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Blog Entry

Pirates want to switch divisions, not leagues

Posted on: June 16, 2011 12:45 am
Edited on: June 16, 2011 9:20 am
PNC Park

By C. Trent Rosecrans

The Pirates are lobbying to be realigned, but only into a different division, not a different league.

Pittsburgh would like to be part of the National League East, Pirates president Frank Coonelly tells Joe Starkey of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.

"I have made some points to [MLB]," Coonelly told Starkey. "I wouldn't over-read it to suggest I'm getting traction yet. While the [collective bargaining agreement] discussions are ongoing, I'm letting them know where we stand."

Still, the Pirates do not want to move to the American League.

"We like it in the National League," Coonelly said. "We have a long history there."

Technically speaking, Pittsburgh is farther east than Atlanta and slightly more so than Miami, and the closest National League park to Atlanta's Turner Field is Cincinnati's Great American Ball Park.

Still, there doesn't seem to be an overwhelming reason to move the Pirates to the NL East without a massive reorganization of the divisions.

Starkey suggests in his column the Pirates move to the American League Central, setting up a rivalry with Cleveland and Detroit, while moving Kansas City to the AL West.

I don't really see either happening. Even if realignment happens, don't expect the Pirates to be movng anywhere. 

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Since: Apr 19, 2009
Posted on: June 16, 2011 6:33 pm

Pirates want to switch divisions, not leagues

The LA market may have 2 teams but LA only has one, the Dodgers, and I don't care how shitty the Dodgers are or how good the LAAofAnheim are there is no rivalry and I don't see one happening in the next 50 years. The LAAofAnaheim will always be the ugly step-child to the Dodgers.

Since: Apr 26, 2007
Posted on: June 16, 2011 5:45 pm

Pirates want to switch divisions, not leagues


You want to have 32 teams, then why make it so confusing? Break it into 4 divisions of 4 teams each and balance it like the NFL.  Much easier, and makes chance of winning a division fair for everyone.

Since: Oct 26, 2009
Posted on: June 16, 2011 5:26 pm

Pirates want to switch divisions, not leagues

Why do all these people want to move Houston because of this so-called "natural rivalry" with Texas?  Just because they are in the same state doesn't mean they have to play in the same league.

Los Angeles has two teams in different leagues.  Wouldn't that be a natural rivalry?
New York Yankees and Mets?  That seems like a rivalry to me.
St. Louis and Kansas City?

There are a ton of teams with a "natural rivalry."  That argument is nonsense.

Since: Oct 24, 2006
Posted on: June 16, 2011 3:44 pm


Here's my idea, expansion.  Two new teams and some medium re-allignment.
New Teams: Las Vegas (retractable roof like ARZ) and one of the following three:  Charlotte, Indy or New Jersey (the NYC area can easily handle another team based on population)

AL West: LAA, SEA, OAK, LV, ARZ (can see an LV/ARZ rivalry forming - the reason to move ARZ over to AL)
AL Central: CWS, DET, CLE, MIN, TEX, HOU (again a natural rivalry with TEX/HOU)
AL East: as is: NYY, BOS, BAL, TOR, TB

NL West: LAD, SF, SD, COL, KC (KC is pretty close to Denver, at least and KC would be more competitive in NL)
NL Central: MIL, CHC, STL, CIN, PIT (and Indy if chosen or just 5 teams)
NL East: NYM, PHL, FLA, WASH, ATL (and either Charlotte or NJ, if chosen or just 5 teams)

3 division winners plus 3 wild cards. Playoffs like NFL, 1 and 2 get a bye.  6 plays 3 at 3, best of 3.  5 plays 4 at 4, best of three.  The key is those games start IMMEDIATELY after the season and no breaks for travel.  3 games in 3 days...maybe even where home team gets all 3 games, huge premium for being 3rd division winner and #1 wild card team.

Since: Jun 8, 2008
Posted on: June 16, 2011 2:48 pm

Pirates want to switch divisions, not leagues

well, Pittsburgh was an NL East team til the 1994 realignment, when they, the Cubs and Cardinals were moved to the newly-formed NL Central and the Braves were moved to the East from the West...although, i have to wonder, is one of the "points" that Coonelly made to MLB that he'd like a couple more home series against the Phillies every year, since Fightin's fans make the cross-state trip and pack PNC Park?

Since: Jan 24, 2010
Posted on: June 16, 2011 2:22 pm

Pirates want to switch divisions, not leagues

Why not just get rid of divisions and just have two leagues that was there pre-1969 when the divisional round in the playoffs was put into place. Recreate the atmosphere of baseball in its truest form.

Since: Oct 20, 2006
Posted on: June 16, 2011 2:15 pm

Pirates want to switch divisions, not leagues

Nationals and Marlins are the expansion teams, and don't have a long NL history.  In fact there were two Washington Senators teams in the AL.  So, move either Florida or Washington to the AL East, move the Pirates to the NL East.  Move Toronto (another expansion team) to the AL Central, and KC to the AL West.  Yes several teams move, but only one team changes leagues, and it makes more sense than the current setup, and it recreates natural rivalries like Pirates/Phils, Florida/TB, KC/west teams, Toronto/Cleveland.

Since: Feb 9, 2011
Posted on: June 16, 2011 2:04 pm

Pirates want to switch divisions, not leagues

Did Pirates president Frank Coonelly really have this discussion?
How does the mind of a rich person work?
"Hey my Pirates are floating around .500. Now would be a good time to raise a stink about something that only 1% of the population cares about. I know the Pirates have the longest losing streak of any professional sport. EVER! EVER! and are the laughing stock of every league. But hey I am just that narcissistic and self important that the world wants to hear my thoughts and I need to bless their ears by spewing my ignorance."
Go plan some more concerts or ethinic night, fireworks or any of the other BS nights in order to trick people to actually come to the stadium. And hey maybe they watch a little baseball and drink some $9 dollars beers.
(Let me speak to you in Pittsburgese.)
You sir are a Jagoff!!!

Since: Aug 30, 2006
Posted on: June 16, 2011 1:35 pm

Pirates want to switch divisions, not leagues

Why is it replies don't go right under the original message. How does anyone know what you are replying to?

Since: Aug 30, 2006
Posted on: June 16, 2011 1:34 pm

Pirates want to switch divisions, not leagues

Don't like that northeast division as a BlueJay fan. Toronto is a lot closer to Cleveland, Detrott, Pittsburgh than NY, Boston, Philly. Baltimore, Wash make more sense

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