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Over By There
03-09-2010, 06:18 PM
If you thought the other realignment ideas floating around were bad, wait until you get a load of this:

http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2010/writers/tom_verducci/03/09/floating-realignment/index.html?eref=sihp
(http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2010/writers/tom_verducci/03/09/floating-realignment/index.html?eref=sihp)
:scratch:

russ99
03-09-2010, 06:23 PM
This is an unbelievably horrible idea. I'm offended as a fan that any team would be "floated" into a division with the Sox to "have a better chance"...

An equally asinine solution would be to take the Yankees and Red Sox and give them their own league. Hey.. then the rest of the teams would play with relative competitive balance. :rolleyes:

Stupid Selig. We need a real commissioner.

oeo
03-09-2010, 06:30 PM
This is an unbelievably horrible idea. I'm offended as a fan that any team would be "floated" into a division with the Sox to "have a better chance"...

An equally asinine solution would be to take the Yankees and Red Sox and give them their own league. Hey.. then the rest of the teams would play with relative competitive balance. :rolleyes:

Stupid Selig. We need a real commissioner.

Not Selig's idea, the 14-man committee's.

In the example that's noted, why would the Indians opt out of the AL Central? So they can lose more games and further drive away fans? That makes no sense. This would not even work unless you were somehow able to make trades and/or get money from the other team for changing divisions. Which would further make everything a disaster.

Then you've got teams on the west coast who would never be able to take part in this because of time issues. And this still doesn't fix anything. You're actually making it easier for the Yankees and Red Sox to get into the playoffs by exchanging the Rays for the Indians. And didn't the Rays just beat out the big bad Yankees and Red Sox for the division just two years ago?! Terrible idea on multiple levels, this committee sucks.

Rdy2PlayBall
03-09-2010, 06:35 PM
They act like the Central has been a 80win winner every season for the past 20 years. They have only won less than 90wins only 4 of 15 years... with a bunch of 95+ win seasons... and a World Series, 2 WS appearances, 3 ALCS.... I don't understand why we are a division that is so weak, we need to be taking in all these teams. I understand the Yankees and Red Sox are over powered, but everyone has NO respect for the central. It bugs me I have to say. :scratch:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/American_League_Central

oeo
03-09-2010, 06:41 PM
They act like the Central has been a 80win winner every season for the past 20 years. They have only won less than 90wins only 4 of 15 years... with a bunch of 95+ win seasons... and a World Series, 2 WS appearances, 3 ALCS.... I don't understand why we are a division that is so weak, we need to be taking in all these teams. I understand the Yankees and Red Sox are over powered, but everyone has NO respect for the central. It bugs me I have to say. :scratch:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/American_League_Central

Division strength changes from year to year. The NL West was known as the NL Worst just a few years ago, and now it's probably the best division in the National League. The AL Central was one of the best divisions in baseball just a few years ago. Three teams with 90+ win seasons in 2006, the Indians nearly took the Wild Card in 2005 (finished one game back of the Yankees and Red Sox who tied), and still was pretty good in 2007 though not as much. The Indians inconsistency is what really hurts the view on the division, and now they're right back where they were in the early 2000's.

october23sp
03-09-2010, 06:56 PM
"It could give the Rays a better shot at the playoffs"

What if the Rays go 40-122 this year? Here's my idea for alignment:

NL West: Giants, Dodgers, Diamondbacks, Padres, Rockies
NL Central: Cards, Cubs, Brewers, Reds, Astros, Pirates
NL East: Phillies, Marlins, Braves, Mets, Nats
AL West: A's, Angels, Mariners, Rangers
AL Central: Sox, Twins, Tigers, Indians, Royals
AL East: Yankees, Red Sox, Rays, Blue Jays, Orioles

guillen4life13
03-09-2010, 07:14 PM
"It could give the Rays a better shot at the playoffs"

What if the Rays go 40-122 this year? Here's my idea for alignment:

NL West: Giants, Dodgers, Diamondbacks, Padres, Rockies
NL Central: Cards, Cubs, Brewers, Reds, Astros, Pirates
NL East: Phillies, Marlins, Braves, Mets, Nats
AL West: A's, Angels, Mariners, Rangers
AL Central: Sox, Twins, Tigers, Indians, Royals
AL East: Yankees, Red Sox, Rays, Blue Jays, Orioles

Oh, I get it.

I think it would be cool if they went back to the 2 league, 2 division format they had prior to '94.

AL East:
NYY
BOS
TBR
TOR
BAL
CLE
DET
MIL

AL West:
CHW
KCR
MIN
LAA
OAK
SEA
TEX
NOR

NL East:
NYM
PHI
FLA
ATL
CIN
CHC
PIT
WAS

NL West:
LAD
STL
SDP
ARI
HOU
SFG
COL
POR

Emboldened teams are expansion.

edit: Top teams from each division make the playoffs. The wildcard spots are given to the two teams in each league with the highest winning percentage.

Rdy2PlayBall
03-09-2010, 07:57 PM
Why not just have 3 wild cards instead of 1, and extend the playoffs? Or 2 and give the #1 team a free round in the playoffs.

I like how it is. Who cares about the one-hit-wonders Tampa Bay and the rest of that division. Let Boston and New York dual it out, that's where the marketing is.

Daver
03-09-2010, 08:14 PM
Do away with divisions, the wildcard, and everything else, at the end of the season the team with the best record in the NL plays the team with the best record in the AL, winner take all. It worked flawlessly for over seventy years.

jabrch
03-09-2010, 08:21 PM
Do away with divisions, the wildcard, and everything else, at the end of the season the team with the best record in the NL plays the team with the best record in the AL, winner take all. It worked flawlessly for over seventy years.

Dear Owners - please surrender millions of dollars in playoff profits. Love Daver.

PalehosePlanet
03-09-2010, 08:23 PM
No divisions; just AL & NL; balanced schedule; teams 1-4 in each league make the playoffs.

SephClone89
03-09-2010, 08:29 PM
No divisions; just AL & NL; balanced schedule; teams 1-4 in each league make the playoffs.

I kind of like this (reminds me of European soccer and, of course, old-school baseball), but I actually like the regional divisions. I like having the rivalries with the other midwest teams and playing them so often.

Daver
03-09-2010, 08:38 PM
Dear Owners - please surrender millions of dollars in playoff profits. Love Daver.

Dear owners, please stop insulting the integrity of the sport, and it's fans, to line your own pockets, it was bad enough you watered down the league just to pay for your mistakes in the eighties. Cordially, Daver.


I fixed it for you.

asindc
03-09-2010, 08:43 PM
They act like the Central has been a 80win winner every season for the past 20 years. They have only won less than 90wins only 4 of 15 years... with a bunch of 95+ win seasons... and a World Series, 2 WS appearances, 3 ALCS.... I don't understand why we are a division that is so weak, we need to be taking in all these teams. I understand the Yankees and Red Sox are over powered, but everyone has NO respect for the central. It bugs me I have to say. :scratch:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/American_League_Central

Actually, that should be 4 WS and 7 ALCS appearances, but I get your point.

kittle42
03-09-2010, 09:11 PM
Dear owners, please stop insulting the integrity of the sport, and it's fans, to line your own pockets, it was bad enough you watered down the league just to pay for your mistakes in the eighties. Cordially, Daver.


I fixed it for you.

I hate to defend owners, but that's simply unrealistic in this day and age. And I am someone who believes in tradition in sports.

TDog
03-09-2010, 09:23 PM
Do away with divisions, the wildcard, and everything else, at the end of the season the team with the best record in the NL plays the team with the best record in the AL, winner take all. It worked flawlessly for over seventy years.

This would be preferable to any system that sends any team not finishing in first place to the postseason.

jabrch
03-09-2010, 09:40 PM
Dear owners, please stop insulting the integrity of the sport, and it's fans, to line your own pockets, it was bad enough you watered down the league just to pay for your mistakes in the eighties. Cordially, Daver.


I fixed it for you.

The integrity of the sport? That's being insulted in so many ways unrelated to how divisions are structured that it isn't funny. Want to complain about owners profits - let's look at that - but this is about involving more fans from more cities in playoff chases and in meaningful games later in the year (so that MLB owners can make more money).

I'd hate a system where only a few teams are still in it in September.

Dibbs
03-09-2010, 11:22 PM
No divisions; just AL & NL; balanced schedule; teams 1-4 in each league make the playoffs.

That makes way too much sense. I vote for floating divisions!

pudge
03-10-2010, 12:47 AM
Do away with divisions, the wildcard, and everything else, at the end of the season the team with the best record in the NL plays the team with the best record in the AL, winner take all. It worked flawlessly for over seventy years.

Yup, and it would absolutely KILL baseball now. Baseball is already in jeopardy of falling into "niche" sport category if they keep hiding their playoff games on TBS, playing the World Series in November, and letting the Yanks and Red Sox dominate every year. Going back to only two playoffs teams, where you'd never see your team in the playoffs for 20+ years, and most team's seasons would be over by June, would be crushing. I think it's fairly perfect now, but they just need to do something to balance team budgets so every fan can have a prayer going into the spring.

doublem23
03-10-2010, 04:34 AM
Yup, and it would absolutely KILL baseball now. Baseball is already in jeopardy of falling into "niche" sport category if they keep hiding their playoff games on TBS, playing the World Series in November, and letting the Yanks and Red Sox dominate every year. Going back to only two playoffs teams, where you'd never see your team in the playoffs for 20+ years, and most team's seasons would be over by June, would be crushing. I think it's fairly perfect now, but they just need to do something to balance team budgets so every fan can have a prayer going into the spring.

You're talking about the #2 professional sports league in America based on revenues. If baseball is a niche sport, what isn't?

sox1970
03-10-2010, 08:16 AM
No divisions; just AL & NL; balanced schedule; teams 1-4 in each league make the playoffs.

I wish. If they want to give the Rays, Orioles, and Blue Jays a fair shot just let them compete as one of 14 teams in the league. If they're one of the top four teams, they'll be in the playoffs.

As it stands now, these teams are going to be in a constant state of rebuilding. They have to let homegrown players go most of the time, and they aren't attractive destinations for free agents. If you have them compete as 1 of 14, they'll have a better chance of competing.

asindc
03-10-2010, 08:21 AM
The integrity of the sport? That's being insulted in so many ways unrelated to how divisions are structured that it isn't funny. Want to complain about owners profits - let's look at that - but this is about involving more fans from more cities in playoff chases and in meaningful games later in the year (so that MLB owners can make more money).

I'd hate a system where only a few teams are still in it in September.

I wholeheartedly agree with this point. I have always looked at sports in terms of how difficult it is to make the postseason. The NCAA Basketball Tournament is perfect in that everyone has a realistic chance to make the tournament, but less than 25% can actually make it. As it stands now, about 28% of teams make the playoffs in baseball.

If MLB went back to two divisions per league and only the division winner can make it, that number drops to about 14%. I could go for that, but not just one team from each league. Nope, would not be fun at all for the majority of teams for several years' at a time. To all those who say you should win something to make the playoffs, winning a 7 or 8-team division is winning something. If you don't think beating out seven other teams for a playoff spot is a worthwhile achievement, then I refer you to this:

http://www.baseball-reference.com/leagues/AL/1959.shtml

jabrch
03-10-2010, 09:50 AM
I wholeheartedly agree with this point. I have always looked at sports in terms of how difficult it is to make the postseason. The NCAA Basketball Tournament is perfect in that everyone has a realistic chance to make the tournament, but less than 25% can actually make it. As it stands now, about 28% of teams make the playoffs in baseball.

If MLB went back to two divisions per league and only the division winner can make it, that number drops to about 14%. I could go for that, but not just one team from each league. Nope, would not be fun at all for the majority of teams for several years' at a time. To all those who say you should win something to make the playoffs, winning a 7 or 8-team division is winning something. If you don't think beating out seven other teams for a playoff spot is a worthwhile achievement, then I refer you to this:

http://www.baseball-reference.com/leagues/AL/1959.shtml


and specifically, how many years in a row do we want to see the Yanks or the Sawx play against one of 3 or 4 NL teams?

What is the problem that we are trying to fix by going to a single division? and reducing the post season to two teams?

voodoochile
03-10-2010, 09:57 AM
There is no way Baseball goes back to a single division or reduces the number of teams in the playoffs. There's too much money and too many fans kept interested with expanded playoffs.

It's a bad idea, IMO, this floating realignment, but it reminds me of PHG's concept which is similar to the way the English Soccer league is set up with teams divided into divisions based on whether they are successful or not and teams moving up or down based on performance the previous year. I can't recall the specifics.

Tragg
03-10-2010, 09:59 AM
There is no way Baseball goes back to a single division or reduces the number of teams in the playoffs. There's too much money and too many fans kept interested with expanded playoffs.

But they could still do a single division: put the top 4 teams in the playoffs.

voodoochile
03-10-2010, 10:14 AM
But they could still do a single division: put the top 4 teams in the playoffs.

Yeah, that would work, just don't think it's likely. I doubt they want a balanced schedule because it would increase travel costs too.

I'm one of the few people who likes the unbalanced schedule. I think you should play the teams in your division more than anyone else which is similar to the way other sports do it. You shouldn't be able to win the ALE without beating the teams in the ALE.

Some kind of geographical divisional alignment makes sense, IMO.

sox1970
03-10-2010, 10:54 AM
Yeah, that would work, just don't think it's likely. I doubt they want a balanced schedule because it would increase travel costs too.

I'm one of the few people who likes the unbalanced schedule. I think you should play the teams in your division more than anyone else which is similar to the way other sports do it. You shouldn't be able to win the ALE without beating the teams in the ALE.

Some kind of geographical divisional alignment makes sense, IMO.

I've always thought the travel cost issue was a little bit blown out of proportion. If they would just take longer trips, and trips that make sense, it wouldn't be that bad.

The coastal teams should take 3 city trips. Seattle should go to Baltimore, New York, and Boston in the same trip. The east coast teams should go to Seattle, Oakland, and Anaheim on the same road trip. But it seems like there are fewer 10 day trips, and there are no two week trips anymore. If they got back to that, they would be at home for longer stretches and not taking as many cross country trips.

Hitmen77
03-10-2010, 11:34 AM
If you thought the other realignment ideas floating around were bad, wait until you get a load of this:

http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2010/writers/tom_verducci/03/09/floating-realignment/index.html?eref=sihp
(http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2010/writers/tom_verducci/03/09/floating-realignment/index.html?eref=sihp)
:scratch:

This is typical messed up MLB thinking. Instead of trying to do something to address the stranglehold the Yankees and Red Sox have in the AL (both in terms of on-field performance and how the league is promoted), they just want to re-align to have the league revolve around NY and Bos even more.

Problem: MLB revolves around only 2 teams. Solution: Have other teams play the Yankees and Red Sox more often to boost their attendance! Brilliant!

The problem is that the Yankees payroll is $80 million more than even the next highest spending AL team. Eighty million - that difference would be most of the White Sox entire payroll. The Red Sox spend too much too, but at least their payroll is within range of a few other big spending teams. If MLB wants to fix their competitiveness problem, then they've got to reign in the out of proportion spending of these 2 teams and they MUST change the mentality that the league (especially in the AL) revolves around Boston and New York. This IMO is the biggest failing of the Selig area. Sure he's made the owners a ton of money with a bunch of new ballparks, but now more than ever it's marketed as a two-team league. You don't see anything close to this ridiculous domination in the other major sports - even with dynasties like the Lakers, Patriots, Cowboys, etc.

If you look at American League attendance last year, after you get past NYY, Bos and LAA, the next highest drawing AL team is 12th in the league in attendance. 12th, by the way is Detroit and they're another high payroll team and their attendance dropped significantly from 2008. After that, every other AL failed to average 30,000 per game. The answer isn't just to have everyone else play the Yankees and Red Sox more often.

Hitmen77
03-10-2010, 11:49 AM
Do away with divisions, the wildcard, and everything else, at the end of the season the team with the best record in the NL plays the team with the best record in the AL, winner take all. It worked flawlessly for over seventy years.

It worked when there were only 8 teams in each league. It would be a lot tougher to keep fans interested if so many teams are essentially out of the race before the all-star break because only 1 out of 16 NL teams make it to the post season.

In the AL, it would be 1 out of 14 teams but matters would be worse since everyone else would have to get past NY and Bos year after year after year.

I think you'd see attendance plummet in most cities if we went back to only 1 team per league for the post season.

asindc
03-10-2010, 11:49 AM
This is typical messed up MLB thinking. Instead of trying to do something to address the stranglehold the Yankees and Red Sox have in the AL (both in terms of on-field performance and how the league is promoted), they just want to re-align to have the league revolve around NY and Bos even more.

Problem: MLB revolves around only 2 teams. Solution: Have other teams play the Yankees and Red Sox more often to boost their attendance! Brilliant!

The problem is that the Yankees payroll is $80 million more than even the next highest spending AL team. Eighty million - that difference would be most of the White Sox entire payroll. The Red Sox spend too much too, but at least their payroll is within range of a few other big spending teams. If MLB wants to fix their competitiveness problem, then they've got to reign in the out of proportion spending of these 2 teams and they MUST change the mentality that the league (especially in the AL) revolves around Boston and New York. This IMO is the biggest failing of the Selig area. Sure he's made the owners a ton of money with a bunch of new ballparks, but now more than ever it's marketed as a two-team league. You don't see anything close to this ridiculous domination in the other major sports - even with dynasties like the Lakers, Patriots, Cowboys, etc.

If you look at American League attendance last year, after you get past NYY, Bos and LAA, the next highest drawing AL team is 12th in the league in attendance. 12th, by the way is Detroit and they're another high payroll team and their attendance dropped significantly from 2008. After that, every other AL failed to average 30,000 per game. The answer isn't just to have everyone else play the Yankees and Red Sox more often.

Well said on all points. I especially agree with the point about Selig letting ESPN and Fox get away with disproportionate promotion of the teams. Absolutely no good reason to let that happen.

Luke
03-10-2010, 01:23 PM
There's a major flaw in the logic of this plan; A team that declares itself to be "rebuilding" gets to move into a division that would ostensibly net it more money because they have more premier games, and higher gates.

What happens if a team sandbags it, and claims they're still rebuilding after a year or two or three? What happens when it's more profitable to stick with developing talent rather than pursue a free agent? After all you're going to get a good gate for 10 games against the Yankees no matter what they put on the field?

None of this even factors in that teams at the highest level of the game will be publicly avowing that they're not going to be competitive this year or next.

If they're so worried about competitive balance, force teams to spend revenue sharing money on players, and fix the amateur draft so that it's more equitable.

Edit: the current CBA does say that teams can't pocket revenue sharing money.

TheVulture
03-10-2010, 02:03 PM
This is typical messed up MLB thinking. Instead of trying to do something to address the stranglehold the Yankees and Red Sox have in the AL (both in terms of on-field performance and how the league is promoted), they just want to re-align to have the league revolve around NY and Bos even more.


I agree. If the "NY-BOS stranglehold" is such a problem, which I don't really agree with(didn't TB just win the AL pennant?), wouldn't it be easier just to move Boston to the NL East instead of a radical re-alignment that only emphasizes the issue. Oh, but then you wouldn't have the BOS-NY rivalry!

No matter how you slice it, if NYY is going to have twice the payroll of every other team there is going to be imbalance. A lot of teams are closer to BOS in terms of payroll than BOS is to NY, so really NYY is the only problem. I don't see how re-alignment is going to solve that. If you move Detroit or Chicago or LA to the Yankees division and they increase payroll by 15-20% in order to compete with the Yanks, then they would still be playing the role the Red Sox are playing now.

fram40
03-10-2010, 02:11 PM
Well said on all points. I especially agree with the point about Selig letting ESPN and Fox get away with disproportionate promotion of the teams. Absolutely no good reason to let that happen.

ESPN and Fox supply a disproportionate amount of the money to the clubs. At least on a national basis. Shouldn't they be able to promote who they want? The ratings say more of the country wants Boston and NYY than anyone else.

g0g0
03-10-2010, 02:11 PM
Hate it, hate it, hate it. Their example of rebuilding teams i.e. Cleveland is crap. Teams are supposed to be competitive and compete. If they can't, then why not institute what most major soccer leagues do and relegate/promote teams? They could have a two-tiered system. But that would be crap too.

The one thing I liked about that article was the football strength of schedule idea. It wouldn't involve changing divisions around or anything like that. You would just play weaker or better teams based on last year's performance. Seems pretty harmless to me. Then the Yankees and Sox could kill themselves for 162 games.

asindc
03-10-2010, 03:12 PM
ESPN and Fox supply a disproportionate amount of the money to the clubs. At least on a national basis. Shouldn't they be able to promote who they want? The ratings say more of the country wants Boston and NYY than anyone else.

Applying that same rationale to the NFL, the Pittsburgh Steelers would be promoted more than any other team. The most recent reports I have read indicate that the Steelers have the largest national fan base and the largest female fan base of all NFL teams. Yet, the Steelers are not promoted on Sunday night or Monday night football any more than any other team.

g0g0
03-10-2010, 03:38 PM
Applying that same rationale to the NFL, the Pittsburgh Steelers would be promoted more than any other team. The most recent reports I have read indicate that the Steelers have the largest national fan base and the largest female fan base of all NFL teams. Yet, the Steelers are not promoted on Sunday night or Monday night football than any other team.

Everyone knows Dallas is America's Team.

TDog
03-11-2010, 11:04 AM
But they could still do a single division: put the top 4 teams in the playoffs.

They could if they wanted to follow the path of inferior sports. But baseball is about the pennant race, even if the number of teams has watered that down to the half-a-pennant or third-of-a-pennant races. There are some baseball announcers that even refer to the "wild card division," which I suppose is akin to in-season floating realignment.

If you play nearly ever day for six months and don't finish first, you have no business claiming a championship. If you have divisions with unbalanced schedules, you have teams that attained titles matching up to determine an overall champion.

Pear-Zin-Ski
03-11-2010, 12:23 PM
**** this. Can anyone call for the resignation of those in power?

Isn't the answer they are looking for called "the salary cap"?

pudge
03-11-2010, 02:16 PM
You're talking about the #2 professional sports league in America based on revenues. If baseball is a niche sport, what isn't?

Not saying other sports aren't having the same issues outside the NFL, but that's no reason for baseball to fade into hockey-like territory, and I truly believe it could if the current direction is continued. You are losing generation after generation of fans in cities like KC or Pittsburgh. Sure, you're making revenue by selling your soul to the hightest bidder (ie, TBS) and yet losing potential fans in droves because nobody friggin watches baseball playoff games on TBS. The past three amazing Game-163's (Padres/Rockies, Sox/Twins, Tigers/Twins) were a fantasic showcase for baseball, and nobody saw them. My casual sports fan friends were trying to find the Rays/Red Sox games from a couple years ago and had no idea where they were, and just gave up. They were like, "What has happened to baseball? Its not for casual sports fans anymore."

I don't know what the answers are, but when people throw out revenue as an explanation for baseball's "success" I fear the long-term payback could be ugly.

TDog
03-11-2010, 05:06 PM
**** this. Can anyone call for the resignation of those in power?

Isn't the answer they are looking for called "the salary cap"?

No, it's not.

thomas35forever
03-11-2010, 08:00 PM
If you float the divisions in MLB, you have to do it for all professional leagues and it's a bad idea to begin with.

FarmerAndy
03-12-2010, 09:55 AM
They could if they wanted to follow the path of inferior sports. But baseball is about the pennant race, even if the number of teams has watered that down to the half-a-pennant or third-of-a-pennant races. There are some baseball announcers that even refer to the "wild card division," which I suppose is akin to in-season floating realignment.

If you play nearly ever day for six months and don't finish first, you have no business claiming a championship. If you have divisions with unbalanced schedules, you have teams that attained titles matching up to determine an overall champion.

With all due respect, and I'm not attacking you here on a personal level. (Sorry, sometimes around here it seems like you need to put that disclaimer in.) But, in general, I absolutely can't stand this way of thinking. Division titles are an over-glorified reward based more on arbitrary lines drawn on a map than they are on how good your baseball team is.

I will never be okay with the notion that winning a weak division with 84 wins is an accomplishment that makes a team more worthy of postseason play than a 92 win team that finishes second in a strong division. The example of the '08 NL West "champion" Dodgers should be enough of a red flag. There were 7 teams in the NL with a better record than the Dodgers that year. But there's something so noble about that division crown that makes a team who finished right in the middle of the NL (8th out of 16 teams) worthy of the postseason??? That makes me want to puke.

As far as "floating divisions"..... what a pile of crap. First off, the whole issue of competitive balance is way overblown if you ask me. You can re-arrange the divisions all you want. But no matter how hard you try, there are a few facts that will remain -

*The Yankees and Red Sox have large revenue streams. On top of that, they have commitment to winning. Go ahead and move 'em around, shake 'em up..... see what that does for you. These teams will almost always compete. Deal with with it.

*Teams that operate like the Pirates and Royals will not win. Go ahead, shake up the divisions and try to make it easier for them. Spot 'em 15 wins at the beggining of the season. When you are the worst in baseball, you will still be the worst, no matter where you draw these magical division lines. These teams have no chance, and it's not because of a competetive inbalance. It's because they are bad at running a baseball team.

*Most other teams will have to build/re-build. Good times and bad times. Look for your windows of opportunity. Teams that operate smart will have their periods of success. That's baseball.

I 100% agree with eliminating divisions. (Top 4 in each leage go to the postseason.) I feel that the number 1 argument against this is an illusion - the illusion that eliminating divisions will take away races. Do you think that 4 teams will just run away with each league? Heck no. It will create one huge race in each league, and I'd be willing to bet that it would be extremely exciting. You'd go down to the final weekend of the season with a good handful of teams in the hunt. And with a balanced schedule, it would be a a totally fair race. Sure, the #2-4 teams in each league wouldn't be able to hoiste a cheap-arse division flag. But you'd have an intense, fair race that would result in the best teams making the playoffs.

Under this system, Baltimore and Toronto would have just as much of a chance to compete as Chicago, Minnesota, Anaheim, ect. When you consider the fact that NY and Boston aren't going away, this system creates more balance than any divisional scenerio.

I think if people actually saw this play out for a couple of seasons, they would begin to realize how much better it is.

Stoky44
03-12-2010, 11:45 AM
With all due respect, and I'm not attacking you here on a personal level. (Sorry, sometimes around here it seems like you need to put that disclaimer in.) But, in general, I absolutely can't stand this way of thinking. Division titles are an over-glorified reward based more on arbitrary lines drawn on a map than they are on how good your baseball team is.

I will never be okay with the notion that winning a weak division with 84 wins is an accomplishment that makes a team more worthy of postseason play than a 92 win team that finishes second in a strong division. The example of the '08 NL West "champion" Dodgers should be enough of a red flag. There were 7 teams in the NL with a better record than the Dodgers that year. But there's something so noble about that division crown that makes a team who finished right in the middle of the NL (8th out of 16 teams) worthy of the postseason??? That makes me want to puke.

As far as "floating divisions"..... what a pile of crap. First off, the whole issue of competitive balance is way overblown if you ask me. You can re-arrange the divisions all you want. But no matter how hard you try, there are a few facts that will remain -

*The Yankees and Red Sox have large revenue streams. On top of that, they have commitment to winning. Go ahead and move 'em around, shake 'em up..... see what that does for you. These teams will almost always compete. Deal with with it.

*Teams that operate like the Pirates and Royals will not win. Go ahead, shake up the divisions and try to make it easier for them. Spot 'em 15 wins at the beggining of the season. When you are the worst in baseball, you will still be the worst, no matter where you draw these magical division lines. These teams have no chance, and it's not because of a competetive inbalance. It's because they are bad at running a baseball team.

*Most other teams will have to build/re-build. Good times and bad times. Look for your windows of opportunity. Teams that operate smart will have their periods of success. That's baseball.

I 100% agree with eliminating divisions. (Top 4 in each leage go to the postseason.) I feel that the number 1 argument against this is an illusion - the illusion that eliminating divisions will take away races. Do you think that 4 teams will just run away with each league? Heck no. It will create one huge race in each league, and I'd be willing to bet that it would be extremely exciting. You'd go down to the final weekend of the season with a good handful of teams in the hunt. And with a balanced schedule, it would be a a totally fair race. Sure, the #2-4 teams in each league wouldn't be able to hoiste a cheap-arse division flag. But you'd have an intense, fair race that would result in the best teams making the playoffs.

Under this system, Baltimore and Toronto would have just as much of a chance to compete as Chicago, Minnesota, Anaheim, ect. When you consider the fact that NY and Boston aren't going away, this system creates more balance than any divisional scenerio.

I think if people actually saw this play out for a couple of seasons, they would begin to realize how much better it is.

Totally agree, never put much thought into eliminating the divisions until now. I would vote for this in a heart beat, even though the Sox would probably have less of a chance of making the post season this year.

TDog
03-12-2010, 04:16 PM
... Division titles are an over-glorified reward based more on arbitrary lines drawn on a map than they are on how good your baseball team is. ...

Not if you have an unbalanced schedule with divisions based on geography. The point of a baseball season is to finish first. The division title in 2008 meant something to the White Sox and White Sox fans. It meant more than just going to the postseason.

You have too many teams in baseball now to have just one race to finish first and go to the World Series. But if you played balanced schedules, eliminate the divisions and take the top four in each league (or eliminate the leagues and take the top eight in major league baseball), your playoffs have been reduced to a feel-good tournament. You know who the champion is if you have a balanced schedule and no divisions. There is no need for playoffs to determine a champion.

Finishing first in a 162-game schedule is a fairer way to determine who has the right to be a champion than a short head-to-head series. Putting the top four teams into a playoff bracket after they have played the same schedule and letting them play for a championship is just a waste of time.

Stoky44
03-12-2010, 04:21 PM
The division title in 2008 meant something to the White Sox and White Sox fans. It meant more than just going to the postseason.

I have to respectfully disagree, although you bring up some valid points. I could care less about the division title, for me it was more about making the playoffs and competing for the WS. By the logic above, then where does winning a wild card fit in "meaning something" if first place is more important than playoff births.

TDog
03-12-2010, 05:56 PM
I have to respectfully disagree, although you bring up some valid points. I could care less about the division title, for me it was more about making the playoffs and competing for the WS. By the logic above, then where does winning a wild card fit in "meaning something" if first place is more important than playoff births.

Of course, beating the Twins at the end of the 2008 season meant competing in a series that could lead to the White Sox getting to the World Series, but to many, winning the division meant something as well. It was an epic game that was only possible because of the division format. Does any White Sox fan not remember that as a great game in the team's history? Only one team wins the World Series, but baseball provides great moments for other teams as well.

As I have stated earlier in this thread and in others, I dislike the wild card and have seen people rationalize it as a floating division. If baseball insists on having three divisions in each league, it has to have a wild card. Baseball has to have two rounds of league playoffs. The wild card is the compromise.

If you are arguing that a balanced schedule with the top four teams playing off at the end of the season is the fairest way to determine the most deserving team, your argument is flawed because eliminating divisions and balancing the schedule would leave the first-place team as the most deserving.

If you are arguing that doing away with the division races would make for a more excited season, I would disagree with you there as well.

fram40
03-12-2010, 07:09 PM
Applying that same rationale to the NFL, the Pittsburgh Steelers would be promoted more than any other team. The most recent reports I have read indicate that the Steelers have the largest national fan base and the largest female fan base of all NFL teams. Yet, the Steelers are not promoted on Sunday night or Monday night football any more than any other team.

I don't think there is as large a disparity in the ratings for the NFL. The playoff games draw huge ratings whoever is playing, but the baseball playoffs depend on the teams involved. Yankees and Red Sox vs anyone guarantee decent ratings. Tampa/Philly (or Sox/Houston) tank.

Red Barchetta
03-12-2010, 09:55 PM
I don't like this idea. I would rather MLB get past the current divisional, unbalanced schedule and simply allow the top 4 teams from each league to make the playoffs, regardless of their current division alignment. Seed them accordingly and allow the best record to carry home field advantage while expanding the first round of the playoffs to a best of seven series. During the regular season, play a balanced schedule and move one team from the NL to the AL so that both leagues have an even amount of teams even if that means extending inter-league play throughout the season.

Red Barchetta
03-12-2010, 09:58 PM
I don't think there is as large a disparity in the ratings for the NFL. The playoff games draw huge ratings whoever is playing, but the baseball playoffs depend on the teams involved. Yankees and Red Sox vs anyone guarantee decent ratings. Tampa/Philly (or Sox/Houston) tank.

I agree. That's why I found it so "curious" when the Colts pulled their starters in game 15 against the Jets. I think the NFL execs needed the Jets and New York in the playoffs (since the Giants were out of it).

DSpivack
03-12-2010, 10:01 PM
I agree. That's why I found it so "curious" when the Colts pulled their starters in game 15 against the Jets. I think the NFL execs needed the Jets and New York in the playoffs (since the Giants were out of it).

Spare me the conspiracy theories. That was a dumb decision by the Colts coaching staff and nothing more.

The NFL doesn't rely on marketing the big market teams as much as baseball does, and as is generally a healthier sport all around.

Red Barchetta
03-12-2010, 10:04 PM
Spare me the conspiracy theories. That was a dumb decision by the Colts coaching staff and nothing more.

The NFL doesn't rely on marketing the big market teams as much as baseball does, and as is generally a healthier sport all around.

Spare me the Jets were a great team theories. Game 16, maybe. Game 15 at home? No way. Jets needed to win both games 15 and 16 to get in.

DSpivack
03-12-2010, 10:06 PM
Spare me the Jets were a great team theories. Game 16, maybe. Game 15 at home? No way. Jets needed to win both games 15 and 16 to get in.

Where did I say they were a great team? But do you honestly think the NFL had a hand in the Colts benching starters in the 4th quarter of that game so that they could get a team in the NY market in the playoffs? If they were so concerned about that, why has the nation's 2nd biggest market been without a team for so long? The NFL does well in terms of ratings no matter what teams are in it, MLB does not.

fox23
03-13-2010, 08:49 AM
Where did I say they were a great team? But do you honestly think the NFL had a hand in the Colts benching starters in the 4th quarter of that game so that they could get a team in the NY market in the playoffs? If they were so concerned about that, why has the nation's 2nd biggest market been without a team for so long? The NFL does well in terms of ratings no matter what teams are in it, MLB does not.

I agree that's a ridiculous conspiracy theory about the Colts pulling their starters. However, I've always held the belief the NFL doesn't put a team in LA in order to provide leverage for other teams to get sweet stadium deals. All a team has to do is threaten to move to LA if they don't get what they want and the city almost always caves in. It worked like a charm in Cincinnati. And I completely agree about your last point.

Stoky44
03-13-2010, 10:07 AM
Of course, beating the Twins at the end of the 2008 season meant competing in a series that could lead to the White Sox getting to the World Series, but to many, winning the division meant something as well. It was an epic game that was only possible because of the division format. Does any White Sox fan not remember that as a great game in the team's history? Only one team wins the World Series, but baseball provides great moments for other teams as well.

I agree this was an epic game, but I would argue it was so great not only for the stakes, i.e. going to the playoffs, but it was actually a very close and well played game. If it was a blow out 15-0, then I don't think it would have been so memorable. Also, if that exact same game was played for the wild card spot, would it not have been as exciting? Which goes back to my argument, that its not about winning the division, its about getting into the playoffs. Also, if you eliminated the divisions, and took the top 4 teams, who is to say there would not be 2 teams tied for fourth were you would need the same type of play-in game the Sox had in '08.

Stoky44
03-13-2010, 10:20 AM
If you are arguing that a balanced schedule with the top four teams playing off at the end of the season is the fairest way to determine the most deserving team, your argument is flawed because eliminating divisions and balancing the schedule would leave the first-place team as the most deserving.

I don't understand how this flaws my argument. That's right the best record is the most deserving, which is why they would get a 1 seed, and the second best record is the second most deserving, getting a 2 seed, etc. This is similar as it is now, because the best record in each league now gets to play the wild card team, except if they are in the same division.
Eliminating the divisions and balancing the schedule means that you are assured that the best 4 teams go to the playoffs that year, which is not the case now.


If you are arguing that doing away with the division races would make for a more excited season, I would disagree with you there as well.

I am not saying it would be "more" exciting, but it would be just as exciting based off I will argue that winning a division or a wild card is more about a playoff birth then anything else. You would ultimately come down to the end of the season battling for a playoff spot either way, granted you can't hang a flag at your stadium saying 4th place winner or print t-shirts for that. However, I think its kind of stupid looking to fly a wild card winner flag (as some teams do). A central division title in of itself means nothing to me, its the playoff birth to me. As I said earlier, I don't think you would find many people complaining about a wild card vs a division title or saying one is better than the other. Now talk about winning an American league pennant, then thats a little different.

asindc
03-13-2010, 12:16 PM
I don't think there is as large a disparity in the ratings for the NFL. The playoff games draw huge ratings whoever is playing, but the baseball playoffs depend on the teams involved. Yankees and Red Sox vs anyone guarantee decent ratings. Tampa/Philly (or Sox/Houston) tank.

Spare me the conspiracy theories. That was a dumb decision by the Colts coaching staff and nothing more.

The NFL doesn't rely on marketing the big market teams as much as baseball does, and as is generally a healthier sport all around.

fram40,

This is not a chicken-or-egg argument. NYY and Boston get bigger ratings in baseball in large part because they are marketed more, unlike the teams with large fan bases in the NFL.

TDog
03-13-2010, 08:15 PM
I don't understand how this flaws my argument. That's right the best record is the most deserving, which is why they would get a 1 seed, and the second best record is the second most deserving, getting a 2 seed, etc. This is similar as it is now, because the best record in each league now gets to play the wild card team, except if they are in the same division.
Eliminating the divisions and balancing the schedule means that you are assured that the best 4 teams go to the playoffs that year, which is not the case now.



I am not saying it would be "more" exciting, but it would be just as exciting based off I will argue that winning a division or a wild card is more about a playoff birth then anything else. You would ultimately come down to the end of the season battling for a playoff spot either way, granted you can't hang a flag at your stadium saying 4th place winner or print t-shirts for that. However, I think its kind of stupid looking to fly a wild card winner flag (as some teams do). A central division title in of itself means nothing to me, its the playoff birth to me. As I said earlier, I don't think you would find many people complaining about a wild card vs a division title or saying one is better than the other. Now talk about winning an American league pennant, then thats a little different.

Making the postseason is important, but it's not as important as making the playoffs by winning a division. Most baseball fans feel this way. You don't see people wearing T-shirts proclaiming their team won the wild card. You do see divisional championship T-shirts. You see that a lot. But it's not just the achievement, it is the thrill of the penant race, which only happens in baseball.

If you create a league where you have a champion and three wild cards, you not only rob people of penant races, but you give three teams who didn't win anything the chance to overtake the champion if they get a few breaks in a short series. You cheapen the postseason, which most sports have already done.

If the pennant race in 2008 wasn't a thrill and winning beating the Twins in Game 163 didn't mean anything because the White Sox went on to lose to the Rays, why bother being a White Sox fan? Your team has only won two league championships since 1919, and some people don't even consider the American League a separate league anymore.

If your goal is to crown the most deserving team champion of each league, you don't have any playoffs. If you are going to give every team the same schedules and you still insist on giving the team with the fourth best record another shot at the champion in a short season, I don't see that as being any more fair than the system baseball uses now, as much as I hate the wild card.

The argument is moot, of course. There is no way baseball will ever do away with divisions.

SephClone89
03-13-2010, 09:05 PM
Most baseball fans feel this way. You don't see people wearing T-shirts proclaiming their team won the wild card.

You do, though. I remember seeing them on the MLB shop site.

FarmerAndy
03-16-2010, 04:39 PM
Making the postseason is important, but it's not as important as making the playoffs by winning a division.



Winning a World Series is the end goal, right? Then how does making the post season by winning a division become any more important than by wild card? Do your chances of winning the World Series increase with a division title as opposed to a wild card?

Option A: The White Sox win a weak AL central with 84 wins.
Option B: The White Sox finish in 2nd place with 96 wins, have the 2nd best record in the AL, and win the wild card.

I would take Option B 100% of the time, as option B clearly shows a better Sox team who is more likely fit to compete for a World Series title.

And seriously, you say if the top four teams in the league made the playoffs with no divisions, it would be a shame if team 2-4 got by team #1 because they didin't win anything??? But it wouldn't be a shame if the '08 Dodgers (8th best team, out of 16, in the NL) had won the World Series, just because of a crappy division title? (And I do mean crappy.)

I think being one of the very best teams is more important than these created accomplishments that are nice to put on t-shirts.