Blog Entry

Realignment is on the way

Posted on: July 12, 2011 5:38 pm
Edited on: July 12, 2011 7:24 pm
PHOENIX -- More and more, it's clear that realignment will come to baseball within the next two years, almost certainly resulting in a format that would see 15 teams in each league, with some interleague play on every day of the season.

In separate Tuesday sessions with the Baseball Writers Association of America, both commissioner Bud Selig and players union head Michael Weiner expressed an openness to a 15-15 plan, with Weiner saying that players have favored it for a decade or more. The players and owners have been discussing realignment, along with schedule and playoff reform, as part of negotiations for the new basic agreement.

Both Selig and Weiner ruled out what Selig called "massive realignment," which would involve multiple teams changing leagues, or a system that basically does away with the traditional leagues.

The 15-15 plan would require at least one team (almost certainly either the Astros or Diamondbacks) to change leagues.

It seems now that realignment won't come in time for the 2012 season, although Weiner said even that isn't totally impossible. But people in the game believe that realignment for 2013 is almost a given.

How would it look? Probably a lot like the plan I detailed in a column last month.

Why will it happen? Many reasons, but fairness is at the top of the list.

"Fundamentally, it's arithmetic," Weiner said. "[The players] take the competition very seriously. They want the competition to be fair. I know why 16-14 came about, but it's like the U.S. Open, if you had a different number of players on the two sides of the draw."

Under the current format, the National League Central has six teams, while the American League West has four (and the other four divisions have five teams apiece). By moving the Astros from the NL Central to the AL West, or by moving the Diamondbacks from the NL West to the AL West and then shifting the Astros to the NL West, you would have six five-team divisions, and you'd have a schedule that makes much more sense than the one in use now.

Both Selig and Weiner indicated that the details of realignment have not yet been decided, and Selig insisted that a resolution and an announcement are not "imminent." But with both sides so open to it, it's hard to believe now that it won't happen.

What won't happen, it seems, is a move to unify the designated hitter rule. Both Selig and Weiner suggested that with limited realignment and no significant increase in interleague play (most likely, each team would play no more than 30 interleague games in a 162-game schedule), the current system of a DH in one league and not in the other would not be changed.

"It would take some type of catalytic event to deal with that issue," Selig said.

While using the DH in both leagues (or in neither league), would make more sense, there's far too much resistance to that change.

"Good luck doing that," one baseball official said.

One change that could be made: A reverse use of the DH rule in interleague games, with the DH used in National League parks, and with National League (no DH) rules used in American League parks.

Another change that is coming, without a doubt: Adding one playoff team per league, with a either a play-in game or play-in series involving the two wild-card teams. The momentum seems now to be heading towards going with the one-game play-in -- and that's a good thing.

The playoff change could well happen in 2012. Realignment may wait for 2013.

But all the momentum now is in favor of it happening.


Since: Dec 2, 2007
Posted on: July 13, 2011 12:41 pm

Realignment is on the way

Here is the Best "Travel Friendly" Realignment Scenario with some pontential for great matchups!

Al East: Red Sox, Mets, Yankees, Phillies, Blue Jays

Al Central:Twins, Brewers, Tigers, Royals, Cardinals

Al West: Mariners, Giants, Angels, Dodgers, Athletics

Nl East: Braves, Rays, Marlins, Orioles, Nationals

Nl Central: Indians, Reds, White Sox, Cubs, Pirates

Nl West: Padres, Diamondbacks, Astros, Rockies, Rangers    &nbs

Wouldn't this be an Awesome Change! Wow! If your going to change up make it travel friendly. Do it right the first time.     

Since: Dec 2, 2007
Posted on: July 13, 2011 12:18 pm

Realignment is on the way

It's yep not yup.

Since: Aug 18, 2008
Posted on: July 13, 2011 11:36 am

Realignment is on the way

The only realignment that MLB needs is getting rid of Bud Selig.  And maybe the rest of you clowns too.  Yup I said it.  LOL

Since: Jul 14, 2008
Posted on: July 13, 2011 11:25 am

Realignment is on the way

Just move my Blue Jays out of the AL East. The division is killing us. Put them in the AL West where we could have a chance.

Since: Jun 15, 2010
Posted on: July 13, 2011 10:35 am

Realignment is on the way



Since: Sep 6, 2006
Posted on: July 13, 2011 10:16 am

Realignment is on the way

I am a Houston native and I live in the Houston area.  Ever since I was born, I have associated the Astros with the National League.  I've always felt that Houston's natural rivalry is with the Dodgers - especially since they were division rivals in the NL West back when there were only 4 divisions instead of the current 6.  The Astros isn't an American League city.  This opinion is somewhat biased because I loathe, detest, pick any synonym for hate you wish, the DH.  Moving the Diamondbacks to the AL West is the most optimal decision - along with moving the Astros to the NL West.  Granted, we will have more late-time starts that we normally have now, but at the the leagues would be in congruence in Texas with both teams in Western divisions.  In addition, I think it's best that both leagues have a presence in the state - or any state where at least 2 teams reside.

Since: Jul 29, 2009
Posted on: July 13, 2011 9:14 am

Realignment is on the way


Since: Oct 26, 2007
Posted on: July 13, 2011 8:15 am

Realignment is on the way

I hate the idea of interleague play every single day of the year. Does Selig have any more bright ideas to make the ASG even more insignificant. Before interleague play, there was an excitement and a mystique about playing the opposing league and it only happened during 2 special times of the year- the ASG and the WS. Now interleague play has taken some of the lustre off of both those hallowed traditions and it is difficult to care as much when you just played players on the opposing team 2 weeks ago.

At least there is one thing, I am grateful for and that is the Rockies are no longer being mentioned as candidates to move to the AL. I grew up as a NL person in Chicago and I have 2 NL teams that I love. To move one of them to the AL, and the dreaded land of the fat, out of shape, no longer able to field a position but get paid huge sums of money just to hit the ball, designated hitter- the worst aberration of all.
I think I would lose my interest in baseball. I found myself surprised though tonight when I realized I really don't want the D-backs to leave our division either. They are part of it, leave it alone. Houston doesn't fit in the NL West. If the Marlins or the Pirates really want to switch leagues, as a poster pointed out, then give them the opportunity instead of forcing a team that doesn't want to leave the NL to have to go.

Since: Apr 28, 2009
Posted on: July 13, 2011 6:40 am

Realignment is on the way

What a great way to maintain the status quo

MLB, like real life, is dominated by dollars.  So how do the proposed changes alter this fact, somehow making the game's inherent competition factors "fairer?"  They don't.  At least not significantly.

Major League Baseball will essentially become a little more fair for the two additional teams that make the playoffs.  But the game will remain much more fair for the high-payroll teams.  Why?  Because for the next ten to twenty years or so the proposed changes will tend to "institutionalize" the high-payroll teams obvious advantage in getting to participate in post-season play.  A salary-cap, of course, would tend have almost the exact opposite effect.

But I won't go there, because I'm fed up with the moron-level comments of Yankee fans, who claim that an organization's baseball entrepreneurship and not its payroll is the key factor behind its ongoing success.  And I'm tired of being branded a "hater" by those same little mealy mouthed chuckleheads, too.

Since: Aug 21, 2006
Posted on: July 13, 2011 5:04 am

Realignment is on the way

Otherwise realignment is pretty simple. Move Toronto to the AL Central where it belongs, put the Marlins in the AL East with the Rays. Move KC to the AL west wheres its closer to its competition. Geographically this plan is really good. Toronto and Detroit would be rivals and Phillies-Pittsburgh would work as well. No one shows up to the Marlins or Rays games so thats why I would move the Marlins to start a rivalry and so many NYers and Bostonians live down in Florida they will come out for most of the games. They both need to be in the AL East for that reason alone. Example-
East- Mets, Phillies, Braves, Pitts, Washington
Central-Brewers, Cards, Cubs, Cinn, Houston
West- Arizona, SF,  Dodgers, Rockies, Pads.

AL East-Yanks, Redsox, Orioles, Marlins, Rays
Central- Tigers, BlueJays, Whitesox, Cleveland, Minnesota
West- KC, Rangers, Angels, Seattle, Oakland
Couldn't agree more. This plan is perfect, which is why MLB won't adopt it. They'd rather go for the quick and easy solution of moving Houston or Arizona than try to come up with something good. It makes no sense why baseball would want to tick off the Astros or the Diamondbacks when the Marlins would benefit from a move to the AL and the Pirates want to move to the AL if they have to stay in the Central.

Let Houston stay in the NL Central. Let Arizona stay in the NL West. Move the teams that want to move.

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