Over the last few days the talk of realignment in MLB has become a hot topic. The commissioner, Bud Selig, commented that he would like to see something done. There have been many experts and analysts that have speculated as to what the best way to go about this would be.
Here at TSL, we also think that baseball needs a revision in the way the divisions are currently laid out. There are four divisions that have five teams, one that has six, and another that has four. The National League has 16 teams while the American League has 14. Under the TSL plan each league would have an even amount, 15. This means one NL team would have to switch over to the AL and adopt the designated hitter rule. We’ll get back to that later.
A major obstacle in figuring out the “perfect” plan is geography. When a team that plays in Arlington, Texas is playing in the AL West and another team in Houston, Texas plays in the NL Central, it just makes us realize so much more that things need to be altered. We’ll try and make the new setup as geographically friendly as we can while keeping rivalries and history in place. Here we go…
The TSL American League
New York Yankees
New York Mets
Boston Red Sox
The AL East gains two additional rivalries with the arrival of the Mets and the Nationals. The Yankees and Red Sox get to continue their traditional hatred and the Mets provide some more fuel for the Yankee hate fire. The Orioles and Nationals have an opportunity to begin what could eventually be a great capitol area rivalry. Map wise, it fits very well.
I was hesitant to move the Reds, a historic NL team over to the AL but the more I thought about it, the more it made sense. Ohio now has their own rivalry and with the Indians recent winning, any one of these teams could win the division. Every team could wind up over .500.
The new AL West would probably become my favorite division. Four of these parks are taylor made for hitters. Colorado, Houston, Texas and Arizona in the same division would make this the launching pad of MLB. Seattle offers a nice contrast by being one of the most pitcher friendly parks in baseball. Unfortunately we had to keep both Texas teams in the West, it does however offer another great state rivalry. This was unavoidable with the lack of many true west coast teams. If you’re thinking about all of the teams located in California, just hold your horses.
The TSL National League
Tampa Bay Rays
Toronto Blue Jays
Two new additions include the Rays who could possibly induce an attendance boost for not only themselves but their in state competitors the Marlins, and the sole team in Canada, the Blue Jays. The Rays, Marlins and Braves have a solid young corps that could fight with the favorite Phillies for NL East supremacy.
Chicago White Sox
St. Louis Cardinals
Kansas City Royals
The Cubs welcome (not likely) the White Sox and the Cardinals are happy to see the Royals join their divisions producing one of the shortest flight, or bus trip divisions in MLB. The Pirates were the choice to stay in division after the Reds moved to the AL. My only hesitation was having perennial worst teams in the Royals and Pirates in the same division. Not often do the teams picking #1 and #2 in the draft come from the same division.
San Francisco Giants
Los Angeles Angels
Los Angeles Dodgers
San Diego Padres
Finally we have the new California… er… NL West division. Composed of teams that play in the great state of California, the rivalries should grow almost as much as the attendance and fan beatings outside of Dodger Stadium!
In all we had to move 13 teams into a new league but in the end we came up with a plan that should not only produce a slew of great new rivalries, but should also increase attendance across both leagues.
Let us know what you think of the proposed plan in the comments section below or in the True Sports Legacy forum where you can find the best sports discussions on the Internet.