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: Nov 16, 2006
Posted on: October 13, 2011 11:11 am

Report: Astros headed to American League

Why don't they just have 8 Designated Fielders and 9 Designated Hitters.  That way it can be more like Football, with an Offense and a Defense. 

Besides, the players work way to hard, they shouldn't have to do both.

Since: May 10, 2007
Posted on: October 13, 2011 11:11 am

Report: Astros headed to American League

The DH sucks.  Plain and simple. 

Since: Jul 22, 2007
Posted on: October 13, 2011 11:04 am

Report: Astros headed to American League

Ok, so then by your estimation a pitcher isn't a "baseball player"?
This may be me growing up as an AL fan but I prefer the DH to seeing a pitcher who in most cases is either going to sac. bunt or make an out.
Sure there are some "good hitting pitchers" but they're few & far between and when they do get a hit it feels more like the end of the bench infielder who never gets to play getting a hit than the exilerating feeling of someone who plays every day getting a hit.
Most DH's play every day and when they don't it's usually because they get a day off and another position player DH's that day to give his body a rest from the field.
Take for example someone like Andrew Dawson, HOF'er, GREAT hitter and by all accounts a GREAT RF'er well he was still that great RF'er despite having knees that were torn to shreds and that was by his second or third year with the Expos.
He could still play but think of how much better his offensive production could have been had he had an opportunity every so many days to still hit and contribute to the team but his knees got a rest from the wear & tear of playing in the OF.
Sure he would still have to run the bases but not having to play defense would have rested his knees and I think his #'s would have been better and perhaps helped the Expos or Cubs that much more.
He eventually DH'd some when he joined the Sox and had he stayed in the AL instead of going to the Marlins (His hometown team) maybe he could have had another 2-3 productive years at the plate.
As for the overpaid part of your post, let's face it, EVERYONE in professional sports at the major league level is overpaid for what they do, it's juyst the nature of the game and where we are economically but let me ask you this, if Albert Pujols was a fulltime DH for an AL team instead of a First baseman for the Cards would you think any less of his #'s? I don't think so, we always talk about how great a hitter he is but you never hear anyone say "Man that Pujols, he's an amazing First baseman, did you see how he scooped that low throw out of the dirt", no you think of his offense, the fact that he hits for such a high average, gets hits, knocks out HR's & RBI's like crazy and you want to say that somehow those numbers wouldn't be as impressive because he doesn't "play in the field, so him getting a hit late in the game when he could be fatigued is much more impressive" - BS! either you get the job done or you don't it's plain & simple because otherwise there'd be a stat like "hits while fatigued" or there'd be some sort of Bill James type stat that got adopted like "HINI" - Hits in Nineth inning or some foolishness like that.
Since we don't see specialized stats like that or hear people talking about them it stands to reason that a hit is a hit is a hit no matter if you get it in the first inning or the nineth inning, sure the game winning hit is exciting but in the record book it's just a hit plain & simple same for what position you were penciled in at that day, you don't get extra points on the avergae or an extra hit for each one you get because you also played the field that day.
I say bring on the DH, screw the tired old thinking of "it takes away from the strategy of the game", you're overthinking it, it's like Manager Joe Riggins of the Durham Bulls once said " a simple game... you throw the hit the ball... you catch the ball..!!!!" and having an extra guy in place of a guy who doesn't and can't hit consistently well is what I would rather see!

Since: Sep 6, 2011
Posted on: October 13, 2011 11:01 am

Report: Astros headed to American League

Yeah, nevermind the fact that that fat arse DH that should have retired long ago is often times a better hitter than your 3rd batter or clean up hitter.

Listen, the fact that these DH's currently do not play the field does not translate them being out of baseball if there were no DH.  You best believe that if not for the DH, these players would still be playing baseball, with the only difference them being on the field fumbling balls, a la Adam Dunn, instead of in the dugout allowing for the better defensive players to play the field and thereby increasing the overall level of play in MLB.

The implementation of the DH rule is a rule that increased the level of viewing enjoyment in baseball, not decreased it. It spared us from the bore of having to sit through watching a pathetic experience like watching a hitter come to the plate, while at the same time having great hitter but lacking fielding expertise play the field.  It was a win/win proposition.  Not unlike having the pitcher come to the plate forcing better hitters to either sit on the bench and wait for that pinch-hit opportunity in the 9th inning, or play defense with no speed, no arm, and lack of any type of fielding coordination, is a lose/lose for all involved.

Stop deluding yourselves just because you are biased toward your fandom for your team in the NL.  There is no question that the DH expands line-ups and keeps us interested with baseball offense batter one through nine.

Don't be afraid to move on up to the 21st century.  Contrary to your biased belief, pitchers coming to the plate is not an enjoyable experience and making the process of substituting for that inequity is simply a boring and predictable process. 

To assert otherwise is ridiculous.

Since: Jul 1, 2009
Posted on: October 13, 2011 10:53 am

Report: Astros headed to American League

That was a sly move by the author to throw in his two cents about the DH. I agree with most of the article and think that the move of one NL team to the AL is long overdue and Houston is about as smart a choice as any. They have a perfect AL ballpark, good fans (even though they are really bad) and geographically fit in the AL west nicely. But to make the DH a uniform rule is a long shot. Part of what makes baseball so unique is that it has two leagues, competing for the same title but using slightly different rules. I like that the pitchers hit in the NL. It is a throwback and involves using strategy during a game. As an Indians fan, I've grown up with the DH and don't think it lessens the game any. (Unless, of course, you are paying your DH $14 million a year to hit 4 times a game, hit less than 15 HRs and have no ability to play a position) Just because changes are being made doesn't mean you have to completely overhall the league.

Since: Jul 28, 2008
Posted on: October 13, 2011 10:53 am

Report: Astros headed to American League

I've never been one to criticize writers in general, I feel like too many people's comments do so and many barely read the article. That said, (you know what's coming) unfortunately this is the second article in a row I've read on CBS that has a lot of assumptions and relatively no facts. "Astros may go to the AL," great good to know, thanks for the information, I'll look forward to the White Sox playing them if it comes to fruition, you even have a credible source that makes me believe it will happen.

But what proof is behind the rest of the article?  Is there any evidenence at all elluding to this or is it an educated guess? You addressed the story in a paragraph and then needed to meet a word count so you added a bunch of dribble?

If the Astros go to the AL then… Expanded playoffs! Interleague series throughout the season! DL or No DL rule applied to both leagues! Cubs to have no day games! World Series will take place in Europe! Expansion to Japan! Everything! Everything will change!!!!

It really dumbs down the article with no thought of trying to be acurate. My guess Astros move to the AL and that will be all for next year but hey that's my assumption.

Since: Jun 15, 2011
Posted on: October 13, 2011 10:51 am

Report: Astros headed to American League

Once again, they should move the Diamondbacks to the American League, and eliminate divisions. 

Both leagues would be even by time zones--7 east, 4 central, 4 mtn/pac


Play the 4 former division teams 11 games over 4 series (44 games)
Play the other 10 league opponents 10 games over 3 series (100 games)
Play 4 interleague series, including 2 against the local/regional rival (12 games)

156 games in 175 days
50 series in 25 weeks

Top-3 make the playoffs.

If 3- and 4- and/or 5- and 6-seeds tie, they play a tiebreaker on Thursday after season ends on Wednesday.

4- and 5-seeds play a best-of-3 on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.

Rest of playoffs expand to best-of-7, and with the shortened regular season, the World Series still ends in October.

Fair schedule.  Try it sometime.

Since: Dec 19, 2006
Posted on: October 13, 2011 10:44 am

Report: Astros headed to American League

Yes, by all means, WeSoEvil, lets adopt the DH in the national league too so that MLB can add another group of HIGHLY overpaid players that only work once every four or five days and then sit in the bullen/bench/clubhouse while the rest of the team contributes every day.

If you are going to be a baseball player, BE A BASEBALL PLAYER!

Since: Sep 5, 2008
Posted on: October 13, 2011 10:43 am

Report: Astros headed to American League

There are alot of NL pitchers that can hit well. Strategy is and always should be a major part of the game. Having some fat arse
playing DH that should have retired long ago is not strategy.

Since: Sep 6, 2011
Posted on: October 13, 2011 10:34 am

Report: Astros headed to American League

If this will get pitchers out of the batters box, I am all for it!

There is nothing worse than watching a pitcher trying to hit.  Little league hitters look like MLB sugglers compared to these pathetic excuses for batters.

All of these geniuses talking about more strategy in the NL due to pitchers hitting is pure biased BS.  There is no strategy behind replacing an automatic out in the line-up with a pinch hitter.  It is just the obvious thing to do.  You know why?  Because these pitchers CANT HIT!! Never could, never will!

No one cares about a double-switch.  Tell me, when was the last time you saw the fans come to their feet and cheer wildly after seeing a manager negotiate a double-switch?  It's just a move.  A boring and predictable process.

I never watch NL baseball for the fact that the anticipation of watching the dreaded bottom of an NL line-up coming to the plate is a painful bore.  And it happens atleast 3 times each games, and more often times 4 times each game.  I can't thing of anything in sports that is as boring as this exercise.  I guarantee that baseball popularity will increase with the implementation of the DH in the NL.  As it stands, the NL is the only baseball league that has not implemented the DH rule.  It is time that the dreaded experience of watching a pitcher hit come to a screeching stop!

This move can't happen fast enough!

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