Jim Crane tells his side of the story


Jim Crane, the owner-in-waiting of the Houston Astros is fed up. He’s fed up with waiting for MLB approval and he’s really fed up with the talk about why that approval is being held up.  You would too if it reminded people of past allegations of war profiteering, discrimination claims and details about a custody battle you had 11 years ago playing out in public.

His side of the story — in pretty great detail — can be read in an interview he gave to Richard Justice of the Houston Chronicle yesterday.

I’ll say that I have a bit of sympathy for the guy. I have a sense that the problems his bid is alleged to have are something of a moving target. Some days it’s the money, some days it’s the past. No one seems willing to go on record about it. All of this stuff had to have been known by those inside the game years ago, as Crane has been a potential owner for a long time.  And of course, no one at Major League Baseball seems to be in a hurry to do anything with the bid itself.

Hard to say if this helps him or hurts him. On the one hand, it’s probably good that he’s willing to talk frankly about the stuff swirling around him.  On the other hand: when was the last time MLB and Bud Selig took kindly to someone making their case in the press?

Danny Duffy exits spring training game with left shoulder tightness

Danny Duffy
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Royals’ Opening Day starter Danny Duffy weathered a minor scare during Saturday’s Cactus League game against the Diamondbacks. The left-hander was removed from his final spring training start after experiencing some left shoulder tightness in the second and third innings. No lasting damage appears to have been done — Duffy told reporters that he simply felt a slight ache, nothing more — and it looks like he’ll remain on track to open the season with the team next Thursday.

The 29-year-old southpaw is coming off one of his best performances to date. Despite losing a few weeks to an oblique strain and elbow soreness, he went 9-10 in 24 starts and finished the 2017 season with a 3.81 ERA, 2.5 BB/9 and 8.0 SO/9 over 146 1/3 innings. While Duffy entered camp with a clean bill of health, he struggled to execute against his spring training opponents and racked up 13 runs, four homers, seven walks and 11 strikeouts in 13 innings of Cactus League play.

The Royals are scheduled to kick off their home opener against the White Sox on Thursday, March 29 at 4:15 PM ET. Barring any further complications with his shoulder, Duffy will take the mound for the Royals, while James Shields is expected to make his first Opening Day appearance for the White Sox.