Just Stop with the Astros to AL Talk Already

ben affleck.jpg
Just say no to douchebag Red Sox fans.
My twitter feed over the weekend was full up of tweets from people talking about how electric Minute Maid Park was, and about how packed it was with people just dying to see the Boston Red Sox play the Astros. And most of these people were using their tweets to once again trumpet the idiotic idea about how great it would be to see the Astros move to the AL so that it could be like this every night. My first thought is that the people who think this is a good idea must be the same idiots who voted Derek Jeter into this year's All Star Game.

I've made my disgust at the idea of the Astros being moved to the American League clear in a past post. But after this past weekend, it's really something that needs to be addressed again.

First, I'm not against realignment because I prefer NL-type baseball to AL-type baseball. I do, but hell, I'll watch any kind of baseball, so that's not a deal breaker -- I am, after all, still watching the Astros play. And with the lack of talent the Astros have on the major league roster and in the minor league system, it's not like they'll have much of a breakout candidate for DH anyway -- I'm praying that Carlos Lee has finally split town by the time this proposed move happens.

And the Astros playing in the AL West, which would mean a lot of late-night road games on the West Coast, doesn't bother me. After all, as an actual, lifelong follower of the Astros -- not one of those bandwagon fans who didn't discover the team until it moved into Minute Maid Park -- I grew up on the Astros playing in the old NL West, which had them playing late-night road game after later-night road game after late-night road game in San Diego, Los Angeles and San Francisco.

Besides, if something like a late-night start bothers you, then you're not really much of a baseball fan anyway. And how come I never hear any bitching on the West Coast about how much baseball they have to miss because their road games are being played while the fans are at work?

My problems with this realignment discussion are these. First, there's the fact that the Astros, despite 50 years of history in the NL, are the primary candidate being asked to jettison their history, especially when there are more logical candidates who don't have this same history, i.e., the Arizona Diamondbacks and Milwaukee Brewers.

The problem with attendance isn't the competition, it's this bozo.
I'm also really bugged by the talk about how great this would be for the rivalry between the Rangers and the Astros. A rivalry which exists only in the minds of Drayton McLane, Bud Selig and the national sportswriters who keep pushing this move. If rivalry is the primary factor, then just move the damn Mets to the AL East.

Here's the biggest fallacy: increased attendance. People keep talking about how great attendance will be, how electric the ballpark will be, when the Astros are hosting the Yankees and Red Sox every year. The first problem is that means the ball park is full of Yankee and Red Sox fans, and if you think Braves and Cardinals fans are douches, just wait for all of the front-running carpetbaggers filling the stadium every time Boston and New York come in. (Just look at how bad it was this weekend with Astros management catering the in-game entertainment toward the Red Sox fans, like playing "Sweet Caroline" yesterday or featuring Red Sox fans in the game giveaways.)

But now let's think a bit. You do understand that, if the Astros move to the American League, they'll be playing more than just the Yankees, Red Sox and Rangers? You do, don't you? You do know that the Astros will also be playing the Kansas City Royals every season, and the Seattle Mariners, and the Toronto Blue Jays, and the Baltimore Orioles, and the Minnesota Twins.

Do you know what's going to happen to that electric atmosphere of the Red Sox/Yankees when the Royals are in town? The place is going to be just as empty as it is when the Pittsburgh Pirates or Florida Marlins are in town. In other words, not a damn thing's going to change. The problem doesn't lie with the teams the Astros are playing in the NL. And the problem won't be fixed by who the Astros would be playing if they were forcibly moved to the AL.

The problem is that the Astros are awful. They've been run by incompetents for far too long, with the result being the worst everyday lineup in the majors, the worst starting rotation in baseball and one of the worst farm systems in the minor leagues.

If you want packed attendance and an electric atmosphere, there's just one solution. Put adults in charge of the franchise. Fix the farm system. Make this team a winning franchise once again. Then the place will be electric again, and it will be packed. But it won't be packed with carpetbagging Yankee or Red Sox fans, it'll be packed with Astros fans who are too disgusted to show their faces around the place now.

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