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Astros sale approved, team will move to AL West in 2013

Nov 17, 2011, 12:41 PM EDT

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MLB commissioner Bud Selig announced Thursday afternoon that the sale of the Houston Astros from former owner Drayton McLane to new owner Jim Crane has been unanimously approved.

This according to CBS Sports’ Danny Knobler.

As part of the agreement, the Astros will be moved to the American League West in 2013, with Crane getting a $70 million discount on the sale price of the team. That will even out baseball’s two leagues at 15 teams apiece and allow for the fair implementation of two additional Wild Card spots. It also means that interleague play is going to be a year-round thing.

The dual Wild Card system hasn’t been completely mapped out yet, but the expectation is that those two additional postseason teams will engage in a one-game playoff a day or two after the regular season. The other option, presumably, would be a three-game series.

  1. antlerclaws - Nov 17, 2011 at 5:15 PM

    Prediction: We’ll have people bitching and whining about the Astros (which nobody outside Houston cared about) moving to AL (and bitching and whining about the DH) for about 2 years, then everything will settle down, the Astros will start to gel with the AL and their new division and will start improving incrementally, and everybody will forget that this was an issue except for a few old stick-in-the-mud types. Honestly, if it was announced that my beloved Rangers were moving to the NL tomorrow, I wouldn’t be crazy about the idea, but I would get over it pretty quick and get back to watching baseball, because I support my team, no matter what, period. I think it’s good to shake things up every few years.

    • Chipmaker - Nov 17, 2011 at 8:48 PM

      This is probably true. It’ll still be baseball, and on that basis I won’t really much care.

      My annoyance stems from this change being made without compellingly good reasons for it, and that the consequences will range much further (and give rise to even more complaint than you predict) than NOT making this change would have done. And some of those consequences will be non-obvious and subtle but real nonetheless.

  2. mojosmagic - Nov 17, 2011 at 6:35 PM

    Ed Wade the Talking Horse of GM’s must have brokered the deal.

  3. rje49 - Nov 17, 2011 at 6:52 PM

    Nevermind the inter-league games debate; if I had known about getting a $70 million discount, I’d have bought the Astros myself! All I would have needed was for somebody lend me 10 bucks, for the rest of the team’s value.

  4. bbk1000 - Nov 17, 2011 at 7:50 PM

    OK, let’s start an occupy Houston campaign to keep the Astros in the NL….the three or fans that show up may be pepper sprayed, more action there than on the field in recent years…….

    Isn’t this NASA’s home yet they are without a space shuttle?

    I’m asking….

  5. Walk - Nov 17, 2011 at 11:07 PM

    I am not happy that half of baseball is going to be playoff eligible. However i can see why this is happening and i like what the likely outcome will be. Mlb is growing the brand so to speak. A lot of people like to compare Mlb to the Nfl and say baseball is getting stomped flat ratings wise and it is in terms of raw numbers. In football you have a game a week and fans are more invested in the sport so they watch whatevrr game they can get, at least more than baseball fans do. When a football fans local team is put out of playoffs it seems more nfl fans still watch whoever is left, moreso than mlb fans. In baseball multiple games a week are played so fans are more invested in the local teams. When their local team is eliminated less fans watch the remaining teams. After the all star break in baseball teams begin to be eliminated which leads to a decline in viewership. Extra playoff teams will keep more teams in the hunt, probably increase overall interest, and up the ratings of the sport.

  6. mmmpierogi - Nov 18, 2011 at 12:29 AM

    So … since the Astros got to split, can the Pirates go back to the NL East, too? I went to a game in Milwaukee when Pittsburgh played last year and there were about 3 Pirates fans at the stadium – Milwaukee is (at least seemingly) 1,500 miles away. Ditto for St. Louis and Chicago. At least when they play the Phillys, Mets, Nationals, etc., people travel and/or actually have moved to these places where people at least show up.

  7. gostros19 - Nov 18, 2011 at 9:30 AM

    Ok heres the thing. I at first was not thrilled about this move but, with that being said, I am probably the most die hard Houston Astro fan there is. Hell, just look at my screen name here. Astro fan who are complaining about this and claiming that they are done watching them, then you were never a true fan at all. We still have our team dang it! It could be worse, you could lose your team like Montreal did. Just shut up and watch your team…who cares if its the AL.

    • cintiphil - Nov 18, 2011 at 12:09 PM

      What you say makes some sense. Fans will follow the Team no matter what league they are in. However, they will have to show a winner to keep the fans very long.

  8. greggatx - Nov 19, 2011 at 6:58 PM

    This is insane. I’ve been a Houston baseball fan since the begining. So I guess this is the END of the line. As our governor once said “Adios MoFo” I will now have to find another NL team to root for.
    I’ve already got my AL team(s) and it’s Not the Astros or the Rangers. Milwaukee is the one that should move! I guess that’s the politics of the game! I still don’t understand why the Rangers and now the Astros will be in the West. Insanity Reigns!

    • gostros19 - Nov 24, 2011 at 4:47 PM

      you are who i am talking about then. not a true fan at all.

  9. pfruge - Nov 21, 2011 at 10:01 PM

    I’ve been an avid Astros fan for over 40 years, through good years and bad. I don’t live in the Houston area (I’m about 200 miles east of Houston) so this blackmailing by Selig may be the impetus for me lose my attachment to this team and MLB.

    Thanks Bud.

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