On January 16, 1997, the Arizona Diamondbacks became the newest member of the National League West. At that time, it seemed like a natural fit with geographic rivalries and a history of National League through the Phoenix Firebirds and the influx of Chicago residents who now live here. Jerry Colangelo worked long and hard making his case for the Diamondbacks to be placed in the National League. The other owners agreed, or so it seemed. Even then, the then acting commissioner of baseball Bud Selig had a clause added that stated that Major League Baseball could move the Diamondbacks to the American League without the Diamondbacks approval in 2001.
This stipulation had undertones that no one would understand until now. As has been publicized for the past several months, Selig wants to drastically realign both leagues and he is using the Diamondbacks as one of his pawns. With the sudden success of the Diamondbacks, the other owners who were excited to see Arizona in the NL West are now not so sure. The most vocal of these is Peter Magowan of the San Francisco Giants. It was fine when the Diamondbacks were losing 99 games, but when they took away the Giants pennant last year, Magowan suddenly could not wait to get the Diamondbacks into the American League where he would have to deal with them only during Interleague Play. As a season ticket holder, I am outraged at what the commissioner is trying to do. I believe we as fans have been misled and we should let the commissioner know exactly how we feel. I am therefore asking each of you to write a letter to the commissioner of baseball imploring him to reconsider moving the Diamondbacks to the American League. I have included a sample letter that you may use as a template. The address to send correspondence to the Commissioner’s office is
Office of the Commissioner of Baseball
245 Park Avenue, 31st Floor
New York, New York 10167
If you are among those appalled by this move, please take time and express your outrage. If enough fans are heard, perhaps we can stop this travesty from occurring. If you would rather fax the commissioner’s office, his fax number is (212) 949-5650.