How do Houston fans feel about coming shift to American League?

I guess the Milwaukee situation has set a precedent, but to me a team switching between the American and National leagues is a very weird concept to be comfortable with. I guess younger people, not having lived through the pre-interleague era, might not really have much of a feeling of what used to be a wall between the two leagues.

But I’m just curious how Houston fans feel about the upcoming switch. Does it feel like a big deal?

Definitely sucks. There’s a lot of history in the NL, teams to hate, teams to despise, teams to really, really dislike.

The fact that the team is so absolutely terrible right now, and will be starting from close to a blank slate, is a bit of a mitigating factor, though. It’s a lot like rooting for an expansion team right now; the league change just accentuates that.

I wonder why Houston ownership is agreeing to it. What’s the financial benefit?

I assume they are heartbroken. Unless they make it to the series, they won’t get to play real baseball again. And even then it will only be around half the games.

I believe it was a condition of MLB approving the sale.

Ah. So it was coerced, basically.

Arguably, the increased schedule and common divisional objective with the Rangers makes for good marketing and attendance.

To elaborate:

Fuck the Reds for taking advantage of a congenital idiot and stealing Joe Morgan.

Fuck the Dodgers. Orel Hershiser. Tommy Lasorda. Pure evil.

Fuck the Giants. Will Clark left such an aura of douchiness that the whole city would have to be burned down and sown with salt, and even so it would linger in the atmosphere for the next 12,341 years.

Fuck the Cardinals. Tony Larussa. Also, Will Clark.

Fuck the Pirates for low-balling Barry Bonds and giving a big contract to Andy Van Slyke and then whining for two decades about how that turned out for them.

Fuck the Phillies for stealing Curt Schilling. For that matter, fuck Curt Schilling. Also, for turning the Astros into a farm team this decade.

Fuck the Diamondbacks for taking Luis Gonzalez and having him miraculously develop massive home-run power just after he arrived. Somehow.

Fuck the Marlins for being the worst possible example of how to build a team and then winning 2 world series anyway.

Fuck the Padres for Steve Finley and Ken Caminiti, see Luis Gonzalez/Arizona supra. Also, Kevin Brown in '98.

Fuck the Braves. '97 and '99.

Fuck the Mets. Fucking Lenny Dykstra.

Fuck the Rockies for playing baseball at low gravity.

Fuck the Cubs for barely trying.

Okay, it’s actually hard to find anything to despise about the Montreal Expos. Allez Les Expos!

And that covers all of the legitimate major-league teams in the National League.

$70 million. Half of that is being paid by MLB.

Well, there was that whole “moving to Washington DC” thing. That was kind of a crappy thing to do to the several dozen Québécois that followed the team…

So does the NL Central just have four teams in it forever now, or is there a plan to have an expansion team take its place at some point?

It currently has 6 teams. It will go down to 5 teams once Houston leaves.

Currently the N.L. Central has six teams – Chicago, Cincinnati, Houston, Milwaukee, St. Louis, and Pittsburgh. Losing Houston will bring it to five, evening out all six divisions. That’s kind of part of the point. If the division had not been bigger than all the others, I doubt they would have gone through this.

I thought they had six teams now and that there will be six five team divisions next year.

Yeah, and the AL Central currently has four, to become five next year. I absolutely think that’s better for the game, although we’ll have to see how the consequence – a much expanded interleague schedule so that you can have every team play on a given day – plays out. (I’m not against interleague play in general.)


Interleague every day (that all 30 teams are in action) does not require more total interleague games than have been played in recent years–in fact it can be accomplished with fewer. I haven’t seen 2013 schedules though to make the actual comparison.

The AL West has four. AL Central has five.

I see some people are buying the propaganda line that there is a National League franchise in Milwaukee.

Well, there was one from 1953 to 1965.

Though I’m not from Milwaukee, the Brewers’ switch seemed very weird at the time, but I think most fans have gotten used to it. To me it actually seems fairly natural to think of them as NL’ers now. In fact, I like the rivalry that’s grown between them and the Cubs.

I expect that folks will similarly adjust to the 'Stros changing leagues eventually. It beats leaving town, anyway.

Each league will now have an odd number of teams, right? Doesn’t that make scheduling harder? For instance, at least one team in each league will be idle every day (except for interleague).