Update: I’ve included a fun little diagram for the EPL realignment idea after the jump.
Update 2: An updated version of Rosenthal’s post now includes his two additional realignments, one modest and one “revenue”-based, although the execution on the latter is terrible and forces the A’s to move to New Jersey. (Rosenthal adds this as an advantage to the realignment because “New York would gain a third team, cutting into the economic might of the Yankees and Mets.” Uhh … I’m pretty sure the Yankees are never going to not spend money and earn it back–the moment they do, we’ll all rejoice. Plus, the Mets are spending money terribly and other teams are benefitting from it, why would you want to change that?) There’s more hilarious stuff in the revenue-based one, check it out.
Ken Rosenthal put forth a hilariously bad attempt (I’m guessing he’s going for the controversy stir) for league realignment this morning, you can read it here.
Not … not very good, Kenny. Aside from having all five teams that play in the same city playing in the same league without making the travel schedule easier, he created a static realignment and tailored it to suit teams’ current successes and failures. Moving the Red Sox and Yankees into two separate divisions because they’re both successful now is dubious. He also says he has two more ideas–I’m gonna suggest he not post them.
C’mon, Kenny. If you’re aiming for realignment, don’t soften the radical stance. I don’t disagree with the idea of realignment–I hate the 16/14 disproportion and that the AL West has Texas (in Arlington)–but either go for a fluid realignment based on success or go for something that’ll last, don’t do both.
A friend of mine proposed a fluid realignment similar to the EPL …
He didn’t get much more into it than that, but a realignment based on team success is ideal, no? Thinking of it logistically, start with the 30 teams. You can theoretically divide them into MLB East and MLB West so that the higher and lower divisions will at least not be flying all over the country to play each other five times a year–in fact, that would probably be the easiest and most rational thing to do. But I dunno about this, I still like the idea of Washington, New York, Los Angeles/Anaheim, Oakland/SF and Chicago having a team in each league.
Anyway. Each league has three divisions, each division has five teams. The schedules are the same, except inter-league is not a song-and-dance show–14 games per team in division, six games per team in league out of division and 30 interleague games (likely the odd man out from each league’s regular schedule and rotating, so each West team has three 9-10 game road trips through the East and vice versa).
And here’s where it gets interesting: for the first year, the league’s teams are placed into their divisions (top, middle, bottom) based on the team’s combined record from the previous year. After the season is wrapped up, the top teams from each of the league’s bottom two divisions get to play in a lesser championship and move up to the next division the next year while the bottom team from the top two move down. Meanwhile, the top four in the top divisions play in a 1-8, 2-7, 3-6, 4-5 format based on record.
So it goes like this after the season is finished (teams 1-5 organized by record)
*plays in top division playoffs
**plays in middle division championship vs. other league’s middle division champion and is promoted to top division at the start of the next year
***plays in bottom division championship vs. other league’s bottom division champion and is promoted to middle division at the start of the next year
****is relegated to the lower division
The league maintains the same playoff revenue plus whatever from the two bonus championship games and it means the season isn’t over if your team is bad. Furthermore, teams in the bottom divisions will aim for the top divisions because there’s a lot more revenue to be had in the eight-team playoff system and it’s easier to attain. It also opens up the opportunity for any two teams to play in the World Series–Red Sox-Yankees, Angels-Dodgers, Mets-Yankees, Orioles-Nationals (lol), Dodgers-Yankees, etc.
It’s not completely thought out–the weakest point I can think of is that a team in the lower divisions has to wait two years to compete for a World Series title–and pretty much no one would go for it because it’s too radical, but it’s an interesting concept and worth talking about.