Wednesday, June 29, 2011
Updated: June 30, 11:33 PM ET
Nolan Ryan favors seeing Astros in AL
By Calvin Watkins
HOUSTON -- Texas Rangers president and CEO Nolan Ryan said he would be in favor of realignment, including any plans that involve moving the Houston Astros into the American League with the Texas Rangers.
"I wouldn't be opposed to that," Ryan said Wednesday before the Rangers' 3-2 win over the Astros at Minute Maid Park. "I would be in favor of adding somebody, and I think it would be good if you had the Rangers and the Astros in a pennant race. I think it would add a lot of interest in the state and I think it would be good."
Several sources told ESPN that labor talks between Major League Baseball and the players' association have involved making some big changes. In the scenario, there would be two 15-team leagues, as opposed to the current alignment of 16 teams in the National League and 14 in the American League.
One proposal would eliminate the three divisions, and the 15 teams in each league could compete for 10 playoff spots -- five in each league.
Two highly ranked executives believe the Astros would switch to the AL to forge a rivalry with the Rangers.
The two teams have met 65 times in interleague play with the Rangers holding a 37-28 edge in the Lone Star Series.
"If we can improve our situation, the Texas Rangers and I certainly would be open to it," Ryan said. "It would make the rivalry in the state such a big deal, and I think the demographics in the state of Texas would help."
Calvin Watkins is a columnist and reporter for ESPNDallas.com.