Blog Entry

The people love realignment (talk)

Posted on: June 22, 2011 3:09 pm
Edited on: June 22, 2011 4:04 pm
Years ago, when an otherwise-empty stadium would fill up on a fireworks night, a friend of mine would invariably say, "Give the people what they want."

And the readers have spoken.

Check out the two most popular columns on our entire site (all sports). They both deal with realignment.

Give the people what they want. So here it is, more realignment talk, courtesy of the kind people who took the time to email me with their thoughts on my proposed plan, and with ideas of their own.

A few of the ideas:

From Noah: "Why is it easier to move Houston? There is no logic in the rationale of which team. Why isn't it easy to move Milwaukee, or the Cubs?"

From Corrie: "Why not Colorado?"

Heard from a few (I'm guessing) Astros fans. Here's the reason I chose them (and why baseball would likely prefer moving them): The current imbalance is six teams in the NL Central, four teams in the AL West. Only one team can move directly from the NL Central to the AL West, and that's the Astros. If any other team switches leagues, you need to move other teams from one division to another to make it work. Not impossible, just more complicated. It is easiest to move Houston.

From David: "There is one problem with your plan -- the interleague rivalry series. No home-and-home series."

From Phil: "First of all, the DH is not the best thing since sliced bread. Ditch the DH, in college as well. I propose the following: six games against each team in one division of the opposite league. Rotate the divisions every year. The rivalry games would be played every three years. Absence makes the heart grow fonder . . . like the Ryder Cup."

One guy wants more rivalry series, one guy doesn't care at all about preserving the rivalry (Yankees-Mets, White Sox-Cubs, etc.) series every year.

From Paresh: "Two leagues, two divisions per league, 2 wild cards per division -- the solution to MLB realignment! Eliminate automatic rivalry games."

And put Paresh on Phil's side.

From Jim: "I sent a letter to commish years ago -- two 15-team leagues, interleague series only against corresponding division in the other league."

That works, but it doesn't (over several years) send every team to every park, which I always thought was one of the goals of interleague play.

From Tim: "Love the idea, and hopefully they'll ditch the DH."

From Robbie: "Your realignment idea is very good, except for one thing. The DH has to be expanded to both leagues."

From Jack: "Selig needs to mandate that the DH be used in all interleague games."

From Don: "How about a combination of the DH and the pitcher hits? It would mean 10 players bat, allow the DH, and keep the strategy for double switches."

From Wayne: "Great solution. A minor solution to the DH dilemma: On the second day of each three-game series, use the visitor's rules."

So the people want the DH . . . or they don't . . . or they want it some of the time. It's the same problem when baseball people get together, which is exactly why we have one league with and one league without . . . and probably will, for quite a few more years. I love Wayne's idea, but also like the old idea of using NL rules in AL parks, and vice versa.

From Jeff: "Hey, that's my realignment plan, except I prefer a three-game play-in"

From John: "So Danny, did you get the idea from me?"

John's plan was similar to mine, except that he has 66 games vs. each division opponent (I had 72), and he had even more interleague games than I did (36, while I had 30). I still like my plan better, but I like both our plans better than the present set-up.

From Joe: "Your plan makes me ill. National League and American League teams should only play in the World Series."

From Andrew: "This is brilliant . . . which is why it will probably never happen. You must go forth and urge whoever needs urging."

From Ron: "Interesting article, but while we're at it, can't we go all the way and model this after European soccer? Do away with all leagues and divisions."

I love European soccer. I hate the idea for MLB. Division titles are important. But maybe we could talk about a relegation system?

From Robert: "Let's have four leagues: Eastern, Western, Northern, Southern."

From Bruce: "Let's look at five six-team divisions."

Let's not. That means eliminating the leagues, and while the leagues don't mean what they once did, they still mean something.

Category: MLB

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