On Baseball Realignment

>> Sunday

MLB is on the edge of changing the game again. They are planning on making the playoffs 10 teams versus the eight that it currently has, and now there is talk of realignment, something that hasn't happened since 1998. The talk is to move an NL team to the AL and create two 15-team leagues. Not a bad idea, but here's what I've got.

Option A: I like the original idea, so I'll put that as option A. Move the Brewers back to the AL but create six divisions with five teams in each division. Brewers go to the AL Central and then move the Royals to the AL West. Division play was put in play to create more rivals. It's like interleague. Consider the 'natural' rivals that interleague poses, except it is already there with divisional play.

Speaking of 'natural' rivals in interleague, the way to play the game with odd divisions is to have rolling interleague play. Forget the whole designated time slots for interleague play and just have interleague all the time. If there are 23 weeks of baseball that would allow for every team to play each other at one point. Alternate the years for who plays home and who plays on the road. Take the current idea of five playoff teams with the top three division winners getting a bye and you've increased revenue.

Also consider this idea. I'll use the example of the Red Sox for this. When fans can't make it to Fenway they will travel to New York or Baltimore because it is a cheap flight and they can watch their home team play on the road. If the Sox had to play Seattle 10 times a year then this wouldn't benefit the home team, just as if Seattle had to come to Boston more than two road trips. It wouldn't be worth it. Move the Royals to the AL West and they can take a trip down to Dallas to catch games and visa-versa. Well that is if they had fans.

Option B: Consolidate. Get rid of 2 teams and go back to the way things were in 1993, just two divisions in each league with seven teams. Divisions are still somewhat in existences and it helps solve the problem for the lack of attendance. Fans in Miami don't care about the Marlins. You can probably eliminate the Royals too if that were the case.

This would solve another problem aside from lack of attendance; it would create better teams. Have a new draft with those players and expand rosters to 26 active players.This would take 50 'free agent' players on those teams and move them across MLB while getting rid of 22 players to the minors, or moving other players, currently on the bench, to the minors.

This would also curtail increased salaries. If the talent pool is larger, then teams would be willing to spend less and 'settle' for better than average minor league players who can still perform in the big leagues. Each division winner would make the playoffs and then you could have 4 wild cards, making six playoff teams with the division winners getting a bye. Look, another problem solved; increased revenue due to larger playoffs and increased attendance.

There are other ideas floating around for a 'floating realignment' but that just seems too complicated and hectic so we will use these two options as the best. I should just run MLB.

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