My Thoughts on MLB Realignment
Posted by Rich Stowe on June 13, 2011
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With the recent revelation that division realignment has been talked about in labor meetings, I began to wonder just how I felt about that, how it could be done and what else could be changed at the same time.
When it comes to making drastic changes to baseball, I’m never sure how I feel about them initially. Part of the "baseball traditionalist" in me doesn’t like change. However, the baseball fan in me realizes that sometimes change is good and sometimes desperately needed.
My Bleacher Report colleague Matt Strobl discussed some of his thoughts regarding topics such as the salary cap along with realignment, so I’ll leave it up to him to discuss those.
The first thing that needs to be addressed would be what team would move from the National League to the American League? Would the Milwaukee Brewers simply move back to the American League? This would make the most sense. After all, the National League Central does have the extra team in the National League and the Brewers were in the American League initially and they were the team that moved during the last realignment.
I believe if you’re going to realign the divisions and leagues, why not do it better than just simply moving a team? I do like how the NBA divides their divisions geographically and think this would benefit baseball the most.
Jim Bowden, the former General Manager for the Cincinnati Reds and Washington Nationals and current analyst for ESPN, has an idea for geographic realignment among other ideas. I would tweak his idea slightly by swapping his Southeast Division and Midwest Division. This would keep most of the American Conference east of the Mississippi River and the National Conference would be west of it.
Rob Neyer of SBNation also discusses having two 15-team leagues, with no divisions. I’m not a fan of this at all. I believe it would hurt many teams and their fan bases because many teams’ only shot at the playoffs comes because they can win their division.