Not so fast: Jim Crane’s approval as Astros owner put on hold

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Jim Crane was supposed to be approved as the new owner of the Astros at this week’s owners meetings.  Now Eric Fisher of SportsBusiness Journal is reporting that the vote has been put on hold.  It’s possible that the delay is based on concerns over Crane’s business background.

These concerns are not new — Maury Brown cataloged them pretty comprehensively a couple of months ago — but they were not thought to be enough to derail Crane’s ownership bid.

Is that bid derailed, or is this just a matter of extra due diligence?  I suspect we’ll find out soon.

UPDATE: Literally one minute after I posted this, the following statement from Major League Baseball was released:

 “The standard due diligence that must be completed before any transaction of this magnitude can close remains ongoing.   Because that procedure is continuing, it is not expected that the proposed sale of the Astros will go to the approval process at this week’s owners meetings.  Major League Baseball will continue to work as expeditiously as possible to complete the process.”

Video: Ketel Marte hits an inside-the-park home run

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Braves starter Aaron Blair had a nightmarish bottom of the third inning on Wednesday afternoon against the Diamondbacks. He had just given up a run on a Daniel Descalso triple hit to center field that center fielder Ender Inciarte read poorly. In the following at-bat, Ketel Marte laced a curve ball to right field. Sean Rodriguez wasn’t able to get to it in time, so the ball bounced off the fence and caromed back towards the stands along the right field line. By the time Rodriguez was able to retrieve the ball, Marte was already on his way home and scored standing up.

The inside-the-park homer will certainly provide a boost to Marte’s stats. He entered Wednesday’s action batting .196/.255/.370 in 51 plate appearances.

Video: Rafael Devers homers for his first major league hit

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Red Sox third base prospect Rafael Devers notched his first major league hit in style on Wednesday afternoon against the Mariners. The 20-year-old smashed a solo home run to straightaway center field, padding his team’s lead to 2-0 in the third inning.

Per MLB’s Stat of the Day Twitter account, Devers is currently the youngest player in baseball at 20 years and 275 days. He went 0-for-4 with a pair of walks and a run scored in Tuesday’s 13-inning loss to the Mariners.