4 Reasons the Houston Astros in the AL Will Be Awesome
The Astros have finally been sold and that means two things for the team and the fans. First it means that Jim Crane is going to make sure that our payroll is near the bottom of the league. More importantly it means that the Astros are moving to the American League. There is an upside and a downside to everything but there should be more upside.
A Fresh Start
Let's be honest, while the Astros have been in the NL for a long time it's not like they have had some sort of unprecedented success. The Astros are one of eight teams to have never won the World Series, and the Mariners and Nationals are the only teams with fewer appearances (that would be zero).
The Astros have had some good years, and they were fun while they lasted, but within the scope of the 30 teams in Major League Baseball the Astros are among the have-nots rather than the haves both in terms of history and impact on the game.
The move to the AL in combination with the switch in ownership gives the Astros a fresh start. Granted it might not start off with them winning 100 games but maybe it is enough to start off slow and aim for something much greater than they ever have been.
The Silver Boot
The Silver Boot has literally been a joke amongst fans. No one cared about it because the Astros and Rangers didn't have any reason to have a rivalry. With the move to the AL West there is a real reason to care about who wins The Silver Boot each year.
This might be the college sports fan in me coming out but I love the idea of having some sort of rivalry trophy, and no The Silver Boot isn't the coolest but it also isn't the Little Brown Jug (from Michigan and Minnesota) or The Bronze Boot (from Colorado State University and Wyoming).
Besides, if there is anything that Houstonians can hold over the Dallas fans they should be happy to have a chance to grab it.
I get that there is more strategy in the NL and I appreciate that, but the way I see it the game breaks down into two sides. Before the seventh inning (more or less) an AL game is more interesting because no one wants to see pitchers hitting. They show highlights of a home run by a pitcher because it is a freak occurrence.
It is less interesting to have a player on second with two outs and your eighth batter at the plate in the NL than it is in the AL. In the NL the eighth batter gets walked and the pitcher strikes out. In the AL they are at the bottom of the lineup but they still have a chance, they are still professional hitters and you can't dismiss them the way pitchers are dismissed in the NL.
If I am paying to go see a game I want the game that has seven innings that are better, not the game that has two or three innings that are better. Be honest, it's not like you really respect the managers that the Astros have had either way.
New Teams, New Players
The Astros are bad and they won't be good any time soon. However, with the move into the AL fans will get a chance to see some of the best players and teams in the majors. Stars like Jeter and Sabathia that want to go to the big time teams like the Yankees and Red Sox.
There is no sport that is more divided between its two conferences than baseball. Fans of the NL follow NL teams and fans of the AL follow AL teams. This switch gives Astro fans a chance to follow new teams that they haven't followed closely before. That means all new storylines and new exciting players to watch.