Keep Houston in the N.L. Send a letter to the Commissioner


If you missed yesterday’s post I am calling for all Astros fans to send a letter to Commissioner Bud Selig citing their reasons why the Astros should remain in the National League. Here is the address:

 

The Office of the Commissioner of Baseball

245 Park Ave, 31st Floor

New York, NY 10167

This is the letter I am sending.

Dear Commissioner Selig,

The recent talk of realignment and adding playoff teams has become quite unsettling, especially for Astros fans. There is an old adage that I think needs to be applied here. If it aint broke, don’t fix it. What transpired at the end of the 2011 regular season is a perfect example of why the current format is just right. Both Atlanta and Boston needed one more win to force their way into a tie-breaker game. Both teams failed miserably down the stretch and had no business playing in the post-season. For both teams to choke as bad as they did is just epic. On the other hand, St. Louis and Tampa Bay both came back against the odds to get it done on the final day of the season. If the proposed “extra wildcard team” had been added this season we would have missed  out on all of the drama that occurred on that final day. There would have been dozens more meaningless games in September. Plus there would have been two undeserving teams in the post-season.

On the subject of moving the Astros to the American League, I fail to see the merit in this idea. Having fifteen teams in each league sounds better, but in reality it would be a debacle. The daily schedule would feature seven games in each league and one interleague game. Is that something you are prepared to deal with? Again, the system in place works splendidly. Change for the sake of change is a step backward. Houston has always been a National League city and should remain as such. Even prior to being awarded a National League franchise fifty years ago, Houston served as a farm team for the St. Louis Cardinals for another forty years. Ninety years of National League history cannot be overlooked. An overwhelming majority of Astros fans share my sentiments. Forcing the Astros to the American League would be wrong. Furthermore, it just wouldn’t make sense. Please, Mr. Commissioner, do the right thing and keep Houston in the National League where it belongs.

Sincerely,

 

Greg Thurston

 

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  • FredOwens

    I agree it’s a farce for many reason including some you’ve stated. I will write the commish but if anyone think Bud $elig is interested in anything about the A$tro$ other than how much money he can drag in they are completely in error. $elig has been there far too long; 2012 is too long to wait for him to retire. Besides, there are other ulterior motives to this move.

    One interleague game a day means everyone gets used to seeing it happening. Eventually there is no real need for two leagues, we’ll just have a couple (probably 3) of conferences in MLB similar to the No Fun League. These 10 team conferences would produce 4 playoff teams each – but wait that’s not enough because it’s what we have now and we’ve seen that everyone (the owners) want more ($$$$ from TV and fans). so we’ll go to 6 teams each. Obviously in this setup we’d have to either keep or dump the designated pinch hitter. Since the AL seems the model we’d get that dufus – no talent require – position on every team; more jobs for decrepit players. This does nothing for the fans, really 4 hour games are far too long and the dufus hitter is a primary cause of those, but we would get what Faux $ports/Direct Theft Vision/ and Bud $elig want; more playoff games to extract money from the fans.

    This realignment is a bad idea who’s only reason for existence is the need to resolve the unbalanced schedules and uneven leagues. The real solution to the team/game imbalance was suggested years ago; contraction. But that’s a whole different subject.

    One other comment. The Astros had a horrible year and look about 3 years away from a strong challenge. Move them to the AL West and they immediately become the underfunded whipping boy not only for the Rangers and Angels but the other AL powerhouses as well and that 3 years looks more like 5 years or more.

    • ChrisHannum

      @FredOwens The Astros should have no more trouble competing in the AL West than they do in the NL Central. The Rangers and Angels are decent teams, but no better than the Cardinals and Brewers are right now.

      • FredOwens

        @ChrisHannum Disgree. Angels pitching is far better than either team and while Carlos Lee is a DH kind of player they lost 106 in the NL. With their lack of starting pitching depth (the rookies they have are young, Myers is at best a 5 in the AL Wandy a 3), shaky pen and lack of high quality players they’d lose maybe 120, maybe more. Add 1 run to every starter era minimum.

        • ChrisHannum

          I don’t disagree as far as the Astros flaws go, just not sure the competition is really so much tougher – at least outside of the killing fields of the AL East.

        • FredOwens

          @ChrisHannum Perhaps. I believe that the DH makes Average NL pitchers 5th starters in the AL and below average pitchers the equivalent of BP throwers. In the field talent levels aren’t that different but the inequity of the Dufus hitter means there are no lineup lulls for a pitcher to regroup. They have a shorter shelf life as result and a shallow staff means a bad year. Baltimore has been that way until a recent bump in pitching quality at the end of 2010 but over 2011 the same pitchers couldn’t maintain it. I admit to hating the DH and that it adds bias however the Orioles are a pretty equivalent team to the Astros – they finished 69-93. In the NL They might well have had 70-75 wins.

          In any event the rush to merge the leagues through the avenue of the balanced league constant interleague play scheme is on. They figure that like boiling frogs, fans won;t recognize it’s hot until it’s too late.

  • astrosince1975

    It seems to be only a matter of time until the DH is employed league-wide. You are right. The Astros are clearly a mess and a move to the A.L. would only make things worse. Too many nine o’clock start times will reduce TV advertising revenues anyway. What’s good for the game and what the fans want seems to be unimportant. I may be fighting a losing battle, but all we can do is try. Thanks for your help Fred.

    • NickZell

      It seems like the last few years they have been gearing up for this. They stripped down the team and want to make the switch. I wrote a couple posts on Redbirdrants.com (http://redbirdrants.com/2011/05/04/mlb-playoff-expansion-team-redistricting/on) realignment and Houston was never really a team I considered for the move. Selig has long since screwed it up due to the Brewers moving to the NL and it needs to be rectified somehow. My theory involved switching a certain Pennsylvania team to the AL East to increase their revenue bring the Yanks and Red Sox to their park. Slotting Toronto in the AL Central then the Royals to the West. It’s hard because neither the Royals or Astros should have to go West because of the time zone, but geographically you have to figure it’s one of the two. To me, the Royals just seem to fit that mold better. Nonetheless, I hope we keep the Astros in the Central, liked going up against them in the playoffs a few years ago. It made for a great rivalry.

    • NickZell

      @astrosince1975 It seems like the last few years they have been gearing up for this. They stripped down the team and want to make the switch. I wrote a couple of posts on Redbirdrants.com (http://redbirdrants.com/2011/05/04/mlb-playoff-expansion-team-redistricting/) on realignment and Houston was never really a team I considered for the move. Selig has long since screwed it up due to the Brewers moving to the NL and it needs to be rectified somehow. My theory involved switching a certain Pennsylvania team to the AL East to increase their revenue by bringing the Yanks and Red Sox to their park. Slotting Toronto in the AL Central then the Royals to the West. It’s hard because neither the Royals or Astros should have to go West because of the time zone, but geographically you have to figure it’s one of the two. To me, the Royals just seem to fit that mold better. Nonetheless, I hope we keep the Astros in the Central, I liked going up against them in the playoffs a few years ago. It made for a great rivalry.

      • astrosince1975

        @NickZell The Astros don’t want to move. If they did they would have put a clause stating such in the contract when selling the team. I agree that the rivalry with the Cards is a great one and there are plenty of ways to realign without moving Houston. Selig says his problems with the Dodgers and Mets are holding up the sale of the Astros. Here’s an idea. Contract the Dodgers and Mets! Obviously that will never happen but it would give us 14 teams in each league.

        • ChrisHannum

          Unfortunately, the two teams that ought to be contracted (A’s and Rays) are both in the AL. It seems a bit like the Astros are being put forward because they lack a lobby at the moment. If we’re going for creative problem solving, how about moving the Rays to somewhere in the west (Portland? Sacramento? Vegas? Vancouver?) and put them in the AL West. Shouldn’t be so hard to find a team willing to go to the AL East, right…? No time zone differences or anything. Let the Brewers fix what they broke.

  • ChrisHannum

    Selig caused the “problem” by moving his Brewers to the NL in the hopes that he would be able to avoid shelling out the cash for a DH. I can see your point about lots of west coast games being bad for the Astros TV audience, but I would assume that playing the Rangers 19 times should help sell tickets. How about moving the fanless A’s to San Antonio to help compensate? Unless you’d argue that more realignment is always worse, it would seem like the best possible solution would leave one league with an all Pacific division and the other with a Sun Belt division including the Rangers, Astros, Diamondbacks and Rockies (and one other team).