values soared to a record-high in 2011 - it very likely would have been a significant $$.

    And I think you're also discounting a longer-term financial carrot: postseason expansion. The lure of more teams getting an opportunity to play more home games, and/or more meaningful home games, with an opportunity to sell that in the next round of TV negotiations, is a giant incentive I doubt the owners took lightly.
     
  7. MadMax

    MadMax Contributing Member

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    this is a strong point and you're absolutely right about it. that's part of the analysis, absolutely.
     
  8. Bandwagoner

    Bandwagoner Contributing Member

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    Rangers sold for 593 million, Astros sold for 615. Nolan got a cash discount. That club had legal issues and that was a year ago. Prices go up, just ask Drayton. Even if the teams are equal, that is only a 3.7% increase over a year. Not much.

    Astros have their own network in the works. Naming rights to the stadium. They are more valuable than the Rangers. They could have found another buyer.
     
  9. MadMax

    MadMax Contributing Member

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    Astros sales price was $680 million. It was reduced to $610 as compensation for the move to the AL.
     
  10. Hey Now!

    Hey Now! Contributing Member

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    Hugs?
     
  11. Bandwagoner

    Bandwagoner Contributing Member

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    Right, so since the Rangers are in the AL what makes you think they couldn't find someone to pay 610 million? A 2.7% increase? (thanks for the correction)

    I think Crane paid less than what Drayton would have been offered on the free market. MLB knew they had Drayton and Crane over a barrel.
     
  12. MadMax

    MadMax Contributing Member

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    let's don't make it a date.
     
  13. MadMax

    MadMax Contributing Member

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    what?

    the Astros were an NL team when sold...they weren't to be an AL team until new owner (presuming a sale occurred) approved of a change to the charter. MLB compensated him changing the charter. $680 is the price that will be reported as the sales price.

    Drayton had the team on the free market since November 2010. Crane's offer emerged as the highest offer and an agreement was reach in April 2011.
     
  14. Bandwagoner

    Bandwagoner Contributing Member

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    And then the condition of the sale changed. Drayton no longer had a free market to sell his new product. He got shafted by Bud. He either had to work something out with Crane or wait for the contract to expire and then new offers to roll in.

    So just to be clear, you think MLB would have let this chance to move an NL team slip away? They would have let Crane walk and in the process screwed Drayton even harder.
     
  15. MadMax

    MadMax Contributing Member

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    waitwhat? the condition was only the charter change. MLB compensated Crane for that. He didn't have to work out anything with Crane...MLB did.

    waitwhatagain? no...i said they wouldn't have let him walk. i don't believe for one second they would have let crane's deal walk out the door.

    at this point we're rehashing the same thing over and over again. all of this was just part of the context related to the name stuff. that's it. even if you're 10000% right and Crane had nothing to do with this decision to go to the AL, the perception was very different when he took the mic at the press conference the other day and dropped the name change deal.
     
  16. Bandwagoner

    Bandwagoner Contributing Member

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    Yes they would have let crane walk. The Rangers proves the Astros were worth at least what crane paid (610) and probably more. They had an opportunity to move the Astros because Drayton wanted to sell. The next seller would have known the price would have included a move to the AL. At which point Crane would have walked away from buying the Astros for a cheaper price, Astros would still be in the AL, and Drayton would have had to wait at least 6 months to a year to cash out.
     
  17. MadMax

    MadMax Contributing Member

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    If they rejected Crane, there wouldn't have been time to force this sort of issue on a new potential buyer because the CBA was being redone. The timing was critical. Astros absolutely would not be playing in the AL in 2013 in that instance.
     
  18. Hey Now!

    Hey Now! Contributing Member

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    ....... Sorry.... I just........ He didn't take the mic at the press conference and drop the name change. In fact, he *never* mentioned the name change during the press conference. He didn't mention it during the initial post-press conference questioning, either. He did it during a second round of questions after a lot of the media had disperesed.

    That may likely be semantics to you - but to me, it paints a much different picture of the guy. Blatantly announcing a possible name change at the press conference suggests a much greater arrogance/ignorance than (very likely) innocently bringing it up to a reporter well after the fact. I would wager $1,000,000,000,000,000 that he didn't mean to say it and regrets having done so, given the negative feedback. (Though I suspect he'll respond accordingly to the feedback and not change the name.)
     
  19. MadMax

    MadMax Contributing Member

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    it doesn't matter when he did it, ric...he dropped it...he said it...and it took the wind out of everything else they tried to communicate that day. and i agree he likely regrets it...because it was dumb, particularly given the context.
     
  20. JayZ750

    JayZ750 Contributing Member

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    I think it matters when he said it, not just because it is completely different then the picture you are painting.
     
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