Blog Entry

Report: Astros headed to American League

Posted on: October 12, 2011 12:38 pm
Edited on: October 12, 2011 1:15 pm
By Matt Snyder

The ownership change of the Astros has been hanging in the balance for months, as Jim Crane is awaiting approval to buy the franchise from Drayton McLane. Wednesday, Peter Gammons of MLB Network reported that the change is expected to be made in November. OK, that's fine. Not overly newsworthy, really. But then, Gammons added something that very much does matter, for all of baseball. The Astros are expected to be moved to the American League.

This has been rumored for some time, but never really reported as something that will definitely happen. Numerically, the move makes sense. The National League has 16 teams; the American League 14. The NL Central has six; the AL West four. Moving the Astros to the AL West makes sense, and they would have a natural division rivalry with the Texas Rangers -- albeit very lopsided in the present.

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But look a bit deeper, and the move means the entire face of baseball is changing. With 15 teams in each league, that means there will be interleague play throughout the season. This also points to Bud Selig's plan of expanded playoffs coming to fruition as well, because there's no better time to do so than when there's already a big change. From there, I would hope that the league would look into making the designated hitter rule uniform -- meaning either both or neither league uses it. I've argued in the past this needs to happen.

Stay tuned, but if this report is accurate, baseball is about to undergo major logistical changes. Also, don't expect the move to be made quickly enough to have it in place for 2012. The most likely outcome is the Astros move and the playoffs expand before 2013.

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Since: Oct 13, 2011
Posted on: October 13, 2011 4:26 pm

Report: Astros headed to American League

The Astros are part of the solution to the alignment of MLB divisions, but they don't belong in the AL.  The option that makes the most sense would see the Astros move to the NL West and Colorado would move to the AL West.  The Rockies have always looked and played like an AL team anyway.

Since: Jul 23, 2008
Posted on: October 13, 2011 3:57 pm

Report: Astros headed to American League

I WAS GOING TO SAY THE SAME THING!!  BASEBALL SHOULD HAVE AN OFFENSE AND A DEFENSE, LIKE FOOTBALL.  Basically that is what the DH is for one spot (Offense, DH, Defense, P).

The DH stands for DUMB HITTER.  Pitchers can hit, should hit, must hit to be considered BASEBALL PLAYERS.  Otherwise, they should be considered and called PITCHERS, and that's it.  There are MANY position players that can't hit a lick, but they still have to bat.  And there have been many pitchers that have batted eighth or higher because they were good hitters.

Seriously, it's time to get rid of the DH.  It wasn't implemented for the fans, it was implemented by the union.  Owners went along with it in order to produce more offense, more "excitement" and increase interest.  Real baseball fans are just as interested in good pitching and defense as they are interested in hitting, baserunning and HRs.

I think it's sad that some older fans, who followed baseball before the DH, have sold out and accepted AL baseball as real baseball.  It's close to real baseball, but it's not.

Others here have mentioned that the pitcher should have to face the opposing pitcher.  He should have to eat what he dishes out.  If he throws high and in on his opponents he should have to bat and stand in the box on a pitch high and in.

The next argument (from DHers) would be about protecting the pitcher, a team's most valuable asset.  It's part of the game.  All the players are assets.  These are grown men.  They know that there are risks involved.  Having to bat, as a pitcher, is not an unreasonable risk.  Why not move the mound back if you want to protect pitchers or have them wear a helmet while pitching.

Times changes, sports change but baseball can be pure and unique without gimmicks and watering down the product.

Since: Jul 23, 2008
Posted on: October 13, 2011 3:44 pm

Report: Astros headed to American League

@The Bison,  too much argument for something that is not that important.  Unless you are a DH in MLB. 

Since: Jan 5, 2010
Posted on: October 13, 2011 3:19 pm

Report: Astros headed to American League

at least now the astros can DH Carlos Lee

Since: Jul 28, 2009
Posted on: October 13, 2011 3:05 pm

Report: Astros headed to American League

yeah, because it is not like milwaukee is close to chicago or anything.  houston is MUCH closer, and fits in perfectly with that divsion.  milwaukee is soooo far west.    it's so obvious.  um yeah.  the ONLY reason they wont move the brewers is b/c selig owns them.

Since: Sep 1, 2006
Posted on: October 13, 2011 3:03 pm

Report: Astros headed to American League

The only reason that this regime won't move the Brewers back to the AL is it would be acknowledgement of the stupidity of their moving them to the NL in the first place.  And with Houston, you reduce the risk of further embarrassment potentially resulting from the scenario of sending to one league the defending champ of the other.  As for further playoff expansion, look no farther than the NBA to see just how uncompelling regular season games can be when too many teams make the post-season.  Nobody even blinked when they failed to reach a timely resolution to collective bargaining thus forcing the cancellation of two weeks of these games.

Since: Oct 13, 2011
Posted on: October 13, 2011 3:00 pm

Report: Astros headed to American League

Why all the talk about the 'Stros heading to the American League? If the commissioner is looking to return to the alignment of old, move the Brewers back where they belong! After all it was Selig who messed it all up when he held the positions of both Brewers' owner and MLB Commissioner... a blatant conflict of interest that led to a self-serving move. The Astros will have been a National League team for 50 years as of 2012, while the Brewers have only been in the National League since 1998 when Bud somehow convinced the other MLB owners to screw it all up. Bud lives in Milwaukee... send him and his favorite team back to the American League!

Since: Dec 26, 2006
Posted on: October 13, 2011 3:00 pm

Report: Astros headed to American League

The Seahwaks actually don't contend ... period!~

Since: Sep 6, 2011
Posted on: October 13, 2011 2:18 pm

Report: Astros headed to American League

Yes, it's a conspiracy, and it's simple enough to accomplish that even Bud Selig can do it.

It's far rom a conspiracy, my friend.  It's more like a business move based on opportunity.

When a team's current ownership wants out, when the fans want that team's ownership changed, when that team's season has just ended with a MLB worst record of 56-106 and a .346 winning percentage, when attendance in Minute Maid Park is the lowest it's been since the Astros moved there, it doesn't take a masters degree in business to understand that this move is based on a business opportunity, with very little to do with any type of conspiracy.   

At this time, it just so happens that the Houston Astros just happen to be in the unenviable position of weakness.  Not long ago, the twins where in this postion when the subject of contraction was big in MLB.  Today, with the Twins drawing over 3 million fans into their new stadium and with the fourth highest attendace in MLB, it is laughable that anyone could have ever considered "deleting" them from MLB.  

Such is life.  

Since: Mar 3, 2008
Posted on: October 13, 2011 2:01 pm

Report: Astros headed to American League

The Astros are a geographic mismatch in the NL Central.  Rumor has it that the new ownership wants this move the AL West to create a rivalry with the Rangers (and to help drive up attendance) for a 100+ loss club.

This could make for an interesting NL-only fantasy baseball auction/draft next year...especially if you are in a "keeper" league.

As far interleague play year-round, no big deal.  Personally, I would like to see inter-league play scaled back to a regional level.  AL West alway plays the NL West.  Personally, it isnt worth having the Yankees come to my NL Park when I have to also deal with Baltimore and Kansas City.

As a Brewers fan, I would much rather have the White Sox, Tigers, Indians and Royals show up every other year (we would still maintain our home-and-home rivalry with the Twins) than deal with the A's, Mariners, etc.  You would get a better mix of visiting fans with this set up.

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