You can have a 15 - 15 split, and not have continuous BYES, simply by scheduling an odd number of interleague games year round. What is so bad about that ?
I think a lot of the baseball "purists" have died off. A purist would have abandoned the sport, with the advent of the DH and inter-league play. The unbalanced schedule and the unbalanced sizes of the leagues and divisions truly stink.
But nothing will get fixed until Selig and Fehr are gone, and a professional management orgainization with a vision moves in. Perhaps not in our lifetime....
Baseball used to be my summer past-time (during the 1960s and 1970s).
I really have lost all interest in the sport anymore, because of all the silliness.
1) One league with 16 teams, one league with 14 teams
Necessary for travel purposes. 15 and 15 means 1 team doesn't play on a given night. The last 2 expansion teams eliminated the option for 14/14 balance...
2) Division sizes of 6, 5, and 4
Because of the 15/15 problem, you need to have this breakdown. Even if 14/14, you'd still have 5/5/4
3) Unbalanced schedules.
I like them, but think they can be tweaked
4) Inter-league play (no objection to inter-league play per se) where opponents are arbitrarily selected, and this differential could sway the division champions / wild cards.
Agreed, but there is a system. The teams in one AL division play the teams in another NL division. And then invidividual team play their natural regional rivals (Mets vs Yankees, LAA vs LAD, etc)
5) DH in one league, pitcher bats in the other. How do we decide which rule to apply when AL meets NL ?
One set of rules needs to be adopted for all.
I'd prefer the DH in both leagues since NL games are a joke when a pitcher is up and almost a lock to strike out. NL pitchers numbers ar einflated in strikeouts due to this and their ERAs are lower...then they goto an AL team and their numbers go up. As for what systme is used, it's straightforward: AL home games use the DH, NL home games don't. All star game in AL park = AL home game.
6) Competitive imbalance, due to lack of salary cap. Should large market teams have a competitve advantage, due to a free-spending owner vs. an owner who is willing to spend money more in line with team revenues ?
This virtually guarantees the Yankees will forever have better talent than 2/3 of MLB. Is that fair ? Why should I feel interested in following a team whose payroll (relative to the big boys) leaves them no real chance to compete ?
I go the other way. It's a business, just like soccer around the world. If you run your business right, you will maximize efficiency. Teams can start young and save money, have success and do better jobs at growing their businesses sot hat they can afford to keep their own players. Most of the time it's owners not willing to spend money to make money.
7) Token lip service paid to the performance-enhancing drug issue. If you believe in purists, you will recognize that they dwell on all-time records. All-time records are made irrelevant by all of these cheaters. Admittedly steroid use was rampant in the NFL during the 1970s and early 1980s (in fact since adoption of steroid testing and penalties, there may still be previous usage or usage timed to have one's body flushed prior to testing (even though testing is supposed to be random). But the NFL got out in front of this issue and decided to do something about it. It's hard to invest any interest in a baseball slugger who has a fair likelihood of being a cheater (and incentives to cheat - performance enhacing drugs DO WORK, testing is lax, penalties are minor). Performances in the lat 15 years by McGwire, Sosa, Bonds, A-Rod have been remarkable - until later it is revealed that it is all a fraud.
One strike should be a lifetime ban. Period.
8) What has happened to the great black athlete baseball players. ? Blacks seem to show no interest in the sport anymore... When Bonds and Griffey are gone, who is left ? I am white, but grew up idolizing great talents like Mays, McCovey, Aaron, Robinson, Gibson, Griffey, Morgan, Stargell, Oliver, Parker, Dawson, Rice, Blair, Baylor, Ozzie Smith, etc. They have largely been replaced by some very talented Latino players. Nothing against them - they belong in the game as well, however an entire race of players has deserted the sport.
9) Post-season baseball has become intensely BORING. Games start too late (Selig may have recently moved up the start time), and games can last 4+ hours. This is magnified by Tim McCarver over-analyzing every pitch. Compared to watching the other 3 major sports, watching baseball is like watching paint dry (the commercials typically have far more action).
It's an urban cultural issue. There has been a glorification for the young black male to focus his athletic ability into basketball for a livlihood. One problem...there are only a handful of roster spots in the NBA and no true farm system. there are also restrictions overseas for the number of foreign athletes. and there are onyl 2 rounds in the NBA draft. So frankly, there aren't enough jobs. The responsibility rests with the parents, teachers and coaches of young kids who notice athletic abilities, and to guide these kids to #1) using academics as the #1 tool and sports second in the event sports don't work, and #2) guiding kids to other sports like baseball rather than pushing them towards basketball as their way "out". Baseball has 40 man rosters, a deep draft, and levels of minor leagues. Baseball is more successful than basketball top to bottom and people need to learn as kids that this is the case.
10) The players are generally uneducated (by far the lowest percentage of college attendees), and have a culture of being big babies. A hangnail means the 15-day disabled list.... Was it Henry Cotto who went on the DL for a Q-tipping accident ? Starting pitchers used to ROUTINELY pitch complete games. Now few pitchers can go more than 115 pitches without becoming totally ineffective or "risking injury"... What is up with that ? During his stint with the Cardinals, Rolen (a BIG guy) had a few collisions on the basepaths that were typical of what a hockey player endures perhaps 3-4 times / game, or what a football player endures 10-12 times a game. Rolen (with roughly $7-10 million / year invested in him) wound up on the DL for MONTHS.... If you are a fan of the NHL or NFL, and witness how tough those guys are, it becomes nearly impossible to sympathize with baseball "injuries".
MLB athletes playing from age 18 until 38 is fairly routine. That's not the case for the other sports due to the nature of the sport.
Baseball needs a vision to fix all the above, and a bold leader who is empowered by the owners to fix it.
They are raking in the money, while the public keeps building them new stadii. So they see no problem. But I think the younger generations are steadily shiftng their interest toward other sports that have more action, and are more fan-friendly.