-more balanced schedule to meaningfully compare records of all teams
-larger divisions to increase the chances of the top teams making playoffs
-geographical grouping in Central, Mountain, and Pacific time zones to cut down on travel
-address concerns voiced during 1997 realignment talks:
-CHC, CHW did not want to be in same division because it would decrease total # of games on WGN.
-NYM, PIT, CIN, ATL did not want to join AL
-keep the same number of teams in all divisions in case of expansion teams
-shorten schedule as has been discussed by MLB already and will be again at next labor talks
Proposal: (assumes expansion to Montreal and Charlotte, can be done without expansion)
MLB East: BAL, BOS, CHW, CLE, DET, MON, NYY, TOR
MLB Atlantic: ATL, CHA, MIA, NYM, PHI, PIT, TB, WAS
MLB Central: CHC, CIN, HOU, KC, MIL, MIN, STL, TEX
MLB West: ANA, ARI, COL, LA, OAK, SD, SF, SEA
Schedule: 12 games vs. each division opponent, 3 games vs. each remaining team in MLB. Total 156 games. So every team in baseball has at least 93 games in common with any other team, making record comparisons for the wild cards meaningful.
Postseason: 4 division winners and 4 wild cards. No play-in games. All series best of 7.
If expansion teams are Montreal and Mexico, then CIN goes to Atlantic and Mexico goes to Central.
If expansion teams are Montreal and Portland, then CIN goes to Atlantic, Colorado goes to Central, and Portland goes to Pacific.
Other combinations of MON, CHA, MEX, SA, & POR (the likely expansion candidates) only involve CIN and COL moving among the Atlantic, Central, and Pacific as appropriate to accommodate the expansion teams.