Nightmare on Crawford Street

"OMG will see you now. - Just don't go deeper into sleep in his presence."

I have this recurring bad dream.

In the dream, we baseball fans live in a strange land – one dominated by a seldom seen specter who only appears in image-form once we go to sleep – and only then, he appears for the sake of doing something underhanded that makes him happy and just about everybody else miserable.

Over the years, the specter has come to be known by those famous texting initials of utmost surprise – “OMG” – from the wild-eyed verbal reaction that almost all people have to the experience of seeing him for the first time. – He almost drew the name “YGTBK” from the predictably universal reaction that people have to his stock first-time introduction of himself: “Yes! I am OMG – the great and terrible Commissioner of Baseball! – And who are you to stand in the way of my will for the game?” (For those who my be unfamiliar with texting shorthand, “YGTBK” stands for “you’ve got to be kidding.”)

OMG made another appearance in a Thursday nightmare dream I just vacated a few moments ago and, as per usual, I awoke to find those same worst fears written into a story that appears on page C1 of the Friday, October 21, 2011 SPorts Section of the Houston Chronicle.

OMG! – The minor headlines scream loudly in behalf of the article written by the capable Houston Chronicle writer Steve Campbell: “ASTROS’ MOVE TO AL COULD BE IMMINENT: Crane May Be Compensated to Agree to Switch.” What a rude dream and ruder awakening story that is to all of us who love the Astros because they play the real baseball game by National League rules. With no designated hitters. No robot managers. And no place for home run-waiting offenses as the major mindset on navigating the bases.

Here’s the gist of our latest OMG Nightmare Taking Shape on Crawford Street: The delay in approving Jim Crane as new owner of the Astros may now be less about approving his credit and integrity lines and more about Commissioner OMG Selig leveraging him into accepting relocation of the franchise to the American League as a condition of the sale.

Word from the nightmare is that Crane may see that shift as doable if they knock off $50 million dollars from his $680 million deal agreed upon deal with current owner Drayton McLane, Jr.

McLane apparently is saying something like “No,no, no – no, no, no! – Our deal, Mr. Crane, was for $680 mil! Get OMG to pay you the $50 mil in comp bux, if that’s what does you.”

OMG is silent on the comp bux, so far, but these nightmares about the Astros being shuttled to the American League seem to be growing – and in blanket disregard for the wishes of most Houston fans.

Maybe, I’m wrong. Maybe most Houston fans don’t care which league the Astros are in, as long as they win. Maybe quite a few would even prefer playing in the AL because that would mean the New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox will be coming to Houston every season. Maybe some fans don’t mind losing the Cardinals and Cubs and Dodgers as regular foes – and maybe these same fans even prefer the DH rule to real baseball.

For those of us who do not want to see the AL move, the time appears to be running short. All we can do is sign petitions and write to Bud Selig and Jim Crane in the short-term. In the long run, if it does happen, and that is appearing more likely with each new published nightmare, all we can do is protest with our ticket-buying dollars.

OMG! That means we will have to stop buying tickets to Astros games and either throw our support behind some other National League club or else, transfer our local support to the new Sugar Land Skeeters of the independent Atlantic League.

I don’t like greedy people and their enterprises – and I especially don’t like businesses that either take my financial support for granted or those who go so far as to treat us individual customers as inconsequential.

If the fans of Houston are not willing to boycott the Astros for moving to the American League, then maybe the city deserves exactly what it will be getting – a variation of baseball that isn’t the real game at all because of the designated hitter. And, if the DH doesn’t bother you, there will be no harm done.









One Response to “Nightmare on Crawford Street”

  1. Wayne Roberts Says:

    My guess is none of them care what the lifelong loyalists want–this is about money. None of these people are baseball traditionalists. All we can do is vote with our pocketbooks; my allegiance to the Astros will end after 50 years and go to the Cardinals, Diamondbacks or Rockies. The number of games I will attend at Minute Maid will drop to nada. But they don’t care, this all about the extra revenue from two more wild cards. I still say the best logic is move the Brewers back to the AL since that’s where the imbalance came from.

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