Monday, June 20, 2011

MLB Realignment??

A week ago, an ESPN article made front-page news talking about Major League Baseball considering a realignment, placing the Houston Astros in the AL West (with the Texas/Dallas Rangers) making both the AL and NL housing 15 teams, and each division consisting of 5 teams.

This leads to a thousand headaches, but the most painful, would be the fact that the last series of the season, and all 162 gamedays would consist of interleague play with the odd numbers in each division.

I really hope MLB doesn't make even divisions.  In a sport where you don't play a different team every night, and you play to win the division to get into the playoffs, inter-league play would be completely unacceptable in the last week.  People do always make the claim about how unfair it is that a team in the AL West only has to beat 3 other teams to get to the playoffs, while a team in the NL Central has to beat 5 other teams to win the division.

While I agree that you must win to win, it isn't right for the oblong sizes of divisions. 

The best answer for MLB is to cut to 28 or go up to 32 teams.  With 32 teams, 4 division of 4 teams could exist (like the NFL) and have divisional games at the end.  At 28, I'd love to see 2 divisions of 7.

While I don't think what i'm about to post is what should happen, I like to be open minded and think about change.  Here's some realignment to think about for the MLB.  This is my realignment based on geography and city rivalries.

EASTERN CONFRENCE

Division 1.
  • Pittsburgh Pirates
  • New York Yankees
  • New York Mets
  • Philadelphia Phillies
  • Boston Red Sox
This division would appear as a "super-division" but really wouldn't be any better/worse then the AL east is right now.  This would open up the "subway-series" in New York all season long....imagine a Yankees-Mets game to decide which team goes to the playoffs.  Philadelphia-Boston games would be incredible all season long.  Philadelphia-Pittsburgh is a rivalry in all other sports, but not MLB.

Division 2
  • Baltimore Orioles
  • Washington Nationals
  • Atlanta Braves
  • Tampa Bay Rays
  • Florida (Miami) Marlins
Baltimore-Washington would be a great rivalry, both teams within an hour of each other.  Tampa-Miami would have a renown rivalry over bragging rights in Florida as well.  (This brings up a seperate random point, but any team with a state name and zero history in a state where more than 1 team exists, MUST be renamed)

Division 3
  • Toronto Blue Jays
  • Cleveland Indians
  • Detroit Tigers
  • Cincinatti Reds
  • Kansas City Royals
This creates an In-State rivalry in Ohio, and adds Toronto-Detroit, two cities only 230 miles apart.

WESTERN CONFRENCE

Division 4
  • Chicago White Sox
  • Chicago Cubs
  • St. Louis Cardinals
  • Milwaukee Brewers
  • Minnesota Twins
While Division 1 turned into the king of the east as the AL East has been, this division gives the west a division worth competing with the current AL east.  Chicago would have it's own cross town rivalry, and renoun the sport in that city.  Cardinal-Cubs games would continue to be great.  Minnesota-Milwaukee are also within 300 miles of each other.

Division 5
  • Seattle Mariners
  • Colorado Rockies
  • Arizona Diamondbacks
  • Texas (Dallas) Rangers
  • Houston Astros
Seattle fits in absolutely no division, since there are no teams anywhere close to the city.  This puts Houston and Dallas in the same division, which would create a great rivalry in that area for two teams that really don't have a rival team

Division 6 (California Love)
  • Oakland Raiders
  • San Francisco Giants
  • Los Angeles Dodgers
  • Los Angeles Angels
  • San Diego Padres
Not much could be said bad about this.  Adds a bay rivalry in Oakland-San Fran, and a city rivalry in LA.

Now I based my alignment on boundaries, and this would create cross-town rivalries and some of the rivalries we love in other sports.

While it's all a bunch of nonsense, some of these divisions would be great, the kind of divisions I'd make when I got bored with a MLB video game and wanted to play a season.  I never understood the Phillies playing two teams 10+ hours a way for 2 of their division rivalries, along with teams like Baltimore-Washington and Cincinatti-Cleveland never get to go head to head.

While I totally disagree with the inter-league play that would have to happen, the team who finished last in each division could be responsible for the last 3 series (9 games) of the season.

As for Playoffs, I know that MLB will expand.  There is too much money for them not too.  I think a playoff parallel to that of the NFL with 6 teams (2 from each division) would work.  But this isn't as easy as if they just added a team to 2 more cities, but that will never happen.

But encase they do; Charlotte, Indianapolis, Portland, Norfolk, and Orlando are adequate metropolitan to house a Major League Baseball team.

And for those who are a little more visual, here's my thoughts.

Despite MLB being right going east-west, they forget that it's 1,309 mile drive from Citi Field to Sun Life Stadium, taking 21 hours and 49 minuets.  it's also a 1,459 mile drive from Fenway to Tropicana Field. 

Current alignment.



And since we're talking about realignment, here's my NFL east/west conference wishlist.

4 comments:

  1. You don't want the Yankees in the same division as the phi lies if your a phils fan

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  2. You gotta beat the best to be the best. It's a 109 mile drive from Yankee Stadium to Citizens Bank Park...The same amount of miles from my house to my university campus at Ship.


    I think two teams that close should play more than 3 games every other year.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Division 1 would be way too good, even better than the A.L. East currently. Meanwhile, the current Rangers slaughter Division 5.
    Also did you mean to put Oakland Raiders instead of the A's?

    ReplyDelete
  4. You haven't accounted for the DH. NL fans would never let their team have one, and AL fans refuse to watch pitchers bat.

    ReplyDelete