I'm going to start this off with a quote from BPro's Sunday's Games to Watch column:
While there are some in Houston griping about [playing at Miller Park], the split in home-field advantage over the course of a season, never mind a three-game set where the park isn't even going to be full of people, is not that great, and it isn’t like it's the cheers of the crowd that cause the Cubs to slug higher in their hometown. The Astros were on fire prior to being idled by Ike, winning six straight and nine of their previous 10 games; they've jumped up the standings in the NL Central and also now sit just 2½ games behing the Brewers in the wild-card race. Even if the Astros were to sweep the Cubs in this two-day series, they are most likely out of reach of the division title, but with the way the Brewers have been playing, a strong showing in their rivals' home park would help them wrest the wild-card title away from the Brew Crew.
I was at once both pissed and flattered. BPro has by far been the most naysaying of any baseball analysts out there of the Astros run. That they're finally acknowledging that the Astros are poised to take the Wild Card was huge to me -- even if they're just finally having to admit the obvious. They also subsequently praised Ed Wade for Randy Wolf's acquisition later in the analysis. I'm just speechless over that.
I was miffed, however. Trying to explain away the fan presence for the Cubs in Miller Park as being evened out of the course of a season's worth of home field advantage doesn't even make sense. It's unfair, plain and simple. These are two critical games, for which, whatever advantage a team may or may not have, could greatly alter the play off landscape for a division and a league. A Monday double header in Houston would have brought as meager as a crowd as this is predicted to bring in Milwaukee, but they would have been fans who were trying to forget the ill effects of a hurricane that had just rocked their world. They would have been cheering for the only thing that's worth cheering for in Houston at this time. If the explanation for the change of scenery were truly to have been couched in the fact that it's just logistically infeasible to have games at MMP, then why give the Cubs the easiest week of travel they've had in a while on a week that was supposed to be a rough travel week? Why force the Astros to leave their families in Houston, fly to Milwaukee and then to Miami? Why not have the games in Round Rock? Or Arlington? At least it'd be in state, and wouldn't be totally screwing the Astros. It's a wholly insensitive and completely inexplicable move on the part of MLB. That the alternate site is also Bud Selig's romping ground is just farcical.