Blog Entry

Stop complaining about changes in baseball

Posted on: November 17, 2011 2:44 pm

By Matt Snyder

The Astros are going to move to the American League West, likely in time for the 2013 season. And judging from the reactions on Twitter, message boards and comments sections, the entire sport of baseball has apparently been ruined. We might as well just give up, right?

Dear Lord, people, dial it down. This is sports. They are supposed to be fun.

It never ceases to amaze me how utterly furious the masses get whenever baseball dares to makes a change. Is it the nation-wide, fan stigma attached to commissioner Bud Selig? That's possible. It's also possible it's the romantic infatuation die-hard baseball fans have with tradition. Whatever the reason, it's astounding. The NFL could radically realign and it would be universally accepted (oh wait, that already happened).

What if we treated our everyday life the way we treat baseball -- in that we aren't allowed to change anything, lest you upset the so-called tradition.

Go ahead and use your rotary phone, refuse to upgrade to high-definition TV, make sure your Internet connection is still a dial-up and definitely don't use the microwave for anything. If you like video games, you're only allowed to play Frogger or Donkey Kong on that old-school Atari. I mean, it's just madness all these changes people are making with technology, right? And that's just with technology. We could do this little exercise with any aspect of life. But in baseball, any change is tantamount to sacrilege, cry the masses.

Astros to AL West
The Astros move to the American League at at time when the franchise is facing a massive rebuilding project. They'll now be able to do so as an American League team. The Brewers, meanwhile, are firmly entrenched as an important National League team, having also developed good rivalries with the Cubs and Cardinals. It doesn't matter if the Brewers were in the American League a few decades ago, no matter how much people want to cry about Bud Selig's move of the Brewers to the NL. The past is the past. Leave it there. Look to the future. This move makes sense right now.

If you do insist on looking at the past, let's realize that the World Series used to pit the teams with the best record in each league against each other. There wasn't even an LCS. Remember how great that was, old people? Under that format, this year the World Series would have pitted the Yankees against the Phillies. Man, I can't imagine how much whining there would have been from everyone outside the northeast. For a few decades, there was only an LCS, no LDS. Then the wild card was added. All the changes have done is make postseason baseball more exciting than ever. The last month of this past season was one of the best of all-time.

I've seen people complaining about year-long interleague play with the rhetorical question, "why even have two leagues?" What an absurd complaint. You have the two leagues so you have a proper route to the World Series, just like the NFL has the AFC and NFC while the NHL and NBA have the East and West.

I've seen the lament that interleague play won't be "special" anymore. Special? Would the Marlins vs. Pirates be any less "special" than the Padres vs. A's right now? Please.

I've heard people whine about how the World Series teams will be too familiar with each other now. With trades and free agency, lots of players are familiar with each other anyway. And I don't understand how there's so much extra allure if the teams aren't familiar. It's the World freaking Series. You don't need to have an additional selling point.

Face it, having 16 teams in one league while 14 in the other was pretty ludicrous. Just as it's ludicrous to have different rules in each league (DH in AL, no DH in NL). It's one sport. Things should be uniform. Again, what is it about baseball that makes us lose all sense of perspective? I can't help but think 25 years from now we'll look back and scratch our heads at why the consensus was that it was OK to have 16 teams in the NL, 14 in the AL, but four playoff teams from each league. So, statistically, it was easier to make the playoffs from the AL West than NL Central. And that's fair, Houston fans?

It couldn't possibly be more obvious that the underlying hatred is simply change itself. As Garth Algar once said, "we fear change." All the rationale from those opposing the change is just a convenient justification because your gut is just telling you that you don't want anything to change. That's it.

But let's look at the excitement and intrigue the wild card has brought baseball. That was a big change that was met with venomous opposition at the time. Not all change is bad. Let's accept the fact that the Astros are moving and start looking to the future of baseball. Yeah, yeah, here come the mudslingers to accuse me of not being a true fan. That's fine. Forgive me for actually enjoying the sport instead of being a change-resistent dinosaur.

The whiners can feel free to watch a low-def tube TV. I'll just sit here and enjoy the sport I love on a high-def flatscreen.

So which one of us is being unreasonable?

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Since: Feb 18, 2011
Posted on: November 17, 2011 4:03 pm

Stop complaining about changes in baseball

Why do the Astro's have to be the one to move?  I'm not fussing about change, it's just who it's being forced upon.  Why don't the Brewers move back?  I'll tell you why, cause Bud Selig is the commisioner, that's why.  I can't wish for enough bad things to happen to him.  I hope rots in hell for eternity for what he's done to Houston.

Since: Jun 22, 2010
Posted on: November 17, 2011 4:00 pm

Stop complaining about changes in baseball

Agreed, a six team division in one league and a four team division in another is unfair.  But returning the Brewers to the AL is the most logical move...why did Selig switch the Brewers to the NL to begin with?
 Increasing the interleague games means that one way or another either the DH goes or both leagues use it.

Since: Jul 10, 2008
Posted on: November 17, 2011 3:57 pm

Stop complaining about changes in baseball

Spot on man. As a die hard baseball fan, I always want to make sure we preserve all that is great about the sport. There does however come a time when you have to adapt and make chages that are best for the future. An unbalanced league is beyond silly. Playing interleague games all the times is acceptable and its not like they were trying to preserve some sacred tradition.

The DH thing can become tricky, I am on the fence but know people on both sides that like only AL games and NL games. I think the purist are for the NL style chess match and other fans like the blast home runs type of teams that populate the AL. I for one don't know what is right. For casual fans in the future who knows what they will gravitate towards, but lets not forget what makes baseball great - lack of a time clock, equal opportunities from both sides, the interest of each pitch and how it can play into the interworkings of each game. If we would like to change anything in my opinion, lets get rid of this stupid all star game bs and award the team that put together the best season  with the home field advantage throughout the playoffs (crap we play 162 games to make it to this point), could we imagine how the series would have gone if the Rangers were hosting the last two games?

Since: Nov 29, 2006
Posted on: November 17, 2011 3:50 pm

Stop complaining about changes in baseball

Hey Snyder.  Why don't you go pound sand.

You expect a fanbase to be happy that a large portion of their games will now start at 9:00pm local time and later?  That they're losing every traditional rivalry they've ever had?  Get real.

Houston fans are getting the shaft.  They didn't create this mess that is modern day baseball, but we're being told to give up everything in order to "fix" (I use that term loosely) it.

As far as I'm concerned, they should just come up with a new mascot, new uni's, the works.  Blow the whole thing up.  MLB is dead to me.

Since: Mar 10, 2010
Posted on: November 17, 2011 3:49 pm

Stop complaining about changes in baseball

Alignment : creates all new intra state rivals : will create fans to have the ability to travel with there team on the road without long distance travels. Creates the chance to go 100 % DH in both leagues : Keeps integrity with old fashioned and Historic Rivals : Increase one more team to make the Playoffs : Less Travel over rall : Inter League play gets new look : DH both leagues  to save the very few pitchers in baseball to actually pitch and not risk the injury now that pitchers are worth every penny : ask Chris Carpenter and the Phillies in Game 5 

AL EAST :                                                        

New York Yankees
New York Mets
Boston Red Sox
Washington Nationals
Baltimore Orioles

Minnesota Twins
Milwaukee Brewers 
Cleveland Indians
Cincinnati Reds
Toronto Blue Jays

AL West
Texas Rangers  
Houston Astros 
San Diego Padres
Colorado Rockies
Arizona Diamondbacks

NL East : 
Philadelphia Phillies
Pittsburgh Pirates
Miami Marlins
Tampa Bay Rays
Atlanta Braves

NL Central 

St Louis Cardinals 
Kansas City Royals
Chicago Cubs 
Chicago White Sox
Detroit Tigers 

NL West 

San Francisco Giants
Oakland Athletics  
LA Angels
LA Dodgers
Seattle Mariners


Since: Nov 11, 2007
Posted on: November 17, 2011 3:38 pm

Stop complaining about changes in baseball

Matt, your argument would have more merit if both leagues played by the same rules.  Unfortunately, they don't.  Astros fans have grown up watching NL baseball.  Now, they get moved to the AL West and have to contend with the DH plus having more games against the Mariners and A's while losing games against the Cubs and Cardinals.  How are they supposed to be happy about that?  Not to mention they are celebrating their 50th year as an NL ballclub.  You can't just throw that tradition aside.  A couple of things that MLB could have done to better the situation:

1) Eliminate the DH.  Face it, until both leagues play by the same rules, you are going to have this kind of reaction.  And you can save it DH lovers, the NL (non-DH) is a better product and more entertaining game, regardless of inter-league records and runs produced.

2) If you must have 6 5-team divisions, with one team moving, send the Arizona Diamondbacks to the AL West and move the Astros to the NL West.  That way, you can at least preserve 50 years of NL history.  The Diamondbacks have only been in the league 13 years so, their history is not as established.

As fast as things move in today's world, it is nice for some things to stay the same.  You have to realize that a lot of us "baseball purists", as you call them, are more tuned into the nostalgia of the game, trying to hang on to it as remembered from our youth. Explain to me what is really wrong with that?

Since: Feb 22, 2011
Posted on: November 17, 2011 3:35 pm

Stop complaining about changes in baseball

I agree. Let's do a total realignment. You can start by putting the Red Sox, Yanks, Jays, and Mets in the Northeast Division.

Since: Jan 9, 2007
Posted on: November 17, 2011 3:30 pm

Stop complaining about changes in baseball

Right! They should get rid of the DH because you don't like it!

I don't care for it either, but I know American League fans who love it. That's why I choose to watch NL games, while others watch AL games.

If you don't like the DH and/or the AL rules, just don't watch the AL games. Pretty simple.

Since: Mar 19, 2008
Posted on: November 17, 2011 3:27 pm

Stop complaining about changes in baseball

They need to get rid of the damn DH, if you aren't able to play a spot on the field, then you should not be able to play at all, period. 

Since: Aug 21, 2006
Posted on: November 17, 2011 3:21 pm

Stop complaining about changes in baseball

The whiners can feel free to watch a low-def tube TV. I'll just sit here and enjoy the sport I love on a high-def flatscreen.
Hey, if you want to suffer with high-definition, be my guest. I'm not going to downgrade from standard.

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