FanDuel - WFBC

November 16, 2011

Astros OK Move to American League: Houston Astros owner Jim Crane, newly approved by the league, is backing the team's move to the American League West in exchange for a $70 million discount off his $680 million purchase price of the team. Former owner Drayton McLane and the league will split the cost of the discount. The move gives Major League Baseball six five-team divisions beginning in 2013 and means there will be interleague play throughout the season.

posted by rcade to baseball at 03:06 PM - 11 comments

I wonder if Selig purposely slowed the approval process of Crane to give him an incentive to piss off Houston's fan base with this move. That fan base and former players are hopping mad.

As a Rangers fan, I love having the Astros in the AL West.

posted by rcade at 03:19 PM on November 16

The thing that bugs me about the MLB schedule is that teams are competing for the wild card(s) across divisions, putting teams in highly competitive divisions at a disadvantage.

posted by Rock Steady at 03:32 PM on November 16

I understand this move - it's a one step resolution.

But it leaves the NL with no team in Texas, which I do not approve of.

They should have moved San Diego to the AL West and moved Houston to the NL West.

That would have left both California and Texas with teams in both leagues.

posted by beaverboard at 03:52 PM on November 16

Of course, moving Milwaukee BACK to the AL was never an option, I guess.

I wonder if that had anything to do with who used to own the Brewers...

posted by grum@work at 04:10 PM on November 16

In 2013
(and in 2011)

Longest intra-divisional trips (as the crow flies):

AL East
Boston to Tampa Bay - 1182.46 miles
(same)

AL Central
Detroit to KC - 644.00 miles
(same)

AL West
Houston to Seattle - 1891.42 miles
(Texas (Arlington) to Seattle - 1670.93 miles)

NL East
Florida (Miami) to New York - 1092.52 miles
(same)

NL Central
St. Louis to Pittsburgh - 558.25 miles
(Houston to Pittsburgh - 1138.31 miles)

NL West
Colorado (Denver) to San Francisco - 948.64 miles
(same)

In summary, the NL Central teams will be happy to ditch Houston, the AL West teams will probably take a bit of a hit, and Houston's definitely got some travel ahead of them (but shouldn't complain in front of Seattle).

When I have time, maybe I'll sit down and calculate the average distance traveled for each team to visit every team in their division (and compare it to the 2011 alignment).

posted by grum@work at 04:40 PM on November 16

It's a shame they couldn't have moved the Marlins to Vegas and put them in the AL West, then put Pittsburgh in the NL East and been done with it. But since the Marlins have a new stadium now, that ain't happening.

I am in full agreement with this move, however. The stupidest part of the current alignment was that the AL West teams had it much easier than everyone else as far as winning their division, and the NL Central had it tougher. (As a Cubs fan, I didn't like that.) At least they've evened that out now.

Now if they go to a more balanced inter-league schedule, we'll be in better shape. Play one division on the road and another at home, and rotate them each year. Not everyone will play the same schedule each season, of course, but that will balance out over the long haul. The rivalry series may seem nice, but they lose their luster when played every year.

posted by TheQatarian at 05:20 PM on November 16

The rivalry series may seem nice, but they lose their luster when played every year.

As an AL East fan (Go Rays!), I disagree. I love divisional games.

posted by bperk at 05:25 PM on November 16

Bad week for Houston sports fans. Schaub out for the season and now this.

I'm no Astros fan, but sucks that I won't get to see my Braves come to town now. My son's a huge Ranger fan, but the Rangers already played the Astros each year anyways

posted by bdaddy at 06:42 PM on November 16

bperk: I was talking about the inter-league rivalries as opposed to the division rivalries. I think it is better that each team gets a rotation of inter-league schedule than to make sure that the Cubs and White Sox or Yankees and Mets play six times per year.

Of course, your mileage may vary.

posted by TheQatarian at 08:40 PM on November 16

Of course, moving Milwaukee BACK to the AL was never an option, I guess.

I wonder if that had anything to do with who used to own the Brewers...

So do you put Milwaukee in the AL West? That makes even less sense. Or do you put them in the AL Central, and move a team out of the AL Central? Kansas City to the AL West?

This will at least give the Astros a chance to hide Carlos Lee's game changing defense in the DH spot.

posted by rocketman at 09:32 PM on November 16

The thing that bugs me about the MLB schedule is that teams are competing for the wild card(s) across divisions, putting teams in highly competitive divisions at a disadvantage.

At a disadvantage to win the wildcard? I don't get this. Can you explain?

posted by lil_brown_bat at 10:06 AM on November 17

You're not logged in. Please log in or register.