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: May 6, 2010
Posted on: June 13, 2011 2:26 am

MLB ponders realignment, moving NL team to AL

I too don't get the whole forcing-pitchers-to-bat thing.  It'd be like the NFL forcing QB's to play defense and try and tackle. 

Since: Mar 26, 2011
Posted on: June 13, 2011 2:11 am

MLB ponders realignment, moving NL team to AL

Boot the Brewers back into the AL and put KC in the West just like the NFL, and like they were in the 4 x 6 days.

Since: Jul 14, 2007
Posted on: June 13, 2011 1:07 am

MLB ponders realignment, moving NL team to AL

Then the NL fans will see how much more potential their team has with a DH and will quit whining about percieved "strategy" and tradition.

Since: Jul 14, 2007
Posted on: June 13, 2011 1:04 am

MLB ponders realignment, moving NL team to AL

Hey all you NL clowns dissing the DH, Situational Relief Pitchers and Closers are no less important and likewise - SPECIALISTS.  

Good grief, ok lets go back to the stone-ages, wipe out all stats on a pitcher who sits on his butt for days at a time, then only comes in when the team is ahead.
There is a relief pitcher/closer in the HOF - Edgar Martinez will be the first DH.  Check his hitting stats and tell me because of bad knees he should have been out of the league 5 or 7 years earlier.  A Quality Hitter, A Professional Hitter, as a DH, is as important as a Closer or "Ace Reliver", and no less a side-effect player.

And to your "strategy" arguement - The DH gives the Manager More flexibility and potential anytime in the game, NOT just the oooh-so-exciting, super strategic "double-switch move" later in the game.   A DH who can platoon multiple positions blows away the "pull the pitcher at at strategic time" move.
oooh, again sooo riveting when that happens...

And I Love to see those NL Pitchers go up there and wave at few pitches and go sit down... yes Wasted at-bats are so strategic.. ooooh,  
(I grant that statement is as refutable as the comment the DH is "just a fat guy who gets to hit, "some" Pitchers can almost hit for real and try)  

Since: Oct 26, 2007
Posted on: June 13, 2011 1:02 am

MLB ponders realignment, moving NL team to AL

Colorado is happy right where it is in the traditional NL. Whoever just said that they would rather see Big Papi hit rather than Carlos Zambrano is the prototypical AL devotee. I can't stand to watch Big Papi lumber up to the plate. He is the one I have been using as my example without mentioning names in prior posts when referring to AL clubs having a spot for old, fat, out of shape guys who can no longer field the ball but make outrageous sums of money.

I obviously hate the DH. I like the strategy of the double switch and the occasional bunt or when a surprise hit comes off the bat of the pitcher but more importantly baseball is a two way game. The AL doesn't seem to recognize that any more. In any baseball rule book it says players field their position and hit the pitched ball. Very simple. It is an abomination as is interleague play.

Interleague play is not interesting to anyone who doesn't live in a city with 2 teams and maybe there are a couple of other rivalries. The rest of us get stuck playing teams who hold no interest for us and the stadium is half full when we could be seeing a National League club that otherwise only comes in once per year. To have 15 teams in each league means an interleague game every day. Yuck!

Everyone please stop trying to put Colorado in the AL. We don't want to go where we don't belong.

Since: Jun 9, 2009
Posted on: June 12, 2011 11:31 pm

MLB ponders realignment, moving NL team to AL

The reason they are not evenly divided is stated in the article.  15 teams in the AL and NL would mean that you could not match up AL vs. AL and NL vs. NL on a daily basis.  

Since: Jun 12, 2011
Posted on: June 12, 2011 11:30 pm

MLB ponders realignment, moving NL team to AL

Move the Marlins to the AL East (SoFla was always an AL area: remember, Yankees used to train in Ft. Lauderdale and Orioles in Miami plus helps establish a Florida rivalry both teams need. Move Pittsburgh to NL East. Move Toronto to AL Central (with Detroit and Cleveland), move KC to AL West (although they are a Central time zone team, so is Texas).

This gives you a Florida-TB rivalry, a Philly-Pitt rivalry, Yankees and Orioles in Miami where they used to train, and give Blue Jays better rivalries with Detroit and Cleveland. The only one who suffers a little is KC, having to make west coast trip, but it should help Texas.

Since: Aug 30, 2006
Posted on: June 12, 2011 11:18 pm

MLB ponders realignment, moving NL team to AL

Also, in my opinion, the NL has the superior system. Sure, there are plenty of boneheads who just want offense, offense, offense, but that's not what baseball is about. The NL requires more strategy. Do AL fans even know what a double-switch is?

Since: Aug 30, 2006
Posted on: June 12, 2011 11:15 pm

MLB ponders realignment, moving NL team to AL

This needs to happen. It's stupid that they have an even number of teams, but they're not evenly divided. As for interleague play, just get rid of it. Everyone complains about the season being too long anyways, and the point of the World Series is that it's supposed to be two teams who haven't played each other.

Since: Feb 16, 2009
Posted on: June 12, 2011 10:23 pm

MLB ponders realignment, moving NL team to AL

because the game is about all players playing all positions.  That's what makes it great.  That's what makes it difficult.  the DH is just for bone head fans to get a hard on.  Baseball is about playing defense and offense.  And are two completely different ways of playing, unlike football, hockey, soccer, basketball, etc...  You have to catch and throw, then hit and run.  What a great game.  The DH is dumb.

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