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MLB Re-Align


goforbroke

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Thought you guys might be interested in my blog. It's a MLB re-alignment proposal. Makes for a good debate I think. Feel free to post comments on the blog ...

http://blogs.msg.com/centercourt/

ALIGN THIS

Since nothing big is happening in the basketball world right now (see ratings) I thought I'd switch from hoops to hardball for a second.

I'm going to propose something right now which will probably upset baseball purists and radicals alike ... I think Major League Baseball should merge the American and National Leagues. I mean really merge them. 30 teams, 1 league, 6 Divisions, with 2 wild cards in the Playoffs.

Shocked? Good.

Here's how I'd break it down geographically (I've named the Divisions after two key figureheads from that area - no boring North-East, South-East, etc.)

Ruth-Robinson Division

Toronto

Boston

NY Mets

NY Yankees

Philadelphia

Aaron-Ripken Division

Baltimore

Washington

Atlanta

Florida

Tampa Bay

Clemente-Cobb Division

Milwaukee

Detroit

Pittsburgh

Cleveland

Cincinnati

Brock-Kilibrew Division

Minnesota

Chi Cubs

Chi White Sox

St. Louis

Kansas City

Ryan-Gwynn Division

Colorado

San Diego

Arizona

Houston

Texas

Koufax-Mays Division

Seattle

San Francisco

Oakland

LA Dodgers

LA Angels

Teams play everyone in their division 18 times (Three home 3-game series, three away) for a total of 72 games. Then they play teams in the other divisions one 3-game series each (1/2 home, 1/2 away, and switching the next year, so the Yankees would host the Giants one year, then visit them the next). That's 25 x 3 = 75 for a total of 147 games. The other 15 games are an additional 3-game series against one division. So, for example, one year the Ruth-Robinson Division will play 6 games instead of 3 against teams from the Clemente-Cobb division. Get it?

No 4-Game series and no 2-Game series. And don't worry about Interleague play - there's only one league! So everyone can still play every day.

Lot's of the highly-rated geographic rivals series (NY-NY, Chi-Chi, LA-LA, Balt-Wash, San Fran-Oak, Hou-Tex, Florida-TB, StL-KC, Cleveland-Cincy) Plus you keep most of the historic intra-division rivalries (Yanks-Sox, Cardinals-Cubs)

And I wouldn't go East vs. West. I'd rank the teams 1 through 8 and have a real bracket playoff (Yankees vs. Red Sox World Series anyone?) For the All-Star Game - Just take 60 of the league's best and choose up sides. Pit teammates against each other! It's an exhibition after all. (World Series home field advantage can now fairly go to better record since all teams are under one umbrella)

One reason why it won't happen is because the league would have to settle the DH rule. DH players make a ton of money, often they are the highest paid player on the team. So the NL owners don't want to have to pay for them, and the Players Union won't let the AL give them up.

But other than that and *yawn* tradition, I can't think of any reason why this isn't a good idea ... what do you guys think? Also, chime in on some thoughts for Division names!

mlb_map.jpg

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It's not enough we gotta deal with Yankees-Red Sox every year, you gotta throw the Mets in there too for us?

Put us in with Detroit, it's time that rivalry was brought back to life.

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It's not enough we gotta deal with Yankees-Red Sox every year, you gotta throw the Mets in there too for us?

Put us in with Detroit, it's time that rivalry was brought back to life.

Swap Pittsburgh and Toronto and you've got yourself a winner, if this were to ever happen.

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You definitely put more thought into this scheme than the other lame threads of "[insert pro organization] should be aligned like this." I do have one simple question.

Why?

What would MLB gain by executing such a plan? Honestly I don't think there is much to be gained. In my opinion, it does make more sense of interleague play (which I disdain, by the way) than the current system. Not by much however. While it is completely radical I just don't see the point.

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It's not enough we gotta deal with Yankees-Red Sox every year, you gotta throw the Mets in there too for us?

Put us in with Detroit, it's time that rivalry was brought back to life.

Swap Pittsburgh and Toronto and you've got yourself a winner, if this were to ever happen.

Toronto is slightly closer to Boston and New York than Pittsburgh is ... And Pitt is close to Ohio. I guess it could work either way though. One good thing about that is it would keep both Pennsylvania teams in the same division.

But then I couldn't name that division Clemente-Cobb if Pitt wasn't in it. What would you suggest, maybe Kaline-Cobb?

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It's not enough we gotta deal with Yankees-Red Sox every year, you gotta throw the Mets in there too for us?

Put us in with Detroit, it's time that rivalry was brought back to life.

Swap Pittsburgh and Toronto and you've got yourself a winner, if this were to ever happen.

Toronto is slightly closer to Boston and New York than Pittsburgh is ... And Pitt is close to Ohio. I guess it could work either way though. One good thing about that is it would keep both Pennsylvania teams in the same division.

But then I couldn't name that division Clemente-Cobb if Pitt wasn't in it. What would you suggest, maybe Kaline-Cobb?

How about Rose-Cobb.....the top two hitters in history.

But really, this is a bad idea. One of the great things about MLB is that league play is much more emphasized. And for those that complain about interleague play, that's at the most what, 18 games out of 162? That's only slightly more than 10 percent of the schedule.

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Shouldn't Robinson's name be included in the Dodger's division, not in the one you have it? The Dodgers have been out of New York for a very long time. Make it the Young-Ruth division, perhaps.

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You definitely put more thought into this scheme than the other lame threads of "[insert pro organization] should be aligned like this." I do have one simple question.

Why?

What would MLB gain by executing such a plan? Honestly I don't think there is much to be gained. In my opinion, it does make more sense of interleague play (which I disdain, by the way) than the current system. Not by much however. While it is completely radical I just don't see the point.

1- Like I said it would make for a much simpler and organized schedule.

2 - It would boost ratings and attendance to have so many geographic-rivalry games.

3 - If it is all one league, the playoffs would have a better chance of getting the 8 best teams overall. It wouldn't always be the 8 best (a weak division's leader could still sneak in) but it would be a lot more fair than the way it is now. Last year, the Dodgers made the playoffs .. but the Angels and White Sox didn't even though they had better records. So this would take care of that problem.

Shouldn't Robinson's name be included in the Dodger's division, not in the one you have it? The Dodgers have been out of New York for a very long time. Make it the Young-Ruth division, perhaps.

Maybe, but he did play in that area and not in LA. I think it makes more sense to have his name in the New York-area division.

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...but by the time this plan has any chance of taking place, all the Dodgers fans in New York will be dead. Why not recognize a player who played for a team that is actually still in the area? Technically, the Brooklyn Dodgers franchise (the one Jackie played for) is located in Los Angeles. Hence, they are the team that honored him on Jackie Robinson Day and that is where the main ceremony took place. Not New York.

It's your realignment though. Do what you will....

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...but by the time this plan has any chance of taking place, all the Dodgers fans in New York will be dead. Why not recognize a player who played for a team that is actually still in the area? Technically, the Brooklyn Dodgers franchise (the one Jackie played for) is located in Los Angeles. Hence, they are the team that honored him on Jackie Robinson Day and that is where the main ceremony took place. Not New York.

It's your realignment though. Do what you will....

And every Babe Ruth fan is already dead.

If you want the division named after Ted Williams just say so :-)

I think it works both ways. Jackie Robinson still has a huge impact in the New York area (ask Mets fans) but you make a good point about keeping it where the franchise is.

I would like to hear more suggestions on Division names .. those took me the longest to decide.

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Easy:

East: TOR, BOS, NYM, NYY, PHI

Atlantic: BAL, WSH, ATL, FLA, TB

North: PIT, CIN, CLE, MIL, DET

Central: CHC, CWS, MIN, STL, KC

Southwest: COL, ARZ, HOU, TEX, SD

Pacific: LAA, LAD, SEA, OAK, SF

I'd switch TOR and PIT so the two Pennsylvania teams be in the same division. I would try to get SD in the same division as the other California teams, but then SEA would be in the same "geographic" division as teams in Texas, which obviously makes little geographical sense.

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I think the Brewers should be in the same division as the Cubs and Sox. Then maybe you could put the Twins in the Brewers place. I think Milwaukee is too close to Chicago for the teams to be in different divisions. Then it could be the Banks-Brock division.

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I think the only problem with how the MLB is aligned now is that the NL Central has 6 teams, while the AL West only has 4. I say move Houston to the AL West, or move them to the NL West and move a NL West team to the AL (I'm thinking the Rockies) That way it's balanced, and if the Astros move to the NL you have an instant Astros-Rangers rivalry, and I'm sure the Rockies would fit right into the AL West.

BTW, why did the Brewers move over to the NL in the first place? I've never known why...

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I think the only problem with how the MLB is aligned now is that the NL Central has 6 teams, while the AL West only has 4. I say move Houston to the AL West, or move them to the NL West and move a NL West team to the AL (I'm thinking the Rockies) That way it's balanced, and if the Astros move to the NL you have an instant Astros-Rangers rivalry, and I'm sure the Rockies would fit right into the AL West.

BTW, why did the Brewers move over to the NL in the first place? I've never known why...

The reason why there are 6 teams in the NL Central and 4 teams in the AL West are so that there are an even number of teams in each league. That way, during non-interleague games all the teams can play in one day. If there were 15 teams in each league there would need to be one team in each league that isn't playing a series.

I would guess that when the Devil Rays and D-Backs came into the MLB, they wanted one expansion team in each league. Before the expansion they had 14 teams in each league, so there would be an even number of teams in each league. When they expanded the MLB didn't want two expansion teams in the same league, so an existing team had to switch leagues. I'm not sure of any reasoning behind the Brewers being the team that made the change.

Three more (and counting) explanations are below.

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I think the only problem with how the MLB is aligned now is that the NL Central has 6 teams, while the AL West only has 4. I say move Houston to the AL West, or move them to the NL West and move a NL West team to the AL (I'm thinking the Rockies) That way it's balanced, and if the Astros move to the NL you have an instant Astros-Rangers rivalry, and I'm sure the Rockies would fit right into the AL West.

BTW, why did the Brewers move over to the NL in the first place? I've never known why...

For intraleague games, you need an even amount of teams or there would always be a team not playing (for a long time) if each league were 15-15. Who knows why the put Milwaukee in the NL. After eeing them play Minnesota in interleague,I can say that they still can pass off as an AL team and I don't think MLB woul've wanted to pu to expansion teams in the same league. They should've went to the that 1997 planned re-alignment where the AL would've been the EAST and the NL would've been the WEST.

Plus I don't think people would want to see two nearly identical teams (Stros and D-Backs) playing each other all the time.

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I think the only problem with how the MLB is aligned now is that the NL Central has 6 teams, while the AL West only has 4. I say move Houston to the AL West, or move them to the NL West and move a NL West team to the AL (I'm thinking the Rockies) That way it's balanced, and if the Astros move to the NL you have an instant Astros-Rangers rivalry, and I'm sure the Rockies would fit right into the AL West.

BTW, why did the Brewers move over to the NL in the first place? I've never known why...

Both leagues had 14 teams until Tampa Bay and Arizona came into the league in 1998.

I think MLB was wanting each league to get a new team, so they had to find a candidate from one league to switch to the other league. Since Milwaukee had been originally an NL city (and still had a large core of Braves fans there and considered themselves an NL town), not to mention the Brewers were once owned by the current Commissioner, made it a pretty easy decision.

Detroit also switched divisions, leaving the AL East to take Milwaukee's spot in the Central so Tampa could move into the East.

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