The Houston Astros have been sold to Jim Crane and will move from the NL Central to the AL West in 2013. The move also adds two more teams to the MLB Playoff format and will extend interleague play throughout the season. The playoff system will have 10 teams in total a year, after each league will boast 15 teams.
The Astros have been a mainstay of the National League for some time. Not many people in baseball are very happy about this move, but I am not one of them. I love this deal not only for the Astros, but for fans and people of baseball. Year-round interleague play was inevitable, especially after the Astros’ sale. With Houston in the AL West, there will be 15 teams in each league now. Therefore, interleague will be in effect for the entire season from start to finish.
Why not play every team in baseball? It wasn’t fair already to the NL teams that had to play the Yankees and Red Sox, while others played the Royals and Twins. How can someone justify an AL team going to Philadelphia and Atlanta, while others are visiting Pittsburgh and Houston? Every team should play every team, no matter of the league or division. This move will make baseball much more exciting.
The move of the Astros to the AL West will not shake up much for the time being, as far as talent goes. It’s not like the Yankees are entering the division who will dominate for decades. Houston has been terrible as of late, but would really add a nice mixture to the division. The west will be structured as such; Seattle, Texas, Oakland, Los Angeles and Houston. The NL Central will slim down to; Chicago, Milwaukee, St. Louis, Cincinnati and Pittsburgh. The Pirates, oddly remain the only eastern team in the division.
The third component to this deal is the MLB Playoff format moving forward. 10 teams now have an annual shot at a World Series Championship. Five teams from each league will go to the playoffs every year. You can’t fault Major League Baseball for striking while the iron was hot…MLB just had their most-watched playoff series in years. The unbelievable wild-card finishes with Tampa Bay and St. Louis on the final night of the regular season vaulted baseball’s popularity. What better way to exploit the wild-card then by adding one more wild-card team to each league, thus intensifying the drama? All I can say, for as bad a commissioner that Bud Selig is, he has hit the nail on the head twice with the addition of wild-card teams to the MLB playoffs. It truly is a different game because of the wild-card. Buckle up, it all begins in 2013.