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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. koufaxmitzvah - Nov 17, 2011 at 12:42 PM

    This is ridiculous. The Astros are an NL team. Preferably NL West, with JR Richard facing Fernando Valenzuela at Chavez Ravine on Opening Day with my mother having pulled me out of school.

    Dammit, Bud. Get it right.

    • clydeserra - Nov 17, 2011 at 1:51 PM

      Dammit, you are right. The Western division Colt 45s should play opening day against the Brooklyn Bridegrooms every year.

      • koufaxmitzvah - Nov 17, 2011 at 1:58 PM

        Did they ever do that, Clyde?

      • clydeserra - Nov 17, 2011 at 11:41 PM

        Have the Dodgers and Astros ever played in the same division for 25 years?

        Um, how’d that final weekend of 1980 work out for you guys?

      • koufaxmitzvah - Nov 18, 2011 at 9:23 AM

        Another brilliant orange bomb to the apple pie.

        Right turn, Clyde.

      • koufaxmitzvah - Nov 18, 2011 at 9:29 AM

        “Um, how’d that final weekend of 1980 work out for you guys?”

        That was an exciting season. Which kind of proves my point, Clyde.

        But, hey, when you can argue for no other reason than you like to argue wearing nothing but your boxer shorts, why bother making any sense?

        So, to repeat, Clyde, and for you I am typing very slowly, this is a terrible decision by Bud Selig and the rest of Major League Baseball.

      • clydeserra - Nov 18, 2011 at 4:53 PM

        Wait, you say the astros should be in the NL because they have always been in the NL, and bolster that by noting a 30 year old game between the National league west champion astros and the national league west LA team (that had been in LA about 23 years at that point), and I am the one messing with traditions?

        Look, I don’t think this decision will make you or me like baseball better, but its not about us, its not about the 10 year olds that ran home from school to find that Dave Goltz had ruined what was the most exciting weekend ever, its about FOX/TBS tv contracts.

        I will type this slowly.. You are pointing to laughable “traditions” that aren’t really traditions. And they really don’t matter, at all, even to baseball.

    • pjmarn6 - Nov 21, 2011 at 8:34 PM

      If they are going to switch teams, buy out nonperforming teams and increase interleague play why bother having two leagues. Go all the way and have one league or three leagues. What does history and keeping to the intent of two leagues mean anyhow?
      When they made the Washington Nationals, then was the time to put a team in the American League. It is just a game of checkers for the big shots. They have no intent to keep baseball as America’s Game.
      The average attendance at a NFL game is twice what it is at an average baseball game. Even the NCAA Division I FBS footbal average football game has a 20% higher average attendance than baseball. Face it, its all about money and not the quality of the game.

  2. catsmeat - Nov 17, 2011 at 12:48 PM

    Ugh, permanent, season-long interleague play. MLB must hate me.

    • DJ MC - Nov 17, 2011 at 1:55 PM

      What’s wrong with that?

    • jdillydawg - Nov 17, 2011 at 9:47 PM

      Inter-league play is great because it only happens a couple times a year. It won’t be so great when it happens all the time. There was a reason for an even number of teams in each league you bozos! Seriously, scarcity is good.

      In ten years from now, baseball is going to be like hockey. 30 teams and something like 24 are gonna make the playoffs every year. Ugh…

      C’mon baseball. Don’t fix what ain’t broke.

  3. philsieg - Nov 17, 2011 at 12:52 PM

    And the NFL-ization of MLB under Budzilla continues.

    • lanflfan - Nov 17, 2011 at 1:17 PM

      Since the NFL is currently more popular and successful than MLB, there are a few lessons MLB could learn. That aside, short of adding more teams, which is not even remotely possible in this economic climate, there was no reasonable course but to switch one team from NL to AL to balance the schedule (contracting one team is practically impossible as the MLBPA would spew hellfire at the loss of 25 MLB positions/jobs). The team to switch should have been the last one to switch leagues (Brewers), but we all know a certain person wouldn’t let that happen. I’m certainly no fan of bud $elig, but part of the Astros move does make logical sense (but not “baseball sense”).

      I’m split on adding a wild card team. It’s good for postseason play, and good to keep fans butts in seats. It’s also good for teams in divisions with 1 or 2 teams who hand out fat contracts like candy. I’m not sure MLB needs it, but it certainly works well in the NFL (and it’s hard to ignore keeping fans in seats, and spending money, for a September run). And it is certainly difficult to celebrate “winning” the Wild Card, especially if your one and done.

      Of course, MLB could teach the NFL (and especially NBA) a thing or two about owner-player labor relations. But that’s a subject for another day.

      • clydeserra - Nov 17, 2011 at 1:52 PM

        More successful? Oh boy.

    • ftbramwell - Nov 17, 2011 at 2:31 PM

      It’s actually worse than the NFL-ization; it’s more like an NBA-ization. The NBA has, essentially, a second season where half the teams make the playoffs after an 81 game season. What, pray tell, is the purpose of that other than to dilute the regular season and give the superstars very little incentive to play hard?

      • balewsquare - Nov 18, 2011 at 2:25 AM

        Diluting the regular season? Baseball has 162 games.

  4. leftywildcat - Nov 17, 2011 at 12:53 PM

    I don’t see how moving the Astros to the AL has anything to do with adding Wild Card teams, except that both are stupid ideas.

    Astros should stay in the NL Central. Move the Brewers to back to the AL Central, and KC to AL West. It’s not that difficult.

    Wild Card as it exists is a great idea — leave it alone! Adding a 5th team causes more days off for other teams. If 2 teams tie for that last spot, do we have a play-in game to get to the play-in game?

    MLB’s energies should be more focused on adding a 5th ump in a replay booth for all basepath and fair/foul calls, on fixing the Mets and Dodgers disasters, and on working with the Rays and A’s location problems.

    I can’t wait for Bud the Dud to retire.

    • Jonny 5 - Nov 17, 2011 at 12:59 PM

      Yeah, but that stuff you suggest, stuff that makes baseball “better”, isn’t “lucrative” like adding another WC spot.

    • paperlions - Nov 17, 2011 at 1:09 PM

      The Brewers would have to agree to move, as would KC, and neither of them will. The Astros are being moved because they have the opportunity to force them to do so.

      • cintiphil - Nov 17, 2011 at 1:17 PM

        That doesn’t make it a good idea.

      • stex52 - Nov 17, 2011 at 1:38 PM

        That’s the heart of the issue. If the Astros weren’t for sale with the organization in a mess, this wouldn’t be happening. I hate everything about this.

      • paperlions - Nov 17, 2011 at 1:53 PM

        I agree, not saying it was a good idea, just that the reason the Astros are moving is because of the ability to make them do so. People can rip on Bud all they want, he’s a con man, I won’t defend him….but as commissioner, his job is to do what the owners want and to gain consensus among owners….if this is being done, it is either 100% with the blessing of the owners or was the idea of the owners to begin with…that is just how the job works.

        It is like being a player agent, part of the job is to be the bad guy so that fans don’t focus their anger at players/owners.

    • paperlions - Nov 17, 2011 at 1:11 PM

      Also….guess how many baseball commissioners fans liked while they were in office? The number is right around zero.

      • lanflfan - Nov 17, 2011 at 1:20 PM

        I’d rather be an umpire than the MLB commissioner. As an umpire, at least some of the people (including fans, players, etc) at any game are happy with any decision you make, right or wrong.

      • koufaxmitzvah - Nov 17, 2011 at 2:02 PM

        I’d say that I liked both Bart and Faye, but you were the one who told me that I’m not a real baseball fan because it’s my opinion that JD Drew loafed it with the Dodgers.

      • paperlions - Nov 17, 2011 at 2:11 PM

        If I remember correctly, I just pointed out that a guy that “loafed” his way to .412 and .393 OBPs and 2.8 (in less than 1/2 season) and 4.4 WAR must be pretty good if he tried.

  5. Jonny 5 - Nov 17, 2011 at 12:56 PM

    I just heard news that’ll make the Nats and Marlins happy.

    MLB is going to add another WC team to each league. Yikes!

  6. Kyle - Nov 17, 2011 at 1:00 PM

    God I hate adding Wild Card teams so much.

  7. sultanofstats - Nov 17, 2011 at 1:01 PM

    The ASStros $uck, so I’m not really sure anyone cares. Because the Rangers are so great, I guess it’s good news because they get a chump team from a chump city to pound on more often then non-division teams that are better.

    • zakharovsa - Nov 17, 2011 at 1:04 PM

      Those were some very witty puns there, but won’t your third grade teacher notice that you’re posting during class?

  8. phukyouk - Nov 17, 2011 at 1:02 PM

    I don’t understand why the AL needs TWO Texas teams. this makes no sense to me at all. they are going to a division that is tougher than the one they are in right now with Texas and the Halo’s. You have to figure that the M’s are going to start contending shortly with all the low first round picks that they are getting. Leave Huston where they are and move the BrewCrew to the AL

    • jasonc2300 - Nov 17, 2011 at 1:57 PM

      The NL has two Pennsylvania teams.

      • ms72lbc - Nov 17, 2011 at 2:50 PM

        In 2 different divisions.

      • ms72lbc - Nov 17, 2011 at 2:50 PM

        In 2 different divisions.

      • mikegoldnj - Nov 17, 2011 at 4:04 PM

        And three California teams in the NL and two California teams in the AL

    • clydeserra - Nov 17, 2011 at 2:25 PM

      you don’t think the Rockies should trade their closer?

  9. stex52 - Nov 17, 2011 at 1:02 PM

    Ten years ago the Astros had one of the more respected organizations in the NL. Now they have:

    1. Worst record in baseball.
    2. Arguably the worst GM in baseball.
    3. Few or no minor league prospects.
    4. A new war profiteer owner who has made it clear he borrowed too much money and doesn’t want to spend much on players.
    5. A plan to give up baseball and go to DH ball.

    I’ve been with the team since they were the Colt 45’s, but this is all a bit too much.

    • bozosforall - Nov 17, 2011 at 1:54 PM

      Houston should go back to being called the Colt 45s. That would be way cooler than the antiquated modernist term “Astros”. I say this in good conscience.

      • stex52 - Nov 17, 2011 at 2:10 PM

        Can’t do it. The Colt family sued them for use of the name. That’s why they changed to the Astros.

      • Francisco (FC) - Nov 17, 2011 at 4:15 PM

        They could have called themselves the 45’s…. everyone would have known they were talking about…

    • foreverchipper10 - Nov 17, 2011 at 5:11 PM

      @FC

      Ooh! OOH!!!! A 45 is a record!!!!

      I win!!!
      :)

  10. zakharovsa - Nov 17, 2011 at 1:03 PM

    Why, why, WHY does Bud “Bud” Selig hate the idea of league distinction? It’s one of my favorite things about baseball, and he wants to destroy it. Under Selig’s watch, we’ve lost league presidents, league umpires, strict intra-league play, and now this. I expect the DH to be universal soon enough.

    • drmonkeyarmy - Nov 17, 2011 at 1:13 PM

      I draw a line in the sand at universal DH….this unchecked aggression cannot stand!!!

      • lanflfan - Nov 17, 2011 at 1:21 PM

        I second that line in the sand. I don’t care if the AL has the DH, but keep the leagues separate in that regard.

      • brewcrewchamps - Nov 17, 2011 at 3:40 PM

        I’ll join in on the stand in the sand.

      • stex52 - Nov 17, 2011 at 5:41 PM

        I sincerely hope you are right about the universal DH, but my personal opinion is that we are fighting a rear guard action in a long retreat. I will always favor the NL way of doing things (even as the Astros switch) but I think that we will eventually all be DH’s.

    • mkd - Nov 17, 2011 at 2:22 PM

      I loved strict intra-league play- it added a mystique to baseball that no other sport could match. In a perfect world the AL and NL would only meet in the All-Star game and the World Series.

      That said…it’s over. Dead. Gone. Never coming back. So we need to go ahead an embrace the next best option. Scrap the current half-compromise system currently in place and just group the teams geographically. The one complaint that really resonates with me from Astros fans is that most of their road in-division games are going to take place at 9pm. Now Rangers fans have endured this for years so it’s not like it can’t be done, but it seems silly to make it so hard for a fan to watch their team games. Group CO, AZ, TEX, HOU, SD into a SW Division and you mitigate these problems immensely.

      WESTERN LEAGUE

      PACIFC
      LAD, LAA, SF, OAK, SEA.

      SOUTHWEST
      CO, AZ, TEX, HOU, SD

      MIDWEST
      KC, STL, MIN, CHC, CHW

      EASTERN LEAGUE

      ATLANTIC
      BOS, NYY, NYM, PHI, BAL

      NORTH
      DET, PIT, TOR, CLE, MIL

      SOUTH
      MIA, TB, ATL, CIN, WAS

      If we can’t have perfection let’s at least have rationality.

      (Oh, and I’m sorry to say but the DH is eventually going to be universal anyway, so you may as well embrace it. It’s fine, you’ll get over it.)

  11. cintiphil - Nov 17, 2011 at 1:20 PM

    If the DH comes to the NL, then I quit watching the game & going to the ballpark. The DH is good for the minor leagues, but not the bigs.

    • DJ MC - Nov 17, 2011 at 1:56 PM

      You know what else isn’t for the bigs? Pitchers hitting.

      • koufaxmitzvah - Nov 17, 2011 at 2:04 PM

        Babe Ruth never should have picked up a bat.

      • presidentmiraflores - Nov 17, 2011 at 7:49 PM

        Right, koufax, that outlier of all outliers sure proves something.

      • koufaxmitzvah - Nov 18, 2011 at 9:26 AM

        I felt I proved that pitchers could be good hitters. And you proved what?

        Love the internet. Full of brilliant mind spew.

    • philiplewis1 - Nov 17, 2011 at 5:47 PM

      The NL is probably the only league in the entire world that doesn’t use either the DH or an AH. Enough is enough. Just give up your holdout and admit the DH works. The Astro fans have to at least be glad they won’t have to watch the automatic out every 9th batter. Games may be a little longer and definitely higher scoring, but WAAAY more fun. Also, it stops all those stupid pitching changes when the guy is really throwing well but he happens to be coming up to the plate and you have to pull him. As LaRussa so intelligently said, it’s a lot harder to manage pitchers in the AL than the NL. Too many of the decisions are automatically made for you in the NL.

      • cintiphil - Nov 18, 2011 at 12:01 PM

        I don’t think TLR quite said it is harder to manage in the AL. What he meant I think, that it is harder to go through the line up for the pitcher, because you don’t have the weak hitting pitcher to throw to. You must say that it is harder to manage in the NL, as what time do you pull the pitcher for a PH, and when do you leave him in, etc. This also makes it harder for a team to get to a relief guy when the starter is going great either tied or with a 1 run lead. However, anyway he meant it does not matter.

        The truth is that the game was meant to be played by ALL players on the field. There is no reason to allow a pitcher a break from hitting. Everyone should take a turn at bat or in the field when the ball is hit to him. If one player is a poor fielder, should it be not allowed to hit it to him? That is the game. The only reason for the DH, is in the minor leagues to allow more potential starts to get to bat and show what they can do at the plate. the change to the DH does not improve the game in my opinion.

  12. okwhitefalcon - Nov 17, 2011 at 1:24 PM

    What’s goofy developments could be next, different rules in each league and an exhibition game deciding home field advantage for the World Series?

    This is anarchy I say, anarchy.

    Cats and dogs will be sleeping together before we know it.

  13. greynraney - Nov 17, 2011 at 1:25 PM

    As a fan of the Halos I welcome the added wins they will have when the Astros become a member of the AL.

  14. blackmike2 - Nov 17, 2011 at 1:26 PM

    bud selig — thumbs down

    inter-league play — thumbs down

    the dh — two thumbs down (and i wish i had three for this one occasion alone).

    i even miss the reserve clause, but guess it’s better for the individual ball player to have free agency; remember how the owners used to screw them. you can look it up.

  15. sdelmonte - Nov 17, 2011 at 1:34 PM

    Someone should say something good about this…

    Lance Berkman will be able to come back to Houston to finish his career as a DH.

  16. spudchukar - Nov 17, 2011 at 1:35 PM

    Moving the Astros was the logical move. Of course it stings to East Texas fans, but in time they can adjust. It can produce a natural rivalry with Dallas, and makes the travel of the other three West Coast teams easier. The oft-mentioned return of the Brewers to the AL, just wasn’t going to happen, plus it meant two moves which only complicate the issue.

    The only downside to the changes are the possibility of enhancing the DH incorporation into the NL, which I pray will never happen.

    The additional wild-card team does not water down the play-offs. It actually makes it much harder for a wild-card team to be successful in the post-season. Hopefully it will be a best-of-three showdown not a single elimination. Whichever, the wild-card teams, will be forced to use their best pitchers to advance, while the divisional winners rest. It only elongates the post-season by 1 or 3 days which has already been offset by the movement to earlier season starting date.

    By evening the number of teams in divisions and leagues, the competition becomes fairer, and it necessitates the nearly year-long inter-league play. Hopefully, MLB will attempt to make inter-league match-ups more fair, which the changes will enable them to do. Unfortunately, it will probably mean some September inter-league match-ups, but if my math is correct (it seldom is) those should occur early in the month.

    Most likely, this will mean the 1st round of the play-offs, the divisional round, will remain as a best of 5 series. Perhaps once the changes become acceptable MLB can rethink the short first round competition.

    • Kevin S. - Nov 17, 2011 at 1:41 PM

      I’m still trying to figure out why we want to punish teams for being in a division with a behemouth while rewarding teams that were the best of an arbitrary group of weaklings. If the worst division winner isn’t within a certain number of games of the best wild card, I’d stick that team in the play-in round.

    • stex52 - Nov 17, 2011 at 1:43 PM

      Dallas rivalry won’t happen. A lot of older fans of Houston have a long-term association with St. Louis; they will follow them. DH is on the way for everyone.

      And Lance won’t want to come back; Ed treated him rather shoddily.

      Sorry, guys, this is just my worst nightmare come true. Did I mention all the TV division games starting at 9:00 at night?

      • spudchukar - Nov 17, 2011 at 2:31 PM

        Just because the rivalry won’t happen for you, does not mean it won’t happen. The same will occur in the new Sun Belt cities. The next generations will not have the loyalties their parents have. Sure some of will grow up with the same allegiances, but not all. The St. Louis ties will wane, much to my chagrin.

        All the division games will not start at 9:00, the Rangers won’t. But yes this is problematic, but having the Brewers or/Kansas City move creates the same issue. Hopefully, MLB tries to address this, with some compromise with West Coast starting times. Ever consider what it is like for the West Coast to be tuning in at 10:00 A.M. for day games?

        The DH? There will be riots in the streets if they try to bring it to the NL.

  17. cshearing - Nov 17, 2011 at 1:44 PM

    I love the Wild Card. I still think it is bizarre that the first round is only 5 games. More teams, more playoffs, more baseball. Isn’t that a good thing?

    As for the rest of it? Don’t really care either way, other than the fact that having different rules for different “leagues” is asinine. Change is often good, people. Otherwise you get stagnant.

    • paperlions - Nov 17, 2011 at 1:57 PM

      I LOVE the wild card. Think of all the fantastic baseball we miss this year without.

      No Cardinals in the playoffs.

      No dueling collapses with 4 must-win games on the last day of the season.

      No Carpenter-Halladay 1-0 game 5.

      No fantastically awesome game 6 of the WS.

      No 7-game WS.

  18. Detroit Michael - Nov 17, 2011 at 1:49 PM

    A few thoughts:

    (1) Who funds the $70M discount? Is that less money received by the sellers of the Astros franchise? Or is that money paid from some kind of MLB slush fund to the buyers of the Astros franchise?

    (2) Don’t you think that knowledge of the $70M discount complicates how the Astros sell this to their fans? You’ve got the advantage of games with the Rangers and a better shot at the playoffs in a five-team division (although the play-off odds difference between and 6-team and a 5-team division is lessened once a second wild card is introduced). Obviously there are some downsides, but at least the Astros could pretend that this is something new and interesting. Now, though, the $70M pretty much publicly says “we think our fans will dislike the move so much that it’ll cut into our revenue streams. We’re fine with it because we got our $70M discount but we expect the Astros fans will be worse off.”

    (3) Perhaps we all should get behind Bagwell and Biggio for the Hall of Fame because there’s not much else for Astro fans to look forward to in the short run.

    • paperlions - Nov 17, 2011 at 2:00 PM

      $35M was chipped in by MLB (so the other 20 teams) and the other $35M was from McLane.

      I don’t think the fans care if the guy got a discount or not….it shouldn’t affect anything about the franchise. If he wanted to buy it, they were making them move, he used that leverage to get a discount.

      Bagwell and Biggio should both easily get into the HOF.

  19. jnciii - Nov 17, 2011 at 2:15 PM

    The obvious advantage for FANS of having a NL and AL team in Texas is being ignore…well, everything about the fans is being ignored:

    50 years as a NL team,(versus the Commish’s NL experiences and rivalries),starting times for away games on local TV…and anyone mentioning a Rangers/Astros “Rivalry”.

    ..they have been trying to ram that down our throats since interleague started and we just don’t care-they are American League, we are National…and historically we had been better,( don’t get all riled up,I said historically-until the last 2 years I have seen a Rangers cap maybe three times in the entire state), this just stinks to everyone but Bud.

  20. massivedick - Nov 17, 2011 at 2:16 PM

    AL teams mad they just don’t have that easy Astro win anymore

  21. mvp43 - Nov 17, 2011 at 2:22 PM

    I don’t get all the Bud Selig haters. As a fan, he’s been good for baseball. Inter-league play and the wild card are awesome. Although too limited in my opinion, replay is beneficial. Not to mention very shortly there will be 20 years of labor peace. The only negative is the steroid issue…………..but blame can be divided between all parties alike, owners, players and even media to a lesser extent. Say what you want about the all star game rule, but the Cardinal fans weren’t complaining. And, as an NL fan myself, I liked it.

    As far as the Astros leaving the NL, it makes the most sense. Now they will have a natural rival with Texas which is great for the game and the fans. Moving the Brewers would be foolish as they have a natural boarder rivalry with Chicago. And don’t forget up until 1970, Milwaukee was a NL franchise, and in my view should’ve never left.

    And most importantly: Bud needs approval of the owners for these changes. Any change to the game is soley the will of the owners, not Bud. The owners are stepping forward and saying they want all these changes.

    • jnciii - Nov 17, 2011 at 2:45 PM

      Our rival is not Texas,they are AL, Our rival is St. Louis, because we are usually the 2 best team in our division and we were their minor league city previous to getting our National League MLB team, 50 YEARS AGO.

      • clydeserra - Nov 17, 2011 at 3:31 PM

        two best teams in the division since 1995.

      • stex52 - Nov 17, 2011 at 5:37 PM

        Agreed. To date no sports rivalry has been developed between Houston and Dallas in any of the major sports. Over the last 25 years it has been much more about St. Louis, Cinci, or even Philadelphia.

  22. bravojawja - Nov 17, 2011 at 2:35 PM

    Throwing the Astros into the AL really cheats Texas fans in a way no other two-team state/city has to deal with (with one exception). The others get to see every team in both leagues each season. Even with everyday interleague play, that won’t happen in Texas the way it would moving the Brewers back where they started. I don’t see how supposedly not having an “in-state rival” has hurt any of them.

    Texas – Dallas (AL) & Houston (NL)
    Missouri – Kansas City (AL) & St Louis (NL)
    Florida – Tampa (AL) & Miami (NL)
    New York – Yankees (AL) & Mets (NL)
    Chicago – White Sox (AL) & Cubs (NL)
    Bay Area – A’s (AL) & Giants (NL)
    Los Angeles – Angels (AL) & Dodgers (NL)

    Even cities with teams that moved had the AL/NL split. So did Canada, for that matter. Hell, even Baltimore/DC follows the pattern now.

    The only exception is Pennsylvania, with Pittsburgh and Philadelphia both in the NL, but both those teams have been in those cities since the 19th Century, before there even was an AL. Good luck moving them around.

    • clydeserra - Nov 17, 2011 at 3:41 PM

      Its 270 miles between the cities. Its not like LA/SF/NY/CHI. you can’t be bored one night and decide to check out how the other leagues play.

      MO and FL have about the same distance between their teams.

      Why is this “pattern” taking something away from TX? People in Seattle have to travel 800 miles to see a NL game. People in Denver have to travel 600 miles to see an AL game

  23. stlouis1baseball - Nov 17, 2011 at 3:53 PM

    I keep seeing a lot of people commenting about the silly ass DH coming to the National League. Why? Personally, I don’t see it ever happening. But I am curious as to why (seemingly all of a sudden)…people are alluding to it as if it is an absolute fact. Almost a forgone conclusion.
    The DH is for the Junior circuit. Always has been…and always will be.
    Personally, I feel that ballplayers need to play baseball.
    This would mean…if you lace em’ up…you hit. Pretty simple really.

    • philiplewis1 - Nov 17, 2011 at 6:03 PM

      Not in the last 25 years or so. If you lace em up and pitch, you don’t hit. That’s the way the game is now. Need to get with the program. Based on that logic, we would have no 3 point shot in basketball, no shot clock, goal posts would still be on the goal line, helmet to helmet hits and concussions would be acceptable, no instant replays, no challenges, baseball rosters wouldn’t be at 25, no such thing as a closer, starters only get 3 days rest, all pitchers finish the game they started, etc. etc. All the games need to change to remain fresh and interesting and appeal to the fans. If you watch an AL team all season using the DH, it’s real hard to sit through the boring pitching changes and double switches made in an NL game. By the time I wake up from my nap, the game is over.

      • stlouis1baseball - Nov 18, 2011 at 9:57 AM

        I simply don’t agree Philip. I also saw a previous post of yours that stated TLR indicated it is easier to Manage pitchers in the NL rather than the AL because in the NL the decisions are made for you. This is ridiculous. It’s actually the opposite. You have far more decisions in an NL game as EVERYTHING is more strategic and each decision more magnified. I watched the TLR interview with Bob Costas and Tony said (if forced to choose)…he favors the NL over the AL because of the aformentioned strategy.

  24. Chipmaker - Nov 17, 2011 at 4:28 PM

    MLB needs to stop being so candy-ass about realignment and league hopping.

    Throw all 30 team names into a hat, pull them out in sets of five, and those become the new divisions. To hell with AL or NL history and rivalries and GEOGRAPHY and all the rest — realign wholesale and get it over with. Enough witless tweaking. League identities are so sapped from what they once were that it’s like arguing Coke v. Pepsi — meaningless.

    Combine this with reworking of the season schedule. Stop clinging to “162” — define what the sked should provide in terms of competitiveness and matchups and so forth and then sort out what number of games nails the issue. Maybe it goes up to 166, maybe it goes down to 158, whatever — it’ll still fit into 26 weeks — and adopt that. 162 solved some logistics in 1961-62, but now is just clinging through historical inertia, and there is no need to let that continue.

    If Selig really wants to go out with a bang, the roadmap is before him. Massive realignment, revamped schedule, extended postseason (about which I have no suggestion, since it’s going to happen anyway).

  25. marshallnbrown - Nov 17, 2011 at 4:55 PM

    The bottom line, of course, is the teams get richer, players will make more and fans are left paying higher and higher ticket prices. Pro/big league sports is killing the goose that feeds it… all in the pursuit of gold.

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