So, the A.L. West is getting a little more crowded. The Houston Astros are coming to the A.L. as of 2013, and will join Anaheim, Seattle, Oakland, and the Rangers in the West.
I'm not thrilled about this, personally. I liked the advantage of only having to be better than three teams, rather than four teams, to get into the playoffs. And I don't care for interleague play and always sort of hoped that it would go away...fifteen teams in each league, though, means it is practically impossible to put an end to interleague play.
On the plus side, it just occurred to me yesterday that I'll be able to see nine Ranger games a year (if I wish) here in Houston, where I live, so that's a good thing for me personally. That said, also on a personal level, I'm already tired of hearing Astros fans complain about how they lose all their "rivalries" and how American League ball is boring because there is no strategy (the most thrilling things in baseball, of course, being the pitcher bunting, the two-out intentional walk to the #8 hitter in the 2nd inning, and the double-switch).
Evan Grant says (behind the paywall) that there's no benefit to the Rangers in the Astros coming to the A.L.
Jeff Wilson has a story in the S-T about the Astros' move, as well.
Jeff Caplan writes that the move makes sense, and quotes Nolan Ryan as saying he's in favor of the move.
Richard Durrett's "Dazzling Dozen" series continues today with a look at Adrian Beltre's three home run game in Game 4 of the ALDS. A game, incidentally, that many of us couldn't watch since it was in the middle of the day.
Evan Grant says the Rangers are thrilled that Mike Maddux will be staying in Texas as the pitching coach, rather than going to Chicago to manage the Cubs.
Jeff Wilson's notes talk about Maddux staying with the Rangers, and Thad Levine discussing the process the Rangers are going through in terms of making offseason moves.
Jesse Sanchez has a story about Leonys Martin's journey from playing in the Cuban League to defecting to competing for the Rangers' 2012 starting centerfield job.