Astros Expected To Complete Sale, Move To AL

Astros owner Drayton McLane is expected to complete the sale of the team to Jim Crane in mid-November, according to Peter Gammons of MLB Network (on Twitter). The arrangement would move Houston to the American League West and even MLB into two leagues of 15 teams.

The sale of the Astros is intertwined with baseball's current round of collective bargaining. MLB is likely to add a Wild Card team by 2012 or 2013 and moving the Astros to the American League would likely accelerate expanded playoffs.

McLane recently said he expects the sale to be complete within three or four weeks. Last week, MLBTR's Tim Dierkes looked ahead to Houston's offseason.

Full Story | 214 Comments | Categories: Houston Astros

214 Responses to Astros Expected To Complete Sale, Move To AL Leave a Reply

  1. I look forward to seeing the epic battles between Houston and Seattle for last place in the AL West

    • mwagner26 4 years ago

      Mariners will kill the Astros.

    • Lastings 4 years ago

      I cannot believe that this is MLB’s plan to even out the AL West and make the divisions balanced. I’m sure Toronto and Baltimore were all on board for this.

      • Once again MLB proves that, when it comes to shooting one’s self in the foot, not even professional hockey can play at the same level. A meaningless regular season just got more so, and more so, and more so — all in the same, two-paragraph story. …And they have the gall to wonder why attendance is down?

    • HummBaby 4 years ago

      2 ideas. 1. Why didn’t Selig just move his precious Brewers back to the AL where they came from? 2. Why don’t the Astros change their name upon their move. Back to the Colt 45’s….anything is better than Astros imo.

  2.  Wow.  Has to mean Interleague Games All Season then… I don’t hate it

    • I think this is something Selig wants to see (Interleague throughout the year).  Not sure I’m completely on board with it, but it will probably grow on me after a few seasons as I just come to expect it.  I like the anticipation of it during the season and only having it for a few weeks.

      • Infield Fly 4 years ago

        I don’t know. I’ve really enjoyed interleague play and was never against it – within certain limits – but with an increase of those matches it would feel like the Leagues almost don’t mean anything – with the exception of the DH rule (…and maybe not even that). Not sure I “love” that aspect.

        On the good side, the expansion of interleague play would allow me to see teams I don’t often get to watch in person. I can’t complain about that.

        • I’m with you on all of this.

        • Pete 4 years ago

          Disagree completely with interleague, it damages the validity of a teams W-L record. Some teams get to pad wins vs terrible teams while other teams struggle against good ones, all thanks to “draw”? Its never worked other than when it started as a way to draw more fans. No thanks.

          Yes, I’m one of those “There should be no divisions and every team should play the other 14 teams in their league the same amount of times at home and on the road with no interleague.” guys. Its the only way we can really find out who is good or not. Blasting the Mariners and Astros constantly does not mean you are a good team. Playing the Yankees and Phillies the same amount of times as everyone else does. I grew up not being able to watch AL-NL battles except in spring training and in the World Series and you know what? I liked it more.

          • You can dislike unbalanced schedules, but to say that it “damages the validity of a team’s record” is pretty much crap.  The strength of schedule isn’t very different between teams that play the hardest and easiest schedules.  Playing three games against Houston instead of Philadelphia doesn’t mean very over a 162 game season.  You’re also ignoring all sorts of factors such as facing starting pitchers, health of players, and a glut of other factors that influence strength of schedule.

            Furthermore, a nice 15-15 alignment makes it possible for every team in a given division to play all of the teams in another division in another league.  That makes divisional records very comparable, which is good enough.  The whole idea of divisions is mini-leagues with comparable schedules.  A fully balanced schedule is basically impossible anyway.  (14 doesn’t divide into 62)

          • thegrayrace 4 years ago

            In a year where two teams were eliminated on the final day of season, it is kind of difficult to argue that 3 games vs. the Phillies as opposed to 3 games vs. the Astros can’t make a difference.

            I definitely prefer two evenly divided leagues, however. I just hope they can make the schedules for teams within a division as close as possible to one another. It will never be completely fair, considering teams change throughout the season via trades and injuries, but it could certainly be more fair than it is now…

          • Jeff 4 years ago

            Simple solution:

            18 games own division
            6 games other divisions in league
            6 games in one interleague division

            Balanced schedules within the division. 

            I don’t want playoff expansion would have killed the Cards/Rays surges this year (and I say this as a Braves fan whose team got rightfully bounced)

          • mmwatkin 4 years ago

            Great in theory. Too bad MLB will screw the schedule up so that they can have their precious Mets-Yankees and other “rivalries” every year. 

      • Steve Cochrane 4 years ago

        Maybe they can forget these imbalanced interleague games, and go for an NFL type schedule…  Year 1: NL East plays AL East, NL Central plays AL Central and NL West plays AL West.  Year 2: NL East plays AL Central, NL Central plays AL West and NL West plays AL East, and so on.  This way, teams will rotate to different divisions, and it’ll be somewhat fair.

        • Patrick Meredith 4 years ago

          The NFL schedule is the most unfair schedule in American pro sports.

          The Rams are the only team in the NFC West that have to play Greenbay and New Orleans, and they don’t get 162 games to blunt that impact.

          • Tommy_Vu 4 years ago

            That’s because the Rams are playing this season on a second place schedule based on their finish from last season.  The Rams are playing the Packers and Saints this year because both of those teams also finished in second place in their respective divisions last year, and are also in the NFC.  The second the NFL regular season ends, teams already know all of their 16 opponents for next season, just not if they’re home/away.  The NFL schedule is fair, you just don’t understand it. 

          • Meh Sheep 4 years ago

            And the Rams avoid playing 2 games against the 2nd place team from last year in the NFC west.  Every team plays 4 games each against 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 4th place teams from the prior year.  Not completely fair but as close as you can get since injuries and other things aren’t fair either.  Playing Colts a 1st place team from last year without Manning isn’t the same as playing the Patriots with Brady.

    • Those interleague games the last week of the season should be interesting. There will be at least two series where teams possibly fighting for a playoff berth must deal with the DH dilemma. 

      • Wete 4 years ago

        Yeah, won’t the interleague play kind of screw over the NL teams because of the DH? Normally, with only a few interleague series games, NL teams can just plug in one of their decent bench bats into the DH slot and not worry about it too much. But with increased interleague play, their DH’s just won’t match up against AL teams who have the benefit of having a DH guy on their 25 man roster who isn’t wasting space otherwise; NL teams can’t keep a DH type player on their roster, but with that many interleague games they’ll kind of need one. It seems to add more pressure to NL teams.

  3. $1529282 4 years ago

    Carlos Lee, welcome to the DH position.

    • mikecav19 4 years ago

      Carlos Lee only has 1 year left on his contract and the change would likely take place in 2013.  So, I would say Carlos Lee is irrelevant to the possible change.

    • Lastings 4 years ago

      Doesn’t it figure it comes one year too late. Maybe they should sign him for another six.

      • mikecav19 4 years ago

        Dude, don’t make me throw up in my mouth like that!

      • mikecav19 4 years ago

        Dude, don’t make me throw up in my mouth like that!

  4. mwxiao 4 years ago

    Will they change the 2012 schedule? I don’t know how it would work with 15 teams on each league. Interleague every day?

    • Astros probably wouldn’t switch leagues until 2013 because of all the schedule issues that would need to be worked out.

    • It will lead to some odd sights. National League teams choosing an opening day DH, etc.

  5. TheWoodyD 4 years ago

    So, MLB can decide to shake up the whole structure of their league and post-season within a few months, but has to take years to make a decision about a stadium? -Disgruntled A’s fan

    • mwxiao 4 years ago

      I thought it was the team’s decision about a stadium.

      • Guest 4 years ago

        Everything has to be approved by MLB first (and also the city that the team plans to build in). MLB approved a move for them to Fremont about 5 years ago, but then the city ultimately decided against letting them build there. So now they’ve been waiting more than 2 years for MLB to decide whether they can move to San Jose, or not (the Giants currently own the “territorial rights” to that city).

        • Pete 4 years ago

          The Giants “own” those rights because the A’s gave them to them when they were struggling, as a peacemeal offer to try and keep them in the Bay. Now the roles are reversed, the Giants are stabbing the A’s in the back, using those very rights to try and prevent them from moving to San Jose. Its one of the most deplorable things in MLB right now. The Giants park is even further away than the A’s one, they didn’t move to San Jose, so let the A’s do it.

      • Pete 4 years ago

        nope, its all on Bud Selig’s “team” thats taken over 3 years to figure it out now.

    • Casor_Greener 4 years ago

      Build your own stadium. Tell your owner to stop looking for a handout

      • TheWoodyD 4 years ago

        I’d like to tell the A’s owner more than that…

        But when MLB puts together a committee to make a decision, you kind of assume that they’ve taken on the burden and will follow through with their promise. Especially when a franchise is put in limbo because of it.

      • Guest 4 years ago

        What are you talking about??? They’re not waiting on a handout. They’re waiting to see if MLB will grant them approval to build in San Jose.

      • nostocksjustbonds 4 years ago

        they want the league to approve a move to San Jose. If they were building in Oakland, the league would stay out of it. Of course, it will cost them a lot of $ to do that b/c the Giants own the territorial rights to San Jose b/c the A’s gave it to them for free many years ago. Of course, they want San Jose to build the stadium for them, and that’s definitely a handout.

        • baycommuter 4 years ago

          No they don’t. Why do people keep repeating this? The San Jose deal would be exactly what the Giants got from San Francisco– you give us the land, we pay for the stadium.

        • Totally false. Please site your sources.

    • The league and post-season structure are entirely under the purview of MLB, and the league and owners can act unilaterally in those matters. Stadium issues require coordination with local and state governments, permitting, and a whole host of other factors that aren’t internally controlled, so yes, it does make sense that MLB can do this without waiting as long as it’d take for the other.

      It’s also worth noting that the discussion regarding moving the Astros likely has been going on for quite some time now, with Drayton McLane, even before the Crane intervention. I doubt this is a situation where Selig woke up one morning in June and went “Hey, I want to move the Astros to the AL and add more playoff teams. Let’s see how quickly I can do that.”

    • I don’t blame baseball for taking forever to grant Oakland a new stadium. Why would they? They don’t draw a big enough crowd! The only reason the Marlins are getting a new one, is because they are moving. If they weren’t moving, it’d be tough luck for them as well. I am all for Oakland getting a new stadium. I am a huge Ranger fan, and it’d be nice to see a new stadium in the division… but without a crowd, why would they? Having said that, though… Tampa is by far the worst at getting fans in the seats. Against Texas in the clinching game of the ALDS just a few days ago, they had 28,000 people! 6,000 below capacity! Just ridiculous. The Rangers had 51,000 fans in game 2 of the ALCS despite the fact that it was a make up game, at 3pm on a Monday afternoon.

      • BoSoxSam 4 years ago

        Pretty sure the A’s also want to move to San Jose if they could.

      • Guest 4 years ago

        Huh?!? Part of the reason they don’t draw well is BECAUSE of their antiquated stadium. The sooner they can get a new one built, the better. Especially if they get permission to build in San Jose like they’re hoping to. There will almost certainly be higher attendance if they can move there (even after the charm of a brand new stadium has worn off).

        And what do you mean by “The only reason the Marlins are getting a new one, is because they’re moving. If they weren’t moving, it’d be tough luck for them as well”?

        The Marlins aren’t leaving Miami.

      • Pete 4 years ago

        This is what you just said:

        “The A’s cant move to a place where they would draw a bigger crowd because they can’t draw a big crowd where they currently are.”

        Good job.

        Additional: The Rangers never drew before their new park opened. New parks = big crowds. The A’s get a new park = they draw a bigger crowd. Simple.

        • MisterBill 4 years ago

          > . New parks = big crowds.

          Except for the Mets :-(.

      • tiduss 4 years ago

        Are you kidding me? There is no fans in Oakland because of the stadium. You like act like if we got a new stadium we will still be only getting an average of like 10,000 fans. That’s the whole point of getting a new stadium dude. To get more fans…

    • Now you know why Jeffrey Loria lied to get the Marlins new stadium…

  6. Rick Garcia 4 years ago

    Shouldve moved a different team to the AL that can actually compete in the near future

    • chaifetz10 4 years ago

      Like who?   Cardinals definitely wouldn’t switch, and any of the current NL West teams don’t make any sense because then you just have another 4 team division.

      • Pete 4 years ago

        Does it matter? If interleague is being played every day who cares what league youre in?

        Bud Selig has ruined this simple game.

        • Why does there need to be interleague every single day.  Maybe they should have expanded instead Portland I know wanted a team bad.  Wasn’t there several other cities too that wanted teams last time expansion happened.

          Some team may simply not play every single day. Don’t know exactly how it will work but I am sure they have some kinda plan. And honestly 1 team playing interleague every day is not the end of the world

        • gtl11 4 years ago

          Has season-long interleague ruined the NFL? I have a personal distaste for Selig but if I’m being completely objective I feel like he’s probably been good for the MLB overall. Attendance, ratings are up. Payrolls are up. Baseball takes much more of a center stage today in American sports than it did in, say, 1990.

      • I seem to recall the Diamondbacks had a clause in their expansion agreement where MLB could force them to shift to the AL West.  What happened there? After the D-Backs move you could shift the Astros back to the NL West.

        This would have never been an issue if the Brewers had  simply stayed in the AL.

        • I think a lot of this will lead to a major change coming down the road.  Either more divisions and teams added.  Or….  maybe they go back to a single league type thing and realign who is in what league.

    • It pretty much had to be a team from the NL Central.  No other NL Central team made any sense to move.  The Rangers and Astros in the same division seems a little lame though.  It would have taken a couple teams switching leagues and divisions to make it really work out well.

      Its not a perfect solution but honestly its not a terrible one either.

      • coldgoldenfalstaff 4 years ago

        No other team in the Central makes sense?? Weren’t the Brewers an AL team for 24 years? I guess Bud’s family and friends are precluded from the conversation…

        BTW – the Rangers vs. Astros rivalry is manufactured. There’s never been a rivalry, only Bud’s lame attempt at one.

    • Stoibs 4 years ago

      Should have moved the either the orioles, Rays or Blue Jays out of the east, then moved the astros into the east. At least then there would be a more balanced AL. The Blue Jays would give the rangers and angels a serious run for their money and the east would be a little less difficult to move up in.

  7. DutchTiger 4 years ago

    Why move the Astros to the AL West with the Rangers already a Texas AL team. I suppose Texas is big enough for two teams in one division, but wouldn’t it make more sense to move the Astros to the NL West and transfer an NL West team to the AL (Diamondbacks/Padres/Rockies)? 

    Ps. I assume the Giants/Dodgers are untouchable in this respect, although if the argument for the Astros is a sale then the same could be argued for the Dodgers.

    • mwxiao 4 years ago

      I like your idea.  Move Padres to AL west wouldn’t be such a bad idea.

    • MLB wants to strengthen the Astros/Rangers rivalry, but i agree with you. Padres should be in the AL West & the ‘Stros should move to the NL West

    • MB923 4 years ago

      Well Texas is a larger state than California. If California can hold 3 in 1 division, Texas can hold 2.

      • DutchTiger 4 years ago

        Fair enough. Just realized that California has 5 teams in MLB. 

      • Rich Parkinson 4 years ago

        California has 5 teams… 2 AL (Angels and A’s) and 3 NL (Dodgers , Giants, and Padres)

        I’m all for the Astros moving to the AL West.

        • You forgot the Giants.

        • MB923 4 years ago

          Well tell that to Tiger not me. I’m aware it has several teams. My main point was I don’t see a problem whatsoever with the Astros moving to the West. 

      • VivaJackMurphy 4 years ago

        In terms of geographic area, Texas is larger than California. In terms
        of population California has nearly 50% more people than Texas (37
        million vs 25 million).

        I don’t really see the point here. Why should the Padres move? Because having two Texas teams in one division is too many? Dallas and Houston are separated by 241 miles – Boston and New York are separated by 225 miles (in which area there are 3 teams). Is that too many teams in one geographic area?

        • DutchTiger 4 years ago

          I think you just answered your final question in the first paragraph. It is all about population density. 

          I didn’t realize California has 5 teams. I think the revitalizing Astros – Rangers rivalry argument is a good one for the switch. Hopefully it becomes as potent as the Boston – Yankees/Dodgers – Giants rivalry

          • MB923 4 years ago

            Exactly. Which is why I consider this a good move. Although I wouldn’t have much of a problem if it was the Brewers who moved back considering they are originally from teh AL. Actually they are also origianlly form the AL West, but it wouldn’t make sense to move them in the AL West today with the teams it has now.

  8. So the West will end up being the worst division by a long shot. Nice to know the Rangers and Angels only have to deal with each other while Baltimore and Toronto have to continue to deal with the 2 biggest payrolls of NY and Boston and the ridiculous farm system of Tampa

    • Whats your plan move the Yanikees to the West.   ROFL…  makes no sense at all.  Toronto to the West again way to far east.  Switching between home and away games would be a nightmare for the players.

  9. The 2012 schedules you currently see are still only tentative.  I don’t think yearlong interleague play will go into effect until the 2013 season, though, when the playoff stage is altered.

    • NWDC 4 years ago

      those schedules won’t change — you’d have to 100% redo every team’s schedule to do this move in 2012, no way on earth that is happening

      • Redbirds16 4 years ago

        That really shouldn’t take that long. It’s not government work…

        I bet you a team of Administrative assistants could get this done in a week. I’ve seen admins do more in less time in my own office. Scheduling is easy if you know everything in advance. The difficult part is when the boss changes plans on you a couple hours (if you’re lucky) before they’re supposed to be there.

  10. Christopher David 4 years ago

    Oh good, now the Astros can get consistently stomped by a more diverse group of teams. I just hope the move to the AL doesn’t somehow jeopardize their position as the Phillies’ AAAA farm team.

    • Tired_OF_FakeRumors 4 years ago

      s long as ed wade is their GM there will be no problem

  11. Roy Baker 4 years ago

    All my trash talk about the AL ends soon. :(

    I’m going to miss saying “It’s the American League, how hard can it be?” Oh well. Go Astros!!

    • $7562574 4 years ago

      another kick ball in the a.l. west.

    • chico65 4 years ago

      It certainly gets easier with the addition of Houston

    • Pete 4 years ago

      Thats real funny seeing how the NL gives away at least 2 free outs every time through the lineup.

  12. bigpat 4 years ago

    Meh, there goes a few easy wins for the Pirates every year, back to the cellar it is :(

    • BruhoftheYear2k13 4 years ago

      by every year, you mean the past 2 seasons? cute. i forgot since the pirates are “good” now, it gives their fans an excuse to make fun of a team that was in their same position a year ago. congrats on 4th place this year, an accomplishment really. 

      • RaiseTheJollyRoger 4 years ago

        How many world championships does Houston have again? 5? Didn’t think so

        • BruhoftheYear2k13 4 years ago

          so, how many years of the last decade were the pirates in last place in their division?When was the last time the pirates have been in the postseason? oh.

          • I don’t know why you’re all arguing.  Both teams are terrible…

      •  The pirates are good? they lost 90 games this year.

    • I seem to remember Mike Hampton destroying the Pirates three times his final year when he couldn’t buy an out from any other team. You have no bragging rights.

  13. Ethanator99 4 years ago

    Ughh. The NLC just got a lot harder to win now. The worst team is moving away and the Cubs got a competent GM. I hope this means the NL gets a DH soon or something

    • Cards_Fanboy 4 years ago

      Pirates fan?

      • Ethanator99 4 years ago

        Reds fan

        • Yeah Go Reds !!!
          I agree division got harder to win.  Though it seemed like the only team we had any success with in the division was only early in the season against the Brewers before they woke up and the Cardinals we did fairly well against I think.

          Can’t seem to beat the Pirates if our lives depended on it.

    • I hope not.

    • Infield Fly 4 years ago

      I hope this means the NL gets a DH soon or something

      Then why have 2 leagues? Not much beyond the DH separates them.

      • Ethanator99 4 years ago

        Because as a Reds fan that would mean that we could just DH Yonder Alonso and not deal with his bad D at any position

        • Infield Fly 4 years ago

          *Chuckle* yeah, I see your point now. On the other hand, if that strategy doesn’t pan out, Jocketty can always just send him…Yonder  :p

      • Why should the two leagues play under different rules? Other sports have two leagues without a rule that distinguishes them.

        • Infield Fly 4 years ago

          Well this is baseball; a sport with some notable differences from others, for better or worse (ie: no clock, no salary cap, very limited use of instant replay, etc.). Despite the love/hate debates about it there hasn’t been a burning drive to even out the rules across leagues since the DH was implemented in 1973. I can’t imagine that it’s really all that important now.

          However, maybe having a single set of rules across both leagues isn’t a bad idea. With that in mind, let’s kill the DH for good; even rules, even leagues, problem solved! :p

          • I’m with you for killing the DH, theres two parts to this game and I’m disgusted when I see a career like Ortiz’, you play the game as it was designed not some circus home run derby.

    • furioustoaster 4 years ago

      Math fail. 

      This year the Astros had a 1/6 chance of winning the division, and a 1/13 chance of the wild card.

      Moving to the AL West they will have a 1/5 chance of winning the division and better odds (1/12) of the wild card.

      • Talk about math fail. You do realize they have a 1/13 chance of winning the wild card in the NL. If they move to the AL they would have a 1/12 chance of winning the wild card. Of course this is purely statistics and not based on how good a team is and its competition.

        • furioustoaster 4 years ago

          Wrong.  This is all based on 2 15 team leagues.

          Talk about a math fail… pay attention Tyler.

  14. gradylittle 4 years ago

    I guess this could be interesting.

  15. I hope another part of the new CBA/realignment plan is to make the first round series 7 games. This 5 game crap is stupid.

    • I actually wouldn’t mind seeing the WS as the only 7 game series in the playoffs.

      • Let_Timmy_Smoke 4 years ago

        I’d actually like to see the first two series be Best of 7, and the WS a Best of 9, and if that means cutting some games from regular season, like back to 154, so be it. 

  16. notsureifsrs 4 years ago

    friedman to take over, anthopolous master plan complete

    • chico65 4 years ago

      Right?  First Theo, then Friedman.  Then the masses cower under the reign of AA.

  17. Send me Wandy before you get going and stop asking for that inter-division surcharge. Thanks, Walt Jocketty.

    • Yes I want Wandy too.  Not a number 1 guy but pretty decent pitcher.  At least that is one more team the Reds won’t have to worry about not being able to trade with cause they are in the same division.

  18. First order of business for the New Astros Owner… FIRE ED WADE!

  19. icedrake523 4 years ago

    This is a joke. The Astros have been in the National League their entire existence, over 50 years. Moving them to the AL is ridiculous. If Bud is insisting on 15-15, move the Brewers back to the AL. They were there for 29 years versus their last 13 spent in the NL. They’ll still have a Chicago rival in the White Sox and add another geographic rival in the Twins. Then you can move the Royals to the AL West (if you don’t think that makes sense, look back at when MLB had 2 divisions. The Braves and Reds were in the West while the Cardinals were in the East).

    • Joey E 4 years ago

      who cares. eventually the NL will get a DH and it wont even matter

      • Infield Fly 4 years ago

        Well, if that were the case (and I sincerely hope not), why have 2 leagues at all? Then again, it kind of seems like like Selig might be asking himself the same thing…

        • jmcbosox 4 years ago

          huh?  every other league has the same rules and 2 conferences, whats the problem.  oh, i see, you dont like the word “league”…..well, to appease you, i suppose we could put a call into selig, but just this once….

          • Infield Fly 4 years ago

            Just talking DH vs non-DH. 

            As for whatever else you got stuck in your craw, work that out on your own time.

          • And he was talking about how the NHL, NBA, and NFL all have 2 conferences (i.e. leagues) that play by the same rules, so there isn’t anything strange about having a DH in both the AL and NL.

        • Phillies_Aces35 4 years ago

          Why have the AFC and the NFC in football? It’s just for seating purposes. The rules are the same regardless of the DH anyway.

          I’d love to see the DH in the National League.

          • Infield Fly 4 years ago

            Yeah, got that point elsewhere (leagues), and yeah, that is fair. 

            As for the DH, well, everyone has an opinion but I don’t mind watching the pitcher take his hacks — and sometimes come up with something (don’t mind the easy outs either, I’ll admit). To me that is one of the aspects of the game that doesn’t need to change. Anyway, I have no love for the DH rule. Let it just stay in the AL.

          • D. Willis on the Reds hit over .400  and I know Mike Leake had a pretty good average and some doubles too.

      • That will never happen and the DH really sucks.Baseball has turned into such a soft game.The DH takes strategy out of the sport

        • Phillies_Aces35 4 years ago

          No it doesn’t. What? it takes out the double switch. I don’t see how that really effects anyone other than Tony LaRussa.

          My team’s manager never makes a double switch… heck he let Madson bat in game 3 of the NLDS.

          The only difference is you don’t have to hit for the pitcher. The strategy is the same.

          • My team’s manager puts a starting pitcher in often to pinch hit, what’s your point?

        • I like your comment, but at the same time the DH is a position all in it’s own.  It’s more than just hitting and is not something any player can just walk into. 

        • The NL is the only place you can play baseball without a DH isn’t it?

    • Don’t forget the Astros were in the NL West along with Atlanta & Cincinnati as well.

  20. 110+ loses? 

  21. Cards_Fanboy 4 years ago

    Good move in the long run to even out the leagues. Astros are bottom of the barrel and changing ownership, so it might as well be them as long as they agree to it.

    • coldgoldenfalstaff 4 years ago

      Maybe they should ask the fans what they want…

      Not two sketchy billionaires, especially the one selling us out.

      • furioustoaster 4 years ago

        Selling you out?  You have a better chance of making the playoffs in the AL West (will be 5 teams) than you do in the NL Central with 6 teams.

        They should never ask the fans anything.  Fan(atics) are by definition biased and panicky.

  22. frank789 4 years ago

    With season-long interleague play, isn’t it time we settled the DH issue once and for all. As an AL fan I do like having the DH, but would rather see it removed than to toggle back and forth between using DH and not using it all season long.

    • Andy_B 4 years ago

      as an NL fan I hate it adds much more of a strategic component having the hitter bat.

    • I’d like to see the DH go, but it’s not that I’m a purist, so to speak. Fans love athletes; where’s the athleticism in watching a nearly washed-up 39 year old scraping on for a few more years when he can only swing the bat? I’d rather have a pitcher who can hit, such as a C.C. Sabathia, Micah Owings, etc. It just feels that the DH was a well-intending rule to inject offense, but I think it takes away more from the game than they expected. 

      • frank789 4 years ago

        I agree with that. The DH rule is OK by me but I could certainly live without it. I am old enough to remember how odd Ron Bloomberg’s baseball card looked with that peculiar “DH” designation for position.
        What I’d most like to see is all of MLB come down on one side or the other. Continuity would be great for the game.

        • Infield Fly 4 years ago

          Amen! And hey, I actually dig watching the pitcher take his hacks. Some of them can actually handle a bat, i.e.: Zambrano, despite all his loose screws, Micah Owings, as I recall, and Jon Niese (I could actually add Mike Pelfrey to that [this year, anyway] but then the problem is the dude can’t actually pitch…). Let ’em swing away!

      • windycitywarrior 4 years ago

        How many full time DH’s fit your description? Vlad and Ortiz are the two closest in age to 39. Thome really wasnt an everyday DH for the past two seasons. Most teams use the postion now days to rest guys. Some are DH’s because they arent good fielders. That has nothing to do with age. Also not sure how the DH rule takes away from the game. Personally I like the fact that they are different because it separates the leagues from one another and gives them their own identity. And fans may love athletes but they love offense a heck of a lot more.

      • windycitywarrior 4 years ago

        How many full time DH’s fit your description? Vlad and Ortiz are the two closest in age to 39. Thome really wasnt an everyday DH for the past two seasons. Most teams use the postion now days to rest guys. Some are DH’s because they arent good fielders. That has nothing to do with age. Also not sure how the DH rule takes away from the game. Personally I like the fact that they are different because it separates the leagues from one another and gives them their own identity. And fans may love athletes but they love offense a heck of a lot more.

    • furioustoaster 4 years ago

      The NL is the only league in the world that does not use a DH.  Time to get with the times.

  23. BlueCatuli 4 years ago

    Would a two team expansion in each league be out of the question? Obviously not soon, but is that a possibility? Or, would there be a possibility of eliminating franchises?

    • jmcbosox 4 years ago

      mlbpa would prob love expansion becxause it creates so many new jobs, but the league is watered down now and there are plenty of teams that are barely surviving….30 is where itll stay i presume

    • I’d love expansion, but there is no clear-cut option for two new locations at this time, especially in a down economy. Plus, with 16 teams per league, splitting up the divisions will take quite a bit of wrangling, even if it is 2 eight-team divisions, let alone 4 four-team divisions.

      • I know there are some spots for new teams.  I know Portland wanted a team pretty bad.  I have always wondered why Indianapolis does not have a baseball team especially since they have every other major sport. There are a few other cites that have wanted teams in the past.

        As far as setting things up I like the idea of 4 divisions in each league and 2 leagues.

        • Please… Portland couldn’t even keep their AAA team.  Another team in metro NYC and a team in Indianapolis or Monterrey, Mexico would make more sense.

          • I think a team in Mexico would be awesome, but it won’t happen until they get their drug war finished. Indy could work, as long as they don’t build a 50,000+ stadium. San Antonio and Nashville are my favorites for expansion, with Las Vegas as an outside possibility if their economy turns around. 

  24. PMiller7 4 years ago

    Finally 5 teams in the AL West

  25. PMiller7 4 years ago

     Don’t sleep on the M’s in the next few years. Hopefully we will have someone other than Miguel Olivo batting cleanup!

  26. Rich Parkinson 4 years ago

    Oops I forgot the Giants…

  27. Sad to see the Astros go to the AL but this is baseball so i always expect the wrong moves to happen

  28. CyYoungSuppan 4 years ago

    Well DANG IT!  There goes about a thousand wins a season for my Crew…but at least it’s not the Pirates!

    • Actually look back over the past few seasons before this season the Pirates kinda kicked the Brewers butts.

      • CyYoungSuppan 4 years ago

        Not even close.  In fact, the complete opposite.  Since 2007, the Brewers are 58-20 against them, with a 38-4 record at home.  Going back to last season, the Brewers had won 13 in a row against the Pirates.  The last two seasons, the Brewers are 25-8.  Not including this year, they are 46-17.  So I am not quite sure where you are getting your info from.

  29. I’d prefer to see the Diamondbacks join the AL West, moving the Astros to the NL West. The ‘Stros have been an NL team their whole existence, while the DBacks are the most recent expansion team. There are 4 NL teams (L.A., S.D., S.F., and AZ (Phoenix) within a 600 or so mile radius, compared to 2 AL teams. Moving the DBacks to the AL West creates a geographical and mileage balance. The AL West already travels the farthest of all divisions thanks to the Mariners, and now, depending on how the scheduling shakes out, they could be going even further if the series in Arlington and Houston aren’t back to back. 

  30. So does this make the NL stronger by default? Also, the Astros are now forced to promote another player from single-A to add to that dreadful lineup

    • Glove Affair 4 years ago

      When you talk about “stronger” are you thinking in terms of won/loss record, runs output, pitching, or something else?

      • he means that the Astros leaving the NL makes it better and crapifies the AL a bit.

  31. Relocation is starting to look more like a possibility for the Rays and the A’s. It’s a shame; good management and fans, terrible locations and stadiums.

    My highly speculative realignment idea:

    Move A’s to San Antonio and the Rays to Nashville. When St. Pete/Tampa and Oakland/Santa Clara get their acts together and build stadiums, then expand. Move Astros to NL West, DBacks to AL West, Braves to NL Central, Pittsburgh to NL East, Nashville Rays (yeah, that name needs an adjustment) to AL Central, and Cleveland Indians to AL East.

    AL West – Anaheim, San Antonio, Seattle, Arizona, Texas
    AL Central – KC, Minny, CWS, Detroit, Nashville
    AL East – Yanks, BoSox, Jays, Indians, Orioles
    NL West – SFG, LA, SDP, Colorado, Houston
    NL Central – Cubs, Brewers, Cards, Braves, Reds
    NL East – Mets, Pittsburgh, Phillies, Nationals, Marlins

    • You forgot St. Louis

    • Pete 4 years ago

      Players union wont allow relocation, if anything there will be further expansion to make it 16 teams in each league.

      • I don’t know if the union would balk 100% to relocation of franchises, but they would use it as leverage in negotiations. Give the union a concession, such as expanding rosters to 26 players (just an example), and they’ll bite. Those players in St. Pete and Oakland would get much more national and regional focus in endorsements if their teams were in thriving markets. 

        • Pete 4 years ago

          Oakland’s been trying to move to the larger market in San Jose for years, the only thing blocking them are fake “rights” that do not exist in any other 2-team market in all of American pro sports. That they gave to the Giants. So the Giants could move to San Jose. In 1997. Which they didn’t do. Instead they built a stadium in downtown SF in 2000. So the rights allowing them to move are moot. 

          I don’t understand why these points are so contested. SF is farther away to San Jose than Oakland is. They have absolutely no reason to claim these rights, because their stadium is in a downtown area in one of the biggest tourist cities in America, along with being a major metro city. They didnt move to SJ, so they need to the right thing and let the A’s go there. Its dishonest to not help a team who helped them out when the roles were reversed.

          • Couldn’t agree more about the A’s-to-San Jose project. The Giants’ should release those rights and it’s a damn shame they haven’t. I’m no A’s fan, but I would love to see a new stadium built in the South Bay and the team thrive. However, I don’t think this will happen any time soon, and they’ll continue to be at the bottom of the barrel in terms of attendance and players salaries. In the absence of moving to a new stadium in the Bay Area, they should move to greener pastures, and if San Jose/Santa Clara can build a new stadium after securing the rights from the Giants, then they get an expansion or potential relocation. 

    • SirUre 4 years ago

      I’d like to see expansion to 32 teams, 8 four-team divisions, 1st and 2nd place teams go into an expanded playoff, and the regular schedule is reduced to at least 154 games.

      I’d also like to be 6’7″; I’ve been 5’7″ long enough.

      A boy can dream.

    • AL West –  I am good with that
      AL Central –  I am good with that
      AL East –   I am good with that

      NL West –  Good with that
      NL Central  and NL East.  Leave those teams alone.  I think the Pirates have a hard enough time winning in their current division. I can’t stand the Braves and that stupid chop thing…  Its bad enough the amount of times I have to hear it playing a few games a year let along more times playing them.  Also moving these too teams makes the East Weaker and the Central becomes a very tough division to win.

      • Keeping the Braves in the East and Pirates in the Central wouldn’t be a dealbreaker for me. It’s just that geographically, Pittsburgh is further east than Atlanta, plus half of the Braves territorial rights are in the Central time zone where the majority of the NL Central resides. Having lived in the ATL for a few years, Atlanta has a good rivalry with the Mets and Phillies, but nothing compared to other rivalries in baseball. They’d fit in well with the Cardinals and Cubs. The NL East is a tough division, but the Pirates would have trouble in any division and by moving them to the east, they could at least be in the same division as the Phillies for the PA rivalry. 

  32. @ Scott, I wrote a letter asking that very question and sent it to Selig. He actually responded to me but it wasn’t more then a ‘thank you for your interest in Major League Baseball operations’ .   Deaf ears…

  33. RSBuletz 4 years ago

    This is why it sucks for the Astros.  Welcome to all those 9PM start road games.  Can’t help the advertisers if they know the fans are nodding off in the fifth inning.

    • Crucisnh 4 years ago

      It wouldn’t have mattered if the Dbacks were sent to the AL.  One of the NL Central teams would have had to be moved to the NL West, and that team would likely have been the Astros.  So, in the end, they’d still have had those 9pm road games.

      Frankly, this is a big reason why I hate this 15/15 idea.

  34. coldgoldenfalstaff 4 years ago

    Nice 50th anniversary gift from Bud.


    I hope the fans boycott games.

  35. SirUre 4 years ago

    If there’s a playoff expansion of any kind, I hope, hope, hope the regular season schedule is pared back to 154 games–heck, a 140-something wouldn’t bother me.

    • Crucisnh 4 years ago

      Won’t happen because baseball’s finances almost certainly depend on a 162 game regular season.  Shortening the season would reduce every team’s revenues.  Do you seriously think that the players would willingly cut their salaries by a proportional amount?  Do you seriously think that the banks that hold the mortgages on the stadiums would change the loan payments the teams are required to make?  I think that the answer to both of these questions is a definite NO.

  36. I’d like to see tow things happen with realignment and scheduling.

    MLB should realign both leagues so that teams are grouped based on the size of their TV market.  There’s no reason for teams with limited finances that emanate from small markets to complete on a daily basis with teams from Los Angeles, New York, Boston, Chicago, Philadelphia and the like.

    Additionally, in lieu of shortening the schedule from 162 games to allow for expanded playoffs, how about you schedule 3 to 7 double headers a year for each team.  They can be a combination of day-night and back-to-back games.  Appease the players union by adding one additional roster spot for each team so they have improved depth.  The teams that typically draw large crowds can schedule more day-night double headers and the teams that draw poorly can boost their attendance with back-to-back double header games.  Plus, fans will be more likely to spend more on concessions during a double-header knowing that they’ll be in the stadium for six hours as opposed to just three hours.

    Just my two cents.

  37. I for one will be livid if they move us to the AL. Why would I want to trade the mariners midnight games vs trips to Wrigley & St. Louis? HELLO NOBODY IN HOUSTON CARES ABOUT PLAYING THE STRANGERS! KEEP YOUR STINKING DH OUT OF HOUSTON

  38. Bad idea. 15/15 doesn’t work. You’ll have teams with bye series, and make an already too-long regular season longer. The MLB needs to expand by two teams. Create 4 divisions with 4 teams similar to the NFL structure. Only the divisional winners make it to the playoffs. Put a team in Nashville and one in Vegas.

    AL East: Boston, New York, Toronto, Baltimore
    AL Central: Cleveland, Chicago, Detroit, Minnesota
    AL West: Los Angeles, Oakland, Seattle, Las Vegas
    AL South: Tampa Bay, Kansas City, Texas, Nashville/Houston

    NL East: New York, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Washington
    NL Central: Chicago, St. Louis, Milwaukee, Cincinnati
    NL West: Los Angeles, San Francisco, San Diego, Colorado
    NL South: Atlanta, Arizona, Florida, Houston/Nashville

    • Crucisnh 4 years ago

      No.  The wild card is the best idea that MLB has had in decades.  This idea would get rid of a great idea in favor of a flawed one, that simply adds 2 more small market teams.

      • Not really… Nashville is actually one of the fastest growing regions of the country and is rated the 9th largest media market in the country. Looks like Atlanta of the 80s. Vegas is up and down, but they are consistently growing, just at differing paces.

        I disagree with the WC notion. The only reason why it came into existance is to even out the LDS. In this manner, you get teams competing for the division rather than 2nd place. I find it kind of ridiculous to crown a team the World Champion when they weren’t good enough to win their division but got hot or lucky in the playoffs.

        If you really want a WC, then fine. You pick a WC, then they have a 1-game playoff with the worst division winner. That team then takes on the #1 seed in the LDS, no matter the division.

        • You’re not going to find another person who supports expansion to 32 teams as much as me, but the time simply isn’t right. While attendance actually went up in 2011, the league isn’t getting much push to expand from any market, including cities like Nashville, Portland, Las Vegas, NYC/Jersey, or San Antonio. Once the economy turns around in 201?, a group of investors may try to get a team, but the appetite for taxpayers to pay for a stadium is simply not there, and may not be ever again. 

  39. thegrayrace 4 years ago

    That makes the most sense to me, personally. The Astros have a long history in the NL, while the Diamondbacks are still a young team. In addition, when a state or region has two teams, I’d rather they’re in different leagues.

  40. JoeSeadog 4 years ago

    Now, hopefully, this will lead to a total balanced schedule with each team playing each team the same amount of times so teams can’t sneak into the play-offs. Hopefully we can avoid having years when not even one of the 3 best teams in baseball has a shot at the World Series. Yanks, Sawks, and Rays had to play 72 of their games vs 4 out of 5 over .500 teams, where the Tigers played 72 of theirs vs under .500 teams, and get rid of the stupid inter-league games. I hold no grudge against the Rangers or Tigers, both great clubs who won at the right time. Neither team was exactly stellar vs the East in the AL though, nor in interleague. The 3 best teams in the AL with the toughest schedule were worn down by seasons end. Don’t think sour grapes here, Yanks were 21-24 in one run games and 4-12 in extra’s. Teams that don’t hit with men on base don’t deserve to move on as they clumsily proved vs Detroit, but a balanced schedule would prove a true champion.

  41. Colin Christopher 4 years ago

    This is how I imagine the recent conversation between Bud Selig and Jim Crane went:
    BS: I’m okay with you buying the team, but I need you to move to the AL.
    JC: Hmmm…I don’t know.
    BS: Carlos Lee will never have to play in the field again.
    JC: Done.

  42. Yay for even divisions!  Boo for expanded playoffs!

    • Crucisnh 4 years ago

      Booo for uneven leagues and constant interleague play.

  43. LOL, had no idea the Astros even had any fans.

  44. LOL, had no idea the Astros even had any fans.

  45. Face it, Houston is a very bad fairweather sports city.  Unless the Astros play like the Yankees, Red Sox, or Phillies, no one in there will give two shits about them. 

    • Moe_Berg 4 years ago

      I attend maybe about 30 home games a year. It is true that attendance is not what it use to be, but we still drew in more fans than other teams with much better winning %s. Even, towards the end of the season there was an average attendance of about 20,000. Which is not bad for a dead last ball club.

      If we where even mildly competitive, I believe those numbers would be better, but there are really great fans that come out no matter what.

      So, yes, there are fair weather fans every where, but Houston does have a solid group of of diehards. 106 losses or not.

  46. Biggio3000 4 years ago

    What a slap in the face to the Astros. They shouldn’t move a team with that much National League history to the American League. They should move either the Diamondbacks, Rockies or Brewers. One thing they could do is go back to the old alignment with two
    divisions per league but also have the top two teams per division make
    the playoffs while the top team from the NL east plays the second place
    team from the NL west in the divisional series etc…

    NL East                 NL West                         AL East                  AL West
    Phillies                  Astros                           Yankees                  Athletics
    Pirates                  D-Backs                         Red Sox                 Rangers
    Mets                     Dodgers                         Orioles                   White Sox
    Nationals              Giants                            Blue Jays                Angels
    Marlins                 Padres                           Tigers                    Mariners
    Braves                 Rockies                          Indians                   Royals            Brewers               Cardinals                        Rays                       Twins          
    Reds                    Cubs

    • Biggio3000 4 years ago

      Not really posting right.

      Brewers: NL East
      Cardinals: NL West
      Rays: AL East
      Twins: AL West

    • First of all, you can’t break up the Cubs and Cardinals. That’s the whole reason the 3rd division came to be in the first place. They were going to keep the Cubs in the East after they whined about WGN fans not wanting to stay up late to watch games on the west coast. Then they were going to keep the Cardinals in the West, and both teams whined about that.

      The only way you make even schedules and even divisions is by adding two teams. Otherwise, it’ll disrupt the flow of schedules.

      • Biggio3000 4 years ago

        I didn’t break up the cubs and cardinals, the spacing on the post just moved everything over but yeah the the timing of the games is always a big problem

    • Crucisnh 4 years ago

      It won’t happen because it goes against the primary driving force behind the current alignment, which was to make the divisions more geographically friendly so that travel costs could be reduced and make for more in-division games that were in the same time zone.  Those away games with 2 or 3 hour TZ differences are real killers for ad revenues and viewership numbers.  Fans want to see more games on at about the normal 7pm start times, not more 9 and 10 pm start times.

      My suggestion would be to use Selig’s 1997 proposal to completely nuke the current league alignment and leagues, and realign the leagues roughly based on having an “eastern” league and a “western” league, with the mississippi being the dividing line, and probably having the 2 Chicago teams in the western league.  Then divide the 2 “leagues” into 2 divisions each: (my names) an atlantic, a mid-east, a mid-west, and a pacific division.   This idea would preserve the advantages of reduced travel and increased away game viewership.

  47. D.j. Wilson 4 years ago

    What division will they be in? 

  48. JestersDead86 4 years ago

    So we have no Texas teams in the NL. I don’t like this.

  49. Stoibs 4 years ago

    Clearly this would be difficult because of the distances that would need to be traveled, but it would be more fair.

  50. $17867741 4 years ago

    The MLB season is 26 weeks (believe it or not), which is approximately 180 days.

    Why not balance the schedule to make each team have 12 interleague games (or 4 three game series)? Typically, there will be 15 games a day.

    So 12 X 15 = 180

    At maximum, only one interleague game happens a day, but it happens everyday. And when the MLB has a national broadcast, it could be the interleague game. It will somewhat similar to the NFL’s Monday night football which features ONE game a week, but it is always a national broadcast.

    The entire schedule can work out as follows:
    64 games against 4 divisional rivals: 14 + 14 + 14 + 14 = 56

    94 games against 10 non-division rivals: (10 + 10 + 9 + 9 + 9) + (10 + 10 + 9 + 9 + 9) = 94

    12 interleague games: 3 + 3 + 3 + 3 = 12

    56 + 94 + 12 = 162

    Any thoughts? And if you see real potential problems, let me know.

    • Crucisnh 4 years ago

      The problem is that it’s not this simple.  MLB outsources its schedule making to a firm that specializes in sports scheduling, a firm that has a number of PhD’s on staff to do this.

      • $17867741 4 years ago

        So when you say a ‘firm’, do you mean a company that specializes in creating schedules? If so, then I’m guessing these guys would be math PhD’s with specialization in combinatorics and optimization.

        • Crucisnh 4 years ago

          Yes, “firm” = “company”. Why are you even asking? “Firm” has always been a synonym for “company”.

  51. goredsgo 4 years ago

    damn. i was looking forward to seeing the reds get a few easy wins

  52. If the Detroit Tigers win the world series this year, their are going to be lot of bandwagon fans.

  53. C.D. Austin Tx. 4 years ago

    Who  cares  what division of  what League …. Well, personally speaking  I do, It would be my wish to remain in the National League.  

        HOWEVER  …and this is a BIG   HOWEVER…  Until the  NEW OWNER  institutes  a radical change in the way the club is MANAGED from the FRONT OFFICE  on down…to the 
    GM, and then  to the  Team Manager  it will make No difference  which league the Astros find themselves.  

    The entire operation needs  change … for  the better. 

  54. Personally i feel that moving the Astros to the American League will be a great move because people in the Cleveland area would only get the chance to see them maybe every 3 years if they stayed in the National League because of how it is worked out.  With them being moved to the American League West the chances of being in Cleveland raises because they would have to face every team in the league.

  55. Andy_B 4 years ago

    the NL Central is plenty competitive the NLCS features two teams from the Central.   The Pirates are starting to improve to a mediocre team, and the Reds are loaded with talent and could put it all together at any time.  However the Cubs will suck as they always do because they are the cubs.

  56. Brooks Casillas 4 years ago

    I didn’t realize Theo will make Zambrano a Teddy Bear with a Cy Young arm, make Soriano earn his salary, and help Soto hit like he did when he was a rookie.

  57. BruhoftheYear2k13 4 years ago

    i like how we’re the dead horse and can’t be beaten anymore, when this is the first year we’ve finished last in the nl central. the nl central would probably be even more competitive if we stayed, since there still would be 6 teams, and we’re not going to stay this bad forever. 

  58. furioustoaster 4 years ago

    Theo is such a good GM that he spent $300 million to miss the playoffs and completely demolished the RedSox farm system in the process.  Theo didn’t build the 2004 team, so don’t give him credit for it.

  59. You’re right that rings aren’t won by chance.  They are usually won with $250MM dollar payrolls.

  60. BrickTops 4 years ago

    Don’t let the Astros fool you.  Houston is not a small market team and they will spend the money needed to win.  They are in  a rebuild/ new ownership era right now.  They where contenders for a long stretch not to long ago.  

  61. GoAstros00 4 years ago

    Exactly. They aren’t the yankees of the 1920’s. They can’t just sign future stars and hall of famers like when the yankees signed earle combes, toney lazzeri, ect.

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