Thoughts From The Dugout On League ReAlignment

Hello folks! How about those Twins of ours! I think if we get most of our disabled list players back, I think we’ve got something! Just maybe we could win the central.

But, what I’m really here for is to discuss one of the hotter news stories that was broken this weekend by ESPN’s Buster Olney. This concerns league realignment. The proposal is the leagues would have 15 teams. The thought is that Houston would be the likely team to move to the American League. The part I find interesting is they would do away with the divisions and have the five top teams from each league in the playoffs. Of how the playoffs would work remains to be seen.

I’ve mixed feelings about this proposal. The thing I will agree with is you even out the leagues. However at the same time, you’d have to have one of the matchups be an interleague matchup all throughout the season. I personally think that interleague play takes away from the World Series. Another thing I like is it eliminates a team winning their division with a below 500 record since you’ve done away with the divisions. You’d now have the five best teams from each league playing in the playoffs. You’d eliminate the possibility of a team who’s a better record than a division winner from not being in the playoffs.

What would make this proposal better is if you had an even number of teams in each league. You could have 16 teams in each league but the tricky part is where to add some more teams. Part of the problem is teams have monopolies for their territory rights and therefore may not want another team to move into their territory. If I were to add a team, one of the more logical places would be in Louisville Kentucky since they have a really successful minor league franchise there that draws really well. But the problem is the Cincinnati Reds have territory rights over the area.

The other option would be to contract a couple of teams. Remember 2001? Well, I’ve saying this hesitantly, but if it makes more sense to have even number teams in each league, then that may be an idea to be considered. One possible team to contract would be the Oakland Athletics. They’ve been struggling for years to get a new stadium.

Do I see them actually doing any of my ideas to have an even number of teams in each league to make their proposal better? I’d doubt it since they are a big business and want to make as much money as possible. Plus, the TV network may not like it since they wouldn’t be able to air as many Yankee Red Sox series since you wouldn’t have the unbalanced schedule. However, if this proposal gets implimented, I think it would generate more fan interest since fans would be wondering where if their team will finish in the top 5 in that league. and who knows, it might just be as exciting as what we now have with the wild card, but on a more grander scale. I just think having an even number of teams in each league will make it more better and you wouldn’t have to have interleague play at the end of the season. In fact there’s talk now that interleague play the way it is now doesn’t have the benefits it did when it was first started back in 1997. I’ve always felt that it took away from the World Series. What I will say is give baseball credit for trying to generate more fan interest.

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