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:
Red Sox, Blue Jays, Yankees, Bay Rays, Orioles
White Sox, Tigers, Royals, Indians, Twins
Angels, Rangers, A's, Mariners
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.