A topic that was brought to light recently was that of realignment within baseball. I find it easy to believe that opinions on this are varied. I also find it easy to believe that suggestions on how to do the supposed realignment are just as varied. Here’s a few takes from other Reds blogs on this…
Tom Groeschen was able to get Reds skipper Dusty Baker and how he would feel about it.
"“I like the realignment part, to try to even the divisions,” Baker said. “Some divisions have six (teams) like us, and other teams have four. Your chance of winning the division playing four is probably better than playing six.”"
Beating up on five teams, as the Reds are currently faced with, is more difficult than beating up on three such as the case for teams in the AL West.
I never liked the way it all shook out. I had no issue with three divisions and a wild card. Just saw the obvious imbalance once Milwaukee moved to the NL. It not only provided for a possibly tougher task in the NL Central as far as winning the division, you also had to be in competition with more teams for the wild card as well.
Paul Daugherty has an approach in which he admits, one part won’t be all that popular.
"1. The DH in both leagues. Very unpopular, I know. I’d always rather watch a hitter hit than a manager think.2. 154 games.3. Day World Series games.4. Doubleheaders.5. MLB become as savvy in marketing as NFL, NBA. Somehow."
I love 2,3 and 4. The combination of 2 and 4 would provide for the season after the WS to not end in November…ever! And I do miss WS day games. There’s just a special feeling about them. That goes for any day game for me.
Not 100% sold on Doc’s first point, but I completely understand it. More offense could mean more viewers and higher attendance as well. It’s not a bad thing to suggest, but I know staunch NL people will despise the idea and, therefore, trash it.
The last one…good luck. That leads to my next excerpt by Chad Dotson on Redleg Nation.
Chad adds his two cents, but it’s worth far more than that…
"The Astros and Marlins are reported to be the leading candidates to switch to the other league. There are positives and negatives to the rumored plan, but one thing is sure: MLB will screw it up.Certainly, trying to even up the divisions is a good idea. It’s not fair for some teams to face a six-team division, while there are only four teams in other divisions. As for adding a playoff team, I wouldn’t mind it if that extra spot were limited to a second wild-card team, with the two wild-card teams playing a one-game playoff for the right to face the team with the league’s best record in a division series. Of course, I’m sure — again — that MLB will screw that up somehow."
I could not agree any more with Chad here…MLB will seemingly find a method which makes no sense. Well, maybe the wallets. For Doc wishing that MLB would get a little more savvy in the business sense, you have to have those in the right position that have current business sense. Some business methods that worked 30 years ago do not work these days.
Chad also calls for interleague play to been axed as well.
Which leads me to Red Reporter and ken. He has what the rumored changes could mean for the season as a whole.
"Structural changes to the game will be increasingly thrown around as the year-end expiration of the current Collective Bargaining Agreement approaches. Buster Olney reported online and in last night’s broadcast that MLB and the Union are seriously considering switching one NL team to the inferior league to create an even 15-15 split. This would mean that either one team is off every day or that there’s an interleague contest every day. Neither of those is desireable, IMO."
To avoid a team off every day is a reason we have imbalanced leagues (16 in the NL and 14 in the AL) at the moment, but as I already stated, I still never completely agreed with it. I do see the logic. I personally have never had an issue in regards to interleague play as a whole or with an interleague game being played on the last day of the season. Wins are wins and losses are losses regardless of who you play. They all count in the standings.
I have no one way in which to “cure” what may actually be “incurable”. I do think this is an issue that does require a lot of thought and no knee-jerk reactions. I do have a couple of things though. Here’s the current alignment just so we have an easy reference point.
If you’re keeping the current three divisions, the most logical to move to the AL is Houston. The Astros are in the one six-team division. You could also place them in the AL West to setup that rivalry with the Rangers. You have no other shuffling to do as far as the divisions are concerned. It’s almost too simple.
Or is it?
You could move the Marlins to the AL. This could be a sound move as well. Not only do you setup another in-state rival in the Tampa Bay Rays, you also have a number of those in Florida that grew up being fans of the AL East (New York, Boston and maybe even Baltimore). Now, there would need to be more tweaking to the divisions…if you keep the three divisions. If you simply meld all the teams into one lump and play for the four (or possibly five) playoff spots within each league, it really doesn’t matter which team moves to the other league.
It will all depend on if divisions stay or go.
And I like divisions.