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MLB Realignment Lookback


rmackman

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Now that we've had a year to watch the Astros play in the AL, I've come to the conclusion that moving them there was a horrible decision. Every state that has just two teams always has one in the AL and one in the NL... with the lone exception now being Texas.

To top that off, the Milwaukee Brewers have always felt like an AL team, and people weren't particularly happy they moved to the NL in the first place. They've become used to it, but I feel like people are more excited when the Twins come to town than the Pirates.

For the life of me, I do not understand why the realignment couldn't have been like this:

AMERICAN LEAGUE

East

Yankees

Orioles

Blue Jays

Rays

Red Sox

Central

White Sox

Indians

Brewers

Twins

Tigers

West

Mariners

Angels

Rangers

A's

Royals

NATIONAL LEAGUE

East

Braves

Marlins

Mets

Nationals

Phillies

Central

Cubs

Pirates

Astros

Reds

Cardinals

West

Giants

Dodgers

Padres

Diamondbacks

Rockies

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Every state that has just two teams always has one in the AL and one in the NL... with the lone exception now being Texas.

Pennsylvania says hi.

Touche, I forgot about them. Whoops!

That's for fantasy realignments. This is for a look back as to whether what MLB did was a good strategy or not.

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And don't forget that Milwaukee was the franchise that the (soon to be former) commissioner owned. That is probably why they are in the NL now and will never go back to the AL.

Actually, Selig had given up control over the club and bent over backwards to avoid the appearance of impropriety. Even though the fans very much wanted to be the club to switch leagues, he gave the Royals the first chance at it. It was only after they declined that the Brewers' owners were given the option (the Twins would have been next had the Brewers declined).

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To top that off, the Milwaukee Brewers have always felt like an AL team, and people weren't particularly happy they moved to the NL in the first place.

I was there, and yes they were.
They absolutely were. As a National League guy, I never even considered going to Milwaukee (didn't hit Comiskey til 1996!), but I went right away when they switched, and I guarantee the fans were into it. 1998's sideshow might have helped, too.

As for the Twins excitement... interleague rivalries are intense. :) But I'm not sure you can top what they have had with the Cubs recently. And no one gets excited about the Pirates visits... but that's changing.

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Yeah, the NL was exiting in 1998. But more than that, there was a real feeling that Milwaukee "belonged" in the NL. Call it residual Braves sentiment or whatever, but the city wanted to be an NL town.

Ironic, considering the American League was actually founded in Milwaukee.

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Diamondbacks or Rockies would've made more sense, creating a more evenly geographical West division between the two leagues sliding the 'Stros over to the NL West: 3 Pacific coast teams, a "Mountain region" team and a Texas team. Not to mention the combined existence of those two teams is like 17 years less than the Astros alone, which was spent entirely in the NL up until last season.

But I agree the Brewers have felt a lot more like an NL team. Seems they've created far better rivalries in the NL Central than in the AL.

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Diamondbacks almost moved to the AL, didn't they?

I think part of the reason for Houston was to give the Rangers one single divisional opponent within 1,400 miles. Hell, until Houston all their divisional rivals were two time zones away.

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Houston went to the AL as a condition of the sale from McLane to Crane in 2012.

Also when the Brew Crew moved to the NL in the 90s, it was either them or the Royals. KC was given the option first and declined.

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Also when the Brew Crew moved to the NL in the 90s, it was either them or the Royals. KC was given the option first and declined.

I heard a rumor that the Cardinals didn't want the Royals to join the National League, for fear of losing their NL-stranglehold on the Missouri sports landscape.

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Also when the Brew Crew moved to the NL in the 90s, it was either them or the Royals. KC was given the option first and declined.

I heard a rumor that the Cardinals didn't want the Royals to join the National League, for fear of losing their NL-stranglehold on the Missouri sports landscape.
Ha! That's funny.
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Also when the Brew Crew moved to the NL in the 90s, it was either them or the Royals. KC was given the option first and declined.

I heard a rumor that the Cardinals didn't want the Royals to join the National League, for fear of losing their NL-stranglehold on the Missouri sports landscape.
Ha! That's funny.

Hence, why I heard it as a rumor.

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In retrospect the Brewers have established themselves well in the NL, as they have natural rivals within the NL Central in Chicago and St. Louis. I can adjust myself to the Astros as an AL team, but it will take a couple more years for it to sink in.

That said, I've long mulled the alignment in the original post (Brewers back to AL Central, Astros stay in NL Central, Royals to AL West), and still find it ideal--even though it will never happen now.

If not for ownership politics, then either Colorado or Arizona makes more sense in the AL West than Houston from a tradition/rivalry standpoint. It's hard for me to see a pro team that's won a championship switch leagues/conferences some 10-15 years after doing so, so I'd prefer the Rockies for that reason. (Yes, I'm aware of the Astros and Rockies making it to the World Series within the last decade, but both were swept. It almost doesn't count. Sorry.) Plus the Diamondbacks have a solid rival in the Dodgers, adding to the oft-overlooked Arizona/California rivalries (like Suns/Lakers, Pac-12, etc.)

I'm sorry...I can't imagine the Royals in the NL. It hurts my head to do so.

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I don't get the "fans wanted the Brewers in the National League" thing. Why? The Brewers for their entire existence had been in the AL. Anyone old enough to have watched the Braves when they were 10 years old would have been 43 when the Brewers moved over. This isn't like the Bobcats replacing the Hornets, 33 years is a long time to hold a longing in the face of something you already have.

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I don't get the "fans wanted the Brewers in the National League" thing. Why? The Brewers for their entire existence had been in the AL. Anyone old enough to have watched the Braves when they were 10 years old would have been 43 when the Brewers moved over. This isn't like the Bobcats replacing the Hornets, 33 years is a long time to hold a longing in the face of something you already have.

Agree.

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