Jim Crane

  • Blogs

    November 14, 2014

    CSN Houston Is Gone And The Rockets Are Back On TV

    The time has finally come. On Monday night, after two years, Houston Rockets games will once again be legally available to a majority of the Houston-area viewing public. Roots Sports Houston, an undoubtedly inferior product to CSN Houston, takes over as the rights holder for Rockets and Astros games ... More >>

  • Blogs

    August 15, 2014

    Are The Astros Planning Front Office Changes?

    Is the job of Astros GM Jeff Luhnow in danger? Probably not. The Astros are on a current pace that will have them lose less than a 100 games this, so that's progress. The team probably won't get the first pick in the amateur draft this season -- thank you for reaching new levels of suckiness Rockies ... More >>

  • Blogs

    April 24, 2014

    Jim Crane Wants the CSN Houston Matter Settled, and He Means It

    Jim Crane met with the members of the Astros media on Monday before the team's win over the Seattle Mariners. Topics of discussion included his disappointment with the team's start and the progress toward a new spring training facility. But it's his comments regarding the continuing CSN Houston saga ... More >>

  • Blogs

    April 14, 2014

    Does No Progress in CSN Houston Mediation Effort Really Mean No Progress?

    The Houston Astros, Houston Rockets, and Comcast gathered before federal district court judge Lynn Hughes on Friday. This wasn't a hearing, and no judicial orders were handed down. It was, instead, the third mediation session for the parties within the past several weeks. The dispute under mediation ... More >>

  • Blogs

    March 21, 2014

    The CSN Houston Bankruptcy Clown Show Just Keeps Clowning Away

    Jim Crane, Les Alexander, and Robert Pick have been "invited to attend to informally discuss a resolution" to the CSN Houston bankruptcy matter on Friday, March 28. The invitation has been extended by Federal District Court Judge Lynn Hughes, the man overseeing the Astros appeal of CSN Houston's inv ... More >>

  • Blogs

    March 18, 2014

    I Want My CSN: Rockets Wins, Losses Won't Change a Thing

    Last year when the Rockets acquired Dwight Howard, there was much talk about how landing a marquee free agent not only made the Rockets a legitimate title contender, but that it was sure to provide the needed impetus for completing a deal to get CSN Houston, the television home of the Rockets, on ne ... More >>

  • Blogs

    March 10, 2014

    CSN Houston Owners Actually Agreed on Something

    The good news is that the Houston Astros, Houston Rockets, and Comcast finally found something on which to agree. The bad news is that the agreement's on how much the attorneys handling the bankruptcy of Comcast SportsNet Houston should be paid. The parties are still battling things out in court, t ... More >>

  • Blogs

    January 31, 2014

    Will Nolan Ryan Save The Astros From Themselves?

    Nolan Ryan met with Astros owner Jim Crane, Astros GM Jeff Luhnow, and his son, Astros president of business operations Reid Ryan, earlier this week. The parties, looking for a way to bring the Baseball Hall of Famer into the organization, announced the meeting as a success. Ryan, stating he wants t ... More >>

  • Blogs

    December 27, 2013

    One Fool's 2014 Houston Sports Predictions

    With 2013 giving way to 2014, it's time for a few predictions that will, more than likely, be way off the mark. But what the hell, that means I'll be just like the rest of my sportswriting brethren. So... PREDICTION ONE: CSN HOUSTON The next status conference in bankruptcy court before Judge Marv ... More >>

  • Blogs

    December 16, 2013

    The Man Who Might Save CSN Houston

    Way back in the day, I worked as a briefing attorney for a state district court judge. And one of the things I learned was that judges, or at least the judge that I worked for, really do hate making rulings on the record because once that happens, the appeals process can start. And once the appeals ... More >>

  • Blogs

    December 4, 2013

    CSN Houston and Jim Crane's Long, Strange Trip to Nowhere

    No sports fan in Houston really cares why the Rockets and Astros still aren't on TV. They don't care about the money behind the deals, the accusations of fraud, the back-room negotiations, per-subscriber rates, the posturing and the lawsuits. The only thing that they want is for their teams to be on ... More >>

  • Blogs

    November 28, 2013

    A Few Houston Sports Things To Be Thankful For This Holiday Season

    Since it's Thanksgiving, here are a few things in the Houston sporting world for which I'm thankful. ANDRE JOHNSON Andre Johnson is without a doubt the greatest player in the history of the Houston Texans. He also has to go on the short list with Earl Campbell and Elvin Bethea as the greatest play ... More >>

  • Blogs

    November 22, 2013

    Jim Crane Accuses Drayton McLane and Comcast of Fraud In A New Lawsuit

    Jim Crane said he did his due diligence when he purchased the Houston Astros. That he looked at all of the books. That he and his people went through everything there was to know about the Astros and their deal with CSN Houston before completing the purchase of the team. He even told bankruptcy cour ... More >>

  • Blogs

    November 5, 2013

    Drayton McLane Suckered Jim Crane About CSN, And Now We're All Suffering

    Jim Crane was suckered by Drayton McLane. That's why most of the city of Houston can't see CSN Houston. It's just that simple. Jim Crane didn't do his proper due diligence, and he fell hook, line, and sinker for everything that McLane told him, including that bit about CSN Houston being set to earn ... More >>

  • Blogs

    October 16, 2013

    CSN, Astros Trading Barbs in Bankruptcy Case

    You would think by now Jim Crane would have made his point. But, then again, the government is shutdown due to a small group of hardline Republicans, so I guess keeping the Astros and Rockets off TV due to one hardline MLB owner seems reasonable these days. As CSN hurtles towards a bankruptcy heari ... More >>

  • Blogs

    October 4, 2013

    Jim Crane's Letter To Astro Season Ticket Holders

    Correspondence matters. Not enough people tell other people how awesome they are these days in writing, mostly because it takes time and effort, and quite frankly a lot of you are really lazy. Jim Crane is a lot of things, but lazy isn't one of them. And after a 2013 season in which the last win o ... More >>

  • Blogs

    August 26, 2013

    Astros Rake in the Cash While the Team Falters and Fans Can't Watch on TV

    One of the best ways to increase corporate profits is to layoff people. The cutting of salary increases profits by lowering expenses and is usually met with praise from investors who see such moves as a sign the company is streamlining and becoming more efficient. On the other hand, if you are one o ... More >>

  • News

    July 4, 2013

    Not So Minor League: The Wild World of Minor League Baseball in Texas

    Cheap beer, affordable tickets, swanky surroundings -- what's not to like about minor and independent league baseball parks?

  • Blogs

    May 15, 2013

    PR 101: The Astros Could Learn a Lot From Other Houston Team Owners

    Fame has a fifteen minute half-life, infamy lasts a little longer. - The Insider Owners of sports franchises never have it easy. From Charlie Thomas to Les Alexander, John McMullen to Drayton McLane, Bud Adams to, yes, even Bob McNair, fans are ruthless and we're talking Houston, not Philadelphia o ... More >>

  • Blogs

    May 15, 2013

    My Reply to the Astros' Statement About the Cancellation of the Wives' Gala

    "There's such a thing... as manners. A way of treating people. These fish have manners." -- Jerry Maguire There is no easy way to disband an event like the Astros Wives' gala, a fantastic annual spectacle that's simultaneously raised over $4 million in 23 years for the Houston Area Women's Center w ... More >>

  • Blogs

    April 26, 2013

    Jim Crane? The Astros Need A Bill Veeck

    It's a depressing time to be a fan of the Houston Astros. The team's bad. The starting pitchers have trouble getting through the first inning. The games aren't currently available to most of the viewing public (yesterday's free CSN Houston offering notwithstanding). The new radio team actually makes ... More >>

  • Blogs

    April 2, 2013

    One Man's (Idiotic?) 2013 Baseball Predictions

    The major league baseball season opened up on Sunday night with the Rangers traveling to Rangers Ballpark in Arlington South to face the Astros. Most of the teams started up yesterday, and the rest of the league will get underway today. With the season getting underway, it's time once again to make ... More >>

  • Blogs

    March 29, 2013

    The Astros Start Play On Sunday: Does Anyone Really Care?

    The 2013 season begins for the Astros on Sunday night when the Astros host the Texas Rangers on ESPN. And frankly, I'm at the point with Jim Crane and flunkies that I really don't give a damn. Is anyone really excited about this Astros season? The team is going to be bad. The owner and his minions ... More >>

  • Blogs

    February 22, 2013

    The Adventures of Jim Crane, and Other Astros Spring Training Things to Know

    It's all over tomorrow. The Astros off-season is finally ending. It might only be a spring training game, but after a winter of trades and new coaches and just a general reshuffling of the team, the Astros are finally going to get to play a game against another team. And they'll finally get to wear ... More >>

  • Blogs

    February 15, 2013

    The Astros Will Suck, But They Do Have A Good Plan

    The Houston Astros are a subject of much derision. They're a bad team with very few, if any, names on the roster recognizable to the average fan. They'll probably struggle to win 60 games. And there are national writers who think that the Astros are an embarrassment to baseball. I'm often critical ... More >>

  • Blogs

    February 11, 2013

    Jim Crane and Charlie Finley: The Future Through The Past

    A man buys a baseball team. He alienates the fans. He trades away all of the veterans with big contracts and attempts to build a team through the farm system. There's the threat of a forced move to another league. The other owners not wanting him in their club. And the commissioner treats him like a ... More >>

  • Blogs

    December 14, 2012

    Looking Forward To The Astros In 2013

    With 2012 coming to an end, let's kiss this lost year of the Astros goodbye and take a look at what's coming in 2013. The key word is "new," as in new uniforms, new logos, new TV network, new broadcasters, new players, new manager and coaches, and on, and on, and on. 5. Welcome to the American Lea ... More >>

  • Blogs

    December 7, 2012

    25 Ways to Replace Jim Deshaies; You're Welcome, Astros!

    As you know by now, Jim Deshaies has left the Astros, and is joining the Chicago Cubs broadcasting crew. In many ways, that's like making the jump from AAA to the majors since WGN is seen nationally while Comcast Sports Net Houston is seen just about nowhere. Now with Deshaies gone, the Astros are h ... More >>

  • Blogs

    November 2, 2012

    Hey Astros Fans, It's Free Agency Time

    Tonight's the night Astros fans. Tonight's the night the Astros can start snapping up free agents from throughout baseball. Tonight's the night Jim Crane, with all of the money he's saved by dumping the team's high-priced veterans last season and with all of the money's he's going to make off the te ... More >>

  • News

    October 11, 2012
  • Blogs

    September 26, 2012

    Tonight: The End Of An Astros Era (Last Chance To See National League, Old Uniforms, Bill Brown, Etc.)

    For many, the end of this year's Houston Astro season -- much like last year's Astro season -- could not come soon enough. There are only so many 100-loss campaigns even the most diehard fans can be expected to endure, after all. (In case you are keeping score at home, the Astros are 42 and a half ... More >>

  • Blogs

    August 27, 2012

    The Return of Roger Clemens and Some Other Dumb Ideas for Jim Crane

    I've been onboard with most of what the Houston Astros have done this season. The team needed to be blown up. New blood was needed in the front office, the dugout, and on the roster. All that has happened, and though the team has been bad, the promise of the future has kept me invested in this team. ... More >>

  • Blogs

    August 20, 2012

    Astros Put Fans Out Of Their Misery And Fire Brad Mills

    So the Astros bloodletting continued this weekend. Manager Brad Mills, hitting coach Mike Barnett, and first base coach Bobby Meacham were fired after Saturday night's embarrassing lost to the Arizona Diamondbacks. The firing of Mills was expected (as was the firing of most of the coaching staff) th ... More >>

  • Blogs

    June 22, 2012

    The Houston Astros Are Seeking The Added Dimensions Of Roger Clemens; We Offer 20

    You're the new owner of a major league baseball team. And you come with a bunch of baggage attached. Baggage like war profiteering and various EEOC charges involving sexist and racial statements and actions directed toward your employees. Your team is bad, and there are large portions of your fan ba ... More >>

  • Blogs

    February 3, 2012

    20 Modest Fan Suggestions for Jim Crane

    The word from on-high came earlier this week when the Houston Astros announced that Jim Crane had heard the voice of the fans and thus would not be changing the team's name. It's nice that Crane paid some attention to the people who buy tickets (though it does seem strange to see how many people co ... More >>

  • Blogs

    January 26, 2012

    Comment of the Day: Astros Name Change Edition

    ​We have some great commenters here on Hair Balls, and it's time we paid some damn attention to them. So we'll be highlighting a Comment of the Day each morning, from the previous day's work. Maybe two comments, even. This will all be determined by a highly rigorous scientific formula involv ... More >>

  • Blogs

    January 24, 2012

    The Astros Lowering Ticket and Beer Prices, Maybe Changing Unis and the Name?

    I've written a lot of snark about Jim Crane in the months since he purchased the Astros. And let's be honest, I'll probably have a lot more snark in the days, months and years ahead. But let's be more honest, there's a lot that Crane has done with this team since assuming full control of the franc ... More >>

  • Blogs

    January 24, 2012

    The Astros May Be Changing Their Name? My 5 Suggestions

    Yesterday afternoon, Astros owner Jim Crane built up more good will with the Houston community in about eight minutes than the team on the field has in the last six years when he announced that the 2012 season will feature cheaper beer ($5 beers!), cheaper tickets and permission to bring your own f ... More >>

  • Blogs

    December 23, 2011

    The Year In Astros Baseball: Thank God That's Over

    ​So let's continue our look back at the sporting year that was 2011 by taking a look at the Top 25 events to happen to the Houston Astros. 1. They finished with the worst record in team history, which was quite the accomplishment seeing as how the Astros were pretty damn bad for most of the ... More >>

  • Blogs

    November 29, 2011

    Comment of the Day: Don't Get Too Excited About the Astro Front-Office Firings

    We have some great commenters here on Hair Balls, and it's time we paid some damn attention to them. So we'll be highlighting a Comment of the Day each morning, from the previous day's work. Maybe two comments, even. This will all be determined by a highly rigorous scientific formula involving wit ... More >>

  • Blogs

    September 29, 2011

    Dis-Astros Season Mercifully Comes to an End and That's the Good News

    Early in spring training, some cockeyed optimists probably opined to one another about how if things went just right for the Astros this year, well dad gummit, we could have ourselves quite the little season. And then reality kicked in. The Astros ended their season last night with their 106th loss ... More >>

  • Blogs

    September 9, 2011

    Astros Suitor Jim Crane Emerges to Dis MLB and the Houston Press

    The Press story on Crane's divorce​Jim Crane, the guy who's probably not going to end up buying the Astros from Drayton McLane, emerged from hiding via an exclusive interview with the Houston Chronicle. He says he's frustrated that Major League Baseball seems to be interested in his paying fi ... More >>

  • Blogs

    September 7, 2011

    Rejected Dejected: Astros Waiting Around For MLB To Do Something About Jim Crane

    Somebody finalize this deal already​It's known as the Rejected/Dejected shot. The camera focusing on the batter as he walks back to the dugout after having just struck out, usually on a called strike. It's one of those shots that best captures the emotion of the game and helps to bring the v ... More >>

  • Blogs

    August 3, 2011

    Is Drayton McLane Really the Best Astros Owner Ever?

    John McMullen, former Astros owner​Sometime this month the 29 MLB owners will approve the purchase of the Houston Astros by Jim Crane. Drayton McLane, the man selling the Astros, will be referred to as the greatest owner in Astros history. The man who turned the team into a winner. Who took ... More >>

  • Blogs

    May 30, 2011

    11 Modest Suggestions For Jim Crane

    ​After the Astros lose to the Chicago Cubs this afternoon, the 2011 MLB season will be one-thirds complete. And while it was expected the Astros would be bad, being the worst team in the National League was not expected -- an injury-depleted Minnesota Twins are the only thing keeping the Astr ... More >>

  • Blogs

    May 19, 2011

    Houston Astros & Minute Maid Park Begin Process for Covert Name Change

    Craig Hlavaty​Yesterday while filming segments for KIAH's "Newsfix" in the monument park at Minute Maid Park, my camera crew and I came across this sign, defaced for your pleasure. It looked as if the sign had been modified for some time, as there were no pieces of the departed "M" near the sc ... More >>

  • Blogs

    May 18, 2011

    So You Want to Own a Baseball Team? Baseball Financing 101

    ​There are a lot of stories coming out about how the Astros are going to face a long climb to respectability. About how all of the team's problems can't be solved by spending money. About how we're just going to have to be patient while Jim Crane's baseball people rebuild the mess left behin ... More >>

  • Blogs

    May 13, 2011

    Astros Finally Sold, Or So It Appears

    ​Ding, dong, the wicked witch is dead. The Astros have, it appears, finally been sold. At least that's what Drayton McLane has told Mark Berman over at Fox 26. The papers are still being finalized, though it is hoped that the parties will sign off on the sale next week. McLane was not wil ... More >>

  • Blogs

    December 16, 2009

    Drayton Sells Astros, Almost

    ​Hey kids, guess what? Drayton McLane is a liar.I'm not shocked by that. I used to work for the guy. But apparently people at the Houston Chronicle are surprised that Drayton lied to them about trying to sell the team after the 2008 season. A local businessman, Jim Crane, even entered into a hands ... More >>

  • More >>