Thursday, July 15, 2010

The Baseball Shuffle

Don't get me wrong, Baseball is doing all right these days, but it certainly has some issues. Now I'm not going to address instant replay here, or game pacing, or any of those types of things. I am going to address a handful of issues that could be solved by shuffling up the board a little.

Yankee Domination: Now baseball seems to have decided that this not a problem and is in fact good for the sport. I would disagree and maybe someday I'll write a post about the pros and mostly cons of "Dynasties". In the meantime, the domination of the AL East by the Yankees and Red Sox is an issue, and even MLB will acknowledge that. Unfortunately all of their supposed solutions merely treat the symptoms not the disease.

The "Texas Problem": The Texas Rangers call the Central Time Zone home. Yet, because they play in the AL West, an inordinate number of their road games start at an incredibly inconvenient time for local TV viewers.

The A's and the Rays: They both need new stadiums. Bud Selig has said contraction is off the table.

How would I fix these problems? Roll up your sleeves and enjoy the ride:

1. Move the Dodgers from LA back to Brooklyn. Stop laughing and let's examine how much mind-boggling sense this makes. First off, it would be the most well-received team relocation in the history of professional sports. Eskimos in Borneo feel bad that the Dodgers left Brooklyn. The only people who wouldn't cheer this move would be LA fans and Yankee fans, and even they would get over it. You'd immediately have a huge fan base and TV audience. You'd make a lot of money, and correspondingly lighten the Yankees coffers, bringing them back down to Earth.

Now I don't know anything about the geographic or economic realities of trying to put a stadium in Brooklyn. Again, I just believe if you could do it, you'd make a mint. You might even be able to get away with just moving them to Citi Field. Sure it'd be Queens, but you could still call them the "Brooklny Dodgers" and sell a lot of tickets.

A decade or so ago this idea would have been absurd, but with the O'Malley's gone and the McCourt's locked in a bitter divorce, the Dodgers are ripe for the plucking.

2. Move the Rays to LA. Drop them right into Dodger Stadium. They're not the "Devil Rays" anymore after all. They're the "Rays" like the sun. That still works in LA. Of course for this to work, you'd have to pop them out of the AL East and into the NL West. You don't want two AL teams in LA because then half of your teams never go to LA in a given season. That doesn't work.

3. If you're keeping count, we now have 17 teams in the NL and 13 in the AL. That doesn't work either. An NL team has to move into the AL to balance this out. If you really want to go crazy, pop the Phillies or the Braves into the AL East. They've become the Yankees of the NL. Put them in the same division as the Yankees and the Red Sox and let them beat each other bloody. But that doesn't solve the Texas Problem. To solve the Texas Problem, you pop the Arizona Diamondbacks out of the NL West into the AL West. Then you pop Texas into the AL Central where they belong.

Here's what you end up with:

Sure, you could move the Indians into the AL East, but why? This way only the Jays and the O's are stuck battling the Yankees and Red Sox. Or you could do away with divisions entirely. Play a balanced schedule and just take the top 4 teams into the playoffs. You could do that today and solve the Texas Problem. That might even address the symptoms of the Yankee Problem (i.e. that the Rays/Jays/O's have to be extra-special good to make the playoffs any given year).

You could also simply move the Rays to New York, but that's not as sexy as moving the Dodgers.

Of course, none of this gets the A's a new stadium, but if you let a third team into New York, it'll be far easier to solve the territory issues keeping the A's out of San Jose. The Giants also lose their Dodger/LA rivalry and have to build a new one with the Rays. That's a problem, but... maybe someday you could move the Dodgers back to LA to fix it...

1 comment:

  1. Is there some way in this head spinning reshuffle to just get rid of the Cardinals altogether?


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.

In 1789, the governor of Australia granted land and some animals to James Ruse in an experiment to see how long it would take him to support himself. Within 15 months he had become self sufficient. The area is still known as Experiment Farm. This is my Experiment Farm to see how long it will take me to support myself by writing.