Skip to content

Lance Berkman says Bud Selig “extorted” new Astros’ owner into moving team to AL

Mar 20, 2012, 9:45 PM EDT

Lance Berkman Getty Getty Images

Lance Berkman used a pretty loaded word earlier today to describe how MLB commissioner Bud Selig convinced new Astros’ owner Jim Crane to move the team to the American League West. According to Jerry Crasnick of ESPN.com, the former Astro said Selig “extorted” Crane into switching leagues as a precondition of ownership.

Berkman hasn’t conveyed his feelings personally to the commissioner, but said he would if given the opportunity.

“If he called me, I would tell him,” Berkman said. “I think that’s exactly what it was. To tell [Crane], ‘We’re going to hold the sale of the team up until you guys agreed to switch’? It just happened that the Astros were being sold at an optimal time for that to happen.”

Crane received a price reduction from $680 million to $615 million on the sale by agreeing to the switch, which will put 15 teams in each league beginning in 2013. While he admitted to Crasnick that he probably would have preferred to keep the franchise in the National League, he called it a “good deal for baseball” and a “good deal for our owners.”

“Lance can say what Lance wants to say,” Crane said. “He has great ties to the Astros and was a great player there for years. We certainly understand that he’s opinionated, but I wouldn’t use that strong a term. I think it was just a business deal that got renegotiated.”

Extortion is a probably a little extreme, but there’s little doubt that Crane was strong-armed into switching leagues. But I don’t expect him to complain given the sweet discount he ended up getting. Something tells me Berkman will get that conversation with Selig, though.

Latest Posts
  1. Kyle Lohse in danger of losing his spot in the Brewers’ rotation

    Aug 2, 2015, 11:05 PM EDT

    Kyle Lohse Kyle Lohse

    Kyle Lohse may have lost his spot in the Brewers’ rotation as his struggles continued on Sunday against the Cubs.

  2. Video: Adeiny Hechavarria clubs a walk-off three-run home run for the Marlins

    Aug 2, 2015, 10:15 PM EDT

    Adeiny Hechavarria Getty Images

    Adeiny Hechavarria prevented the Marlins from getting swept by the Padres on Sunday.

  3. Lucas Duda will homer off of you, and your brother, too

    Aug 2, 2015, 9:25 PM EDT

    Lucas Duda Lucas Duda

    Lucas Duda has no respect for familial ties.

  4. Henry Owens will make his major league debut on Tuesday at Yankee Stadium

    Aug 2, 2015, 8:35 PM EDT

    Henry Owens Henry Owens

    Red Sox pitching prospect Henry Owens will debut at Yankee Stadium on Tuesday. No pressure, kid.

  5. Dan Haren will “probably” retire after the season

    Aug 2, 2015, 7:45 PM EDT

    Dan Haren Dan Haren

    Dan Haren sounds pretty set on retiring after the season, but left open the possibility he’d pitch beyond 2015.

  6. Jose Bautista says he “lost a lot of respect for [Ned Yost] today”

    Aug 2, 2015, 6:55 PM EDT

    Jose Bautista Jose Bautista

    It’s safe to say the Royals and Blue Jays won’t be getting dinner with each other anytime soon.

  7. Brandon Morrow to get a second opinion on his ailing right shoulder

    Aug 2, 2015, 6:02 PM EDT

    Brandon Morrow Brandon Morrow

    Brandon Morrow will get a second opinion on his right shoulder, as his injury woes persist.

  8. A.J. Burnett’s career may be over

    Aug 2, 2015, 5:15 PM EDT

    A.J. Burnett A.J. Burnett

    A.J. Burnett is prepared to pitch through an elbow injury if necessary.

  9. The benches cleared in Toronto, too

    Aug 2, 2015, 4:27 PM EDT

    Josh Donaldson Josh Donaldson

    The Blue Jays and Royals weren’t very friendly to each other on Sunday.

  10. The Reds’ and Pirates’ benches cleared after Brandon Phillips was hit with a pitch

    Aug 2, 2015, 3:56 PM EDT

    Brandon Phillips Brandon Phillips

    Cincinnati hosted one of two benches-clearing incidents in baseball on Sunday.

  11. The Cubs are considering Chase Utley

    Aug 2, 2015, 3:35 PM EDT

    Chase Utley Chase Utley

    Injured Phillies second baseman Chase Utley is a potential August acquisition consideration for the Cubs.

  12. Brad Ausmus says he’ll “probably” go with Alex Wilson as the Tigers’ closer

    Aug 2, 2015, 2:45 PM EDT

    Alex Wilson Alex Wilson

    Brad Ausmus has a candidate to handle save situations following the Joakim Soria trade.

  13. Giancarlo Stanton’s recovery from hamate bone surgery “definitely slower” than expected

    Aug 2, 2015, 1:55 PM EDT

    Giancarlo Stanton Giancarlo Stanton

    Marlins outfielder Giancarlo Stanton might not return in mid-August as originally anticipated.

  14. Red Sox place Rick Porcello on the disabled list with a triceps injury

    Aug 2, 2015, 1:01 PM EDT

    Rick Porcello Getty Images

    Red Sox starter Rick Porcello heads to the disabled list with a triceps injury.

  15. Video: Jorge Soler robbed Khris Davis of a home run

    Aug 2, 2015, 9:30 AM EDT

    Nice catch

    Note: that is not his hand or glove.

  16. Settling the Scores: Saturday’s results

    Aug 2, 2015, 8:25 AM EDT

    Cole Hamels

    Cole Hamels’ Texas debut didn’t go too well.

Top 10 MLB Player Searches
  1. C. Gomez (5345)
  2. C. Hamels (4833)
  3. T. Tulowitzki (4619)
  4. Y. Cespedes (3997)
  5. D. Price (3401)
  1. M. Trout (3358)
  2. G. Parra (3235)
  3. J. Reyes (3205)
  4. B. Revere (3176)
  5. M. Latos (3077)