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Nolan Ryan in favor of realignment moving Astros to AL West

Jun 30, 2011, 12:46 PM EDT

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Count Nolan Ryan among those in favor of MLB’s rumored realignment to matching 15-team leagues, as the Rangers team president said yesterday that he’d love to see the Astros join the Rangers in the American League West.

Ryan noted that having another Central Time Zone team in the division would be nice from a travel and television ratings point of view and opined that “having the Astros and the Rangers in the same pennant race would really stimulate interest in baseball in the state of Texas.”

Most speculation about potential realignment plans lists the Astros among the leading candidates to switch leagues and it makes sense to have a franchise from the six-team NL Central move to the four-team AL West if the shakeup does happen.

  1. uyf1950 - Jun 30, 2011 at 12:54 PM

    …and it probably doesn’t hurt the the Astros are absolutely terrible and would certainly help the Rangers win/loss record.

    • danielcp0303 - Jun 30, 2011 at 1:00 PM

      As an Astros fan…I want no part of the American League. I’ve suffered enough

      • bloodysock - Jun 30, 2011 at 1:17 PM

        The teams needs to rebuild anyway. It can do it with an AL designed roster.

    • kopy - Jun 30, 2011 at 1:01 PM

      I’m sure that Nolan Ryan can also see the dollar signs that would accompany extra games against an in-state rival.

  2. drmonkeyarmy - Jun 30, 2011 at 12:55 PM

    I’m not a Nolan Ryan fan…something about him rubs me the wrong way.

    • Mr. Jason "El Bravo" Heyward - Jun 30, 2011 at 1:07 PM

      The fact that he’s rubbing you at all is wrong.

      • drmonkeyarmy - Jun 30, 2011 at 1:09 PM

        I figured somebody would reply with something along those lines. You are usually a bit more clever though Bravo. I’m a bit disappointed.

      • Mr. Jason "El Bravo" Heyward - Jun 30, 2011 at 1:29 PM

        Stop letting him rub you drmonkeyarmy. Just say ‘NO’!

    • hoopmatch - Jun 30, 2011 at 1:07 PM

      What part of you is he rubbing?

      • drmonkeyarmy - Jun 30, 2011 at 1:10 PM

        Bravo beat you too it. The comment looses its effect after somebody else says it. I realize that his comment probably wasn’t posted when you wrote yours, but still.

      • txrangers90 - Jun 30, 2011 at 1:25 PM

        you really shouldn’t allow Nolan to rub you at all, stand up to him

    • cur68 - Jun 30, 2011 at 3:34 PM

      Sorry ‘army, I know it’s been done but this is too funny; I’m piling on you too (See what I did there?); if he’s rubbing you the wrong way maybe he’s just trying to rough you up for the old one finger pitch?

      Anyhow, back to your original thought about not really liking him; I have my reservation too. I liked him as a pitcher, especially when he knuckle pounded Ventura’s skull. But he’s gotten really out of shape. I mean beyond just getting old, he’s got fat, too. Guy who was a stud like that shouldn’t let himself get fat. Every time I see him I see a heart attack in the making and that bugs the hell out of me.

      • bigbbfan - Jun 30, 2011 at 7:18 PM

        He already has, had a heart attack. He had bypass surgery around 2000 in Austin.

  3. The Common Man - Jun 30, 2011 at 1:10 PM

    Boo, Nolan. Expansion is the way to go. Put a team in San Antonio and get a rivalry that way.

    • drmonkeyarmy - Jun 30, 2011 at 1:13 PM

      Common Man,
      I read your blog article about the mythical expansion draft. You did a good job with that. It must of took a lot of research and effort. I don’t agree with some of the players you though the Phillies would leave unprotected, but that is a minor complaint. All and all kudos to you. I’m going to start reading your stuff more often. Also, sorry for making fun of you and your blog advertising the other day. Sometimes I get carried away and say dumb stuff.

      • The Common Man - Jun 30, 2011 at 3:36 PM

        Many thanks. As a clarification, we didn’t make any of the lists of protected players. We left that chore to team bloggers, since we recognize we don’t have enough of a handle on every single team’s roster. We had a lot of fun with it though.

        I probably should have taken care of the blog advertising thing before but, frankly, was not terribly motivated to figure out how to do it. Didn’t see a need. If it was distracting, I apologize. This is better.

        I traffic in dumb stuff. No worries.

      • spudchukar - Jun 30, 2011 at 6:36 PM

        Cur, He’s from Tejas, just tryin’ to be one of the boys.

    • schrutebeetfarms - Jun 30, 2011 at 1:31 PM

      Expansion?
      Ugh.

      • The Common Man - Jun 30, 2011 at 3:39 PM

        Really? Ugh? The population is expanding in this country and in other countries where baseball is played. The game is extremely popular internationally, and teams are combing Germany, the Netherlands, Italy, India, Australia, and other countries to find talent. US population bases have shifted southward, it will actually lead to two balanced leagues and either two or four balanced divisions, and it will be a revenue windfall for MLB thanks to the expansion fees that new clubs are required to post. What’s the downside, exactly?

  4. The Baseball Idiot - Jun 30, 2011 at 1:20 PM

    If it’s not Havana, it should be New Olreans. There needs to be another southern team.

    • solidzac - Jun 30, 2011 at 2:18 PM

      New Orleans would be awesome, but they’re having enough trouble supporting the Hornets. I can’t imagine there would be even as much interest in baseball, at least on the major league level.

  5. hooks024 - Jun 30, 2011 at 1:28 PM

    How bout bringing the brew crew back to the american league? As a yankees fan, I was glad to see them go, because they seemed to have our number their last few years in the al, but they would give him another team in the central time zone, and could re energize an organization that could really use a shot in the arm. For the record, I’m opposed to re alignment, but if you’re gonna do it, this makes the most sense.

    • indyralph - Jun 30, 2011 at 2:07 PM

      This doesn’t make sense at all. My post from a previous thread discussing teams moving to the AL West:

      KC in the west is a non-starter. It’s a full two time zones different from all other teams in the AL west, and a long trip (closer to DC than LA) from any team. At least Houston would be near Dallas. Moving AZ to the AL means that an NL Central teams still needs to move to the NL West – Houston being the only one that makes sense. Why move two teams when you can just move one directly (Houston)? For the same reason, moving the Brewers anywhere is a non-starter. Second Brewers non-starter: the proximity to Chicago, which allows north suburban Chicagoans(?) to attend (invade?) more than 10% of Brewers home games. Bud Light is not giving that attendance boost up – no way, no how.

      • kopy - Jun 30, 2011 at 2:16 PM

        KC, Dallas, and Houston, are all in the same time zone. That argument is irrelevant. Houston is closer to Dallas, but even further away from Seattle/Oakland while KC is closer to those clubs.

        Moving Milwaukee to the AL would be a greater benefit to the club. The rivalry with the Cubs is outweighed by the rivalries with the Twins, a land border with Michigan for the Tigers fans, and the fact that there is another Chicago team 10 miles further south to fill the void.

      • indyralph - Jun 30, 2011 at 2:52 PM

        If Bud Selig agreed with you, the Brewers would have never moved to the NL to begin with. And somebody from and Central division needs to move to the west. It makes much more sense for that to be Houston than Kansas City due to travel distance, even if they are in the same time zone. Again, why move two teams, when you can just move the one?

      • kopy - Jun 30, 2011 at 3:18 PM

        Bud Selig may not agree with me, but that doesn’t mean his word is gospel. A regional division of MIN/MIL/CHW/DET/CLE would not have a weak matchup, for the reasons I said plus the whole Milwaukee/Indians affinity with the movie Major League being filmed there. Travel distance from Houston to the rest of the AL West isn’t better than KC. The benefit of being closer to Dallas is neutralized by KC being closer to Seattle and Oakland (I’ve already said this).

        Also, moving two teams would be good for creating a renewed interest among the fan bases. Attendance would go up.

        The more I think about it, however. I would like to see Houston moved to the AL West (and have an in-state rivalry), but then make KC and MIL switch places. MIL gets all the benefits I’ve stated, and then KC gets to have an in-state rivalry too.

  6. jeffa43 - Jun 30, 2011 at 1:33 PM

    Nolan clearly see’s that 17-19 games against the Astros, means at least 15 more wins in his season. As an Astro fan along with Danielcp303 at the top…. we Astro fans are few and far between and we need to stick together and fight….

    As an Astro fan why would we want to go from 90-100 losses in a season to 100-120 losses in a season… Come on man, this just hurts….

    We suck, there is no need to pile on us more.

  7. Mr. Jason "El Bravo" Heyward - Jun 30, 2011 at 1:53 PM

    My elevator at work has one of those Captivate news screens that occasionally shows the NL Central standings. When it does, it can’t fit all six teams so it always leaves the Astros off completely. I find that hilarious, A, because the ‘Stros suck so bad they aren’t even shown, and B, because it makes the Cubs look like they’re in last place. Being a predominately Cubs town, if by some crazy circumstance, the Cubs end up in actual last place, I wonder if they’ll adjust the font to squeeze ‘em in.

  8. royalsfaninfargo - Jun 30, 2011 at 2:09 PM

    Now that we hear Ryan’s opinion, which as an executive and part owner is completely unbiased (sarcasm intended), Johnny Bench recently commented on this.

    http://www.foxsportshouston.com/06/15/11/Johnny-Bench-in-favor-of-MLB-realignment/landing_astros.html?blockID=532882

    I dont really agree with him but its interesting to hear what the HoFers have to say.
    P.S.-not the realignment Ryan is talking about.

  9. jeffa43 - Jun 30, 2011 at 2:24 PM

    Put us in a harder division cuz…..

    In 25 at bats Lance has 5 HR at Minute Maid this year… That is more than any Astro this season …

    Lyons makes more than the entire Rays pen…. mlbastros.blogspot.com

    Why not just move us to Chorpus Christie and demote that franchise to AA….. The whole organization from Pro to single A is in last place…

    Thanks Tim Pupura/Ed Wade Jr/ DRAYTON !

  10. ronanvance - Jun 30, 2011 at 3:43 PM

    Moving Houston to the AL is not realignment. It is relegation.

  11. Chipmaker - Jul 1, 2011 at 8:35 AM

    Fine. Move the Cubs. They’re so damn popular that nothing will impact their gate sales or TV ratings.

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