Forgive me for being harsh, but there’s no better way of putting it. Bud Selig has, in the hopes of making baseball stronger and more lasting, screwed the Houston Astros, inadvertently or not. I don’t believe Selig is the devil, just sort of a dimwit at times. The Devil is surely TMZ’s Harvey Levin.
All of Selig’s moves haven’t been bad ones. In his tenure as Commissioner of Major League Baseball, the sport has seen attendance records broken over and over. He initiated the inquisition on steroid use. He brought American League teams into National League ballparks, for better or worse. He helped introduce instant replay (though there’s plenty of work to be done, see Johan Santana’s no-hitter.)
Sure, the Astros finished last year with the worst record in all of baseball; what could anyone possibly do to make them any worse? Unfortunately, there is something Selig could do, and he did it.
He put them in the American League West
- A division where a team with Albert Pujols, Mike Trout and Jered Weaver finished 3rd.
- A division where the next closest team (other than the Rangers) is 1,530 miles away, and the furthest team is 2,434 miles away.
It’s no consolation that the Rangers Ballpark in Arlington will feature the glistening Buddha of Nolan Ryan breathing down their necks. If he cracks a smile when the Rangers annihilate them throughout the regular season, remember the Astros traded him to the Rangers in 1988 because they thought he was old.
Selig didn’t have much of a choice. The AL West is the only proper fit for the ailing ball club. The best the Astros can do now is find Major League players to fill out their roster. Otherwise, Keith Law and his friends who eat numbers for breakfast will have to revise their Wins Above Replacement (WAR) stat to something more like Wins Above Replacements for Replacements (WARR).