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Behind The Houston Astros Relocation

You had to know something was up with the Houston Astros.  After all, they finished disastrously last season, and became the first team in the franchise’s history to lose 100 games in one season.  Not the sort of history making event Drayton McLane was hoping for!

Perhaps someone decided it was time to take drastic measure.  Now, we hear the big news–that the Houston Astros are moving to the American League after nearly half a century playing in the National League.  This move will balance the number of teams in the MLB.  More importantly to Texas fans, it will set up a very interested rivalry with the Texas Rangers.

The deal is practically done, as the team was already sold to Jim Crane (Crane Capital Group) and approved by the league.  The word is that the Astros will join the league and be ready for competition as soon as 2013.  While this isn’t the first time a team has changed leagues, it is the first time it has happened in a while–well over ten years have passed since the trick was last done in 1998.

When the team re-launches, each league will have 15 teams.  The Astros will be part of the AL West, leaving behind the NL Central.  Team owners remain positive about the change, and hope that the new territory will help attract more viewers to America’s favorite game.

The only piece of the puzzle left is what legendary player and current team owner Nolan Ryan thinks of the news.  Ryan of course, used to play with the Houston Astros, before becoming president of his favorite team, the Texas Rangers.  Reportedly, Ryan is very happy with the news and is anxious to see Houston battle the Rangers on a regular basis.  “If both teams are competitive in a given year,” commented Ryan, “It will create a good rivalry within the state.  There’s a lot of pluses from our perspective.”

Yes, the Astros have clearly fallen from grace (their final record this past season was 56-106) but perhaps brighter Texas skies are ahead for the team.  Perhaps things are much better in the American League, which produced a stellar season for the Texas Rangers who finished 96-66 and reached the World Series two seasons in a row.

What do you think?  Is Houston going to come back in a big way?

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