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View Full Version : Alter both Leagues' Divisional setup!


SoxEd
03-04-2004, 06:34 PM
Ok, I'm just shooting the breeze here, and feel free to shoot me down in flames if my idea is totally pants, but it seems to me that the way the League Divisions is organised at the moment leads to stagnation and a lack of true competetive balance.

Both Central Divisions are acknowledged as considerably weaker than the Eastern and Western Divisions, and this means that certain owners can get away with short-changing their fans by consistently fielding teams 'to win the Division', who realistically have very little chance of outperforming the 'big' guys like NYY, BoSox, Atlanta etc, whilst other owners (and fans) see their teams, who would thrive in the Central Divisions, doomed to never reach the playoffs because they are in the Divisions with the bigger spenders/better teams.

My idea is based loosely on the way that European soccer Leagues work, although I don't think that MLB should bother with promotion and relegation, as it'd just get too messy if they were introduced.

My idea would be to do away with 'Divisions' entirely, and just have a National League and an American League.

Each team would have to play each other team in their League the same no. of times through the regular season.
This would eliminate the current scheduling imbalances wherby some teams get to play the Tigers or Expos many times each season out of their 162 allotted games, while others have to face the Yankees or Braves many times.

I would retain the 'playoffs' - but playoff berths would go to the teams that finished in the top four places out of the whole League, rather than the three Divisional winners and one Wildcard.
So, the fans still get the thrill of the 'knockout' phase of competition, and MLB still gets the October money-making opportunities.

This would mean that to get into the Playoffs each franchise would have to field teams that would realistically have a chance of winning the big banana, rather than aiming just to compete with small market teams like Minnesota and KC to reach the playoffs, only to get swept in the first round.

In the short term the AL would clearly be dominated by the Yanks, BoSox and maybe the Mariners, but over a few years, as the other owners realised that they needed to invest to win anything, I think things should get more competitive.

So - does my idea hold water?
Would it destroy the MLB and force the 'contraction' of several smaller teams?
Would it only work with enforced Revenue Sharing and/or Slary caps and floors?

Please educate this dumb limey!

ChiSox14305635
03-04-2004, 07:20 PM
Before they went to the current division system, or for that fact the previous AL East/West, NL East/West formats, MLB did have just an AL and NL league. The winner of each league would meet in the WS. If I'm not mistaken, in 1964, the Sox finished 2nd in the AL, losing to the Yankees by one game for the right to meet in the World Series.


What I would still like to see is a salary cap implemented. That way, instead of GM's like Cashman just putting their hands in King George's coffers for cash to sign a free agent, that they would have to operate under a restricted amount. It's time they level the playing field so teams like Pittsburgh & Oakland can operate under the same parameters as the Yanks & Red Sox.

MRKARNO
03-04-2004, 07:22 PM
Originally posted by SoxEd
This would mean that to get into the Playoffs each franchise would have to field teams that would realistically have a chance of winning the big banana, rather than aiming just to compete with small market teams like Minnesota and KC to reach the playoffs, only to get swept in the first round.


The problem I have with this is that, first, it diminishes the amount of times you play your rival team, which is in your division almost always (could you imagine what the MLB would do if you told them to get rid of 7 or 8 Red Sox-Yankees or Cubs-Cards games?).

And second of all, it is only a recent issue that this division is sucking. Just look at the NL central, last year it was considered to be just as bad as its AL counterpart, but now they've got two teams with a legit chance to win the World Series. The AL Central will bounce back, it's just an issue of what team takes the initiative and wins 95-97 games

ewokpelts
03-04-2004, 07:53 PM
Originally posted by SoxEd
Ok, I'm just shooting the breeze here, and feel free to shoot me down in flames if my idea is totally pants, but it seems to me that the way the League Divisions is organised at the moment leads to stagnation and a lack of true competetive balance.

Both Central Divisions are acknowledged as considerably weaker than the Eastern and Western Divisions, and this means that certain owners can get away with short-changing their fans by consistently fielding teams 'to win the Division', who realistically have very little chance of outperforming the 'big' guys like NYY, BoSox, Atlanta etc, whilst other owners (and fans) see their teams, who would thrive in the Central Divisions, doomed to never reach the playoffs because they are in the Divisions with the bigger spenders/better teams.



I prefer the NFL's answer...more divisions. Unlike the NFL, I wouldn't have wild cards. Just four divisonal winners. By having smaller divisions, you hav emore competition, thus more crcowds in september. And since you'll have no wild cards, purists wont cry foul when the angels ormarlins win as wild cards.
Gene

p.s. I'll post later with my "new" divisions.

ma-gaga
03-04-2004, 07:56 PM
The marketing department said that 5 extra games of Red Sox vs Yankees is more of a money maker than a balanced schedule.

Once a powerhouse team emerges from the AL Central, I'm talking 100 wins for 2-3 years in a row, or if Boston falls in the crapper, there might be some movement to get the Yankees to play some more great teams.

Its' all about the bling bling.

Lip Man 1
03-04-2004, 08:06 PM
Just for the record the Sox did finish 2nd to the Yanks in 64 with 98 wins. They lost out by one game.

The Sox averaged 95 wins a season from 1963-1965 but failed to ever make the playoffs.

Lip

Champs2004
03-04-2004, 08:20 PM
Here's my shot for AL and NL Realignment: I have taken Geography and Rivalry Importance into this.

A.L. East
Baltimore
Boston
N.Y. Yankees
Toronto

A.L. North
White Sox
Cleveland
Detroit
Minnesota

A.L. South
New Expansion Team
Kansas City
Tampa Bay
Texas

A.L. West
New Expansion Team
Anaheim
Oakland
Seattle

N.L. East
Atlanta
Montreal
N.Y. Mets
Philadelphia

N.L. North
Scrubs
Cincinnati
Milwaukee
St. Louis

N.L. South
Arizona
Florida
Houston
Pittsburgh

N.L. West
Colorado
Los Angeles
San Diego
San Francisco

Huisj
03-04-2004, 08:39 PM
Originally posted by Champs2004
Here's my shot for AL and NL Realignment: I have taken Geography and Rivalry Importance into this.

A.L. East
Baltimore
Boston
N.Y. Yankees
Toronto

A.L. North
White Sox
Cleveland
Detroit
Minnesota

A.L. South
New Expansion Team
Kansas City
Tampa Bay
Texas

A.L. West
New Expansion Team
Anaheim
Oakland
Seattle

N.L. East
Atlanta
Montreal
N.Y. Mets
Philadelphia

N.L. North
Scrubs
Cincinnati
Milwaukee
St. Louis

N.L. South
Arizona
Florida
Houston
Pittsburgh

N.L. West
Colorado
Los Angeles
San Diego
San Francisco

is there room in baseball for two more expansion teams?

MRKARNO
03-04-2004, 08:53 PM
Originally posted by Huisj
is there room in baseball for two more expansion teams?

Let me answer that for ya:

If the league wants to get rid of 2-4 teams, how the hell could it expand by two teams? It cant and wont

Rocklive99
03-04-2004, 11:55 PM
This wouldn't really solve anything, but I'd like the Rockies moved to the AL West, and Rangers moved to the AL Central.

MarkEdward
03-05-2004, 01:46 AM
Originally posted by MRKARNO


Let me answer that for ya:

If the league wants to get rid of 2-4 teams, how the hell could it expand by two teams? It cant and wont

Just because the owners want to contract teams doesn't mean that baseball can't conceivably expand.

Right now, I think there are two viable markets for MLB to expand to: Washington D.C. and the Brooklyn area. I think that Washington not having a club is a joke. Put a team there, and another large market team is instantly created. A team in Brooklyn would lessen the Yankees' market dominance.


Originally posted by Rocklive99
This wouldn't really solve anything, but I'd like the Rockies moved to the AL West, and Rangers moved to the AL Central.

You'd have to put another team in NL, or else the League's would be split with fifteen teams each. Currently, it's 16-14 so each team has someone to play each day.

How's this: move Tampa to Washington, send Toronto to the NL East, then move the Rangers to the AL Central and Rockies to the AL West.

monkeypants
03-05-2004, 01:47 AM
What I'd really like to see is the bottom 2 or 4 teams be relegated to the minors each season and the top 2 or 4 minor league teams moved up to the majors every year like the European soccer leagues. I know this is a dream because the level of play between major league and minor league baseball is vastly different than say Premier League and First Division English football. But I feel that it would force some of the underperforming and underspending teams of MLB to put forth some effort and money lest they find themselves in the minors. I know it will never happen but a guy can dream.
SoxEd, do some of the English Premier League teams that are in or near the relegation zone like Leicester City or Wolverhampton go out and spend money or are they resigned to the fact that they will be relegated or can't compete with the likes of Arsenal, Chelsea and Man. U so they don't even bother?


Go Hotspur!

dougs78
03-05-2004, 08:41 AM
Originally posted by SoxEd
Ok, I'm just shooting the breeze here, and feel free to shoot me down in flames if my idea is totally pants , but it seems to me that the way the League Divisions is organised at the moment leads to stagnation and a lack of true competetive balance.



I've never seen the word pants used as an adjective before. What does it mean for an idea to be "pants?" Where did this new usage come from and how does it make any sense?

StepsInSC
03-05-2004, 09:48 AM
I hate the idea of more expansion. Maybe those teams could stand but when there are other teams who can't, I don't see how expansion makes any sense. With two more teams can you imagine how much more we'd hear about the thinner talent pool?

Plus like everything in life, its cyclical. This division won't stay weak forever. Throughout the 90s the Indians were always a force come playoff time, and the Royals are on their way up now. To go and make drastic changes b/c a division has been weak for less than a decade is rather extreme IMO.

SoxEd
03-05-2004, 11:19 AM
Originally posted by monkeypants
What I'd really like to see is the bottom 2 or 4 teams be relegated to the minors each season and the top 2 or 4 minor league teams moved up to the majors every year like the European soccer leagues. I know this is a dream because the level of play between major league and minor league baseball is vastly different than say Premier League and First Division English football. But I feel that it would force some of the underperforming and underspending teams of MLB to put forth some effort and money lest they find themselves in the minors. I know it will never happen but a guy can dream.
SoxEd, do some of the English Premier League teams that are in or near the relegation zone like Leicester City or Wolverhampton go out and spend money or are they resigned to the fact that they will be relegated or can't compete with the likes of Arsenal, Chelsea and Man. U so they don't even bother?


Go Hotspur!

The teams at the bottom of the Premier League are pretty much guarenteed to be unable to spend as much as the guys at the top, but money isn't an insuperable barrier when it comes to avoiding relegation.

Several teams (Southampton and Bolton spring immediately to mind) have stayed in the Premiership for ages despite having only a fraction of the cash of the top four or five.

Other teams yo-yo between the Premiership and Div 1, being too good for one, but not good enough for the other. Wolves actually spent a fortune getting in to the Premiership, and are now struggling to avoid 'the drop'. Many teams find that the transition from Div 1 to the Premiership takes years of bouncing back and forth - e.g. Sunderland, Leicester, Bolton (again).


Then we have Leeds United - a huge team who spent a fortune gambling on getting in to the extremely lucrative European Champions' League, and whose resultant debts have crippled them (they now look very likely to go down to Div 1 this year).

Originally posted by dougs78



I've never seen the word pants used as an adjective before. What does it mean for an idea to be "pants?" Where did this new usage come from and how does it make any sense?

Pants is used in Britain to mean 'shorts', and thus can be mildly rude (we call what you call 'pants' 'trousers').
Over here it is now commonly used adjectivally as in "that's a load of old pants!" where a stronger expletive would be inappropriate.

Another interesting example of how we're separated by a common language is over the part of a haircut you guys call the "bangs" (how on Earth did you arrive at that term?). I'm told that what we call it is altogether ruder on your shores.

Then again, you use "fanny" as a reasonably polite expression for 'backside'. We use it as a term for an adjacent body part - a term that should not be mentioned in polite conversation.

longshot7
03-05-2004, 11:55 AM
well Ed, I like your idea - in fact, I've been saying exactly this for a while.

divisions are arbitrary groupings by geography. with the top 4 teams each year duking it out in the playoffs, you don't have the problem they had last year where the AL central winner (the Twins) had less wins than the the 2nd team in the AL West (the Mariners?) The Twins should not have gone, but they did. dumb system.

also, we gotta restore the balanced schedule. Maybe in NY it works, but I don't wanna see ANY team 19 times. It's better to see some teams in two series (like the East & West) than face the Tigers (as bad as they are) so many times.

Rocklive99
03-05-2004, 12:23 PM
Originally posted by Rocklive99
This wouldn't really solve anything, but I'd like the Rockies moved to the AL West, and Rangers moved to the AL Central.

Actually I was wrong, now I think I remember, move the Rockies to the AL West, the Astros to the NL West; the problem would be the issue that someone else stated about needing an equal number of teams, unless you can contract the Expos.

DannyCaterFan
03-05-2004, 12:27 PM
No more expansion PLEASE! The Central division may be down right now but over time it will regain it's strength. Let's keep things the way they are for now with divisional play and wild cards. It seems to keep many teams alive for a greater part of the season.