Ideal Realignment

Rudy's Curve

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Piggybacking off the thread in the NFL forum, I figured I'd make one for baseball. With the DH likely to be universal soon enough, there exists a possibility for realignment. Given the grind of the travel over 162 games, I would be in favor of abolishing leagues and just going to four divisions. Not only would this pack all the Northeast teams together, but it would massively improve travel for teams like Oakland and Seattle that play 19 games a year in Texas which is insanity. It would look like this:

East: BOS, NYY, NYM, PHI, BAL, WAS, ATL
North: TOR, DET, PIT, CLE, CIN, TB, MIA
Central: MIN, MIL, CHC, CWS, STL, KC, TEX, HOU
West: COL, ARI, SD, LAA, LAD, OAK, SF, SEA

Yes, nothing says north like Florida. Unfortunately, the best alternative I see is making a South division (moving TOR to the East and DET/PIT/CLE/CIN to the Central) with ATL/TB/MIA/HOU/TEX/KC/STL but then you'd be breaking up Cubs/Cardinals which isn't feasible. On the positive side, every division has all the teams in the same time zone (counting MT with PT). Fans of the six Northeast teams would be a short trip away from almost every divisional road site. Toronto fans would be able to travel a lot more and nothing between DET/PIT/CLE/CIN is terribly far. Every team in the Central would have a natural geographic rival and I think the West would benefit the most from consolidating as their current travel is brutal. I also think fans want to see the intracity/area rivalries much more than 4-6 times a year.

I would propose playing one three-game series against every interdivisional team (East and North would have to play four games against one team from the other division to create an even number) so everybody plays each other and fans get to see every team in their park at least every two years, leaving 13-14 games for every divisional opponent. Playoffs would be the four division winners and then however many Wild Cards there are.

Is putting the six Northeast teams together economically feasible for the rest of baseball? Is this something you'd be in favor of?
 
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pokey_reese

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What about Northeast/Atlantic-South, to solve the 'FL is in the North' geographic issue?

Northeast: BOS, NYY, NYM, TOR, DET, CLE, CIN
Atlantic South: PHI, BAL, WAS, ATL, PIT, TB, MIA

You break up the Mets/Phillies pairing, but that's about it. Any realignment is going to mess with some rivalries, but hopefully, NYM can become NYY rivals, Phils can start hating BAL, or whatever.
 

Rudy's Curve

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ATL really should be in these are division as the FL teams. Just flip ATL and TOR.
Toronto is closer to all of DET/PIT/CLE/CIN than Atlanta is to Miami and all of them except Cincinnati than Atlanta is to Tampa. I'd think you'd get a lot more fan travel between those cities than Atlanta and Florida. It sucks for the Florida teams, but they're going to be in a tough spot no matter what.
 

Rudy's Curve

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What about Northeast/Atlantic-South, to solve the 'FL is in the North' geographic issue?

Northeast: BOS, NYY, NYM, TOR, DET, CLE, CIN
Atlantic South: PHI, BAL, WAS, ATL, PIT, TB, MIA

You break up the Mets/Phillies pairing, but that's about it. Any realignment is going to mess with some rivalries, but hopefully, NYM can become NYY rivals, Phils can start hating BAL, or whatever.
Mets/Phillies is such a close rivalry and they've been in the same league/division for almost 60 years since the Mets came into existence, so I'd be hesitant to break that up. I'm just more willing to throw the Florida teams wherever since they have no rivals.
 
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snowmanny

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Although PIT/PHI is an obvious natural rivalry....and was an actual rivalry until PIT was moved to the brand new Central Division in 1994. Funny, I thought the Mets big rival was the Braves.
 

Rudy's Curve

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Although PIT/PHI is an obvious natural rivalry....and was an actual rivalry until PIT was moved to the brand new Central Division in 1994. Funny, I thought the Mets big rival was the Braves.
Yeah, the fact that they haven't been in the same division in 26 years made me separate them. Plus Philly is much closer to NYC/BAL/WAS and equidistant to Boston as it is to Pittsburgh while Pittsburgh is closer to DET/CLE/CIN and almost as close to Toronto as it is to Philadelphia. Jesus, the Pennsylvania Turnpike just never ends.

Mets-Braves was big in the late 90s/2000 but they've never really been good at the same time since. The Braves still keep all their old divisional opponents except Miami here though.
 

LostinNJ

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Jul 19, 2005
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What about Northeast/Atlantic-South, to solve the 'FL is in the North' geographic issue?

Northeast: BOS, NYY, NYM, TOR, DET, CLE, CIN
Atlantic South: PHI, BAL, WAS, ATL, PIT, TB, MIA

You break up the Mets/Phillies pairing, but that's about it. Any realignment is going to mess with some rivalries, but hopefully, NYM can become NYY rivals, Phils can start hating BAL, or whatever.
Cool, but I might put the Ohio teams in the South and the Pennsylvania teams in the Northeast.

Also, this is an invitation to expand by two teams, maybe Nashville and Carolina. They would be in the South, obviously, so either Philly goes to Northeast in your alignment, or Cleveland does in mine.

This is fun!
 

Rudy's Curve

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Exactly what problem are you people trying to solve here?
The one where baseball is the only of the three major daily sports (and plays twice as many games as the other two) that doesn't have geographic leagues which create much more unnecessary travel and fewer local rivalries?
 

Savin Hillbilly

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The wrong side of the bridge....
One way to align them geographically, while preserving most traditional rivalries, would be a three-conference setup with two divisions in each conference:

Eastern Conference
Taconic Division
BOS
NYY
TOR
NYM
PHI
Piedmont Division
BAL
WAS
ATL
TBR
MIA

Central Conference
Lake Division
CLE
DET
MIL
CHC
CHW
River Division
PIT
CIN
MIN
STL
KCR

Western Conference
Sagebrush Division
HOU
TEX
COL
ARI
SDP
Redwood Division
LAA
LAD
SFG
OAK
SEA

Wild card teams would be the four best teams across all the divisions that didn't win a division title.

Wild Card Series: Four non-division winners with best records face off in two best-of-3 series
Division Series: Division winners within each conference, plus the two winners of WC series, face off in four best-of-5 series
Conference Series: Winner of division series with best record plays wild card winner, other 2 division winners face off
World Series: The survivors

Ten teams get to the dance, just like now.
 

Rudy's Curve

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That's perfectly balanced schedule-wise adding up to 162 - three games apiece against interleague teams (60), six against interdivision (30) and 18 within the division (72).
 

Patek's 3 Dingers

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The one where baseball is the only of the three major daily sports (and plays twice as many games as the other two) that doesn't have geographic leagues which create much more unnecessary travel and fewer local rivalries?
The NFL is the same in that there are no two teams in the same city or metro area in the same conference. I believe that the last time in the MLB was the Brooklyn Dodgers and N.Y. Giants. I live in the Bay Area and root for both the Giants and A's and like having them in different leagues.

Anyway, put me down for: "If it ain't broke, don't fix it".
 

Sausage in Section 17

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One way to align them geographically, while preserving most traditional rivalries, would be a three-conference setup with two divisions in each conference:

Eastern Conference
Taconic Division
BOS
NYY
TOR
NYM
PHI
Piedmont Division
BAL
WAS
ATL
TBR
MIA

Central Conference
Lake Division
CLE
DET
MIL
CHC
CHW
River Division
PIT
CIN
MIN
STL
KCR

Western Conference
Sagebrush Division
HOU
TEX
COL
ARI
SDP
Redwood Division
LAA
LAD
SFG
OAK
SEA

Wild card teams would be the four best teams across all the divisions that didn't win a division title.

Wild Card Series: Four non-division winners with best records face off in two best-of-3 series
Division Series: Division winners within each conference, plus the two winners of WC series, face off in four best-of-5 series
Conference Series: Winner of division series with best record plays wild card winner, other 2 division winners face off
World Series: The survivors

Ten teams get to the dance, just like now.
Nice work, good post!
 

Rudy's Curve

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The NFL is the same in that there are no two teams in the same city or metro area in the same conference. I believe that the last time in the MLB was the Brooklyn Dodgers and N.Y. Giants. I live in the Bay Area and root for both the Giants and A's and like having them in different leagues.

Anyway, put me down for: "If it ain't broke, don't fix it".
The NFL is a weekly sport that plays 16 games a year, so travel isn't anywhere near as much of an issue. If it's a year where they play the NL East or Central in interleague play, the three AL West Coast teams play 75% of their road games in the Eastern and Central time zones (18 divisional road games on the West Coast plus two vs. natural NL West rival compared to the other 61) - that's an insane amount of travel. Regionalizing divisions would cut that down to 41% (one road series vs. half of the other 22 teams not in division = 33 games/81).

The other two leagues that play daily have local teams together and they play half as much as baseball. It's time for MLB to get with the times.
 
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Joe Sixpack

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The NFL is the same in that there are no two teams in the same city or metro area in the same conference. I believe that the last time in the MLB was the Brooklyn Dodgers and N.Y. Giants. I live in the Bay Area and root for both the Giants and A's and like having them in different leagues.

Anyway, put me down for: "If it ain't broke, don't fix it".
The AL "West" is broke with 2 of the 5 teams in the Central time zone, 2 hours offset from the other teams. So the Texas teams have to play loads of division road games at 9pm and likewise, the West teams playing lots of games at 5pm local time. Not ideal for fans of those teams.
 

Rudy's Curve

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The AL "West" is broke with 2 of the 5 teams in the Central time zone, 2 hours offset from the other teams. So the Texas teams have to play loads of division road games at 9pm and likewise, the West teams playing lots of games at 5pm local time. Not ideal for fans of those teams.
And not only broke from East to West -Texas and Seattle are about as far as you can get North and South. The Mariners haven't exactly made the best decisions since 2001, but their annually brutal travel certainly doesn't do them any favors.
 

YTF

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One way to align them geographically, while preserving most traditional rivalries, would be a three-conference setup with two divisions in each conference:

Eastern Conference
Taconic Division
BOS
NYY
TOR
NYM
PHI
Piedmont Division
BAL
WAS
ATL
TBR
MIA

Central Conference
Lake Division
CLE
DET
MIL
CHC
CHW
River Division
PIT
CIN
MIN
STL
KCR

Western Conference
Sagebrush Division
HOU
TEX
COL
ARI
SDP
Redwood Division
LAA
LAD
SFG
OAK
SEA

Wild card teams would be the four best teams across all the divisions that didn't win a division title.

Wild Card Series: Four non-division winners with best records face off in two best-of-3 series
Division Series: Division winners within each conference, plus the two winners of WC series, face off in four best-of-5 series
Conference Series: Winner of division series with best record plays wild card winner, other 2 division winners face off
World Series: The survivors

Ten teams get to the dance, just like now.
This is nicely done. Would love to see Baltimore, Philly and Washington as a three way regional rivalry, but see no logical way to work it within your framework and Philly works out fine with the two NY teams.
 

thehitcat

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This is nicely done. Would love to see Baltimore, Philly and Washington as a three way regional rivalry, but see no logical way to work it within your framework and Philly works out fine with the two NY teams.
This really is an amazing realignment especially with the excellent division names. Nice job @Savin Hillbilly . That said @YTF there is a very easy way to get what you want. If/when Tampa completes their transition to Montreal they swap with Philly and head to the Taconic while Philly moves down to the Piedmont et voila! :)
 

Patek's 3 Dingers

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A question for all you guys back east telling us Californians what to do with our teams: If the Braves were still in town, would you want them in the same division as the Sox?
 

Rudy's Curve

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A question for all you guys back east telling us Californians what to do with our teams: If the Braves were still in town, would you want them in the same division as the Sox?
Yes. In both other daily sports, teams in the same city/area are in the same division. That should always be the case in baseball which plays twice as many games.