Tampa Bay RaysDownload App

MLB: Realignment Among 5 Changes Bud Selig Needs to Make to the Game

Jamal WilburgCorrespondent IAugust 8, 2011

MLB: Realignment Among 5 Changes Bud Selig Needs to Make to the Game

1 of 6

    MILWAUKEE, WI - JUNE 22: Rickie Weeks #23 of the Milwaukee Brewers catches the baseball for an out at second base as David Price #14 of the Tampa Bay Rays slides at Miller Park on June 22, 2011 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. (Photo by Scott Boehm/Getty Images)
    Scott Boehm/Getty Images

    The New York Yankees, Boston Red Sox and Philadelphia Phillies alone are not enough to keep Major League Baseball viable into the future. The league has some very important and crucial changes that it needs to make in order to compete for the sports dollars fans are spending.

    Baseball is the only sport where both those inside and outside the game remain determined to hold on to tradition no matter how detrimental it is to its popularity and success.

    Here are changes that MLB can make to improve the game.

     

    Jamal Wilburg is a Featured Columnist for Bleacher Report.

    You can follow him on Twitter @JWilburg

More Color Uniform Matchups

2 of 6

    Baseball can be a very boring sport to watch on television. Part of the reason is because it is the least visually stimulating of any of the major sports.

    We live in a world of High-Definition television that produces very vivid colors on LCD screens, yet most baseball games still pair white uniforms against gray uniforms.

    There is no reason not to add more color on color matchups. Black and white televisions are a thing of the past and so should this tradition. Obviously New York Yankees pinstripes, Chicago Cubs pinstripes, and Dodgers white uniforms are too traditional to change. However, the Tampa Bay Rays light blue against the Oakland A's green seen above was a very nice uniform matchup to watch. The same scene in white and gray would not be as exciting.

    A lot of teams now have nice color uniforms and it would be nice to see them more often.

Realign Divisions

3 of 6

    ST. PETERSBURG, FL - JUNE 18:  First baseman Casey Kotchman #11 of the Tampa Bay Rays takes the throw at first to get Logan Morrison #20 of the Florida Marlins for an out during the game at Tropicana Field on June 18, 2011 in St. Petersburg, Florida.  (Ph
    J. Meric/Getty Images

    Some divisional realignment could also create some added excitement in baseball. The obvious need is to balance the number of teams in each league and division.

    With that in mind, I would move the Houston Astros from the NL Central to the AL West. This would not only balance every division to five teams but also create an in-state divisional rivalry between the Astros and Rangers.

    I would also swap the Tampa Bay Rays and the Washington Nationals among the AL East and NL East. This would create a regional trio of the Rays, Atlanta Braves and Florida Marlins. Also, it puts the Nationals in a potential local rivalry with the Baltimore Orioles. It keeps travel costs down by segmenting a majority of the northeast and southeast teams together.

Balanced Schedule

4 of 6

    ST. PETERSBURG, FL - JULY 18:  Infielder Casey Kotchman #11 of the Tampa Bay Rays takes the throw at first as Curtis Granderson #14 of the New York Yankees gets back safely during the game at Tropicana Field on July 18, 2011 in St. Petersburg, Florida.  (
    J. Meric/Getty Images

    The New York Yankees, Boston Red Sox and Toronto Blue Jays make up a third of the Tampa Bay Rays regular season schedule. This is significant because all three teams are above .500 this season. In contrast, the Detroit Tigers have the luxury of playing a third of its games against teams that are currently below .500 this season.

    The way the postseason is setup in baseball, with the three division winners and one wild card from each league qualifying, makes the scheduling disparity a serious issue. How can teams be expected to compete for the same singular wild card spot while playing schedules with varying degrees of difficulty.

    Whether the solution is shorter schedules or fewer divisional games the schedule is definitely in need of balance.

Expanded Instant Replay

5 of 6

    There is a pink elephant with large glasses and polka dots in the middle of Bud Selig's office. That elephant is expanded instant replay.

    The technology already exists and just needs to be implemented. What is the point of having players and fans endure over six hours of baseball for the ending to be so amateur? The "human element" argument has been proven inadequate.

    In the social media and Internet world that we live in, whether or not the league institutes replay the officials will continue to suffer ridicule from fans, managers and players for human errors that could have been corrected.

    It is time Selig provides his officials with the tools necessary to do their jobs correctly, efficiently and remove the unnecessary scrutiny from their jobs.

    Selig argues that expanded replay would affect the pace of the game. I am sure that replay would take up less time than the manager arguments when calls are made. You also can't talk about the pace of a game in which there is no clock.

    Let's attempt to get the calls right.

Expanded Playoffs

6 of 6

    ST. PETERSBURG, FL - APRIL 01:  The Tampa Bay Rays raise their 2010 American League East championship banner just before the start of the Opening Day game against the Baltimore Orioles at Tropicana Field on April 1, 2011 in St. Petersburg, Florida.  (Phot
    J. Meric/Getty Images

    Along with the balanced schedule, the postseason is in need of expansion. It's not healthy for the sport when the American League wild card race is virtually locked in with two months remaining on the schedule.

    Adding an additional wild card to the postseason will keep more excitement through August and September each season. The Tampa Bay Rays were expected to be sellers at the trade deadline since they were presumed to be out of the playoff race, although they were second in the wild card race at the time.

Where can I comment?

Stay on your game

Latest news, insights, and forecasts on your teams across leagues.

Choose Teams
Get it on the App StoreGet it on Google Play

Real-time news for your teams right on your mobile device.

Download
Copyright © 2017 Bleacher Report, Inc. Turner Broadcasting System, Inc. All Rights Reserved. BleacherReport.com is part of Bleacher Report – Turner Sports Network, part of the Turner Sports and Entertainment Network. Certain photos copyright © 2017 Getty Images. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of Getty Images is strictly prohibited. AdChoices