FanPost

A radical look at division shuffling

Alright, so I have seen several attempts to reshape the leagues. Personally, I think they are pretty alright as they are, but I still thought it would be fun to take a stab at it.

 

One of the biggest problems is this: We want to build rivalries between say, the marlins and rays, mets and yanks, Astros and rangers, but we don’t want them to start competing for each other’s fan bases. So we want them to play each other more, and in meaningful games, but we don’t want them in the same league. This will require a creative solution, here is my radical suggestion. Yall know I like the radical haha.

Mixed league divisions. Scroll down to see what I mean if you want. Here is a map of teams: http://billsportsmaps.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/10/baseball-mlb30hats_c.gif

The way I imagine it there would be six divisions, and six playoff teams per league. That means there are six division winners and six wildcards. The division winners will be those with the best record in their division. The wild card winners will be the teams with the best records in their respective leagues. When playing outside their division, teams will only play in their league (meaning, inner league play will be reserved for local rivals and playoffs, which is ideal). In the event a division champion does not have a top six record in their league, they are preferred over the team with the sixth best league average.

Though a playoff spot is won by league or division records, overall records will decide playoff seeding.

The teams with the bottom four records in each league will play three game series. The winners of these series will play a five game series against one of the top two teams in their league. The winners of these series will play each other in a seven game league series. Finally followed by a world series that brings the leagues against each other again. (and I love the new rule about the all-star game deciding which league gets home advantage in the WS)

The point is, we stay in our leagues, but our divisions become more full of rivalries, more glorious to win, and they become more culturally cohesive in a way that brings character and familiarity to each division. We make the games between two rivals meaningful, but because they stay in their own league, we don’t encourage fans to pick one over the other. I love that teams near each other and in the same city are in opposite leagues. This structure will also  make sure the teams with the best league records make the playoffs, and it will add some prestige to beating the teams in your area. To be the California league champions would be more to brag about than being NL west champs. The same is true with the East Coast, and so on. Still, the way it is designed, more than one team per division can make the playoffs if they play well in their league.

So here are the leagues as I would divide them: 

 

Southern Division

NL Braves – Atlanta

AL Rays – Tampa Bay

NL Marlins – Miami

NL Astros – Houston

AL Rangers – Dallas

 

This is nice and neat because they are the only five teams in the South East. As you will see, this doesn’t just shorten traveling, but it creates divisions with their own character. As it is, I have no love for other teams in the NL East, however, I could have love for other teams in the south.

 

California division

AL Angels – LA

NL Dodgers – LA

AL Athletics – Oakland

NL Gians – San Francisco

NL Padres – San Diego

 

Nice and neat because its all the California teams. Again, this is as much of a cultural league as it is convenient for traveling. I think a lot of character could come of configurations like this.

 

Name of division?

NL Reds – Cincinati

AL Tigers – Detroit

AL Indians – Cleveland

AL Blue Jays – Toronto

NL Pirates – Pittsburgh

 

This gets the ohio, Detroit, pennsylvania and Canada teams playing each other which offers some cultural cohesion. These five teams are extremely close to each other on the map.

 

Name of division?

NL Brewers – Milwalkee

AL Twins – Minessota

AL White sox – Chicago

NL Cubs – Chicago

 

These four teams are almost right on top of each other on the map

 

Name of division??

AL Royals – KC

NL Cardinals – St. Louis

AL Mariners – Seattle

NL Rockies – Colorado

AL Diamond Backs – Arizona

 

East Coast division

AL Yankees – New York

NL Mets – New York

AL Red Sox – Boston

NL Phillies – Philosdelphia

AL Orioles – Baltimore

NL Nationals – DC

 

Pretty neat because it’s east coast baseball, and I am sure they would get full of themselves over there, but it would be fun. One prob is that there are six teams on the east coast, so there is a division here with four teams, which I think is worth it, because of the league record rule. It is certainly possible for all six teams in the east coast division to go to the playoffs if all their records are that good.

 

Radical, Radica, I know, tear it up, but I hope some of yall thought this was a fresh suggestion. It might make everything too wild, but it also might bring a new degree of cultural cohesion into play. It keeps the leagues but makes the moves the MLB wants to make otherwise. Rip it up, tell me what yall think.

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This FanPost does not express the views or opinions of Talking Chop.

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