With a group of Astros fans checking in to the extreme on the move of the club to the American League next year, maybe it would be better for
Astros management to meet the problem head on in 2013, rather than run to the risk of simply ignoring their threat to never darken the doorway of Minute Maid Park again, once the Selig bomb goes off in actuality. The hard-core opposition statement from most of the disenchanted reads something like this:
The Astros have been a National League club for fifty years. Bud Selig had no right to make their move to the American League a condition for gaining his approval on the sale of the Astros from Drayton McLane to the Jim Crane group. If any team needs to make that move, it should be Bud’s old club, the Milwaukee Brewers. After all, Selig moved the Brewers from the AL to the NL after the 1997 season to help MLB achieve the even-numbered club membership in each league that protected baseball from a practical requirement of inter-league play. Now he wants a club to move back from the 16-club NL to the 14-club AL next year so that two odd-numbered 15-club leagues then will have no practical choice but to accept full-season inter-league play.
What’s the deal? What has happened in 15 years to reverse the general goal from protecting the separate identities of the two leagues to making sure that each league melts into a generic reflection of the other through perpetual inter-league play? – We can answer that one in two letters – “DH.” Selig wants to wear the NL down and finally into accepting the damn “designated hitter” as the rule in their league too.
We want none of it. We hate the DH because it is not real baseball. Once the Astros go to the AL next year, we are out of here. We will never attend another Astros game for the rest of our lives.
The Pecan Park Eagle would like to suggest that the Houston club should launch a programmatic attack upon the potential loss of all these seriously disenchanted Astros fans next year by establishing something we call “The 2014 Houston Astros Designated Haters (DH) Club” as a plan that is marketed for next year. It’s membership advantages should be marketed heavily as soon as the 2013-14 off-season begins.
Here are the basic features of the 2014 Astros DH (Designated Haters) Club:
(1) Eligibility: All Astros fans who have expressed hatred for either the AL move or the designated hitter rule and who also have sworn that they will never attend another Astros game once the club moves to the AL in 2014;
(2) Benefits: The advantages of joining the 2014 Astros Designated Hater Club force us to wade far into the alphabet:
(a) Uniforms: Everyone who joins will be issued an official DH Club mask and uniform, and are they super? You dad gum betcha they are! As the picture in this column shows, they are styled identically to the same face and garb that Commissioner Bud Selig wears every single time he makes a serious decision effecting the future of baseball. – Just never wear they outfit at work or home. Unless you also work for the so-called Commissioner of Baseball, you are likely to be fired and then laughed out your own neighborhood once you drive home.
(b) The DH Club Suite: Every DH (Designated Hater) will receive automatic admission to the DH Club Suite at Minute Maid Park for all 81 games of the 2014 regular season. The suite comes equipped with a dozen dart boards and a wide variety of Bud Selig 8×10 glossies for those who wish to displace their hostility in a harmless way.
(c) Special Services: Trained anger management personnel and counselors are on duty at all times. Magicians are also on duty, passing out rose-colored glasses which (thanks to the placebo effect) help some people to read the designator hitter rules and intentionality in a slightly more positive light. “After wearing these special glasses,” said one subject in our clinical tests, “I came to understand the rules section a whole lot better. We should never think of the designated hitter as a tenth player who only enters the game to bat for the pitcher. We should think of the designated hitter as the alter-ego of the pitcher – who also happens to be an alternate personality that is capable of hitting .300 – or crunching 40 homers a year – and probably even looking different from the same fellow who takes the mound to pitch when the club is in the field.”
(d) Literature: In addition to a copy of the rules on the DH and the magic glasses, DH club members will benefit from the placement of Bud’s “My Greatest Thoughts.” These copies hang by chain beside each commode in each rest room. Also included are free copies of Bud Selig’s new novel, “Gullible’s Travels,” a story which finds Bud shipwrecked in 2010 on a strange shore. While he is still unconscious, Bud is tied to the earth by a tribe of tiny baseball fans and only released when he promises to revoke his stupid rule which allows home field advantage in the World Series to go to the team representing the league that wins the All Star Game of that same season. Once he safely escapes, nothing changes. As it turns out, Bud Selig apparently lied to the tiny fans just to get away. “I had to lie,” says Bud in the analog section. “My own hide was on the line.”
(e) Food Service: Bologna sandwiches wrapped in paper that features a bust of Bud taking a big bite are the only hard food fair, but Houston tap water, spiked by a variety of whatever’s available energy drinks which are plentifully in supply during the game to meet the heavy demand for wet-washing-it-down liquids.
(f) Special Season’s End Meeting with Bud Selig: The Commissioner has agreed to attend the final game of the 2014 home season at MMP and he is prepared to harvest what he hopes will be a resolution of their resentments. Club members will have several options facing them at day’s end: (f1) They may shake hands with Bud Selig in forgiveness; (f2) they may carry resolution to a spiritual plane and make plans to join Selig for a sweat lodge healing; (f3) or the DH (designator hater) folk may simply re-tie Selig to the ground and, this time, make him not only keep his All Star Game promise to the earlier little fans in his novel, but also live up to one more new promise:
No more designated hitter here. There. Or anywhere. Not in the American League. Not in the National League. Not in the minor leagues. Not in college ball. Not at the high school level. Not in Little League. And not even in tee ball. – Got that? – Good! – ‘Cause you don’t get up til you do!