Surviving the American League 1: The Junior Circuit

We'll be competing for this next year, the AL pennant. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

In light of the pending switch to the American League, each week TCB is helping you adjust to the trauma, breaking down a particular topic each week...First up, it's the Junior Circuit itself.

Man does it feel good to start the season.
TCB: Have you been following offseason developments?
Once the Astros series is done I don't look at baseball news again till Spring Training begins. I basically hide under a rock for six months.
TCB: Ah (adjusts collar nervously).....
Double switches and sac bunts are what I live for.
TCB: Um, yes. About that. The Astros are moving to the American League in 2013.
You're kidding me.
TCB: Nope.
But we put up a fight?
TCB: Fans wrote letters, but it felt inevitable from the start. Lance Berkman called it extortion after the fact, and had to apologise.
Who's to blame for this travesty?
TCB: Bud Selig or Maury Brown. Or basic mathematics.
How do you figure that one out?
TCB: 15+15=30. Having equal leagues has squared a circle with playoff expansion, something MLB has been looking at for a while.
What's to compensate us for the destruction of 50 years of history?
TCB: A cool $50m and a new owner.

Is it Batman?
TCB: It's not batman. But it is Jim Crane, owner of a few ghosts in his closet. He's smart enough to know he's not smart enough and will let baseball people make the important decisions.
What did we blow the cash on? A caribbean island? The Mitt Romney Presidential Campaign Fund?
TCB: Just when the Astros decide to allocate resources correctly MLB changed the rules. Draft slotting and new rules on amateur free agents will make it harder for the Astros to build from the ground up. And the cash will probably go towards servicing the not-insignificant debt the Crane-led consortium borrowed to buy the franchise. No more spending like drunken sailors.
Any positives?
TCB: We get to play lots of games against our arch-rivals the Texas Rangers And more crinkle fries. The DH. Fenway Park. Shin Soo Choo.
Since when were the Rangers our arch-rivals?
TCB: Just humour me and go along with it.
You really aren't selling this.
TCB: Some will and others have probably already turned their back on the franchise but the crowds will come back when success returns to Houston. It's probably fair to say the switch in leagues will not aid that process.
Do I hand my Astros County membership certificate or burn it?
TCB: You'll be back. You'll all be back.

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