Wednesday, April 13, 2011

MLB Divisional Realignment - A Possible What If? Moment

Bud Selig has been quoted as saying that he is tinkering with the idea of divisional realignment. Sometimes, talk is talk. Most of us are proactive people. I believe someone already provided a link to a possible realignment on the basis of 2 teams getting contracted, which I doubt will happen.

The more probable solution would to add 2 more teams, and then create a fourth division. The wildcard will have to go unless you expand the playoffs, which might be too taxing for their own ends. So, only the division winners get playoff aspirations. To make the divisions geographically sound and snippy, I made it predetermined to select the appropriate places for expansion.

The American League

AL North: Chicago, Cleveland, Detroit, Toronto. Toronto is the lucky team that gets to escape the shadow of the Yankees and Red Sox. For the White Sox and Tigers, there is no way they ought to be screwing things up with the plucky Twins no longer being the default choice of many to win the division.

AL Pacific: Los Angeles, Oakland, Seattle, AL Expansion Team (Vancouver / Portland): The teams with a coastline will get an expansion team in the Pacific Northwest, where a rivalry with the Mariners would stoke the region.

AL East: Baltimore, Boston, New York, AL Expansion Team (Tennessee / Carolina). Looks like Baltimore will the unlucky team that still has to be stuck with the Yankees and the Red Sox. And the expansion team will be the one being fed to the lions.

AL MidWest: Colorado, Kansas City, Minnesota, Texas. In order to acquire the Rockies, we had to trade away the Rays, because they are the geographic misfit of the American League. The Royals and the Twins from the old AL Central and the Rangers from the old AL West join them in what looks to be one long ball of a division.

The National League

NL West: Arizona, Los Angeles, San Francisco, San Diego. Probably the easiest division to form, with all being clumped together in the southwest corner. Also preserves the Dodgers-Giants rivalry.

NL East: Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, New York, Washington. The Pirates get ported from the old Central to the East. There is some major level of losing, with the current state of the Pirates and Nationals, to the traditionally mediocre Mets, and the Phillies being the team with the most number of losses amongst all the MLB teams.

NL North: Chicago, Cincinnati, Milwaukee, St. Louis. The old rivalries between the Cardinals and Cubs as well as the dynamics of the Reds and the Brewers make this formerly known as the NL Central intriguing.

NL South: Atlanta, Florida, Houston, Tampa Bay. This new division takes Houston from the old NL Central and the Marlins and the Braves of the NL East. They also acquire the Rays, which makes geographic sense and does not necessarily have the traditional pedigree.

Permanent Interleague Rival Designates:

NYY vs NYM, KC vs STL, LAA vs LAD, BAL vs WSH, CLE vs CIN, CHW vs CHC, TEX vs HOU, OAK vs SF

The other 8 match-ups will be on a rotation, along with the interleague inter division match-up.

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