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 Post subject: baseball realignment
PostPosted: Sat Aug 23, 2003 8:55 am 
Since the other 2 major pro sports (as well as hockey ;D ) were covered, I thought that baseball needed a thread too.

I know the market isn't there right now, but if there ever is a salary cap and meaningful revenue sharing, I think that the league should expand to 32 teams. As a tradtionalist, I would like 4 divisions of 8 but I will except 8 divisions of 4 and eliminating the wild card.

My proposed divisions:

NL East: Mets, Phillies, Pirates, Reds
NL South: Braves, Expos (now in DC), Marlins, Charlotte (expansion team)
NL Central: Cubs, Cardinals, Astros, Rockies
NL West: Dodgers, Giants, Padres, Diamondbacks

AL East: Yankees, Red Sox, Orioles, Devil Rays
AL Central: Indians, Tigers, Brewers (back to the AL), Blue Jays
AL Midwest: Royals, Twins, Rangers, White Sox
AL West: Angels, Mariners, A's, Portland (expansion)

The schedule would consist of :
18 games against each division rival: 54 games
8 games against all other league teams: 96 games
3 games against a division in the other league: 12 games

This keeps the 162 game schedule in tact.

I am interested to see if anyone has any thoughts on this. I realize that my hypothesis of a cap and revenue sharing are probably never to be realized so this is truly just a parlor game.


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 Post subject: baseball realignment
PostPosted: Sat Aug 23, 2003 12:35 pm 
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The issue of a salary cap, or any type of fiscal prudence, in pro baseball is a thread unto its own.

As for expansion, I think it will happen, probably in about 5-10 years depending on what happens with the Expos and any contraction. Your assessment of DC, Portland and Charlotte as potential sites is in-line with the cities who've participated in the "Expos Sweepstakes," with Portland emerging as the front runner in my eyes. How that plays out for/against a team landing in DC would be interesting, though.

I also wonder if Portland's new team would be an NL team, so as to provide the northwest with access to both leagues and diffuse some of the Portland/Seattle conflict. I've not heard anything from Seattle about their stance on this.

And while your four division scheme might be the most attractive design (ending the wild card), something tells me that the Ceds, Cardinals and Cubs may strive to be within the same division; They're all classic baseball teams with deep respect for the others. Such jockeying for divisional line-ups and scheduling might lead everyone to fall into two divisions, which might be just as simple and attractive.


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 Post subject: baseball realignment
PostPosted: Sat Aug 23, 2003 1:45 pm 
I think that the Cubs and Cards have to stay together. Even if you just had an "East" and a "West" in each league, going by geography, Cincy stays in the East. Actually 2 divisions of 8 with 2 wild cards in each league isn't that bad of an idea. Whatever would keep more teams competitive and more fans interested. I like my system because that way my Pirates could finish no lower than fourth place.


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 Post subject: baseball realignment
PostPosted: Sun Aug 24, 2003 2:36 am 
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Is it me or does anyone really care for baseball. I'm sick of it it used to be a great sport until strikes hit it.

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 Post subject: baseball realignment
PostPosted: Sun Aug 24, 2003 8:25 pm 
Ironically, football god, my love for baseball is like my love for college football. The games themselves are still great, it's just the business aspect that is all f'd up.

Just as I someday pine for a 16 team playoff in D1 football, I hope against hope that MLB will square itself away. Of course, the Yankees like things as they are (they are kind of like the BCS conferences rolled into one).

Both baseball and college football are in the shadow of the NFL. Pete Rozelle's vision of parity and a salary cap enabled the NFL to surpass both of my other favorite sports.


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 Post subject: baseball realignment
PostPosted: Sun Aug 24, 2003 11:25 pm 
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you are correct pennstatedanny. I believe the yankees and their leader is about to kill baseball. Peter Angelo hasn't done much better.

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 Post subject: baseball realignment
PostPosted: Mon Aug 25, 2003 1:10 pm 
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Quote:
I also wonder if Portland's new team would be an NL team, so as to provide the northwest with access to both leagues and diffuse some of the Portland/Seattle conflict. I've not heard anything from Seattle about their stance on this.


Has there been anything formal issued by any parties (owners, MLB) about their preference for distributing markets? Would the Washington Senators be more of an asset to the league as a divisional rival with the Orioles, or as an NL team capable of bringing the other league into the metro area? And if Charlotte or Raleigh were awarded franchise, would MLB prefer that team to rival the Braves or be an avenue for the American League to play in Dixieland? And what about Nashville, New Orleans or Salt Lake City? I would imagine that by now all the pro sports would already have some formula for assessing the market of their sport in each city, such that once a franchise opportunity is available it would simply be a matter of going down the list to see which one has it's act together.

Then again, look at the people I'm talking about. ;D


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 Post subject: baseball realignment
PostPosted: Mon Aug 25, 2003 6:00 pm 
I am not really a baseball fan, but I have read that in the MLB, a lot of francises lose big money. The only ones that make a lot of money are the NY Yankees, the Atlanta Braves, and the L.A. Dodgers. I am actually for contraction. I think that maybe the Twins and the Brewers should be contracted, and the Expos should move to Washington D.C. Baseball is not really the strongest in the midwest. If that would happen, the MLB may look like:
AL East: N.Y. Yankees, Red Sox, D-Rays, Blue Jays, and Orioles
AL Central: White Sox, Indians, Royals, Tigers
AL West: Mariners, Angels, A's, Rangers, Astros
NL East: Braves, Mets, Phillies, DC Expos, Marlins
NL Central: Cubs, Cardinals, Reds, Pirates
NL West: Dodgers, Giants, Rockies, Diamondbacks, Rockies
I still am not really a baseball fan so you may think this is stupid. ???


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 Post subject: baseball realignment
PostPosted: Tue Aug 26, 2003 7:31 am 
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Quote:
I am not really a baseball fan, but I have read that in the MLB, a lot of francises lose big money. The only ones that make a lot of money are the NY Yankees, the Atlanta Braves, and the L.A. Dodgers. I am actually for contraction. I think that maybe the Twins and the Brewers should be contracted, and the Expos should move to Washington D.C. Baseball is not really the strongest in the midwest.


A) The Brewers were just provided with a new stadium, so they're not going to make the cut list.
B) If the Twins are failing, it's the fault of the owners. Minnesota has a proud baseball history and very knowledgeable fans. Yeah, the metrodome sucks for baseball, but no community should be forced to build a new stadium and give it to the team for free. The owner simply thinks he can do better elsewhere, or just doesn't like the cold. Fine - Sell the team.
C) Baseball teams aren't losing money, they're just not turning the 12% profit that owners like. Plus there's that nagging issue of having to invest your money in the players wisely, or else you lose and the fans hate you. If theres one big problem in all sports today, it's franchise owners who run their operation like it's a video game with a restart button.
D) If any franchise needs to go, begin with Les Expos and follow with the Marlins. Frankly, I don't think there should be a squad in Tampa, either, but I'm noticing that this may be just one bitter tirade!


Quote:
I still am not really a baseball fan so you may think this is stupid. ???

Don't worry, it should never go that far.


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 Post subject: baseball realignment
PostPosted: Tue Aug 26, 2003 11:57 am 
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While its not likely to happen, baseball could use a contraction of about four teams, to weed out financially uncompetitive clubs with little fan support. A contraction would strengthen the remaining clubs and raise the quality of play, especially pitching, which is stretched to the max.

Who would stay?

Clubs with 50 years or more history in their current location (10): Boston Red Sox, Chicago Cubs, Chicago White Sox, Cincinnati Reds, Cleveland Indians, Detroit Tigers, New York Yankees, Philadelphia Phillies, Pittsburgh Pirates, St. Louis Cardinals.

Clubs with classic baseball facilities or recently-built ballparks (or new parks on line) (12): Arizona Diamondbacks (Bank One Ballpark); Atlanta Braves (Turner Field); Baltimore Orioles (Camden Yards); Colorado Rockies (Coors Field); Houston Astros (Minute Maid); Kansas City Royals (Kauffman Stadium); Los Angeles Dodgers (Dodger Stadium); Milwaukee Brewers (Miller Park); San Francisco Giants (Pac Bell); San Diego Padres (Petco); Seattle Mariners (Safeco); Texas Rangers (Ballpark in Arlington).

To maintain important portions of each league's footprint (3): Anaheim Angels (AL in Southern California); New York Mets (NL in New York); Toronto Blue Jays (MLB in Canada).

Who must go?

Teams that don't get as much home support as the lowest-drawing team in the above three categories (3): Florida Marlins (14K this year with an exciting, contending team); Montreal Expos (A too-often-told sad tale -- the city that welcomed Jackie Robinson into Organized Baseball will soon lose baseball); Tampa Bay Devil Rays (Second-worst attendance in the majors. Too bad -- I like Sweet Lou and I think he will turn this team around).

Teams with poor baseball venues and little prospect of getting a new one in their present location (2): Minnesota Twins; Oakland Athletics.

This gives us 25 franchises continuing in their present markets, and we need a 26th team. It should be awarded to the Washington, D.C. area, the largest Nielsen-defined market without a ballclub. Either the group planning to build a D.C. ballpark or the Northern Virginia group should be allowed to be the owners. I would preserve the brand name and history of the Athletics franchise and move them there.

The Washington Athletics would play in the National League, with the Milwaukee Brewers returning to the American League.

There would be 12 teams in the AL and 14 teams in the NL. Because eight-team playoffs are a TV necessity, I would maintain three divisions in each league.

This would be my alignment:

AL EAST: BALTIMORE, BOSTON, NEW YORK YANKEES, TORONTO.

AL CENTRAL: CHICAGO WHITE SOX, CLEVELAND, DETROIT, MILWAUKEE.

AL WEST: ANAHEIM, KANSAS CITY, SEATTLE, TEXAS.

NL EAST: ATLANTA, NEW YORK METS, PHILADELPHIA, PITTSBURGH, WASHINGTON.

NL CENTRAL: CHICAGO CUBS, CINCINNATI, HOUSTON, ST. LOUIS.

NL WEST: ARIZONA, COLORADO, LOS ANGELES, SAN DIEGO, SAN FRANCISCO.

I would either abolish interleague play or limit it to to once every two or three years. A little distance between the leagues adds intrigue to the All-Star Game and World Series.


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 Post subject: baseball realignment
PostPosted: Tue Aug 26, 2003 12:23 pm 
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>>Who would stay?

Clubs with 50 years or more history in their current location (10): Boston Red Sox, Chicago Cubs, Chicago White Sox, Cincinnati Reds, Cleveland Indians, Detroit Tigers, New York Yankees, Philadelphia Phillies, Pittsburgh Pirates, St. Louis Cardinals.
<<


The Orioles are about to finish their 50th season in Baltimore.


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 Post subject: baseball realignment
PostPosted: Tue Aug 26, 2003 12:57 pm 
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Quote:
To maintain important portions of each league's footprint (3): Anaheim Angels (AL in Southern California); New York Mets (NL in New York); Toronto Blue Jays (MLB in Canada).

Who must go?

Teams with poor baseball venues and little prospect of getting a new one in their present location (2): Minnesota Twins; Oakland Athletics.


Enjoyed much of your post, and I agree with you about doing away with interleague play.

I'm thankful you mentioned the value of Anaheim as an AL presence in Southern California. Prior to last year's World Series run I easily regarded this franchise as disposable. But until reviewing these realignment possibilities I hadn't considered that notion of maintaining a presence for both leagues.

Two questions:

1) Didn't the A's and Raiders work out some new arrangements regarding the recent renovations to Oakland-Alameda Coliseum? I realize it's still not the best place to play, but isn't one of the teams quite beholden to the facility now? And considering the above issue, wouldn't it be wise to maintain more AL teams out west?

2) Exactly what is the value of Toronto within American sports leagues? Great city, the most American-ized in Canada, and I like the Blue Jays and don't want to denegrate Canadian sports teams. But... when it's the only team across the border are there not all sorts of financial, tax related and TV market issues that make it difficult for Toronto to succeed as a viable place for a franchise? The Raptors and all the Canadian NHL teams are struggling to compete with their American counterparts because of the income tax differences and the revenue streams American teams can garner from their sport-specific stadiums and TV deals. How long until the Skydome is the next Metrodome? From the league standpoint, would they be better off with a team in Buffalo rather than Toronto? Just curious.


Last edited by gunnerfan on Tue Aug 26, 2003 12:58 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: baseball realignment
PostPosted: Tue Aug 26, 2003 1:55 pm 
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To answer a few questions:

Baltimore is clearly a good market for baseball, as exemplified by its long term (nearly 50-year support for the O's) and Camden Yards is a magnificent facility for baseball, so it definitely stays in under my second criterion.

The renovations at Network Associates have created a huge grandstand and luxury boxes for football, but it is a monstrosity when plopped down in a ballpark's center field. It seems that the renovations since 1995 have all made the place better and more revenue-producing for the NFL but offered nothing for baseball (However, I don't know what the A's lease terms are).

If I were commissioner of baseball, I would want to maintain a presence in Canada, despite the difficulties of becoming financially competitive due to the unfavorable exchange rate and higher taxation. With a team to represent Canada (and the Jays are in essence a national team), you create a second national TV contract, and you enhance marketing opportunities with the 30 million folks north of the border. And Toronto itself is a large market -- I believe (although I haven't checked) that it would be in the top half-dozen or so markets in baseball. I do agree, GunnerFan, that Skydome is not a great place for baseball.


Last edited by michaelr on Tue Aug 26, 2003 1:57 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: baseball realignment
PostPosted: Wed Sep 17, 2003 3:29 am 
NL East: Mets, Phillies, Pirates, Reds
NL South: Braves, Expos (now in DC), Marlins, Charlotte (expansion team)
NL Central: Cubs, Cardinals, Astros, Rockies
NL West: Dodgers, Giants, Padres, Diamondbacks

AL East: Yankees, Red Sox, Orioles, Devil Rays
AL Central: Indians, Tigers, Brewers (back to the AL), Blue Jays
AL Midwest: Royals, Twins, Rangers, White Sox
AL West: Angels, Mariners, A's, Portland (expansion)


I Like this scenario!!!!!!!!!!


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 Post subject: baseball realignment
PostPosted: Wed Sep 17, 2003 9:05 am 
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Quote:
NL East: Mets, Phillies, Pirates, Reds
NL South: Braves, Expos (now in DC), Marlins, Charlotte (expansion team)
NL Central: Cubs, Cardinals, Astros, Rockies
NL West: Dodgers, Giants, Padres, Diamondbacks

AL East: Yankees, Red Sox, Orioles, Devil Rays
AL Central: Indians, Tigers, Brewers (back to the AL), Blue Jays
AL Midwest: Royals, Twins, Rangers, White Sox
AL West: Angels, Mariners, A's, Portland (expansion)

Quite good, actually, though I might make one change: Exchange Portland and San Diego, this way the northwest has both leagues much like NY, Chicago, LA and DC.

And while I can't resolve it off the top of my head, I noticed that basically the southeast becomes NL territory while the upper midwest becomes AL territory. Good? Bad?


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