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.

CBSSports.com'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
 
Comments

Since: Mar 6, 2008
Posted on: June 12, 2011 6:06 pm
 

MLB ponders realignment, moving NL team to AL

Why not move Milwaukee back to the AL? Selig did it once, he can do it again.



Since: Nov 18, 2007
Posted on: June 12, 2011 5:59 pm
 

MLB ponders realignment, moving NL team to AL

Maybe Evan should have consulted with a 7th grade math student before publishing this article.  Aside from the obvious omission of the wild card odds from the percentages given for "making the playoffs" as was mentioned by a previous commenter, the NL Central teams only have a 16.66667% chance of winning their division, which rounds up to 17%, not 18%.



Since: Jan 1, 2007
Posted on: June 12, 2011 5:56 pm
 

MLB ponders realignment, moving NL team to AL

Sorry for the lack of geographic correctness, but it seems to me that the St. Louis Cardinals are the team farthest to the west (longitudinally).  But actually, the Astros moving is NOT a bad idea to me.  They haven't really been competitive in the NL since the early '80's.  Now those were some great teams mind you.  But this business with the NL Central MUST be corrected.  The 4 team AL West is BAD.  Not with the other divs as they are.  Especially the NL Central.  It's Unfair.  As the crow flies, what's the distance between the Astros and the Rangers, compared to the Red Sox and Yankees?  THAT's a rivalry. 

Unrelated:  How long will the Marlins stay in Miami?  Man, there are more fans at Pawtucket games than I see in FLA highlights.  Would it make more sense to re-lo them to a western city. like Las Vegas, or some other?  And then move one of the NL Centrals to the NL East?  (Pittsburgh Pirates ?) ? 



Since: Jun 12, 2011
Posted on: June 12, 2011 5:46 pm
 

MLB ponders realignment, moving NL team to AL

I know that you want to have an all california divison but get real. Seattle already travels the most miles per season of any team in baseball and now you want to take away their 2 closest compeditors. The other problems with your divisions is the timezones. Most of your divisions have teams from the same timezone with a one timezone jump, except the NL West. A two time zone jump for both texas teams, seattle, and arizona is unreasonable. The season is long enough with out subjecting on division to unfair travel.



Since: Jan 25, 2008
Posted on: June 12, 2011 5:43 pm
 

MLB ponders realignment, moving NL team to AL

this totally makes sense. It's a huge advantage for the AL West teams to only compete w/4 teams for a div title vs. 6 in the central. Houston Astros in the AL West makes sense. Just do it.



Since: Jan 25, 2008
Posted on: June 12, 2011 5:42 pm
 

MLB ponders realignment, moving NL team to AL

this totally makes sense. It's a huge advantage for the AL West teams to only compete w/4 teams for a div title vs. 6 in the central. Houston Astros in the AL West makes sense. Just do it.



Since: Sep 13, 2010
Posted on: June 12, 2011 4:25 pm
 

MLB ponders realignment, moving NL team to AL

There is already too little talent for too many teams. Adding two teams will only make it worse. I am tired of seeing triple a ball as in Mets, Pirates, Royals, etc. Subtract two teams and the Brewers should move back to the AL



Since: Mar 14, 2009
Posted on: June 12, 2011 3:34 pm
 

MLB ponders realignment, moving NL team to AL

Why play a interleague game each day, just always have one team take a day off in each league....heck move the Brewers back to the AL in the west division



Since: Dec 30, 2006
Posted on: June 12, 2011 3:24 pm
 

MLB ponders realignment, moving NL team to AL

Be flattered that we think alike.  I did not steal your idea.



Since: Dec 21, 2006
Posted on: June 12, 2011 3:08 pm
 

MLB ponders realignment, moving NL team to AL

why not expand the american league by two teams to make both leagues even?  oklahoma city has proved they can and will support major league sports and so has san antoinio.  they can both play in the al west, making it like the nl central.  thats 32 teams in the league, putting it on par with the nba, nfl and nhl and opens up to up and coming markets.


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