Monday, June 20, 2011

It's time for "Let's Take Issue With Gil LeBreton!"

I generally like the Fort Worth Star-Telegram's Gil LeBreton. But not so much today. Now, what we won't do is to FJM it (because it seems cheap, and I simply cannot do it justice), but there are a couple of things that should be pointed out about LeBreton's column on realignment and Jim Crane.

I love interleague play. I was at the ballpark that night in June 1997, when the Giants and Rangers played history's first interleague game, and the appeal of matching the two leagues hasn't wavered.

As anyone with the DirecTV MLB Extra Innings package could see last weekend, interleague play adds an extra layer of drama to an otherwise routine day on the baseball schedule.

So LeBreton likes baseball, but finds it boring. So when the A's and Giants play, it's an extra chance to get jacked up. I do not understand this.

On realignment, which he is very much in favor of:
Except... proposed new Astros owner Jim Crane has been quoted as saying he has no interest in moving the team to the American League. Crane grew up in St. Louis and reportedly considers himself a traditionalist.

But since when did Crane, a previous three-time loser at trying to buy into the MLB fraternity, earn the right to dictate anything to the other 29 owners?

Think Crane will get Ray Davis' and Bob Simpson's vote, after the way he helped to jack up the price of the Rangers last summer?

I'm sure owners are petty and vindictive (just like writers and bloggers and other humans), and I'm sure that some owners aren't terribly fond of Mr. Crane, but it's my understanding that Crane's (and his group's, and Bank of America's, and...) $680 million earned the right to veto 29 owners forcing his team into another league.

Also, did Jim Crane help drive up the price of the Rangers? Yes. But that's because he was trying to buy them. It's not like the sale of the Rangers was some wacky episode of Full House where Uncle Jesse was trying to screw Danny Tanner out of a car, or a leather jacket, or a Beach Boys LP. Crane was trying to buy the damn franchise, not screw over Nolan Ryan (allegedly). And so if the Rangers take it out on Crane and the Astros because they're pissed that Crane tried to buy a team, then part of me hopes that the Astros do get moved to the AL West, and routinely beat the piss - in a jackass sort of way, a stealing-bases-with-a-40-run-lead kind of way - out of the Rangers.

The Rangers and Astros should be more than novelty opponents.

Neighbors shouldn't be strangers.

How would he feel if the Astros weren't 875 games under .500 this season? Anyone who is against radical realignment, says LeBreton, is a traditionalist. And traditionalists are nonsensical. Like that column.