Wednesday, February 24, 2010

13 comments David Schoenfield Wants To Realign Major League Baseball

I feel a dark void in my soul today. It is because Gregg Easterbrook is not writing his TMQ anymore on Tuesday and I don't know what I am going to post on Wednesday. It's a dark void that only more bad sportswriting from ESPN.com will fix. Fortunately I have found some. David Schoenfield who have highlighted briefly in the past here when he gave the free agent signings of Scott Boras clients a rating using little Scott Boras heads. Ranking these signings, he proceeded to give Kevin Brown and Alex Rodriguez two "Scott Boras heads," which means he thinks both the Yankees and Dodgers got the same return on their investment when they signed A-Rod and Kevin Brown, respectively. I could not disagree more with this. So this is all I know of him before today's article.

Today, David Schoenfield wants to talk about realignment in baseball, which isn't in itself a bad idea. Unfortunately, he wants to realign just the American League, not a whole lot of the National League, and only certain teams in the American League.

Apparently he published this a few weeks ago and I just noticed it. Better late than never I guess. He calls it an "outside-the-box" recommendation to increase fairness and hope for more teams in baseball, even though I don't necessarily see it that way.

In this article, I explained why baseball's competitive balance is better than you realize, actually on par with the NFL's.

I am not an ESPN Insider because I am not going to pay to read online content from ESPN. If every sports site went to where you had to pay to read the online content, this blog would just be me talking about sports with no articles to link or anything. I will not pay for online content...at least not at this point.

The basic premise of the original article David Schoenfield had written (which I don't have access to) was that the Yankees, who play in the largest market in sports, won the World Series in 2009, while the Colts and Saints met in the Super Bowl and they both play in small markets. So naturally, David Schoenfield says everyone will assume there is no competitive balance in baseball compared to football. Then I am assuming he tries to disprove this theory in his column.
Based on the content of this article, I wonder if he was successful in proving both sports have good competitive balances?

Back to today's article...

This does not mean baseball is "fair" and it certainly seems most fans desire the sport to be more fair. And what makes baseball unfair, mostly, is the New York Yankees.

Well naturally. They dare to have their own network, an incredibly popular team, a ton of fans (bandwagon or otherwise) which buy their merchandise and then spend the money they make on baseball players. It's very unfair the Yankees have a deep revenue stream and then spend that money in an attempt to improve their team. Assholes.

As you probably know, the Yankees spend a lot of money and win a lot of games. They don't win it all every season, but they won it all last season, so now everybody is again hyper-concerned about fairness in baseball.

I actually agree with this comment. When the Marlins when the World Series again over the Anaheim Angels, everyone will be talking about how the competitive balance in baseball is great. The one time in the last decade the Yankees win the World Series, they have become evil again and are the reason baseball lacks competitive balance. As soon as they miss the playoffs again, the competitive balance will be restored in the eyes of many.

The lesson? It's fun to watch the Yankees spend money on Jaret Wright and suck, but when they start spending money intelligently on the best players available it's no fun anymore. I don't like it any more than the next person when the Yankees can spend money and go get the best free agents available. You think I like that Jason Heyward, Jair Jurrjens, and Tommy Hanson are probably all going to end up playing in New York? I do not like this, but it is the state of baseball today and I don't know how I feel about putting a cap on how much teams can spend on players.

Of course, leveling the playing field is a difficult task. How do you do it?

A salary cap.

Perhaps, allowing a team an exemption to where the team a player currently plays for can offer more money to him as a free agent than another team can. I have absolutely no idea how to do this though.

If you created a salary cap of $88 million -- the average MLB team payroll in 2009 -- several franchises would likely go bankrupt or possibly relocate.

I am not up-to-date on finances in MLB, and I don't want teams to have to go bankrupt, but if there are teams that are relying on revenue sharing and other streams of revenue for their team that would be affected by the salary cap, I honestly don't feel terrible for these teams. I am a jerk, but an organization has to put a team out on the field that is competitive and if that market can't support a team then perhaps the team should move elsewhere where they can make money. Maybe I am off point on this, but this isn't even really the issue here, but it is just how I feel.

the final eight playoff teams are not allowed to add any new players through free agency except to replace those they lose.

That's stupid. You are essentially penalizing a team for putting together a good team.

So, yes, it's a complicated situation without an easy (or realistic) solution. That's why I'm here. I have one.

Change the divisions. Each season.

Each season? I have to say this is a pretty dumb solution in my mind. There are certain advantages to having teams be in the same division year-after-year. Advantages like regional rivalries, rivalries that develop between teams in the same division every year, and it doesn't confuse everyone when a team changes divisions every year.

I hate this idea. Changing divisions may be a good idea, but not every year.

Why does baseball have to keep the same division format every year?

Because it make sense for the sake of continuity and developing rivalries among fans and perhaps even the players.

Why should Tampa Bay and Baltimore always have to beat out the Yankees and Red Sox while the AL Central teams duel each other to 87 wins?

I do agree it is not completely fair that the Orioles, Blue Jays, and Rays should have to try and beat out the Yankees and Red Sox every single year. But life is not fair and the Rays have proven the Yankees and Red Sox can be beaten for the division title and even in the playoffs. I don't think the situation is as dire as many want to believe it is.

As far as the AL Central teams dueling each other to 87 wins...that is exciting. I don't see how putting a team like the Rays in the AL Central will make baseball more exciting than the race to the end of the season, and even the one game playoff, the Tigers and Twins had last year. That was exciting. If you add the Rays to the AL Central, they are still the 3rd place team because they only won 84 games last year, so it's not like adding the Rays or any other team outside of Texas (they won 87 games) would have changed the result in the AL Central. Sure, hypothetically this would have changed if the divisions were realigned and every team played a different schedule, but no one can say for sure.

Realigning the divisions doesn't do a hell of a lot of good because whoever goes to the Red Sox or Yankees division will still be second fiddle and there is no guarantee the playoff races will be even more exciting than they currently are. This is assuming the Yankees and Red Sox will always be good of course, which is a fairly large assumption. It is also assuming the only rivalry in the American League that matters is the one between these two teams, which I naturally don't like.

Why should the Angels only have to beat out three teams instead of four in the AL West?

The record of the teams the Angels beat last year to win the AL West:

Texas: 87-75
Seattle: 85-77
Oakland: 75-87

Texas had the 5th best record in the American League last year and Seattle had the 6th best record in the American League last year. Though Anaheim "only" had to beat three other teams, they had to beat teams that were better top-to-bottom (in regard to record) than any other division in baseball.

So the plan is to realign the divisions after every season. For the American League, there would be three basic rules:

1. This premise is retarded.

2. Somehow make this premise more retarded.

3. In order to make the premise more retarded, propose the players dress like clowns when they are playing the field.

1. The Yankees and Red Sox always remain in the AL East. It makes sense and it's good for the game.

So the whole "it's not fair to have good teams being stuck behind the Red Sox and Yankees" thing just goes straight to hell when it comes down to it doesn't it? So rather than have the Orioles, Blue Jays, and Rays know they are in the same division as the Yankees and Red Sox and design their team to compete accordingly, let's just make random teams each season be stuck behind these two teams.

I agree the Red Sox and Yankees should be in the same division...with 2-3 other teams that don't change every year.

2. Tampa, Toronto, Baltimore, Detroit and Cleveland can play only in the AL East or AL Central. All five cities are in the Eastern time zone and having them play in the West creates logistical and television issues.

So the Orioles and Blue Jays will only have a 50/50 chance every year of being in the same division as the Yankees and Red Sox? What a brilliant idea that in the end really does nothing! There are 10 teams in the AL East and AL Central and 14 teams overall in the American League. David Schoenfield doesn't think 2 of the 14 teams should ever change division and 5 of these teams can only play in the AL East and AL Central. So basically this realignment would only serve the purpose of making sure Toronto, Baltimore and the Rays only get stuck in the same division as the Red Sox and Yankees every other year on average, rather than every year.

If anyone can explain exactly how, regardless of Eastern time zone restrictions or whatever he is talking about here, Cleveland and Detroit can't be in the AL West but the White Sox and Twins can be considered more AL West-type teams then I would love to hear it. I don't care about time zones, Chicago and Minnesota really aren't that much further West than Detroit and Minnesota. They all seem more "Central" to me.

3. The Angels, Seattle and Oakland always remain in the AL West. This makes sense for logistical reasons, as well.

Wow, so out of the 14 teams, 5 of these teams can NEVER change division. Also, the AL West will only change by 1-2 teams every year. So it is not really American League realignment, but more of a 65% American League realignment that pays attention to certain rivalries (Boston-New York) and ignores other rivalries that aren't as cool or popular (Minnesota-Chicago) or (Tampa Bay-Boston/New York Yankees).

Any type of American League realignment that changes every year is dumb in my mind.

Now, how do we disperse the remaining teams? Simple. MLB holds a big telecast two days after the World Series ends.

Which no one will watch. Or if they do, they will be pissed their favorite team is changing divisions again. I bet the Rays fans of the world can't wait to start their collection of "Division Winner" jerseys that have AL Central written on them for one year and AL East for another year...because that makes sense and all.

We put all the team names in a big ball like during the NBA lottery selection show. Teams send their general manager and a star player and Hall of Famers like George Brett and Reggie Jackson draw out the team names.

But will there be clowns? I fucking hate clowns, so that's the only way I could think of me having less interest in this idea..and that's if clowns are present. If this lottery happened once a decade...maybe I could go for it, but every year is a bit of overkill. Plus, have I mentioned I think it is stupid to have the teams change divisions every year? There is no way to keep divisional continuity and rivalries alive. It sounds so bizarre to me to have some teams change divisions every year.

You wouldn't watch this?

Who are you? Bill Simmons?

You wouldn't love to see Dave Dombrowski throw up in his mouth when the Tigers draw the AL East?

No. I would like to see the Tigers play in the AL Central every single year and not move divisions. I guess I am just an asshole traditionalist.

You wouldn't get excited to see Andrew Friedman high-fiving Evan Longoria when the Rays draw the AL Central?

The Rays would have been 3rd in the AL Central last year, just like the Rays were 3rd in the AL East last year. I realize they had to play the two evil teams in the AL East repeatedly, but there is nothing that says the Rays would do any better in the AL Central. They may not get a chance to play the Orioles or Blue Jays multiple times per year and could instead get stuck playing two other good teams.

Each division would rotate as the four-team division once every three years.

Which under David Schoenfield's "The Red Sox and Yankees are better than anyone else" theory is completely fair to whatever team ends up in the 4 team AL East division.

2010 ALIGNMENT
AL East Yankees Red Sox Indians Tigers
AL Central Blue Jays Rays Orioles Twins Royals
AL West Angels A's Mariners Rangers White Sox

This is David Schoenfield's 2010 alignment. Let's see how much more fair this would be if based on last year's standings:

AL East winner: Yankees
AL Central winner: Twins
AL West winner: Angels
Wild Card: Red Sox

Hey! That's exactly how the results were this past year. Sure, maybe other teams might move up from 4th to 3rd place, but if the entire purpose is to make MLB more competitively balanced it doesn't really matter if the playoff participants don't change does it?

2011 ALIGNMENT
AL East Yankees Red Sox Tigers Royals White Sox
AL Central Blue Jays Orioles Indians Rays
AL West Angels A's Mariners Rangers Twins

Let's see how the playoffs would look with this 2011 alignment, based on last year's standings:

AL East winner: Yankees
AL Central winner: Rays
AL West winner: Angels
AL Wild Card winner: Red Sox

So instead of a 87 game winner in the AL Central, which David Schoenfield found boring, we have an 84 game winner in the AL Central with the 3 other teams being under .500. We also would have an 86 game winner in 3rd place in the AL East, an 87 game winner tied for 2nd place in the AL West and an 85 game winner in 3rd place in the AL West. None of these teams would be division winners, but instead the 84 win Rays team will be a division winner.

Wow! David Schoenfield really fixed this competitive problem in baseball!

2012 ALIGNMENT
AL East Yankees Red Sox Indians Orioles Rays
AL Central White Sox Twins Blue Jays Rangers Tigers
AL West Angels A's Mariners Royals

Let's see the 2012 playoffs would shake out using last year's standings:

AL East winner: Yankees
AL Central winner: Rangers
AL West winner: Angels
Wild Card winner: Red Sox

Other than switching the 87 win Rangers for the 87 win Twins (they had 86 without the one game playoff), we have the same result as 2009 and 2010...except now the 86 win Detroit Tigers are 4th in their division while the Angels still only have to beat 3 other teams.

I would love to have the time to go back and figure out what each division race would look like if based on 2000-2008 standings as well, but I don't have the time to do that today. I may do that at another point if there is enough interest in seeing the results of this.

My point is the realignment won't really change that much and teams are still going to be screwed over by being in tough divisions or helped by being in easy divisions. It's just they are only in that situation for one year and then the divisions change again. So rather than knowing they are screwed and planning accordingly, they will have to rely on the luck-of-the-draw to know which division they are in. I think this is dumb.

Aren't things suddenly a lot more fair?

As I just showed, absolutely not.

Sure, the Yankees still have their big payroll advantage, but at least a team like the Orioles wouldn't be completely screwed by having to compete with New York every season.

It's just every other team that appears in the AL East would be screwed at that point. It's more like we are spreading the screwing around (insert Tiger Woods joke here) Major League Baseball, which apparently is more fair in the mind of David Schoenfield. This is of course assuming the Red Sox and Yankees will always be the best teams. This is a fairly large assumption.

This divisional realignment every year will also not allow other teams to develop rivalries with each other since they may not play each other every year. For example, the budding Tampa Bay/Boston rivalry (I feel like there is one) would be gone. I think this is a huge disadvantage in realigning AL teams every year.

Tampa Bay, with its plethora of young talent and low payroll, would suddenly be the favorite to win the AL Central in 2010 and 2011.

Yet statistically the only time Tampa Bay would have won the AL Central in their entire existence is 2008, which is the year they won the AL East from the "unbeatable" Red Sox and Yankees.

So regardless of the Rays future prospects, I don't think it makes sense to just automatically make them the favorites in the AL Central nor do I think it makes sense to move teams around so certain teams can thrive.

The AL West would have more competition with the White Sox or Twins joining the division.

Again, based on recent history, the Anaheim Angels would have won the division nearly every single year regardless of the infusion of competition with the Twins and White Sox joining the division.

The National League hasn't had the same disparity, primarily because the biggest spenders (the Mets, Cubs and Dodgers) haven't been as successful.

Let's ignore the fact the Phillies have made it to back-to-back World Series and they had the 5th highest payroll (higher than the Dodgers) in 2009. Let's also ignore the fact the 3 other highest payroll teams in the NL for 2009 have made the playoffs on a pretty consistent basis over the last couple of years. Out of the 12 slots available in the playoffs from 2007-2009, the Phillies, Mets, Cubs, and Dodgers have taken 7 of those slots. So more than half the time, the biggest spenders in the NL made the playoffs.

Obviously, this isn't as urgent of a problem as that in the American League in the mind of David Schoenfield...even though it may be. I feel like he just got lazy at the end of this article and just didn't feel like covering the National League, so he made an excuse for how realignment isn't a huge need in the National League.

But you could certainly do something similar; for example, the Cardinals move to the NL East for a season with the Marlins moving to the NL Central (where they become the favorite to win the division).

You could do this and it would be as idiotic as it being done in the American League.

No, this wouldn't solve all of baseball's problems. But it is a realistic solution to increasing fairness.

I don't think it is a realistic solution because it just replaces which teams are the ones that get "screwed over" from year-to-year by being in a tough division. This doesn't sound like a solution to me.

It provides more hope for more teams.

Actually, it doesn't really do this. It just jumbles the teams up from year-to-year and ensures there is no continuity within divisions, and divisional rivalries take a backseat to a sense of fairness that still won't exist.

Not to mention, I don't get why we would pay attention to why it is terrible for the Detroit Tigers to be in the AL West, but it is perfectly fine for the Rangers to be in the AL East or for the Orioles to be in the AL Central. It's a very disjointed idea in my opinion.

It's time for the sport to think outside the box.

I like how David Schoenfield wrote an entire article, that I can't read because you have to be an ESPN Insider, about how the competitive balance in MLB isn't a problem...then he writes an entire article about how to improve the competitive balance in baseball. So it's not a problem, except for when it is. I don't think changing the divisions in baseball every single year is the solution to the problem (?) of the competitive balance in baseball.

13 comments:

ivn said...

Well Cleveland is close to the Ohio/PA border and Detroit is on the eastern border of Michigan...so they're both at least 200 miles east of Chicago, which is in turn over 250 miles east of the Twin Cities. So technically CLE and DET are more "eastern". In fact I'm pretty sure the Tigers were in the AL East and moved to the Central to replace Milwaukee.

But still...what a terrible fucking idea Schoenfield has in this column. What's the use of a division title if that division doesn't even exist anymore?

If you're gonna change things, go back to the pre-WC "East" and "West" format and send the top four teams (2 division winners and 2 Wild Cards) in each league to the playoffs. Not a great idea but still better than Schoenfield's.

The Casey said...

Since when does geography have anything to do with baseball divisions? How many years were the Atlanta Braves in the NL West? Which still isn't as bad as the NFL, who used to have Alanta, New Orleans, St. Louis, and San Francisco as the NFC West.

Also, while we're throwing out stupid ideas, why not just spin the Yankees and Red Sox off into the AL ESPN division and just have them play each other every weekend. Then move a team from the AL Central to the AL East.

rich said...

If teams in baseball went bankrupt or had to relocate, would it really be a big deal? People have been talking about contraction now for years and this would be a great way to kind of force the issue.

Would it suck to see some teams go away? Absolutely, but I'm not a fan of any of those teams and so I don't care about them (channeling my inner Bill Simmons). What sucks more? A Yankees team that spends wisely and dominates baseball or not having the KC Royals anymore? I'd say the former is much worse.

We put all the team names in a big ball like during the NBA lottery selection show. Teams send their general manager and a star player and Hall of Famers like George Brett and Reggie Jackson draw out the team names.

Why exactly would anyone show up for this? You think a star player would give up valuable off-season time to watch a ping pong ball get drawn? What if a team that can move divisions wins the WS? You think any player from that team is going to give up their already short off-season for some publicity stunt?

Also, what happens if one of the teams that can't move starts to suck really bad? Then you've created a new "problem" that you need to fix, but you can't now that you've institute this half-assed idea.

My personal highlight is that NY and Boston make "sense" in the East; while LAA, Oak and Seattle make "sense" in the West (I agree they do... which is why they're already in those divisions), but then he puts Tampa Bay in the Central... Has this fucktard looked at a map? Yes Tampa is in the eastern time zone, but it's about as far south as you can possibly go and so having TB play divisional games against the likes of Chicago, Minnesota or Detroit would be a nightmare. So if any team makes "sense" in the East, it's Tampa Bay.

Bengoodfella said...

Ivn, I know those teams are more eastern but don't think it makes sense any more than Tampa Bay being moved to the Central. I see how I am technically wrong though.

This was a terrible idea. I couldn't let it go. I even did the research for what the division titles would look like from 2001-2009 and I will grace everyone with that tomorrow. I think it is an overall bad idea basically.

Anything is better than changing the teams around every year in the divisions...but only changing certain teams around.

Casey, geography really has nothing to do with it. I remember when the Braves were in the NL West forever. I am glad that was cleared up, as was the mere idea of the Atlanta Falcons being in the NFC West. Believe it or not the Panthers were in the NFC West at one point...which of course makes absolutely no sense.

That's a great idea and you really shouldn't tempt ESPN to not put forth the idea of the Sox and Yankees getting their own division.

It would suck to watch some of those teams go away, but my rudimentary knowledge of baseball finances tells me that many teams depend on the revenue sharing to keep their team alive, so if it weren't for the Yankees and other high spending teams they may not be able to turn a profit. I am not a fan of a team that would go away, so it is easy for me to not care. I don't want baseball to contract, but it is a business.

No one would show up to see ping-pong balls drawn to see which teams would be in which division. That's a great point. What if the Yankees start stinking and the Orioles get really good...or this could happen with any other team. Many things are cyclical in sports so I don't think a permanent move like this needs to be made.

It is amazing that he leaves some teams put but leaves open the possibility of the Rays and even the Orioles to play in the Central. I don't think it makes much sense.

Plus, tomorrow I will show it doesn't really change anything for the better anyway.

ivn said...

Casey: weren't the Braves in the West because they were in Milwaukee and no one changed it when they moved? Its like how in the NBA, OKC is in the Northwest Division.

The NFL was the worst in terms of that kind of thing...Tampa in the Central and Arizona in the East. Now they have the Colts in the South. Jacksonville, Houston, Nashville, Indianapolis. One of those things is not like the other.

ivn said...

I stand corrected. The Braves were in Atlanta when the division system was first set up and they were still put into the West.

Dylan Murphy said...

I think the only way to fix the disparity is just to add more playoff teams. For a 162 game season to come down to the difference of 1 or 2 games (sometimes) is ridiculous. Just expand it to 16 teams with 5 game series in the first round, and cut the regular season back to 154. Records would also be more legit with the same amount of games as when many were set.

Anonymous said...

Also, while we're throwing out stupid ideas, why not just spin the Yankees and Red Sox off into the AL ESPN division and just have them play each other every weekend.

Hah! (as a Yankee fan, though, my heart couldn't take that sh-t.)

But, yeah, the whole "Parity is great and awesome when the Rockies and Rays are getting to the WS, but when the Yankees are there, something is horribly wrong with the system" is very annoying.

And yeah. Some time in the future, both the Yankees and the Red Sox will probably go through a period of not being good at all. It's happened to both of them in the past, it'll happen again. Basing this dumb idea around the whole "Yankees and Red Sox are super special zomgz" only serves to piss off fans of other teams, and rightfully so.

And yeah, the Rays might not have done so well in the AL Central, aside from just looking at their raw record. Check their numbers in 2009 against AL Central teams, vs their numbers against AL East teams:
CHW 2-6
CLE 3-5
DET 2-5
KCR 9-1
MIN 3-3

BAL 10-8
BOS 9-9
NYY 7-11
TOR 14-4

Granted, it's a one-year SS, and I expect Tampa Bay, a decent team at worst, would have done better against awful Cleveland with a larger sample size, but hmmm.

Anonymous said...

For a 162 game season to come down to the difference of 1 or 2 games (sometimes) is ridiculous.

Disagree, this is what makes baseball awesome and exciting.

AJ said...

Wow I'm agreeing with at Yankee fan!!

It seems like he made this article because he thinks the Yankees and Red Sox should always be in the playoffs, and the rest of the teams don't matter. As anon said, there is going to be a time when the Yankees and Sox just arent good.

Isn't this the reason the wild card was created? To give a team that finished really good, yet still lost their division, a chance to play in the playoffs???

And to say its not fair to Balt and Toronto to have to compete with NY and Bos every year, I think TB proved that any team can be competitive against them...as long as they make SMART moves (which Balt and Tor do not).

Anyway, completely stupid idea. The divisions are fine just how they are, except that the AL West only has 4 teams, while the NL Cent has 6 (which makes no sense at all). What they need to do is move Houston to the AL West and that solves the problem. Of course this would never happen, but thats not the point.

Like Ben said, moving around teams every year would get rid of rivals, and why would that be a good thing? The AL Cent is full of them, the Sox and Tigers hate each other, the Twins and Tigers hate each other, the Twins and Sox hate each other, Cleve and Det always hate each other in every sport (i'm leaving off KC for obvious reasons).

Ugh what a stupid idea this is...I'll just assume this was a joke column by this guy, maybe an early april fools prank??

Bengoodfella said...

Ivn, the divisions haven't always made sense have they? I am not a huge stickler about that, but I do think they need to make some sense...like Atlanta in the West just doesn't make sense. TB in the AL Central doesn't really make sense to me either.

Dylan, I think the games could still come down to 1 or 2 games if the season went back to 154 games. The owners would never go for that because that would be lost revenue. I hate to say it, but the last think I want is more playoffs in baseball. I like that the playoffs are fairly short.

Anon, that's how it is. People complain about parity problems when big market teams win but ignore those problems completely when a smaller market team wins. We can't build an entire division around the Red Sox and Yankees, it just doesn't make sense.

AJ, I think this article was written b/c this guy wants the Red Sox and the Yankees to play each other all the time, but he wants other teams in the AL East to get a chance to make the playoffs. It is the exact reason the Wild Card was created.

It's not like the Red Sox and Yankees are invincible. TB won the division 2 years ago!

The West does need another team and the natural place to look would be the NL Central. Houston would be the natural choice since they are the furthest west (I think) in the NL Central and MLB would never move the Cardinals to the AL.

I don't want to get rid of the rivalries. I like hating the Marlins, Mets, Nationals, and Phillies. I don't want new rivals, those make sense to me. If the Braves had to play the Central teams more often, I just wouldn't find it as interesting b/c I like rivalries.

I wish this article was a joke.

Anonymous said...

AJ - We're not all bad, I promise ;)

I would argue that Baltimore has been making smarter moves lately. They have some nice prospects/young guys coming up. I don't know if they can go on a 2008-Rays-esque run in a few years, but they should be good. Or at least, better. (The 2008 Rays got very lucky, but hey, luck is a pretty big part of almost every WS-winning team.)

I think the Wild Card was created to make the playoff run more exciting.

I do think it's weird that the NL Central has like fifty teams (and yet, it's such a weak division) and the AL West, only four, but what can you do?

Anonymous said...

The way he wants it is too chaotic. I favor a realign but it is like this:

AL WEST:
Mariners
Rockies
Athletics
Angels

NL WEST:
Padres
Diamondbacks
Giants
Dodgers

AL CENTRAL:
Rangers
Twins
Royals
White Sox
Blue Jays

NL CENTRAL:
Astros
Brewers
Cardinals
Cubs
Tigers

AL EAST:
Yankees
Red Sox
Pirates
Indians
Orioles
Rays

NL EAST:
Mets
Braves
Phillies
Reds
Nationals
Marlins

This method pays heed to time zones and DOES NOT REVOLVE EACH YEAR.
The best way to challenge Yankee and Red Sox domination is to increase their competition.