Monday, September 26, 2011

A Letter to Drayton and Bud

This is a letter I'm sending off today.  Feel free to use all or part of it in any letters or e-mails you might send.

September 26, 2011

Mr. Drayton McLane
501 Crawford Street
Houston, TX  77002

Mr. Allen H. Selig, Commissioner
Major League Baseball
245 Park Avenue
, 31st Floor
New York, New York  10167

Dear Sirs:

Let me cut to the chase.  Moving the Astros to the American League is simply a disastrous idea. 

First of all, there is the tradition.  Houston is about to celebrate its 50th season as a club, all of those years as a National League team.  Before that, Houston had history as a farm town for the Cardinals, also a National League team.  We’ve had rivalries throughout the years with the Dodgers, the Phillies, the Mets, the Braves and the Cardinals that are a part of our history as a team.  We all have those memories and we cherish them.  Baseball is nothing without history and tradition.

Secondly, if anyone actually believes that attendance will go up at Minute Maid Park in conjunction with such a move, I think that he or she is seriously deluded.  Yes, you may pack them in with the one time a year that the Yankees and Red Sox come to town.  But if you really think that the Angels, Mariners, A’s and Rangers are going to draw as well as the Cardinals, Cubs, Braves, Dodgers, Mets, Giants and Phillies, I think that you are dead wrong.

Next, television viewership will go way down … partly because people in Houston would rather see an Astros-Cubs matchup than an Astros-A’s matchup, but mostly because of the number of games played on the West Coast.  But even then, I would stay up to watch an Astros-Dodgers game or an Astros-Giants game, but not one at Anaheim or Seattle.

Finally, there is no rivalry between the Astros and the Rangers, and Astros fans are not interested in creating one no matter how hard the Astros marketing department has tried to create one.  Nobody that I know cares a flip about the stupid boot.  And I would hate for our players to have to play more games in that non-roofed oven in Arlington.

If a change must be made, the Diamondbacks are the logical team to move to the American League.  At 14 seasons, they are a very young franchise.  I know that this would likely result in moving the Astros to the National League West, but I think most fans can live with that.  We won’t be wild about the additional West Coast start times, but we have history in the NL West and, if a move must be made, that would be the more palatable option for the fans.

Many Astros fans feel strongly about this, but after the last season or two, we are simply numb.  We understand the need for re-building but we haven’t forgotten the mistakes that brought us to this place.  We’re excited about the young players coming up through the system and we know, at least intellectually, that things will indeed get better.  But to push through this move to the AL right now smacks of kicking the fans while they’re down.  We should be rewarded for our patience, not punished for supporting a team in transition.

I will leave you with this quote from Ken Burns:

“Nothing in our daily life offers more of the comfort of continuity, the generational connection of belonging to a vast and complicated American family, the powerful sense of home, the freedom from time's constraints, and the great gift of accumulated memory than does our National Pastime.”

Please don’t take away our memories.

1 comment:

  1. Well said...I hope they stay in the NL. Selig seems to always screw the Astros. A few examples: forcing the Astros to close the roof during the 2005 World Series because it was too loud (totally ridiculous, that's why it's called home field advantage!), making the Astros play a HOME game (vs the Cubs) in Milwaukee during a key stretch playoff run after Hurricane Ike came through when the Ballpark in Arlington was vacant while the Rangers were on the road. We all know Selig is a huge Brewers fan, but does that give him the right to move the Astros to AL because of that move?? 50 YEARS IN THE NL, and because of his mistake moving the Brewers, the Astros have to pay for it?? He wants his precious Brewers in the NL, but does he think about what the baseball fans in Houston want?? MOVE THE DBACKS, THEY ALREADY SAID THEY WANT TO MOVE TO AL!!

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