I got a text message on Saturday telling me to turn on Baseball Tonight because Buck Showalter had an idea for realigning Major League Baseball.
Realignment—and negotiations in general—have to be executed where everyone feels they are winning in the deal, or it's not going to happen.
The four parties involved for MLB realignment are the owners, players' union, MLB officials, and of course the fans (or as some businesses call them, the customers).
Take away the American League and National League.
Contract two teams so we would be down to 28. Then, every team would play every other team three times at home and three times away.
This would mean the Yankees would play the Red Sox six times a year instead of the current 18. I am sure who ever runs Sunday Night Baseball wanted to talk to him about that idea.
Get rid of the Marlins and the Rays.
Make it DH or no DH across the board.
Divisions are the following, according to Buck:
* I am not sure if he would have 2 division winners per division or 1 division winner per division and 2 league wild cards.
Problems with the plan
Contraction: I don’t think contracting Florida or Tampa is a good idea. From a baseball point of view, the Marlins have won two World Series since 1997. The owner chooses to go with younger players and spend less on payroll.
That is a business decision, not because Miami is a small market. I think baseball needs to expand into other markets and bring the excitement of live Major League Baseball to different cities, not take it away.
Limiting Divisional games: Currently, divisional rivals play each other 15 to 19 times depending on league and division. He would propose only playing each other six times.
Divisional Setup: Some of the teams who don’t win now would go out of the frying pan and into the fire. The Nationals would not only still have to compete with the Mets and Phils, but they would pick up the Yanks and Red Sox as division rivals. No Cubs vs. Cards at all would not be a good idea at all.
I have my own plan for realignment that I feel benefits all four groups.
My plan can be viewed here.
©2009 The Fair Ball. All Rights Reserved.
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