Major League Baseball has announced that Jim Crane has been approved as the new owner of the Houston Astros. That's not the bad part. It is a good thing for the Astros future to be finalized so they can move on with the rest of their lives. The bad news is that the announcement coincides with an Astros move to the American League West in 2013 to join the Rangers. It's the first realignment in baseball since the Brewers switched from the American League to the National League.
This decision stinks for several reasons. First, the Astros have a fifty year history in the National League. When the Brewers moved to the NL, they were a relatively new franchise that didn't have as much vested in history. That's not the case with the Astros. The Rockies and Diamondbacks are both newer franchises than the Astros and would have had a better case for making the switch, not to mention that both of those franchises are already in a western division. The goal of any realignment plan should be to at least make geographically correct divisions. This move does not do that at all.
The Rangers were already out of place. All you have to do is look at this time zone map to see what this author means:
With the new alignment two-thirds of the Astros and Rangers away games will start two hours later than their time zone. That's not only stupid, but bad for the teams' fans and bad for the players' logistics. Comments on the linked post above also seem to indicate the change might go against the Astros lease agreement with their stadium.
So now we have two teams badly placed in divisions. We wrench the Astros away from a league they have played in for fifty years and the equal but uneven number of teams in each league will mean constant interleague play, a feature not exactly in this Fan's happy spot.
It's a poor plan that is poorly executed and no change would have been better than this change. Golly...