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Volume 24 No. 159
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MLB Franchise Notes: Astros Sale Could Be Delayed Until August

Drayton McLane on Friday said that while there "remains some hope of closure" for his sale of the Astros to Jim Crane later this month, "the process could be dragged out to the August 18 owners’ meetings" (, 7/8). In Houston, Zachary Levine writes under the header, "As Drayton McLane Leaves Baseball, He Still Maintains A Commitment To Community." McLane has "always stated two missions: to be a champion and to make a positive difference in the community. The first "carries a complicated legacy; the second an undeniable one." McLane has built "one of baseball’s most active foundations and community relations programs" (HOUSTON CHRONICLE, 7/11).

MAKING PROGRESS: In Akron, Sheldon Ocker reports yesterday's crowd of 21,148 for the Blue Jays-Indians game "brought attendance at Progressive Field to 949,809, which means the Tribe will pass 1 million the next homestand against the White Sox, Angels and Royals." At the Indians' current average of 21,106 fans per game at Progressive Field, they "will draw 1,709,000 for the season." That "hardly hearkens back to the days when the ballpark was sold out for 455 consecutive games, but it exceeds team projections by 200,000 and is 300,000-plus more than 2010" (AKRON BEACON JOURNAL, 7/11).

MONSTER BASH: In Boston, Dan Shaughnessy noted based on the amount of money N.Y. Times Co. received for its sale of "more than half of its 17 percent investment in the Red Sox, it looks as if John Henry’s investment in the team has almost tripled in value since he bought it in December 2001." Shaughnessy: "So let’s not weep about payroll and luxury tax. The Sox are swimming in cash" (BOSTON GLOBE, 7/10).

COAL IN YOUR STOCKING: In St. Louis, Lisa Brown reported the Cardinals are "suing an Illinois trucking company, Curry Ice & Coal, over unpaid fees totaling more than $600,000 for a suite at Busch Stadium." Curry Ice & Coal "was one of the original companies to sign long-term commitments with the Cardinals for a suite" while the ballpark was under construction in '04. The company "paid for the first four years after Busch Stadium opened in 2006." But in a lawsuit filed in the St. Louis Circuit Court last Thursday, the Cardinals allege that Curry Ice & Coal "did not pay for its suite when the bill was due in January." The Cardinals are "seeking repayment of $615,693, which includes attorney's fees and expenses" (ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH, 7/9).