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.

Related coverage
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.

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnBaseball on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.

Since: Dec 21, 2006
Posted on: October 12, 2011 1:10 pm

Report: Astros headed to American League

rather than moving the astros to the al and having interleague play ALL YEAR, mlb shoulda added two teams to the american league.  oklahoma city and nashville would and could support pro baseball.  divisional realigning would be a lot better than switching leagues and having interleague play ALL YEAR.

Since: Nov 10, 2006
Posted on: October 12, 2011 1:07 pm

Report: Astros headed to American League

The sticking point has been that Crane wants compensation from MLB for accepting the move and the collateral damage of further pissing off an already thoroughly pissed fan base while simultaneously asking them to buy a new cable channel for Astros and Rockets games.

If Gammons is correct, who caved? Is Crane caving on compensation? Is MLB going to reimburse Crane about $100 million on the sale price?

The day the Astros switch to the DH league is the day I stop being an Astros fan. 50 years of fandom and National League history sold for a few shekels of silver. Minute Maid Park may have a lot or Rangers, Yankees and Red Sox fans in their future but likely very few Astros fans. Hope you enjoy those empty seats, Judas.

Since: Jun 3, 2010
Posted on: October 12, 2011 1:06 pm

Report: Astros headed to American League


I think it has more to do with the divisional logistics. The Astros make much more sense for the AL West than the Brewers or anyone else in the Central due to location.


- Matt

Since: Jul 30, 2009
Posted on: October 12, 2011 1:05 pm

Report: Astros headed to American League

The only problem with that is that Milwaukee doesn't fit into the AL West, regionally speaking.  My opinion would be to move the Diamondbacks or Rockies to the AL West and switch the Astros to the NL West.

Since: Jul 27, 2011
Posted on: October 12, 2011 1:05 pm

Report: Astros headed to American League

Think the AL West would improve with a team of above average quality, not the Astros.

Or am I being unkind? 

Since: Sep 27, 2009
Posted on: October 12, 2011 1:03 pm

Report: Astros headed to American League

That is hilarious Brewer fan.  While the Astros were making the playoffs six out of nine years from 1997 to 2005, your boys highest finish was third in the Division.  Sprinkle in three 6th place finishes and two 5th place finishes in that same timeframe, who was the real joke for a much longer time?  Congratulations on your 2nd playoff appearance in the last 28 years for your awesome franchise.   

Since: Aug 31, 2011
Posted on: October 12, 2011 1:00 pm

Report: Astros headed to American League

I still say they should take the Brewers if anybody switches leagues.  It was the Brewers who came over to the National League a few years ago, and they should be the team to switch back.  There is not a need to have an in-state rival and that shouldn't be a reason to do it either.  This stinks like Selig and that's a stench nobody wants.

Since: Nov 20, 2006
Posted on: October 12, 2011 12:48 pm

Report: Astros headed to American League

Awww I wish they would take the Cardnals or the Reds. Astros are one of the only sure wins for NL teams. If they go to the NL they could lose 160 games
Anyway we will really miss the Astros in the NL central 

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or