The AL West Spice Trade Route

Sean DavisContributor IMarch 21, 2009

While the majority of my fellow hardball junkies are busy overdosing on the latest, most obscure stat that quantifies the number of sunflower seeds consumed by Ross Gload per at-bat (adjusting for park factors), I’m staring at a map. 


This may not come as a surprise to those aware of my terrible sense of direction, but I swear to you, I’m not lost in Tarrant County again. Rather, I’m trying to make heads and tails of the American League West division. Can anyone without flyer miles tell me what in the Rand McNally is going on here??


Anaheim.  Oakland.  Seattle.  ArlingtonBrilliant planning like this only comes around once every Cannonball Run movie.


The AL West as we know it today has retained its shape since the 1994 realignment that shipped the Chicago White Sox, Kansas City Royals, and Minnesota Twins over to the AL Central.  How Texas got left out of the deck during the reshuffle is beyond me, but someone needs to fire the dealer. 


As a result, Seattle and Texas continue be stuck in the same division, thus creating a total of six series a year between the two teams.  I’ll take “The Lewis & Clark Expedition” for $500, Alex.          


I know the solution isn’t as simple as placing the Texas Rangers in another division and calling it a day.  Fortunately or unfortunately, a few other teams would have to be re-slotted to other divisions in other to make this thing work. 


So let’s play Fantasy Commissioner and do a little geographical spring cleaning, shall we?  And before The Purists out there start taking swings at me with my talk of “realignment”, I have one thing to say to them – stop taking your gloves to games, you’re 45-years-old!


Some of you will call my “plan” idiotic, some may call it insane.  Hopefully others will see it as common sense.  But whatever you think of it, it’s nowhere near the lunacy kicked around by Bud Selig in the late 90’s.  My idea does not include eliminating the wild card, nor does it call for putting both New York teams in the same division. 


Cue the french horns.






AL WEST - L.A. Angels, Oakland, Texas, Arizona, Colorado


AL CENTRAL - Toronto, Chicago White Sox, Minnesota, Cleveland, Pittsburgh, Detroit


AL EAST - New York Yankees, Boston, Baltimore, Tampa Bay





NL WEST - San Francisco, L.A. Dodgers, San Diego, Seattle


NL CENTRAL - Chicago Cubs, St. Louis, Houston, Milwaukee, Kansas City


NL EAST - New York Mets, Florida, Atlanta, Phillies, Washington


Like my dentist told me when I woke up in the chair with a numb face and my pants around my ankles, “See, that wasn’t so bad!”  Yes, a small number of teams have jumped leagues, but do we care what Kansas City or Pittsburgh think?  And I didn’t even touch the NL East.  Yet it just looks so much more… cleaner…efficient…sensible.


And isn’t that what baseball is all about?