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MLB Forced Astros' AL Move On Jim Crane: Report

Jim Crane had no choice but to accept a move to the AL if he wanted to own the Astros, according to the AP. Crane will apparently receive a tidy $70 million discount for agreeing to what will be an unpopular move, and given the PR involved one has to wonder if this report isn't a ruse itself. At any rate, the Astros and Rangers will likely be division mates in 2013 and Tom Hicks' and Drayton McLane's dream of a Texas rivalry will finally come to fruition.

I suppose that a Rangers fan can take solace in the fact that a few more games each year will be played in the central time zone and that the Rangers won't be the only team in baseball that has to play such a big chunk of its games at or after 9:00 local time. The Astros' 2300 mile frequent flight to and from Seattle will also surpass the Rangers' (2100, for what it's worth) as the most ridiculous intradivision travel nuisance in the game.

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Bud Selig's comment from the Rockies' Twitter feed (which offers more irony than he likely realizes):

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For 15/15 realignment, Houston would be the team moving to AL West. Would create more fairness in baseball. Fifteen teams in each league would necessitate interleague play every day but it will be better schedule overall.

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If the Astros do in fact go to the ALW, the big negative for both of these franchises is that many fans statewide and regionally could previously have the two clubs as their AL and NL teams. Now, it's going to be difficult to have positive feelings for both franchises.

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Photographs by jamesbrandon, jdtornow, phlezk, flygraphix, mcdlttx, tomasland, and literalbarrage used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.