NPR : News

Filed Under:

Baseball's Houston Astros To Switch Leagues In 2013

The Houston Astros will be moving from Major League Baseball's National League to the American League "as soon as the 2013 season," MLB announced this afternoon.

And, two "wild card" teams are going to be added to baseball's playoffs, possibly as soon as next season. The league said "specifics are being worked out" on how that will be done. USA Today's Daily Pitch blog reports that Commissioner Bud Selig said an owners committee favors one-game playoffs, involving wild card teams, in each league.

There are three divisions in each league. Now, each division's winner automatically qualifies for the playoffs, and one wild card from each league — the team with the best record that didn't win a division — also gets in. Presumably, under the plan Selig discussed, the two best non-division winners in each league would have a "play-in" game to see who goes on. So the number of teams involved in post-season play would rise from four in each league to five. If the system had been in effect this year, the American League's Tampa Bay Rays and the National League's Atlanta Braves would have been part of the playoffs.

The move of the Astros is part of a deal involving a group lead by businessman Jim Crane's to purchase the team. The group had agreed to buy the team for $680 million, but was given a $70 million price cut in exchange for agreeing to switch leagues because of the move's potential negative effect on the Astros TV ratings.

When the Astros change divisions, the team will switch from the National League's Central to the American League's West. That will put Texas' two teams — the Texas Rangers is the other — in the same division. The move will also mean that both leagues will have three divisions with five teams in each. Under the current lineup, the National League's Central division (Houston's current home) has six teams and the AL West has four.

Copyright 2011 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

NPR

On Television, More Transgender Characters Come Into Focus

Now that it's more common to see gay characters on TV, is the medium turning to transgender people for fresh stories? NPR's Neda Ulaby looks at TV's crop of transgender and "gender fluid" characters.
NPR

Obama Gets A Taste Of Jiro's 'Dream' Sushi In Name Of Diplomacy

On the first leg of his Asian tour, the president stopped by the iconic sushi restaurant. David Gelb, who directed a documentary about the restaurant, says eating there is amazing and nerve-wracking.
WAMU 88.5

Three McAuliffe Vetoes Confirmed In Virginia Senate

A special "veto session" in the Virginia Senate confirmed the decisions made by Gov. Terry McAuliffe, but lawmakers have still shown little movement on passing a budget.

NPR

FCC To Propose Change To Net Neutrality Rules, Media Report

The FCC is expected to put out new Internet traffic rules that would let content providers negotiate for better service. NPR's Melissa Block talks with Wall Street Journal reporter Gautham Nagesh.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.