What Major League Baseball Should Do

Joel KochSenior Analyst IMay 27, 2009

PHILADELPHIA - OCTOBER 27:  Major League Baseball commissioner Bud Selig explains the rules involved with suspending game five of the 2008 MLB World Series between the Philadelphia Phillies and the Tampa Bay Rays till 8:00 pm (EST) on October 28 at the earliest of the Philadelphia Phillies at a press conference on October 27, 2008 at Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

Interleague Play use to be a marvel to be seen. Now it is stale and old. No one wants to see that anymore, and Major League baseball needs to fix it.

How? Well, it is a complicated matter.

First, each team should play their natural rivals (e.g. St. Louis Cardinals and Kansas City Royals, or Chicago Cubs and Chicago White Sox) once a season, but rotate home field between the two teams each season. Then, throw in a second series against a team from the other league that is not the natural rival.

That is two series, one the same and the other different. That will keep Interleague Play from getting stale and playing the same teams over and over (like the Cardinals and the Detroit Tigers).

Have you noticed the problem this creates?

There are 16 teams in the National League, and only 14 in the American League. With my proposition, this would still make two NL teams play against each other while Interleague Play is happening.

Solution: Add two Major League teams to the AL.

Problem solved.

Many fans have clamored for Las Vegas to have a Major League Baseball team, and Oklahoma City has started to pop up on the scene with the addition of the Oklahoma City Thunder (National Basketball Association). Place two new teams in these two cities, and the problem is solved.

The Vegas team, which we shall call the Bidders, would be placed in the AL West. The Bidders would give the AL West five teams, the same as the NL West. Remember that the NL and AL East each have five teams, the only division with an equal amount.

The Oklahoma City team, hereby named the Dustbowls, would be placed in the AL Central, which would be that division's sixth team (even with the NL Central).

Adding these two teams would give each league 16 teams.

Now for the scheduling of the leagues.

With only two Interleague series (both would be three game sets), each team is given 12 more games to play against their own league.

The new scheduling would mean that the Central Division teams would play 18 games apiece against their division rivals (90 games), seven games apiece against six teams from the other two divisions (42 games), six games against the remaining four teams (24 games), and six games against two teams from the other league (six games).

For the teams in the five team divisions, they would play 20 games apiece against their division opponents (80 games), seven games apiece against 10 teams from the other two divisions (70 games), six games against the remaining team (six games), and six games against two teams from the other league (six games).

With the additional teams, the AL can play the exact same schedule as the NL and give each league a balanced look at their league. Sure, the Central Division teams would face their division more than the other divisions, but that is the price you pay to have one more team in your division.

The Bidders and Dustbowls, two new teams to Major League Baseball. These two teams balance Interleague Play and the actual 162-game schedule. Who would have thought that adding two new teams to the league would actually make life easier?

What do you think about adding two more teams?

Oh, in case you were wondering, the natural rival list would look like this:

Atlanta Braves vs. Boston Red Sox
New York Mets vs. New York Mets
Washington Nationals vs. Baltimore Orioles
Florida Marlins vs. Tampa Bay Rays
Philadelphia Phillies vs. Toronto Blue Jays

St. Louis Cardinals vs. Kansas City Royals
Chicago Cubs vs. Chicago White Sox
Houston Astros vs. Texas Rangers
Pittsburgh Pirates vs. Oklahoma City Dustbowls (unnatural rivalry)
Cincinnati Reds vs. Cleveland Indians
Milwaukee Brewers vs. Minnesota Twins

Los Angeles Dodgers vs. Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim
San Francisco Giants vs. Oakland Athletics
San Diego Padres vs. Detroit Tigers (unnatural rivalry)
Arizona Diamondbacks vs. Seattle Mariners (unnatural rivalry)
Colorado Rockies vs. Las Vegas Bidders


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