Blog Entry

MLB ponders realignment, moving NL team to AL

Posted on: June 11, 2011 3:18 pm
Edited on: June 11, 2011 4:14 pm
By Evan Brunell

As Major League Baseball continues to discuss possible realignment, one idea that has come up is going to a league with 15 teams per league, reports ESPN's Buster Olney.

Currently, the National League has 16 teams and the AL 14 for scheduling purposes. Should baseball go to two 15-team leagues, that would likely require interleague play every day of the season. Given baseball likes to treat interleague play as an event, that could dilute the appeal of interleague play to the point it would no longer be a moneymaker. However, there is still real resistance to the idea which has not been presented to owners yet, although the player's union is reportedly open to it.

"I'd still say the odds of it happening are less than 50-50," the source said.'s Danny Knobler says that players are open to it because they are not happy about AL West teams having a 25 percent chance of making the playoffs, the NL Central just 18 percent and the rest all at 20 percent.

To switch to a 15-team alignment, one team from the NL would have to move to the AL. According to Olney, two highly-ranked executives think the Astros could receive the call in order to tap into a rivalry with the Texas Rangers. Picking the Astros would also allow baseball to remove one team from the NL Central and slot Houston into the AL West, which would address the issue of playoff percentages.

The Astros, to no surprise, are not interested in switching divisions, a source close to new owner Jim Crane told CultureMap.

"Jim is a businessman first, but he's also a traditionalist in many ways," the source said. "He's a pitcher [in college] and he loves the National League game. He grew up in St. Louis. This is not something he's looking for. This group certainly didn't buy the team with the intention of it becoming an American League franchise."

Yeah, but Crane doesn't wield the power... Selig does. He hasn't been formally approved as new owner yet after purchasing the team from Drayton McLane, so Selig could make a move a condition of purchase. However, the source also countered that.

"You don't spend $680 million on something and have a third-party come in an dictate new terms after the agreement's been ironed out," the source added. "Even Major League Baseball. These are extremely complicated deals. A lot of work goes into them. They are not something you can just go in and change in that significant of a manner."

The only time a team has changed leagues is when Selig's own Brewers -- owned by the family at the time -- switched leagues from the AL to NL. Selig's main excuse was that Milwaukee was a "National League town" because of the Braves (who had previously played in Milwaukee). That's not the case in Houston.

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Category: MLB
Tags: Astros, MLB

Since: Oct 12, 2008
Posted on: June 12, 2011 1:47 pm

MLB ponders realignment, moving NL team to AL

make a lot <span style="color: #000000;">of good points but to take the bat out of the pitchers hands would drastically change the game. plus have you seen some of these pitchers hit look at big Z and any pitchers from the brew crew they can swing bats. i also like the DH rule but i think MLB should leave things alone you still have to win games no matter how many teams are in your division

Since: Oct 12, 2008
Posted on: June 12, 2011 1:40 pm

MLB ponders realignment, moving NL team to AL

bad for baseball but i understand the reasoning to even all the leagues but will it really make a difference between the 2 divisions no matter how many teams are in your division you still have to win games to make it to the playoffs. this move would be dumb.

Since: Jun 16, 2009
Posted on: June 12, 2011 1:33 pm

MLB ponders realignment, moving NL team to AL

Sorry, let me specify.   Jader, you are an idiot.

Since: Jun 16, 2009
Posted on: June 12, 2011 1:31 pm

MLB ponders realignment, moving NL team to AL

You are an idiot

Since: Feb 5, 2008
Posted on: June 12, 2011 1:24 pm

MLB ponders realignment, moving NL team to AL

This proposal is so obvious I can't believe it's taken this long to think of it. They could even make more TV money by selling the interleague games throughout the season as a tv package.
The rules are fine as they are. Some people like the NL and some like the AL. Why let one dictate to the other. However I'd like to stick up for the AL since it seems to get no love.
I think the game is better for having David Ortiz and Vlad Guerrero in it. I also prefer starting pitchers not to be withdrawn after 80 pitches just because it's their turn to bat. Let them pitch until they are done.
Do you wanna watch Josh Johnson bunt or David Ortiz swing the bat? I know my answer but, as I say, that's just my opinion and i think having both is a good thing.

Since: Oct 10, 2007
Posted on: June 12, 2011 1:11 pm

MLB ponders realignment, moving NL team to AL

Yea and why don't we let positional players pitch more that would be fun too. That way we can see if they can throw cruve balls and sliders and so on. Come on! The game has revolved over the decades. Pitchers are paid big bucks to pitch and try to defeat great hitters. The DH slot I agree will be for a player who's a little weak in the field but is usualy a very very good hitter. As we all know it's real tough to hit a baseball and more so in the Majors correct? If it wasn't than you's have more people who think they could do it. So I feel that the DH should be in both leagues not just one. From What I can see Better picthers are in the AL due to this. There stats are earned just a little better than NL pitchers. An AL Pitcher striking out over 200 batters a year is way more impressive than a NL pitcher doing it. Makes you wonder why AL pitchers going to the NL and in a lot of cases become a little better as they get older. Maybe weaker Compitition? Interleague in my opinion favors the NL Due to getting to put in a DH. Does not favor the AL taking it away.

Since: Jan 1, 2011
Posted on: June 12, 2011 12:58 pm

MLB ponders realignment, moving NL team to AL

I'd leave AL east, central and NL east alone, Seattle is the oddball here, its near nothing, no one wants to go there and they have NO natural rivals, Have them sell or relocate (San Antonio, Okla City, Salt Lake or whereever). Make a new AL west from Rangers, Astros, Rockies, Diamonbacks and relocated Mariners
NL west would be all California, by moving Angels and A's to that divison

Since: Jan 3, 2007
Posted on: June 12, 2011 12:54 pm

MLB ponders realignment, moving NL team to AL

I disagree, I dont wanna see pitchers bat. 99.9 percent of the time they are automatic outs and they just look horrible. I say use the DH for AL and NL and keep the pitchers pitching.
The DH is for simple minds. When a DH bats, its just another at bat, often by a one tool player who can't make it at a position, or is too old to be relevant as a real player anymore.

When a pitcher bats, its fun. Can he execute the bunt with someone on base? If he gets a hit, its a big deal, and even MORE fun. When a DH gets a hit, so what? If a pitcher walks or gets a home run ... WAY fun! The guy throwing to him always looks like he just ate his kid's dirty diapers. LOL When a DH walks or hits a HR ... so what?

Since: Apr 28, 2011
Posted on: June 12, 2011 12:52 pm

MLB ponders realignment, moving NL team to AL

MLB should move Houston to the AL West, they (Houston) have a rivalry with the Rangers, and all the divisions would have they same number of teams competing for a division title.

Since: Nov 4, 2007
Posted on: June 12, 2011 12:48 pm

MLB ponders realignment, moving NL team to AL

Interleague play increases home team attendance by 42 percent in Tampa and Miami.

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