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: Apr 16, 2010
Posted on: June 12, 2011 10:19 pm

MLB ponders realignment, moving NL team to AL

I'm an American league fan ....because of the DH ....can any NL fan explain to me why they root for a team that let's a weaker hitter in the line up , the pitcher , hit .... It makes no sense to me .. I would rather watch big papi at bat during a game than zambrano(who is a great hitting pitcher) ...I kinda don't mind the realignment either ...

Since: Sep 6, 2006
Posted on: June 12, 2011 10:00 pm

MLB ponders realignment, moving NL team to AL

Im no geography whiz but the Brewers are not even West of the Mississippi, they make no sense in moving to the AL West.
Colorado, San Diego, Minnesota and the Astros make more sense to me.   Colorado to the AL West and Houston to the NL West seems the most geographically logical.

Since: Jun 20, 2009
Posted on: June 12, 2011 9:40 pm

MLB ponders realignment, moving NL team to AL

Brewers were an AL team forever, they need to GTFO instead of the Stros

I'd agree.  Milwaukee seems like the most logical choice to me too.

Since: Sep 5, 2006
Posted on: June 12, 2011 9:37 pm

MLB ponders realignment, moving NL team to AL

Why do so many people think houston needs to be the team that moves???
Brewers were an AL team forever, they need to GTFO instead of the Stros

Since: Jan 28, 2007
Posted on: June 12, 2011 9:30 pm

contract the Cubs...

they suck, and the fans suck...


Since: Dec 3, 2006
Posted on: June 12, 2011 9:25 pm

MLB ponders realignment, moving NL team to AL

KenValpoJD,  I think you hit a home run.  It would make the most sense.  Most Brewers fans would probably not have a problem going back to the AL.  They've never fared well in the National League.  That can't be said for the Houston Astros fans, of which I've been one since 1966.  The move you proposed would align the two leagues the way MLB wants them, while maintaining the traditional rivalries, and actually rekindle one by moving the Royals back to the AL West.  Win-Win-Win all the way around.  Only problem is, it makes too much sense.  I can say this, if the Astros move to the AL, I wont follow MLB any more.  Its not even like when the AFL and NFL merged.  Moving PITT, BAL, and CLE to the AFC didn't materially change the way they played the game.  Moving leagues in MLB would, because of the DH.  Let the Brewers go back to the AL.

Since: May 6, 2010
Posted on: June 12, 2011 9:21 pm

MLB ponders realignment, moving NL team to AL

Could always simply contract 2 teams and have a 14 team AL and 14 team NL.

All pro sports have too many teams.  The MLB's talent would be better spread out if you took out a couple teams.  It'd narrow the gap between the spenders and the owners who refuse to spend.

Contraction is always unpopular, but it'd be for the good of the sport.  

Since: Sep 24, 2008
Posted on: June 12, 2011 9:05 pm

MLB ponders realignment, moving NL team to AL

Good idea.

Since: Nov 17, 2006
Posted on: June 12, 2011 7:29 pm

MLB ponders realignment, moving NL team to AL

This is the simplest thing in the world.  The Milwaukee Brewers were for most of their history an American League team; they won the AL pennant in 1982 ("Harvey's Wallbangers").  Move them back into the AL Central, in natural rivalry with the White Sox, Twins, Indians and Tigers.  Essentially a Great Lakes division.  Then move Kansas City out of the Central Division into the Western Division, in which it played for most of its history.  That leaves all divisions at five teams each.  Three divisions in each league, one wild card (in the American League, that usually means whoever came up on the short end of the Yankees-Red Sox rivalry), and things make a great deal more sense than they do now.  Nothing in this means that interleague "subway series"--Yankees/Mets; Cubs/White Sox; Dodgers/Angels; Giants/A's, or slightly more extended rivalries--Rangers/Astros; Marlins/Rays; Cardinals/Royals--can't continue to exist.

Since: Nov 17, 2009
Posted on: June 12, 2011 7:15 pm

MLB ponders realignment, moving NL team to AL


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