From MLB…

Astros Will Move to American League As Soon As 2013;
Both American League, National League Will Have 15 Clubs

MILWAUKEE – The Major League Clubs approved the sale of the Houston Astros from Drayton McLane to the ownership group led by Jim Crane during its quarterly ownership meetings, it was announced today.

Prior to the transaction, McLane consented to the transfer of the Astros from the National League Central Division to the American League West Division, as soon as the 2013 season.  When the move occurs, the American League and the National League each will have 15 Clubs, and each of Major League Baseball’s six divisions will be comprised of five Clubs for the first time.  During the ongoing collective bargaining negotiations, the Office of the Commissioner collaborated with the MLB Players Association on these developments.

The agreement marks Major League Baseball’s first realignment since the Milwaukee Brewers moved from the American League Central to the National League Central before the 1998 season. 

Baseball Commissioner Allan H. (Bud) Selig said: “I welcome Jim Crane and his group as they prepare to become the new stewards of the Astros.  I thank them for their patience and determination throughout a long but necessary process, which allowed us to accomplish our due diligence.  The enthusiasm of Jim and his group will serve the Astros and their fans very well in the years ahead.

“I congratulate Drayton McLane on his 19 years of leadership of the Houston Astros, a franchise in which he has rightfully taken great pride.  Drayton’s ownership produced six Postseason berths, the Club’s first National League pennant, a ballpark that is among the finest in the sport, and many contributions that have impacted the communities of Houston and throughout his home state of Texas.  On behalf of Major League Baseball, I thank Drayton for his service to our game and I wish him and his family all the best.”

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Astros going to the AL West is great news — I’d actually like to see inner league play go away so we can have balanced schedules again, but 5 teams in every division is at least a move in the right direction and hopefully the new ownership for the Astros will get that club moving in the right direction again.

It should be interesting to see how all of this pans out in the future. They are taking out the worst team so that might hurt the Reds big time.

What’s more exciting is the two 15 team leagues starting in 2013.
A more even and balanced schedule should be good for all.

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