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

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 fines to the government over Equal Employment Opportunity and war-profiteering complaints.

He also took the time to dis a 2000 Houston Press article on his divorce.

That article described a contentious meeting between Crane and his ex-wife, one that involved a physical altercation between Crane and his son.

Crane helpfully brought along his son and daughter to the Chron interview, and they denied there had been any physical confrontation, only verbal. For what it's worth, there were no denials included in the story about another physical confrontation between Crane and his son to which police were summoned.

George Flynn, the writer of the article, tells Hair Balls he stands by the story. "It was based on extensive reviews of official court documents and testimony and interviews," he said.

Perhaps the best reaction to the PR move by Crane came from the Chron's own Richard Justice:

There are a thousand reasons to question this guy's character and to consider whether he'd embarrass the Astros if he became owner, and now it's Jim Crane who wants baseball to hurry things along.

Did he not understand the process before he signed on? Is he so arrogant that he can't see there are things in his background that are going to give people pause? He may be the victim he makes himself out to be, but there's just so much there....

He apparently doesn't believe he has done anything wrong, and never mind those government fines.

His solution was to bring in a public relations guy, who set up the interview with the Chronicle. I sure hope Crane didn't write a big check for that kind of advice. If that's his idea of a good move, Carlos Lee can look forward to a nice fat contract extension.

My guess is that Selig will be furious when he sees Crane has taken his frustration with baseball's sales process into a public forum. Perhaps Crane senses that baseball doesn't want Crane owning a team, so he decided to publicly campaign for his own character.

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