My MLB realignment proposal

My objective with this proposal is to preserve most continuity between teams and fanbases that have been built over the years while mitigating issues related to travel and late start times that are often prevalent when teams in the East and Central time zones play against the Western teams and vice-versa, which in turn could mean as much as a three hour discrepancy on either side.

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1. Eliminate the National and American Leagues.

  • I think teams in different leagues are inappropriately compared and measured when they couldn’t face head-to-head.

2. Replace the six divisions with four, partly based on geography and history.

3. To place a premium on winning the division and attaining the playoff incentives thereof, 84 games will be played against teams from within division

  • 12 games x 7 teams for an eight-team division. 14 games x 6 teams for the 7-team division.
  • To supplement the 162 game schedule, one team would host a three game series against half of the teams from outside of division and be the visiting team for the other half, which would enable all teams to play each other at least once a season and to host any particular team at least once every other year during the regular season.
  • In most cases, teams in similar geographical areas must host different teams during the course of the season, with intention to reduce travel overlap.
  • Special scheduling considerations can be factored in to complete the 162 game schedule, such as the Mets hosting and visiting the Yankees, Dodgers, and Giants in addition to the Braves hosting and visiting the Red Sox, Marlins, and Rays.
  • Or in the alternative, schedule additional three-game series against select comparatively ranked teams in opposite venues.

4. The four division champions will all host at least the first round of the postseason and seeded 1-4 in accordance with regular season record.

5. The remaining four playoff berths will be at large, seeded 5-8 based on season record.

6. The highest seeded team after the first two playoff series will be the host of the World Series.

7. The All-Star game will convert to a two game All-Star doubleheader.

  • One game will be the Gold Gloves vs Silver Sluggers based on previous season’s award winners.
  • The other game will be Team USA vs International All-Stars, all voted on by the fans.

Why did I start this blog?

The short answer is because I’ve happened to repeat the same ideas as a comment on baseball blog postings across the internet concerning realignment matters. My bet is that someone using a search query will come across this blog and could actively discuss why the division championship is more or less a throwaway title ever since MLB went to a six division format. A baseball fan’s opinion of the division title could change course under the right circumstances, which will be outlined in later posts.

Another reason is because I originally wanted to see the Miami Marlins in the American League as I believe the switch to the AL would appropriately coincide with the new name, stadium, uniforms, and ambiance. In addition to a newly minted rivalry with the Rays which would be the east coast version of the Dodgers-Giants years down the road, thus will save the state of baseball in Florida.

It appeared as though what I would have liked to see happen in Florida happened in Texas with the Houston Astros being slated to join the AL in 2013 thus would enable an up-and-coming rival with the Texas Rangers. But it appears as though longtime fans of the Astros seem to resent the switch because they would lose longtime opponents with the Braves and Cardinals among other NL teams. I also agree with the fact that frequent two hour time difference against teams in the West coast would cause viewership decline. I remember not long before the current alignment that the Astros were in the NL west division. I wish I could pinpoint viewership numbers when the Astros played the Padres, Dodgers, and Giants on the road. Again, this is long before cable RSNs and MLB’s subscription packages.

Before I proceed with my realignment ideas, I would like to mention that having previously lived in the West Coast (and visited all western MLB ballparks) and despite that I favor the American League, I do like the NL West because of the geographical placement of its teams. Would anyone think things would be quite easier if the Mariners, A’s, and Angels were all to be in the same division with the NL West Teams? That is just the gist of what I have in mind. More to follow.