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Will Jim Crane have trouble with Major League Baseball over old discrimination complaints?

May 19, 2011, 10:00 AM EDT

Jim Crane AP

Richard Sandomir of the New York Times has a story this morning about the owner-in-waiting of the Houston Astros, Jim Crane, and a history of discrimination complaints with the EEOC against Crane’s company, Eagle Global Logistics:

Eagle, run by a former college pitcher named Jim Crane, had failed to promote blacks, Hispanics and women into managerial positions, the agency, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission found. Eagle had also demoted women from managerial positions, maintained a hostile workplace, paid blacks, Hispanics and women less than male and white counterparts, and shredded important documents, the agency said.

There was a large fine — $8.5 million — leveled by the EEOC after Eagle agreed to a consent decree, but the fine was subsequently walked back in major fashion when it was found that only about 10% of the specific claims were worthy of compensation. Which doesn’t mean that discrimination didn’t occur, mind you, though it could mean that. The key here is that these aren’t findings in litigation. They’re administrative in nature and the burden of proof is much lower than in a lawsuit.  These things can be messy.

Sandomir presents all of this by way of wondering if the discrimination complaints may cause bumps in the road to Crane’s ownership approval by Major League Baseball.

It seems like a major stretch to think it would.  Crane has been known to Major League Baseball for some time — he tried to buy the Astros once before and was close to getting the Rangers last year — so if MLB found him odious for some reason, they would have said something already.  Sandomir claims that someone did say something off the record about it all at one point, but that was denied by MLB’s Rob Manfred.

I have no idea about the merits of the actual discrimination claims, but I think this is much ado about nothing as far as Crane’s approval in the ownership group goes.  Drayton McLane is a good buddy of Bud Selig’s. If Selig felt like there was going to be any kind of a problem here, he would have let McLane know about it a long time ago so as not to put him in a tough spot.

  1. b7p19 - May 19, 2011 at 10:11 AM

    Wow, he sounds like a jackass. I’m obviously not in his head, but if this stuff is true I’m not a very big fan of Crane.

  2. tomemos - May 19, 2011 at 10:42 AM

    This is going to be quite a comment thread. Think I’ll steer clear of this one.

  3. halladaysbicepts - May 19, 2011 at 10:46 AM

    I hear his company also was cited by the EEOC for failure to promote Smurfs in a timely matter.

  4. bigxrob - May 19, 2011 at 11:06 AM

    Shredding documents must be the thing to do in Houston*.

    *Enron reference

  5. paperlions - May 19, 2011 at 11:50 AM

    Wait a second. I am supposed to believe that a company run by rich and powerful men promotes only individuals that are highly similar to themselves in terms of background, politics, and interests (many of which are correlated with age, skin color, and genitalia type)? That is simply outlandish.

  6. professor59 - May 19, 2011 at 12:26 PM

    How is this relevant? Are there any saints among sports owners?

    • halladaysbicepts - May 19, 2011 at 12:30 PM

      Actually, yes. Tom Benson owns the New Orleans Saints.

  7. xmatt0926x - May 19, 2011 at 12:54 PM

    So why exactly does Bud refuse to let Cuban buy a team??

    • derekjetersmansion - May 19, 2011 at 10:22 PM

      Because he wants to keep payrolls down, and keep Yankees-Red Sox as the marquee arms race. Same reason why McCourt owned the Dodgers.

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