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The Diamondbacks are also a candidate to move to the American League

Jun 13, 2011, 10:10 PM EDT

Diamondbacks snake logo

We learned over the weekend that Major League Baseball is considering realignment. The initial report presented one scenario where the Astros could be moved to the American League. However, it appears they aren’t the only team under consideration.

Bob Nightengale of USA Today reports that the Diamondbacks could be the team “most likely” to change leagues under realignment.

“We would do whatever’s best for baseball,” said Diamondbacks president Derrick Hall, whose team would move to the American League West from the National League West under one of the plans being discussed by MLB and the players’ association. “Most would say us or the Astros would be best candidates (to shift leagues).”

Granted, the Astros have never won a World Series like the D-Backs have, but this would make some more sense from a traditionalist perspective. The franchise has been in the National League since they were introduced as the Colt .45’s in 1962. Meanwhile, the Diamondbacks have only been around since 1998.

Here are some more comments from Hall via Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic:

“Naturally, we would look into it if asked about it. But I’m not sure we’d ever get to that point because I think other teams make more sense geographically than we do. For me personally I’m a National League guy. I like the pace of the game, the strategy of the game. That’s what I prefer. I would want to hear what our fans prefer, but I’m not sure we would ever get to that point.”

Buster Olney reported over the weekend that realignment only has a “50-50” chance of being passed, but union chief Michael Weiner confirmed earlier today that discussions are expected to continue.

  1. royalsfaninfargo - Jun 13, 2011 at 10:31 PM

    I agree D.J., about the historical side to the Astros. I think if re-alignment happens the Rockies, D-Backs, and Astros should be the teams to look at. Either way it looks like Houstons days in the NL central are numbered.

  2. Jay Seaver - Jun 13, 2011 at 10:47 PM

    Wasn’t there a clause in Arizona’s original expansion agreement which would actually require them to switch leagues if baseball decided to realign? It’s probably long since expired, but it’s been a possibility for a looong time.

    • purdueman - Jun 13, 2011 at 10:52 PM

      I recall that there WAS talk of that back when they joined. That begs the question though as to why the D-Backs weren’t simply placed in the AL to begin with (?).

      When the D-Backs joined in 1998, were the current divisions in place? Was Milwaukee still in the AL?

      I would think though that it would be great for D-Back fans; I know if I was one, I’d be very supportive and excited about the possibility.

    • simon94022 - Jun 14, 2011 at 7:19 AM

      Yes, AZ was provisionally placed in the NL West and Tampa Bay in the AL East for 1998 (and Milwaukee switched to the NL in order to even the leagues. But the expansion agreement expressly authorized MLB to realign the new teams without their consent in the first five years. Selig proposed switching the
      before the 2001 season. The Rays were eager to get out of the Yankees’ shadow, and Selig had promised the Rangers that the ridiculous AL West alignment they were stuck in was only temporary.

      But the DBacks whined and bawled and said the move would destroy their franchise, so Selig relented. Then they won the World Series, which ended the discussion. And then Colangelo’s overspending destroyed the franchise.

      • purdueman - Jun 14, 2011 at 7:31 AM

        Thanks for the information. You left out the best part though, and that’s the part where Milwaukee switch leagues and their owner in blind trust, Bud the Dud, made millions off of that move!

  3. purdueman - Jun 13, 2011 at 11:02 PM

    As has been pointed out, the reason for the Brewers switching leagues (in addition of course to making Selig’s ownership of them escalate in value… even in the aptly named “blind trust), was to alleviate the scheduling headaches of having an odd number of teams in each league.

    Moving one team from the NL to the AL brings back the same problem, but with interleague play now here to stay it opens up more possibilities scheduling wise.

    Personally I think that there are too many divisional games as is. Does America really need 19-21 Red Sox vs. Yankees games each and every year? (or for that matter any other such number of divisional based games regardless of who the opponents are). I for one sure don’t think so!

    There’s no rule you know that teams have to play the exact same number of games against every opponent every year? Uh, the answer to that would be no! The resulting scheduling changes would be like a breathe of fresh air if you ask me!

  4. fthrvic - Jun 13, 2011 at 11:41 PM

    Jerry Collangelo strong armed the league (Bud Selig) when the Dbacks were named as an expansion franchise to be in the NL West, I believe he threatened legal action if the league was going to try to place AZ in the AL. In any case, I would like to see some of the AL hitters come to AZ and play, I would say the same thing about CO. Alot of people don’t know that AZ is the second highest elevation franchise in the league at about 1100′ above sea level. The ball flies at Chase Field and I’m looking forward to the HR derby this year for that reason.

  5. proudlycanadian - Jun 14, 2011 at 8:42 AM

    Why doesn’t every team just switch to the AL? That way, everyone could use the DH and there would be more scoring.

    • purdueman - Jun 14, 2011 at 12:59 PM

      proud… wish there was a way to give your post TWO thumbs up!!!

  6. dirtyharry1971 - Jun 14, 2011 at 10:11 AM

    cant wait until selig is long gone as the comish

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