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Astros owner denies $99 million profit

The SportsXchange

HOUSTON -- Houston Astros owner Jim Crane vehemently denied a Forbes report that claimed the Astros were set to make an MLB-record $99 million profit this season.

"It's not even close to being accurate," he said. "We don't release numbers. Baseball doesn't release numbers and so they put some assumptions that were totally inaccurate and came up with the article along the way. Basically at the back end of that thing is we're still working a plan, our commitment. What it doesn't have in there is what we've spent on the draft and a lot of other things we're doing to rebuild the team."

Although the Astros wouldn't say which parts of the story were inaccurate or how much money they expect to make in 2013, the $80 million figure Forbes used as revenue from the team's television deal with Comcast Sports Network is off.

That figure is based on full distribution, but CSN is only close to 40 percent distribution.

"Once we have a nucleus of players we're starting to see develop, we'll step in with the right resources to make it happen," Crane said. "Our TV is still hanging in the wind. We have to get full coverage on that soon. That's really the story. Nothing more on that."

The Astros have received a lot of criticism for their MLB-lowest $13 million payroll, but the investment in the farm system has given the Astros one of the best farm systems in baseball.

"When we took over the team, as you guys know, we were the worst big team and worst minor league system," Crane said. "And we've improved our minor league system so hopefully one or two by the end of this year and that's going to give us a nucleus.

"(Forbes is) trying to sensationalize the situation," he said, "and it's totally inaccurate and we're sticking with our plan and our plan is to develop the players.

--The Sports Xchange team correspondents contributed to this report.

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