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Baseball’s Latest Realignment Plan is A Bad Idea

Posted on June 15, 2011 by A.J. Foss

MLB Commissioner Bud Selig is considering a proposal that have two 15-team leagues and add two teams to the postseason.

Major League Baseball is reportedly discussing a plan to realign the American and National League, by sending a team from the 16-team National League to the 14-team American League, to even up the two leagues at 15 teams each.

The plan also calls for abolishing all divisions and adding a 5th team to the playoffs in both leagues.

To quote Jeff Goldblum in The Lost World: Jurassic Park, this realignment plan is the worst idea in the long, sad history of bad ideas.

The first issue is how to schedule the regular season. With 15 teams in each league, there would have to be one team that takes a few days off while the other 14 teams in each league play each other in a three-or-four game series.

Yes, the baseball season is a grind, but fans are used to watching their teams playing every day of the week and could easily forgot that their team is on the field playing a game if they had more than one day off.

What Should Baseball Do Regarding Realignment?

  • Don't Change Anything (64%, 7 Votes)
  • Move to two 15 team leagues (18%, 2 Votes)
  • Do something, but keep league sizes even (18%, 2 Votes)

Total Voters: 11

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The only possible way to solve this anomaly would be to have the leftover teams in each league play each other in a series, basically turning interleague play into a year-round event.

But aren’t some fans and baseball purists pushing for the end of interleague play?

And add the fact that these interleague series could and would have an impact on what teams make the postseason.

Speaking of the postseason, the run up to the playoffs would also be hurt be this realignment plan as the division races would be eliminated in favor of allowing the teams with the five best records in each league into the playoffs.

While that sounds good in principle, baseball would essentially be getting rid of the pennant race and would make the second half of the regular season less interesting.

Look, not every season produces a great divisional race, but divisions is a big reason to keep the interest of baseball fans during the regular season and help create or maintain great rivalries such as the Yankees-Red Sox, Dodgers-Giants, and Cubs-Cardinals.

Then there is the extra team in the playoffs as the fourth and fifth place teams would play an extra round of playoffs before facing off with the top three teams in each league.

This would create another inequality as the top three teams would be sitting around while the two teams that are playing a potential three game series and possibly lead to rust when these teams do start their postseason or the winner of that extra playoff series would have less energy as they move onto the next round.

Plus, this would ruin the magic of the one-game playoff for a division title or the wild card spot, essentially making the fourth vs. the fifth place team playoff series feel almost like one of the play-in games in the NCAA tournament.

And in order to have an additional playoff series, the regular season would have start in mid-March or the postseason would have to end later in November.

It is already bad enough having games in places like Cleveland and Chicago where it stills feels like winter in the first week of April, how about having the season begin in March?! Doesn’t that sound fun!

Major League Baseball has many problems and need to solve them, but trying to realign the American and National Leagues so they could the playoffs can have 10 teams instead of eight, is not an issue that the MLB front office needs to be dealing with.

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