Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Shifting Gears

Despite popular belief, we are all still alive. I don't know about the rest of you, but I needed a break after that Miami-Dallas series. I took a few days off. Not three, not four, not five, not six...not seven. Throwing the NHL Stanley Cup Finals into the mix was almost more than I could handle, but I pushed through. I think in a daze I might have even scored a goal on Roberto Luongo, but I don't have time to look back on all the goals he allowed while everyone insisted he is the best goaltender in the Western Conference.

That's all beside the point. Realignment. In baseball. I dare say there are few people more excited about this that I am. Maybe Bud Selig reads my stuff (and is trying to steal my idea), but I doubt it. As a matter of fact, I'm still trying to figure out how he plans on having five teams from each league make the playoffs. Unless the team with the best record automatically advances to the LCS, I don't see how that would work, but hey, who am I to ask questions? I'm just a fan.

Of course, that is not going to stop me from putting my opinions out there in the unlikely event that Mr. Selig comes across our lowly corner of the blogosphere. Now, anyone who has read back far enough, knows that I hate the fact that the Brewers are in the National League, but that isn't the main issue here today. That just stems from my general dislike of Bud Selig (who chose to move the team that he owns to a different league in order to boost revenue) and the fact that the leagues are uneven. I like symmetry. Sue me.

The word on the street is that if Major League Baseball does eventually realign, the Astros will jump to the AL West in an effort to foster an in-state rivalry with the Rangers. It certainly is not the stupidest idea I have ever heard. I also read that the Marlins could be in the mix to switch leagues (more on that later). I'm all for rivalries and making the game better for the fans, I'm just not sure Dallas-Houston is the way to go. But who else could it really be? Marlins-Rays? Royals-Cardinals? Dodgers-Angels? None of those really get me excited either. Of course, the Twins and the Brewers could be a nice rivalry, but I think we all know that isn't going to happen. However it works out, I'm just glad Major League Baseball is finally going to do this. I just wish they would do it according to my plan.

It seems the new MLB plan is to break up the divisions entirely and just have two leagues. I wouldn't go that far. I'd say to keep the three divisions in each league, five teams per division. Three division winners still make the playoffs, plus one wild-card (start the debate). However, if MLB wants to place less emphasis on divisions, why not cut down on the number of games played against one's division. Realistically, each team would have to play more divisional games to justify keeping the divisions and crowning champions, but why so many? Four series, two home, two away, for a total of twelve games. So far, that's 48. Every team should also play every other team in two series. Quick math would give you a total of 198 games, but I'm shooting for less. Here's how I would do it.

As we all know, I hate interleague play because it's meaningless. And as Brewers' manager Ron Roenicke pointed out the other day, it tends to be unfair. This is starting to sound an awful lot like something I've read before. So here's what I propose: every AL team plays every NL team twice, one series at home, once on the road. The catch, however, is that each series can only be two games. If anyone is adventurous enough to attempt to make up a mock schedule for a season, more power to you, and you might even discover that what I am suggesting is impossible, though I don't think it is. So 60 more games gets us to 108. The other 60 (yes, I am adding 6 games to the current schedule) come from playing the other ten teams in your league, but outside your division, six games each.

With this schedule, teams would be playing a totally balanced schedule. No one would complain that interleague isn't fair. Roenicke can go back to being a nobody. Selig can keep his Brewers right where he wants them. We are GUARANTEED a World Series rematch, and preview, every season. Rivalries stay intact. New rivalries can actually form. And if it is the Marlins (who are changing their name to the Miami Marlins next season) switch to the American League, the hologram from Back to the Future Part II could actually be right, and we could see the Cubs defeat Miami in the 2015 World Series.
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