Thursday, May 21, 2009

Realignment Proposal

It's been a while since the major leagues realigned the divisions. How many of you remember the Milwaukee Brewers as an American League team? The problem with many realignment proposals are that usually, too many teams have to jump leagues. This linked blog post from a very good blog suggests something really radical. So radical that the heart stops just thinking about it. All those teams jumping leagues is just too stomach churning to consider. After all, the Yankees playing in the National League. Say what!? But there are options and obviously, when the Toronto Blue Jays are in an eastern division, something is goofy. Here's a plan:

Here are the current configurations:

American League


Red Sox, Blue Jays, Yankees, Bay Rays, Orioles


White Sox, Tigers, Royals, Indians, Twins


Angels, Rangers, A's, Mariners

National League


Mets, Phillies, Marlins, Braves, Nationals


Reds, Cardinals, Pirates, Cubs, Astros, Brewers


Dodgers, Giants, Rockies, Diamondbacks, Padres

When looking at it as a whole, it's really not that bad. But there are a couple of teams that don't fit. The already mentioned Blue Jays are not close to the rest of the east teams. The Indians are more east than central and the Rangers aren't far enough West.

There are problems. First, there aren't enough AL West teams. With only four, there aren't enough teams left if you take the Rangers out of there. Somebody is going to have to jump leagues because no other American League team is located close to the west coast.

When asking a team to jump leagues, the first thing to consider is tradition. You can't move a team like the Dodgers, Giants, Yankees, Red Sox, Cubs and other iconic teams to a new league. The better route is to take a team that is fairly new and doesn't have the weight of history against it. The Brewers were such a team during the last realignment.

Weighing all the factors and the geography, here is a new proposal for the divisions. The green teams are teams that change divisions. The red teams change leagues.

New American League


Red Sox, Yankees, Orioles, Bay Rays, Indians


Rangers, Blue Jays, White Sox, Twins, Tigers, Royals


A's, Angels, Mariners, Diamondbacks

New National League


Mets, Braves, Nationals, Marlins, Phillies, Pirates


Cubs, Cardinals, Reds, Astros, Brewers


Dodgers, Padres, Rockies, Giants

Under this plan, only five teams jump divisions and only one team jumps leagues. The Pirates would have a great rivalry with the Phillies. The west divisions each have four teams and Toronto and the Rangers are more in line with where they are geographically. The Diamondbacks are fairly new, have had some success in the past and could adapt easily.

Makes sense to this Fan.


Josh Borenstein said...

That would be an interesting shake up.

bill said...

I think you need to add a 2 teams to make it 32 teams. Add 2 playoff spots so there is 12 of 32 who can make the playoffs and instead of restrict a players earnings realign teams based on payroll spent. example:

Yanks, Red Soxs, Mets, Phils in one division and Teams like the Pirates, Nationals, Indians, Reds in another. This would ensure teams with lower payrolls can be represented in the playoffs. As you spend more you change divisions. This would keep the schedule fresh and teams like the Pirates and Royals would have a chance to play in October.

check out the plan at: