Move to AL wouldn’t be so bad

As I ponder the many ramifications of the Astros possibly moving to the American League in the near future, one of the first things that popped into my mind was how weird an interleague series in St. Louis would be. Never mind the designated hitter, the bevy of West Coast games and being able to see them play in Arlington three times a year.

As the Astros await approval of a transfer of ownership to a group led by Houston businessman Jim Crane, an industry source has confirmed for MLB.com commissioner Bud Selig has asked Crane to agree to move the Astros to the American League if he’s approved as owner.

Crane signed a sales purchase agreement in May to buy the team from Drayton McLane for $680 million, but Major League Baseball has yet to approve the deal.  The possible league switch has kept the deal from being approved, the source said, but it could still get approval without Crane’s consent to switch leagues.

McLane declined to comment Thursday, and Crane didn’t respond to an email seeking comment.

Why the Astros? Simple geography. Baseball would like two 15-team leagues, which means six five-team division. The problem is the AL West has four teams and the NL Central has six. Because the Astros are farther west than any other team in the NL Central, they would be the most logical team to change leagues.

It’s hard to fathom the Astros leaving 50-plus years of NL tradition behind to join the AL, but it is exciting in a way. The Yankees and Red Sox — baseball royalty — would come to Houston once a year, and we’d be no longer subject to watch pitchers try to hit. Sure, I’m with most of you. I like the NL game and the strategies involved with pitchers hitting, but I could be sold on baseball AL-style.

Plus, we’d have year-round Interleague Play. With 15 teams in each league, at least one team from the AL and one team from the NL would have to be playing each other all the time.

AL baseball is higher scoring, but that comes with longer games. Just ask the Yankees and Red Sox, who seem to play four-hour games on a regular basis. I would miss the rivalries with the Cardinals and Cubs and making trips to PNC Park and Wrigley Field. Of course, this is coming from a guy who hasn’t been to Fenway Park in 20 years, either.

Of course, the Astros could wind up staying in the NL, which would be fine with me. I grew up on the speed and defense and great pitching of the Astros teams that played in the Astrodome in the 1980s and 1990s. But you’re always intrigued by what’s on the other side of the fence, and the Astros might find out soon.

22 Comments

I’d be thrilled if the Astros moved to the AL, since I live in Boston and can only afford to fly to Houston every couple of years. Aside from my selfish reasons though, I think an Astros-Rangers rivalry that not only meant state bragging rights but also division championships in some seasons would be fantastic. Can you imagine it – Astros & Rangers tied for first heading into a weekend series at MMP at the end of the season? That could be the stuff of legend.

“Move to AL wouldn’t be so bad” Yes it would. 1) Interleague happening every day dillutes the excitement since we all know the season isn’t going to be stretched out with off days or reduced in number of games. 2) F the DH 3) 50+ years of NL rivalry 4) It does not make geographic sense to take so many trips to Anaheim, Oakland & Seattle when Chicago, Milwaukee, St Louis & Cincy are in the same time zone. 5) I definitely dislike the Yankees & Red Sox, and despite what you’re trying to argue, the only division people pay attention to in the AL is the AL East. You can’t honestly tell me that the Central & West get the attention they deserve, other than Verlander and defending AL Champion Texas. 6) As far “geographic sense” there would be too many games starting at 9:05 CST when we would be in Anaheim, Oakland & Seattle 9 times a year each, which is 27 games a year. 4) Send the Brewers to the AL Central where they came from, send the Royals back to the AL West where they have a long history of playing.

Why should the Royals fans suffer through games starting at 9:05 PM Central Time?? The Astros are the team trying to be sold and the league has leverage on them. Kansas City shouldn’t be punished because Astros fans whine about getting moved.

Also, Houston is more West than Kansas City is.

I like NL games for a reason and am not excited about switching to the AL. The AL style of play has nowhere near the strategy of the NL (not necessarily the pitcher alone). I wish there was a 30 year study of the DH, the AL, and pitching statistics. I bet you would find that ERAs are lower in the NL meaning better pitching match-ups and pitcher duels. I like the history and style of play in the NL. I don’t relish seeing the Yankees or Red Sox although they are the center of baseball history. I don’t think the players are all that fond of interleague play as I recall. I would prefer that we send the Brewers back where they came from. Bud moved the Brewers to the NL in 1990s. Why? Because it supported his idea to have a central division. This whole realignment mess started with him so I think it is only fair that he put things back the way they were. Jim Bowden has some interesting (albeit controversial) realignment ideas. I like the idea of returning to the old two divisions, returning to the unbalanced schedule, and expanding the number of playoff teams. If Bowden can get creative, I think Bud can, too. Bud has had his sites set on us since we were up for sale. I think we are a convenient happenstance to quickly and easily solve Bud’s problem so I don’t think geography has anything to do with it. I still think they could send Arizona to the AL. They are closer to that time zone. If we are forced to realign with three divisions, then I would rather go to the NL West rather than the AL but I prefer to do away with the Central Division. Maybe I’m too old school on this point.

The grass always looks greener on the other side of the fence but I don’t want the problems that go along with it. Astros fans should bury the MLB offices with emails insisting that they leave our Astros alone. We are a NL league team and always have been. I hope we always will be.

I forgot, you work for MLB now…..so that’s why you’re writing crap like this.
Selig is BALCKMAILING Crane, and or Drayton about this move. Why doesn’t
Selig tell *his* Brewers to move back???? NO. NO. NO.

This is not why I write this. I’d rather the Astros stay where they are, but I’m trying to optimistic. No one tells me what to write.

You are nothing but a corporate lackey. Thanks for nothing, you bum.

Becky, you have it wrong… the two are complicit… almost astoundingly clueless to the PR hit that he’s about to receive, Crane has went public tonight with his willingness to move to the AL if Bud is willing to help him a little bit with the $680 mil price tag.

Tags, I don’t know what to say. AL baseball gives me all the excitement of watching a bowling tournament… line-en up and take turns and see how many you can hit. Yippee. I feel so sold out right now, but it appears it’s going to happen… and many of us fans will let Crane have his Astros and find another team to support.

SGT…………I will *NEVER* set foot in MM again, if the team goes to the AL.
I HATE the AL, and as far as the rest of the fan base here in Houston, you’re
100% right. They won’t support the move. Bud Selig at his best. What a guy.
If I wanted to support an AL team, I would have done that YEARS ago with the
Rangers.

Baseball will be dead to me if this happens.

Becky, I’m taking nominations for the National League team we can all adopt in protest… the Cardinals seem appropriate… very Berkman-esque, when you think about it… your own team basically tells you “Get lost, this is a new age of Astros baseball,” so somewhat to demonstrate just how nauseating that attitude is in-light-of your previous devotion for so many years, we end up backing the team that we most routinely despised (though respected) for most of the last 20 years.

I’ve been an Astros fan since 1978. Season ticket holder three times (only three times because that’s the only times I could afford such a luxury).

If they move to the AL, I may stop watching baseball altogether. There would be zero connective tissue between the franchise going forward and the one I’ve always followed. Unrecognizable players going up against teams I have no connection to whatsoever.

When the Astros play an NL team, *every* NL team, there’s some historical moment I can point to – often a wealth of moments – to connect to the games. The game is always changing – players, uniforms… the power cycles of the competition. But it’s all part of a continuous tradition.

Why erase that with nothing to gain? And worse, to accept demotion to a league with a compromised version of the rules (DH).

Bud Selig has increasingly placed an emphasis on the history of baseball as part of its allure and employ that fact heavily in its marketing strategies. He takes every opportunity at World Series games and All-Star games to call attention to the league’s history. What a hypocritical move to force a team, one of the better in the NL over the past 35 years, to erase that history.

I am totally against this move and angry that MLB is so crass as to hold up a vote on the ownership change while they try to work another agenda. Crane better realize if he agrees he will upset almost every Astro fan in the city. I have been a season ticket holder for 12 years. I will NOT be if we move. Please wake up and realize this is a very bad idea!

Stay in the National League Stros!! Move the Brewers back where they came from or better yet Arizona both have fewer years in the National League than us.

Bria, you MUST have known an article like this would set off a *FIRE STORM* of
comments about this proposed move. We are ALL angry. Crane should sue Bud Selig, for blackmail, and extortion. PERIOD!

The DH is the WORST IDEA EVER IN PROFESSIONAL SPORTS!!!! It was instituted so old aging stars could finish their career and set records without getting hurt and its a load of CRAP!! I love watching the Astros no matter what place they’re in but I will not stay up till 3 am everynight to watch them cause they’re playing a division game in LA. This would be the WORST thing for the Astros, worse than the rebuilding they are going through now. I guarantee, the astros would go the way of the Royals, Nationals, and Rays! Everyone would quit watching and going to the games!

If Selig, the so called commissioner, really wanted to move an NL team to the AL West why would he not select the Rockies or Diamondbacks whose teams each have less than 20 years of existence each instead of trying to uproot a team that has 50 plus years of NL play as both a minor league and major league franchise? Why doesn’t Selig move his Brewers franchise back to the AL where they were to begin with?
It most likely has to do with two things. The first being that McLane has been nothing but a yes man to Selig over the years. The second is that Selig is trying to seize upon a down season for the Astros so that he can and put a positive spin on his legacy in MLB after he sat on his backside and did nothing during the steroid era. This is nothing more than blackmail and/or extortion and I am hoping that Crane has some sort of legal action that he can take if this deal falls through.
I’m nearly 40 years old and have been following this team since mid to late 70’s growing up in Houston. I love this team and it will always have a special place in my heart but baseball nearly lost me permanently after the strike in the 90’s and if Crane is forced to move the team to the AL, this time I will be gone for good. No more games at Minute Maid park, no more watching on television while they are away, and no more merchandise purchases for myself or my children.
McTaggart, you can tell Selig that if he blackmails Crane into this deal that he can go straight to hell. He will have ruined over 50 years of tradition and just lost a great deal of revenue from fans of the tam in fourth largest city in the country and it’s many fans around the country. Selig is and has been and always will be the WORST commissioner MLB has ever had!

Brian……..I told you!!

No. Don’t make it that easy on Crane. Please. This isn’t blackmail. The two are complicit here.

Crane’s going to get his team at some substantive discount.

Selig’s going to get his realignment and enjoy sticking it to the Astros just one more time on his way out the door.

Us fans are going to get… to bend over.

The only way I, as a fan, will not find another NL team is if the sport would finally decide upon a compromise rule that both leagues can adopt. I understand that AL fans don’t want to watch a pitcher bat 4 times in a game, if they’ll understand that I don’t want to watch a game so starkly lacking in any strategic decision-making. Let’s get a compromise, then, and move on.

McTaggart, you failed to mention that MLB started prying into Crane’s divorce from his first wife. What the hell were they doing prying into the man’s personal life? He’s never been incarcerated for drugs, tax evasion, or any sort of violent criminal act. This is a business deal. It’s not like the man is running for an election. digging into his personal life in a business deal is crossing the line in my opinion.

Apparently, when the Brewers moved to the NL in 1998, teams were asked if they wanted to move. The Royals were asked first, and they declined. Then the Brewers were asked, and they accepted. Why does it appear that MLB is taking a bullying, disrespectful approach this time?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 73 other followers

%d bloggers like this: