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Realignment and Expansion


I was bored at work today and started thinking about baseball and whether or not baseball could/should expand again and then realign one final time.

 

I know what some of you may think, talking about the Marlins and D-Rays not being able to support the teams that they currently have, but I am willing to believe that a place like Portland could theoretically support a Major League Baseball team better than either of those cities can. Is there any other place right now that could, in your opinion, support another baseball team? My mind always looks at places that have the other 3 major sports (yes I still include hockey) and then go from there. The most obvious choice would either be Indianapolis or Memphis/Nashville. I think Indy is the more obvious choice, but I also gotta believe if Nashville can support the Predators of the NHL, they can support baseball.

 

So assuming that baseball would expand, and go to an NFL-like 8 division, 4 team format, and the expansion teams would go in Portland and say for the sake of argument, Indianapolis, I would realign baseball in the following way:

 

NL NORTH

1. Milwaukee Brewers

2. Chicago Cubs

3. St. Louis Cardinals

4. Colorado Rockies

 

NL EAST

1. N.Y. Mets

2. Philadelphia Phillies

3. Washington Nationals

4. Pittsburgh Pirates

 

NL SOUTH

1. Atlanta Braves

2. Florida Marlins

3. Houston Astros

4. Cincinnati Reds

 

NL WEST

1. L.A. Dodgers

2. S.F. Giants

3. San Diego Padres

4. Arizona Diamondbacks

 

AL NORTH

1. Chicago White Sox

2. Detroit Tigers

3. Cleveland Indians

4. Minnesota Twins

 

AL EAST

1. N.Y. Yankees

2. Boston Red Sox

3. Baltimore Orioles

4. Toronto Blue Jays

 

AL SOUTH

1. Texas Rangers

2. Tampa Bay D-Rays

3. Kansas City Royals

4. Indianapolis (Expansion Team)

 

AL WEST

1. L.A. Angels

2. Oakland Athletics

3. Seattle Mariners

4. Portland (Expansion Team)

 

Granted the AL South would be awful currently, the AL would have two expansion teams, and Colorado isn't exactly in the Central time zone, but I really believe that baseball needs to start exploring this idea. It would create a new buzz in baseball in certain new areas like Oregon and Indiana, and it is always possible to switch another team to the AL (say Arizona) and put Portland in the NL.

 

I for one believe that it is time that baseball fixes the problem of one divison having 6 teams and another having 4. The only way to remedy this is to create two new teams or contract (since having 15 teams in each league would mean one interleague series at all times, which is lame), and contraction is never a good thing.

 

So what do you think? Should baseball hire me as commisioner, or is Bud Selig God compared to me?

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Looks pretty good, and I'll be the first to admit I'm not at all a fan of the 6 team NL Central, 4 team AL West thing either, and I think eventually, it needs to be changed.

 

There's a couple of geographical problems with it, though, I think. Granted, there's no way to get it perfect, but I think the Rockies would be in for long years halfway across the country from the rest of their team in the NL North.

 

The other thing is, I don't think that we'll see expansion anytime soon. I think a 30 team league is about as big as it's going to get for now, and I think that further expansion right now would probably just water down the talent level in MLB.

 

Personally, I'd prefer even 15 team leagues, with a system in place of year-round interleague play, maybe 20-30 games per year. I don't see the problem with adding more interleague games every year. We took away the uniqueness of the interleague World Series as soon as we went to interleague play. Doesn't really matter now if we add more games to it, it's not special anymore.

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I've played around with schedules before and found that the best way to avoid the Rockies issue is to move the Diamondbacks to the AL and put them in a division with the Rockies, Royals, and Rangers. Under this plan, the Devil Rays would also have to switch to the NL. I also think Las Vegas is a market which the MLB should move into instead of another Midwestern team.

 

Then...

 

NL North

Milwaukee

Chi Cubs

Cardinals

Reds

 

NL East

Mets

Phillies

Nationals

Pirates

 

NL South

Marlins

Braves

Astros

Devil Rays

 

NL West

Dodgers

Giants

Padres

Las Vegas (exp)

 

--

 

AL North

Tigers

Twins

Indians

White Sox

 

AL South

D'backs

Royals

Rockies

Rangers

 

AL East

Yankees

Red Sox

Orioles

Blue Jays

 

AL West

Portland (exp)

LA Angels

Mariners

Athletics

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The only problem I see is with 4 divisions per league you would either have to expand the playoffs or eliminate the wild card. I personally like the wild card since in my opinion it gives a very good team an oportunity to make the playoffs. If you think about it the wild card team is usually the second best team in the league. They usually have a better record than many other division leaders. Cut it back to 3 divisions per league and I would be on board.

Fan is short for fanatic.

I blame Wang.

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Who gets a bye the next round or do you mean there will be 2 wild cards and 2 first round byes?

 

EDIT: I don't mean to be discouraging because I don't like the NL Central having more teams than any other division. I am just saying that from 2001-2006 there were 6 teams that made the WS as wild cards with both wild card teams making it in 2002. In 2001 the only teams with better records than the wild card teams were the division winners who finished ahead of them.

Fan is short for fanatic.

I blame Wang.

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florida having two teams is a joke...if you put both teams payrolls together, it would still have a hard time competing. They need to move one of the teams in Florida. I also hate the 6 NL Central, 4 AL West thing. Its unfair. Why not just move the Astros to the AL West?
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If you have a first-round bye, how would that work? You would have teams that just wouldn't play for an entire week? I figure they'd expand the playoffs before they give teams long layoffs. Besides, there would be more revenue with more playoff games and more teams in the playoff hunt. It would cause more interest and more fans at the gate. MLB wouldn't turn down more money.
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They can't move the Astros because then one team would always have to have the night off in each league (or interleague play would be happening every day of the season, one of the two)

"I wasted so much time in my life hating Juventus or A.C. Milan that I should have spent hating the Cardinals." ~kalle8

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I don't think you can just move a team to another league, the team has to give permission. So the Diamondbacks would have to agree to move to the A.L.

 

I don't believe we were the first choice to move from the A.L. to N.L. when we moved. From what I recall, the Royals were the first choice, and they declined, so the league asked us, and we accepted.

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If you are thinking about expansion, here is the attendance for the International League:

 

web.minorleaguebaseball.c...7&sid=l117

 

(How Ottawa still has a AAA team is beyond me.)

 

The PCL

web.minorleaguebaseball.c...2&sid=l112

 

The Midwest League

 

web.minorleaguebaseball.c...8&sid=l118

 

I added the Midwest League because Dayton draws huge numbers, and boy are the Snappers hurting.

 

 

and just for fun, the Northwoods League

 

www.northwoodsleague.com/Attendance.asp

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There won't be any talk of expansion in baseball until Selig extorts a free stadium out of So. Florida or another area. Once that's settled I wouldn't be surprised if the talk turns from "contraction" to expansion.

 

I would add 2 teams to the AL and have a 5-5-6 division lineup with the same playoff structure as now.

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One reason I'm a fan of baseball is because the playoffs don't allow too many teams in. A few years ago I thought what baseball needed was expanded playoffs and shorter regular season to dupe more fans into thinking their team was good. But, I'm back to appreciating the limited amount of teams that make it. I hate how many NBA teams make the playoffs. I would get no satisfaction if a 75 win Brewer team made the playoffs.

 

One Idea I always had to give the #1 seeded team an advantage, is a best of 6 series. Best of 6? Yep, the top team needs 3 wins to move on, and the low team needs 4 wins in the first round only. I don't think the current format is bad though. The NCAA b-ball tourney and NFL only require one win to move on. At least in baseball the top team has home field advantage. I don't think my idea would ever fly to well.

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"One Idea I always had to give the #1 seeded team an advantage, is a best of 6 series. Best of 6? Yep, the top team needs 3 wins to move on, and the low team needs 4 wins in the first round only."

 

Why can't I find anything wrong with this? Nicely played, UFA!

 

I'd expand on this, by adding that the #1 seed gets to host 4 of those games. Hell, if you're the 6th-best playoff team, you probably just got finished clawing, scraping and of course, battling, to reach the postseason, and 2 potential home games (Games 3 & 4?) out of 6, is better than what it is now, which is zero.

 

And if you're a #1 seed, you shouldn't have to expend so much energy proving your position, by having to win 4 times. If you lose 4 times to a #6 seed, then maybe your team either peaked too early, or you take your hat off to that scrappy #6 team.

 

If you're the top seed, your franchise should have already proven you're worthy, earning the best record in your league, so winning 3 games is enough to convince me, even if the series winds up 3-to-3.

 

Because then, to me at least, it would work like those tie-breakers in the NFL. In football, if you have 2 teams who are 9-7, with only 1 WildCard spot for them, they break it down to tie-breakers, so it's kind of not without precedent.

 

Can someone else besides me, ptry to oke some holes in this plan? 'Cuz I'm having a tough time!

 

Post of the month, Undrafted!

"So if this fruit's a Brewer's fan, his ass gotta be from Wisconsin...(or Chicago)."
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I have thought about realignment a lot. Here is my idea:

 

Move the DRays to Indianapolis (Indy has the 12th biggest population in the country) and rename them something that is racing themed for the Indy 500.

 

I looked at some city statistics and Portland has a less of a population than Milwaukee. But in order to make more sense in realigning the divisions, I think there needs to be more teams in the west coast.

So lets just for expansion sake, that Portland does get a team. They can call themselves the Lumberkings.

Create and expansion team in San Antonio.

 

NL East

1. New York Mets

2. Philadelphia Phillies

3. Washington Nationals

4. Pittsburgh Pirates

 

NL North

1. Milwaukee Brewers

2. Chicago Cubs

3. St. Louis Cardinals

4. Indianapolis (formerly the DRays)

 

NL South

1. Houston Astros

2. Atlanta Braves

3. Cincinnati Reds

4. Florida Marlins

 

NL West

1. Los Angeles Dodgers

2. San Diego Padres

3. San Francisco Giants

4. Arizona Diamondbacks

 

------------------------------------------------

AL East

1. New York Yankees

2. Boston Red Sox

3. Baltimore Orioles

4. Toronto Blue Jays

 

AL North

1. Chicago White Sox

2. Cleveland Indians

3. Detroit Tigers

4. Minnesota Twins

 

AL South

1. Texas Rangers

2. San Antonio (expansion)

3. Kansas City Royals

4. Colorado Rockies

 

AL West

1. Los Angeles Angels

2. Oakland Athletics

3. Seattle Mariners

4. Portland Lumberkings (expansion)

 

In order to attempt to retain the playoff format, here is how seeding could go...

 

Division winner #1 and Division winner #2 - First round byes

Division winner #3 v. Wild Card #2, Division winner #4 v. Wild Card #1 - Best of 3

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Any expansion/relcocation/realignment needs to end up with 2 leagues, with 4 eight-team divisions.

 

Top two teams from each division make playoffs.

 

Divide them east/west.

 

8 divisions could lead to the 1st, 3rd, 5th and 6th best teams in a league making the playoffs while team #2 and #4 could be left home. Imagine an NL with the Cubs or Cards as the #1 team in baseball. The Brewers finish a game behind, have the second best record in baseball, but are out of the playoffs while a team like Houston or Cincinnati makes it with 81 wins.

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interesting except there will probably be no expansion any time soon. after talking contraction just 5 years ago, they won't be expanding for probably 15-20 years if at all
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