- Number-crunchers put GOP chances of retaking Senate at 60 percent: report
- Ohio sheriff sends bill to Mexico for cost of jailing illegals
- Fla. voters’ support for medical marijuana bodes well for ballot measure: poll
- Keith Urban concert ends in ‘nutso’ chaos, with dozens arrested, injured
- Very religious still lean toward GOP, reflecting long-term patterns, Gallup poll shows
- Fist bump becoming all the rage for germ-wary handshakers
- Tennessee storms ravage counties, wreck 10 homes
- Chinese police tear down church cross in religion crackdown
- Iraqi Christians rally at White House: ‘Obama, Obama, where are you?’
- Maine police find wife, husband, 3 children dead in home
MLB approves Astros sale, price cut $65 million
Question of the Day
MILWAUKEE (AP) - Baseball owners unanimously approved the sale of the Houston Astros from Drayton McLane to Jim Crane on Thursday, which will lead to the team moving from the NL Central to the AL West for the 2013 season.
The decision will give each league 15 teams, baseball's first realignment since the Milwaukee Brewers switched from the AL to the NL after the 1997 season.
As part of the Astros' agreement to switch leagues, the sale price was cut from $680 million to $615 million, a person at Thursday's meeting told The Associated Press. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because details weren't announced,
Major League Baseball will make up part of the $65 million difference, paying McLane $35 million over three years, the person said.
Commissioner Bud Selig said owners also approved two additional wild-card teams for the postseason, meaning 10 of the 30 teams make the playoffs. Selig said he hopes the expanded playoffs can start next year, but he said the specifics are being worked out. The players' association favors the move.
"You do things for a long period of time. The addition will really help us in the long run," Selig said.
Owners also approved longtime San Francisco Giants executive Larry Baer to replace Bill Neukom as the team's controlling owner.
In addition, MLB executive vice president Rob Manfred said progress was made on a new collective bargaining agreement to replace the deal that expires Dec. 11.
Selig saluted McLane, who bought the team in 1992 for about $117 million. The Astros struggled mightily on the field last season, losing 106 games.
"Drayton should have a wonderful legacy of what he did for the Astros, got them a new ballpark and did all these things," Selig said. "He sure left a much better franchise than we he came in."
Crane founded a Houston-based logistics company in 2008. He is chairman and chief executive officer of Crane Capital, a private equity fund company. Two years ago, he was attempting to buy the Chicago Cubs and last summer he tried to purchase the Texas Rangers.
In September, Crane expressed frustration at how long it was taking MLB to move on the sale and noted there is a Nov. 30 deadline.
In 1997, employees of Crane's former company, Eagle USA Airfreight, filed complaints with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission saying there was discrimination. Eagle settled the case in 2005 for about $900,000.
Selig acknowledged the long vetting process.
"I'm very comfortable today telling you he has put together a good group in Houston," the commissioner said.
AP Sports Writer Ronald Blum in New York contributed to this report.
By Mark Davis
The nation founders, the Lone Star State thrives
- Illegal immigrants demand representation in White House meetings
- Family of Marine killed in Afghanistan pushes back against cover-up
- Rahm Emanuel: Send illegal immigrant shelter kids to Chicago
- Tennessee Gov. Haslam slams White House for secret dump of illegals in his state
- CURL: Obama, staffers not even pretending any more
- D.C. seeks stay in order striking down ban on handguns in public
- Hillary Clinton: Forget Obama, George W. Bush made her 'proud to be an American'
- 'Pocket drones': U.S. Army developing tiny spies for the next big war
- Washington Times strikes content and marketing partnership with Redskins
- '50 Shades' movie trailer outrages anti-porn groups
Obama's biggest White House 'fails'
Celebrities turned politicians
Athletes turned actors
20 gadgets that changed the world
Fighting in Iraq