Update: Astros sale could be completed by next week

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UPDATE:  Zachary Levine reports that the sale of the Astros could be completed by next week. If so, ownership of the Astros could be transferred as early as July.

Tuesday: 5:07 PM:  Drayton McLane has commented on this morning’s report that he and Jim Crane have all but completed a deal to sell the Astros:

“I haven’t signed anything, Jim Crane and his group hasn’t signed anything and Major League Baseball hasn’t signed anything. We’re still negotiating, so there’s nothing to report.”

I guess I’d just note that saying “I haven’t signed anything” is not exactly a refutation of a report that you’re on the verge of signing anything.  In fact, they’re wholly consistent. But hey, they’ll tell us when they have a deal done.

Tuesday: 10:30 AM: Last week we learned that Jim Crane was the sole remaining bidder for the Houston Astros. This morning KTRK TV in Houston is reporting that the sale of the Houston Astros to Crane is all but a done deal. All that’s left according to KTRK: “the dotting of I’s and crossing of T’s.”  Gosh, I hope they’re not dotting capital I’s like that, because that would be improper.

The reported sale price is $680 million.  Drayton McLane purchased the team in late 1992 for $117 million in 1993. So, hey, not bad.

Given baseball’s recent history with turbulent transactions fraught with high drama and litigation, analysis of what appears to be a straightforward sale is, relatively speaking, like trying to expound upon a man tying his shoes and then walking on, so all I’ll say is “congratulations Drayton and Jim.”

Clayton Kershaw struggles with control, walks six Marlins

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Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw entered Wednesday night’s start against the Marlins without having issued a walk in his previous three starts. In fact, his last walk came on April 3 when he issued a free pass to Paul Goldschmidt with the bases empty and two outs in the bottom of the first inning. All told, Kershaw was on a streak of 26 walk-less innings before he took the mound at home to take on the Marlins.

Kershaw started off Wednesday in character, striking out the side in the first inning. He issued a walk in a tough second inning, but escaped without allowing a run. Kershaw walked two more in the third and again danced out of danger. In the fourth, Kershaw walked Lewis Brinson to load the bases with no outs and — you guessed it — didn’t end up allowing a run. His errant control finally came back to bite him in the fifth when Kershaw issued back-to-back two-out walks, then served up a three-run home run to Miguel Rojas down the left field line. His night was done when he completed the inning. Five innings, three runs, five hits, six walks, seven strikeouts, 112 pitches.

The six walks Kershaw issued over five innings marked his first six-walk outing since April 7, 2010 when he issued six free passes to the Pirates in 4 2/3 innings. The only other time he walked as many was on August 3, 2009 against the Brewers in a four-plus inning outing. Kershaw hasn’t even walked five batters in an outing recently — the last time was September 23, 2012 against the Reds.