Originally written on Midwest Sports Fans  |  Last updated 9/18/13

Would Major League Baseball benefit from an East-West realignment? Would it gain more interest from American sports fans and sustain it? The steroids controversy hasn’t singularly pushed baseball behind others in popularity, it’s also the format issues. The great game of baseball, the only one played without a clock to count down time left, must consider tinkering with aspects of its game in order to enhance interest among sports fans. With 30 teams to consider geographically, the split to an East-West realignment would place 15 teams in the East and 15 in the West. That kind of split just seems to make sense. Get all the teams who are close to each other to play each other more times to determine playoff seeding from each league, East and West. Would there be Interleague play still? I suppose so, but it would not be absolutely necessary. If the schedule permits, rotating the home team every other year, East-West Interleague play could be viable. Such a system works for the NBA and NHL. The most important variable would be to get the realignment established and get fans vested in the regional rivalries. What about the designated hitter rule? How would that be handled? Frankly, that rule is the least of MLB’s worries, but, of course, it does need to be addressed. There are several ways to skin this cat. One suggestion is to allow teams to determine before every home game whether they want to use the rule or not. That would create an additional home-field advantage. The visiting team wouldn’t know until right before the game starts whether the rule will be used. Strategies would include determining whether the opposing pitcher is any good at the plate or whether the home pitcher can swing the bat well. How great would it be to see the Philadelphia Phillies and Pittsburgh Pirates playing the New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox an appropriate amount of times each season? Surely, the Los Angeles Dodgers and Oakland A’s would sell more tickets if they were playing each other more often. Plus, baseball would save on travel costs. Here’s the breakdown of how the realignment could look: East: Boston Red Sox, New York Yankees, New York Mets, Pittsburgh Pirates, Philadelphia Phillies, Toronto Blue Jays, Cleveland Indians, Cincinnati Reds, Tampa Bay Rays, Miami Marlins, Baltimore Orioles, Atlanta Braves, Washington Nationals, Milwaukee Brewers and Detroit Tigers. West: Los Angeles Dodgers, Los Angeles Angels, Oakland A’s, Seattle Mariners, San Francisco Giants, Arizona Diamondbacks, San Diego Padres, Texas Rangers, Houston Astros, Minnesota Twins, Kansas City Royals, St. Louis Cardinals, Colorado Rockies, Chicago Cubs and Chicago White Sox. It’s not a perfect realignment. Ideally, it would be best to leave the Chicago teams in the East, but bringing Chicago to the West would be the best solution numbers-wise. This format would really be at its best during the playoffs. There would be matchups leading to a World Series that would pit teams in the wild-card rounds through the League Championship Series that are closer together, making it more emotional for fans. It seems to have worked pretty well for the NBA. The most intriguing element for the NBA is its finals, when the East-West format is on stage for the world to see. The World Series would have that opportunity in this new alignment as well. Howard Alperin is Managing Editor of AmericanizeSoccer.com The post Should MLB Go To an East-West Realignment? appeared first on Midwest Sports Fans.

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2 Comments:
  • The alignment is fine as is the new Wild Card format which generates great races for the post season. What baseball needs to do is get rid of the DH so these cowardly head hunting pitchers in the AL will have to step into the batters box from now on.
  • MLB Radical Realignment Plan & Expanded Playoffs
    Have Western Conference and Eastern Conference instead of AL & NL
    All DH (MLB and player's association will never take away the DH)
    Teams are placed how they would have finished in the 2013 standings.
    Western Conference

    Pacific
    OAK
    LAD
    SF
    LAA
    SEA

    West
    TEX
    AZ
    SD
    COL
    HOU

    Midwest
    STL
    KC
    MIL
    CHW
    CHC



    Eastern Conference

    East
    BOS
    PIT
    NYY
    NYM
    PHI

    South
    ATL
    TB
    WAS
    BAL
    MIA

    Central
    DET
    CLE
    CIN
    TOR
    MIN

    Right now there are too many games vs your own division currently and not enough to see all the teams. I want a chance to see every team play at least once per year.
    There would also be less travel for the players and fans would be closer to travel to out of town ball parks.

    Schedule:
    Back to 154 game regular season schedule

    12 games vs each team in own division 48 games
    6 games vs teams outside of division but in conference 60 games
    3 games vs teams in other conference 45 games
    1 game with team that finished with same seed as you from previous year from other conference

    162 game schedule:

    Option A
    14 games vs team in own division 56 games
    6 games vs teams outside of division but in conference 60 games
    3 games against each team in the other league 45
    3 games against your "rival" 3 games

    Option B
    10 games against each division rival 40
    6 games against each non divisional opponent in your league 60
    4 games against each team from the other league 60
    2 games against your "rival" 2

    Division Winners get top 3 seeds

    Tie breakers (no one game playoffs)
    1. Head to Head
    2. Best Division Record
    3. Best Conference Record
    4. Best record in common opponents

    Expanded Playoffs:

    All 2-3-2 format

    7 Game Wild Card Series with five Wild Card Teams seeded 4-8

    7 Game Division Series Reseed after Wild Card Series are completed

    7 Game League Championship Reseed after Division Series are completed

    7 Game World Series Neutral Site in warm weather cities
    LA San Diego San Francisco Oakland Tampa Bay Miami Houston Dallas Phoenix Atlanta or teams with dome or roof Toronto Milwaukee

    2013 playoff teams would be:

    Western Conference
    Division Winners
    Pacific-Oakland
    West-Texas
    Midwest-St. Louis

    Wild Card Teams West
    LAD
    KC
    AZ
    LAA
    SFG

    Western Conference Wildcard Match Ups Would Be:
    (based on 2013 standings)

    (1) STL vs (8) SFG*
    (2) OAK vs (7) LAA*
    (3) TEX vs (6) AZ
    (4) LAD vs (5) KC


    Eastern Conference
    East-Boston
    Central-Detroit
    South-Atlanta

    Wild Card Teams East
    PIT
    CLE
    TB
    CIN
    WAS


    Eastern Conference Wildcard Match Ups Would Be:
    (based on 2013 standings)

    (1) BOS vs (8) WAS
    (2) ATL vs (7) CIN
    (3) DET vs (6) TB
    (4) PIT vs (5) CLE

    *Team Under .500

    I think this is one way to fix baseball myself.
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