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  1. Why not just get rid of divisions entirely and have the top four teams in each league make the playoffs? And move an NL team to the AL while you’re at it.

    Comment by Max — January 20, 2011 @ 2:19 pm

  2. I like most of it, but in the NL, I’d say screw geography and swap Houston and Milwaukee so that the Brewers-Cardinals and Brewers-Cubs rivalries also stay in tact.

    Comment by Vinnie — January 20, 2011 @ 2:27 pm

  3. sort of borrow a concept from football and go with a north/south moniker instead of east/west. the groups are largely aligned that way anyway, as east has a lot of northwest” and south is a lot of southwest.
    using your breakdown…
    – in the nl, swap st louis and chicago for atlanta and florida to make the east north and the west south.
    – in the al, swap the rays for the twins.
    or just stick with your group and leave it east/west for al and north/south for nl. not a big deal, i think.

    or screw that naming entirely and just make a blue/red division or something similar and just bunch the groups best you can for travel/rivalry/balance purposes.

    Comment by dutchbrowncoat — January 20, 2011 @ 2:30 pm

  4. i meant “east has a lot of northeast”, sorry

    Comment by dutchbrowncoat — January 20, 2011 @ 2:31 pm

  5. Your current description of tv markets not being utilized during the playoffs is probably true. However, by placing teams in divisions that span 3 time zones, you end up with a similar problem for an entire season. I would propose that part of the success of tv ratings in recent years for regular season games is tied to the relative infrequent occurrence of 9 or 10pm starts in the eastern and midwestern markets.

    Comment by Joe — January 20, 2011 @ 2:34 pm

  6. “Milwaukee must now stay in the NL, as having 15 teams in both leagues would mean that one team is off every night.”

    Not true. All MLB needs to do is schedule interleague games throughout the entire season, like the NFL, NHL and NBA already do.

    Comment by gorillagogo — January 20, 2011 @ 2:35 pm

  7. I don’t think claiming that 11 of 15 seasons had a team 2/ less than 90 wins is meaningful, as a reason why 3-divisions don’t work. The 15 full season between 1978 and 1993 (excluding the 81 strike year), there were 7 teams that won their division w/ less than 90 wins.

    That said, I do support 2 divisions, and restructuring the leagues to an East-West breakdown. Then there should only be a handful of games more than 1 timezone apart…

    Comment by Mike K — January 20, 2011 @ 2:42 pm

  8. THIS.

    3 divisions with a rolling interleague schedule (one interleague match going on at all times) works out perfectly into the 162-game MLB schedule.

    Comment by oh dear — January 20, 2011 @ 2:42 pm

  9. how about we just leave the two leagues at 14 and 16 and get rid of interleague

    Comment by Brian — January 20, 2011 @ 2:54 pm

  10. Thank you for writing this, ever since the 82 win Cardinals won the whole thing, I’ve been preaching the return to a 2 division format. Every year one division has been boring, this will make every race exciting without getting rid of any playoff teams.

    Comment by Max A — January 20, 2011 @ 2:54 pm

  11. Too simple. Too obvious. Not “NFL” enough.

    Comment by CircleChange11 — January 20, 2011 @ 3:08 pm

  12. What kills me is that an issue that was “settled” over 162 games, is now “resettled” over a 5-game series (Wild Card Round).

    The long season sorts the teams rather well. 2 divisions. 1 LCS. 1 WS.

    Comment by CircleChange11 — January 20, 2011 @ 3:11 pm

  13. Move the Indians to Vegas and the Brewers or Pirates to Portland or San Antonio so that the Chicago teams can be East, where they belong.

    There are an outsized number of rust-belt/mid-west teams (Pitt, Cinn, Cleve, Det, Mil) for that region’s population, which is only declining. People are moving South and West, not to Ohio (2 teams in Ohio and only 2 in all of NY/NJ/Conn?? Really?), and it’s time baseball reflected that.

    Comment by mettle — January 20, 2011 @ 3:16 pm

  14. For some odd reason I wanna see how the AL East will play out in the next 5 years I want to see if they can field 5 over .500 teams at multiple years.

    Comment by Atothe — January 20, 2011 @ 3:18 pm

  15. Except that Cleveland STILL has a larger metro population than Vegas, not to mention that Vegas has a very transient population as people don’t tend to stay in Vegas, they go where the work is. And to argue that tourists would want to go see their team play in Vegas is ridiculous, people go to Vegas for the gambling, girls, and booze. They want vice, not to sit in 100+ degree heat with the sun beating down on them watching a baseball game.

    Comment by Chris — January 20, 2011 @ 3:43 pm

  16. I am an East Coast New York team fan so my opinion is the only one that should matter. MLB should be realigned to meet my needs, and my needs only. Therefore, I propose the following minor adjustments:

    1) West Coast teams will not start a game later than 4 PM local time. None of their fans care anyway. 10:35PM First pitch at a 1/4 full Oakland Coliseum just doesn’t work for me. I still think there should be West Coast trips though, don’t get me wrong. They are usually inferior teams that only get the upperhand due to jet lag; my solution would take care of this while maintaining my chosen team’s dominence.

    2) 3 divisions will be sorted by team nicknames (animal, vegetable, or mineral.) Teams can change their nickname every winter to try and get into a different division, but as everyone will be constantly changing their names, we will have re-alignment every year. This should keep those ‘MLB should use a soccer style format’ happy. And, think of the marketing opportunities Bud!

    3) Keep the DH, but only allow starting pitchers on their throw day to be penciled in as the DH. They cannot be pinch-hit for, but the pitcher can. Scorecard hilarity will ensue, and it will keep the umpires on their toes.

    4) Milton Bradley, MLB Morailty Police Chief. Those who can, do. Those who can’t, teach. Those who can, do (and then get suspended for it) should lay down the law. He could leap from the stands and tackle someone before they even attack an umpire. Like in that Tom Cruise movie, where he is the mind reading future cop? Cop Gun or something?

    5) Or, just leave it all the same.

    Comment by PTS — January 20, 2011 @ 3:52 pm

  17. To address your second question: “Then in the AL, Milwaukee must now stay in the NL, as having 15 teams in both leagues would mean that one team is off every night. “

    Comment by Matt — January 20, 2011 @ 3:55 pm

  18. This is baseball dammit! Not the civil war! Actually, that isn’t a bad idea, but it would seem so odd for some reason.

    Comment by Matt — January 20, 2011 @ 3:57 pm

  19. I’d rather just leave it alone.

    Comment by Doug — January 20, 2011 @ 3:58 pm

  20. True, about Vegas being small, but if they wanted to get tourists out there, I wonder if the league would let them have slots at the ballpark. We can already drink, and cheerleaders are already in Miami. I think it could work.

    Comment by AK707 — January 20, 2011 @ 4:01 pm

  21. The reason the league likes low-win wildcard or low-win division winners in the playoffs – having that team that doesn’t belong – is because it increases the hopes of fans in Pittsburgh, Toronto, KC, or anywhere else teams have a hard time getting in the playoffs. 2 divisions doesn’t guarantee the 4 best teams get in. But it does make it that much more daunting for the teams at the bottom to rise up. I like the idea of interleague every nite tho.

    Comment by Double D — January 20, 2011 @ 4:09 pm

  22. Cool topic, and a fun thought exercise…but I think the league should hold off on any dramatic changes until Oakland and Tampa Bay can sort out the future of their stadium situations.

    Those two franchises are the last two with substandard stadium facilities. They are the only two franchises remaining that have any slight chance (1%) of being relocated or contracted in the next 15-20 years.

    The league should wait for some closure with those two franchises’ future before doing any type of realignment.

    Comment by notsellingjeans — January 20, 2011 @ 4:11 pm

  23. One problem with this proposal is that it assumes that the best teams in each league making the playoffs is a desirable outcome. I’m not sure, however, that absolute competitive justice (ie, no deserving team gets beat out for a playoff spot by an undeserving one) is in the league’s best interest (at least from the point of view of those running the league).

    Simply put, the current format gives more teams an opportunity to remain in the playoff hunt for longer than would Swydan’s proposed two division format. It also creates opportunities for weaker teams to sneak in to the playoffs through weaker divisions (2006 Cardinals). Whether or not these outcomes are “fair” matters less, from the point of view of league and team ownership, than that more teams can remain competitively relevant, and more teams can sell themselves to their fans as competitive.

    So yeah, the three division format has lowered the bar for playoff entry, but I can’t see why this would be a thing the league would want to change much. And that, more than anything else, seems to be the primary motivation behind your proposal.

    Comment by Standard_Deviance — January 20, 2011 @ 4:17 pm

  24. Or what Double D said above.

    Comment by Standard_Deviance — January 20, 2011 @ 4:19 pm

  25. Or how about get rid of conferences all together and take the top 8 teams at the end of the year. Make the Pirates a AA team and while everyone will play the Marlins those games no longer count since no one is in the stadium to see the game anyway. 28 teams leads to 6 games against every other team in baseball, 3 at home, 3 on the road.

    Comment by Neil — January 20, 2011 @ 4:24 pm

  26. The ’93 Giants don’t like that format.

    Comment by Matt — January 20, 2011 @ 4:42 pm

  27. I’d love to see the Royals back in the AL West with their traditional rivals.

    Comment by Blue — January 20, 2011 @ 4:50 pm

  28. It seems to me the only reason we’re having this discussion is so that more AL East teams can make the playoffs.

    Comment by Sox27 — January 20, 2011 @ 4:54 pm

  29. That was my first thought as well. Though I was more thinking in terms of geography given that Chicago and Milwaukee are barely an hour apart (and it’s a North-South divide, not East-West) so it seems kind of silly to keep them in separate divisions.

    Houston’s in the middle of nowhere, with no surrounding NL team, so sticking them in the East won’t hurt. Besides, they’re just as close to ATL as they are to STL.

    Comment by MrKnowNothing — January 20, 2011 @ 4:56 pm

  30. No, it just means that at least one (or three, or five, etc.) interleague series have to occur throughout the season. That could be a scheduling nightmare.

    Comment by Mike D — January 20, 2011 @ 5:01 pm

  31. “It seems to me the only reason we’re having this discussion is so that the best baseball teams can make the playoffs.”

    there, i fixed it for you. east coast bias doesn’t change the fact that this division has the three best teams in the american league.

    Comment by dutchbrowncoat — January 20, 2011 @ 5:08 pm

  32. I like the idea of going back to East/West divisions in the 2 leagues, and it would result in more deserving playoff teams. However, how do you break up the 162 games played?

    For example, if no interleague games are played, each team in the 16 team league could play 98 games within its own division (14 games against each of 7 teams) and 64 with the other division (8 games). A similar 98/64 breakdown in the 14 team league results in 16 or 17 games against each team within its own division and 9 or 10 games with the other division. This would work out pretty well with travel and be a balanced schedule within each division.

    If you wanted to be fairer to the wild cards, instead of 98/64, the breakdown could be 84/78, like it was before the last 2 expansion teams were added. But this results in fewer regional rivalry games and more travel.

    However, once you add interleague games, it gets pretty crazy. At least two teams in the larger league would have more intraleague games than the other teams in the league. I leave it to someone else to propose an ideal split.

    Comment by WooIsMe — January 20, 2011 @ 5:28 pm

  33. Interesting. Since each game goes unobserved, do the Marlins win AND lose each game?

    Comment by Jim — January 20, 2011 @ 5:31 pm

  34. i stand by MY statement

    Comment by Sox27 — January 20, 2011 @ 5:37 pm

  35. let’s overlook the fact that until the year 2008 when the rays became good you couldn’t say “…the fact that this division has the three best teams in the american league”

    Comment by Sox27 — January 20, 2011 @ 5:39 pm

  36. “sort of borrow a concept from football ”

    How bout we dont borrow a GD thing from football? What’s next, “upon further review” and the Heehawks in the playoffs Pass

    Comment by rick p — January 20, 2011 @ 5:45 pm

  37. Add teams to Indianapolis and Salt Lake City
    AL East: Washington, Baltimore, Boston, Cleveland, Detroit, New York, Tampa Bay, Toronto
    AL West: Chicago, Milwaukee, Los Angeles, Minnesota, Seattle, Texas, Oakland, Arizona
    NL East: Atlanta, Cincinnati, Florida, New York, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Houston, Indianapolis
    NL West: Colorado, Los Angeles, San Diego, San Francisco, Kansas City, St Louis, Chicago, Salt Lake City

    Division Winners make the playoffs and get a bye.
    4 wild card teams in each league.

    Comment by MDB — January 20, 2011 @ 5:47 pm

  38. I would like to see a return to a balance schedule so that 2 wild card teams are not the result of unbalanced schedule and a greater % of games with weaker teams.

    This format would likely result in fewer end of the year races – the first wild card team would likely be ‘secure’ most years so you basically turned 3 division races into 2. And of course in both formats the team winning the division which has the wild card leaded is also secure…. so you probably have at best 1 division race per league each year with the new format (and potentially a race for the 2nd wildcard). I’d see this as a key obstacle for the commish to accept it.

    I’m a fan of the format, but I think many in MLB would be opposed to it.

    Comment by Joe — January 20, 2011 @ 6:12 pm

  39. leaded = leader :)

    Comment by Joe — January 20, 2011 @ 6:13 pm

  40. … because your way does not make money.

    Comment by Tom B — January 20, 2011 @ 6:15 pm

  41. Charlotte may work better than Salt Lake City, Indy is a good call.

    Comment by Tom B — January 20, 2011 @ 6:16 pm

  42. Yeah, we definitely want to see the same 8 teams in the playoffs every single year.

    Comment by Mike H — January 20, 2011 @ 6:23 pm

  43. Is that you, Carson Cistulli?

    Comment by AJS — January 20, 2011 @ 6:31 pm

  44. ‘There’s no (crying)football in baseball!’

    Comment by TALKINBASEBALL — January 20, 2011 @ 7:05 pm

  45. And then we can create a formula that that reduces 162 games to some kind of points to create ties, and create a long and coplicated tie breaker system….

    Comment by TALKINBASEBALL — January 20, 2011 @ 7:11 pm

  46. coplicated = complicated

    Comment by TALKINBASEBALL — January 20, 2011 @ 7:15 pm

  47. The league is more exciting when Boston isn’t in the playoffs

    Comment by jbdickson — January 20, 2011 @ 8:19 pm

  48. Seriously… Having 14 teams in one league and 16 in the other, is childish and getting really old. Surely the baseball gods can come up with a way to divide 30 by 2.

    Eliminating divisions altogether would be great… if you want the 4 best teams in each league for the playoffs, then just do it. Divisional bragging rights are a thing of the past. The regional travel schedules can stay close to the same also.

    Comment by baty — January 20, 2011 @ 9:04 pm

  49. How about the Legends and Leaders?

    Comment by Rusty Shackleford — January 20, 2011 @ 9:07 pm

  50. I don’t see why it would be significantly harder to schedule. It actually gets MUCH EASIER to arrange to minimize cross-country flights overnight if you can put all your games in the same area in the same series rather than segregating them out.

    Comment by Doug Lampert — January 20, 2011 @ 9:26 pm

  51. I think this is an excellent suggestion. Assuming no divisions will never fly, having 2 divisions with 2 wild cards gets more teams in, and will normally get the 4 best teams in.

    No changes are likely to happen until the next expansion though – when there can be 4, 8-team divisions.

    Comment by KJOK — January 20, 2011 @ 10:04 pm

  52. …just because it only started to happen in 08 doesnt make it not true

    Comment by fredsbank — January 20, 2011 @ 10:09 pm

  53. 2010
    AL: NYY(1), TEX(1), MIN(1), TBR(1)
    NL: SFG(1), PHI(1), ATL(1), CIN(1)
    AL: NYY(2), MIN(2), BOS(1), LAA(1)
    NL: COL(1), LAD(1), PHI(2), STL(1)
    AL: TBR(2), CWS(1), BOS(2), LAA(2)
    NL: MIL(1), LAD(2), PHI(3), CHC(1)
    AL: NYY(3), CLE(1), BOS(3), LAA(3)
    NL: COL(2), ARI(1), PHI(4), CHC(2)
    AL: NYY(4), MIN(3), OAK(1), DET(1)
    NL: NYM(1), LAD(3), SDP(1), STL(2)
    AL: NYY(5), CWS(2), BOS(4), LAA(4)
    NL: HOU(1), ATL(2), SDP(2), STL(3)

    48 team-seasons have reached the playoffs since 2005,
    repeat appearances account for 38 of them, or 79%

    god it would be so boring if the same teams made the playoffs all the time

    Comment by fredsbank — January 20, 2011 @ 10:31 pm

  54. Another problem with Vegas (living there myself) is that there are so many events already that alot are missed by fans of that event. That and there are alot of large venues so that even if we build a stadium it would be “just another venue” lost in the sea of them. Also, where in town would you put it? The prices of land are insane most anywhere, and, the highway system that runs thru town wont do for a regular event like accessing a stadium. And, there are the “character issues” that would come with Vegas. NBA shies away from Vegas already for gambling reasons. If not mistaken, the Maloof brothers, who own the Sacramento Kings, as well as the Palms casino, cannot place in the sports book, a line on the Kings games (meaning they dont permit betting on Kings games in their casino) by law/agreement. Vegas is ok, but probably a poor sports town for a major league team. Besides, we already got a Toronto Blue Jays!! (yippee!) AAA team. (pls note sarcasm)

    Comment by Cidron — January 20, 2011 @ 11:40 pm

  55. well, we could make three divisions…

    Division 1 – “The Have’s” – NY Yankees, Boston Red Sox, California of Anaheim of Southern California, of somewheredownthere Angels.

    Division 3 – “The Have nots” – Pittsburgh Pirates, KC Royals, LA Clippers..(err, wrong sport)..

    Division 2 – everybody else.

    At the end of the season, have Division 1 teams play each other for the World Series title. Homefield chosen by regular season, divisional record. Send winners of div 2 and 3 a “thank you for participating” note and send them home.

    It allows a possibility of almost all to win at least a divisional championship in our lifetime. And, it guarantees “the same ole same ole” at the WS level too.

    ok ok, i jest, … or.. do I?

    Comment by Cidron — January 20, 2011 @ 11:45 pm

  56. only prob with Indy (yeah, good baseball town) is .. yet, ANOTHER Rust belt team?! That Ohio, Indiana, Mich, Penn, Illinois area is really crowded with teams.

    Comment by Cidron — January 20, 2011 @ 11:47 pm

  57. Did you miss the 80s?

    I’m not sure if there has ever been a decade where so many different teams made the post-season … and that was with only 2 making it per league.

    80: PHL
    81: LAD
    82: StL
    83: BAL
    84: DET
    85: KCR
    86: NYM
    87: MIN
    88: LAD
    89: OAK

    Of course payrolls have changed drastically since then. The margin between the top spending teams and the rest of the league has drastically increased.

    Regardless of format, over and under performances, combind with injuries will always throw new teams into the mix.

    I thought the whole point of having such a long season was that multiple rounds of the playoffs were not necessary. The teams were already “sorted out” over 162. In that regard it’s kind of ridiculous to force a team that already beat out a wild card team in its division to do so again in the playoffs (assuming both teams make it past the 1st round). That’s the kind of thing we should expect from shorter season sports.

    Comment by CircleChange11 — January 21, 2011 @ 12:00 am

  58. Or just bring back regular double headers.

    Comment by Dash — January 21, 2011 @ 8:35 am

  59. Mormons hate baseball

    Comment by Kyle — January 21, 2011 @ 8:53 am

  60. There’s a bigger rivalry between the Astros and Cardinals than there is between the Brewers and Cardinals.

    Comment by chuckb — January 21, 2011 @ 9:42 am

  61. I agree, although I didn’t really know I did until I saw the list of teams in the 2-division system. The teams just mostly don’t have anything to do with each other. It just feels like two random baskets of teams. With 3 divisions, with a few exceptions, geography really does bind the teams together pretty well, which when I think about it, I like. It creates rivalries pretty effectively too, which are fun.

    I get that the AL East is hellish with the two payroll behemoths, but it’s the only division that’s really “broken” in that way, and broken though it may be, it’s also a huge generator of cash and baseball interest. Who cares if the Red Sox clash with the Brewers for the division title?

    Comment by Luke in MN — January 21, 2011 @ 9:57 am

  62. Now figure who would have made the playoffs given the suggested two division format and method above, and see which is worse.

    Comment by Mike H — January 21, 2011 @ 11:09 am

  63. It’s also crowded with people. Take a look a the population rankings in the midwest, you might be surprised.

    Comment by Mike H — January 21, 2011 @ 11:11 am

  64. In the older 2-division format, ATL, CIN were in the NL West, and CHI & STL were in the East.

    If we are looking to move to new formats or return to 2-division per leagues, then why not completely base it by region, sort of a “college conference feel”).

    [1] Northeast
    [2] SouthEast
    [3] Midwest
    [4] West Coast

    East (AL); West (NL)

    It also puts the larger, wealthier, Northeast cities together.

    Comment by CircleChange11 — January 21, 2011 @ 11:55 am

  65. With interleague play:

    AL: 90 (15×6 ) games in own division
    56 (8×7) against other division
    16 interleague games
    NL: 84 (12×7) games in own division
    64 (8 x 8) against other division
    14 interleague games

    Comment by newsense — January 21, 2011 @ 12:02 pm

  66. I don’t think you can do that because the scheduling would be different, right?

    I know it’s easy to think that you just just move the Twins to the west and “see where they’d finish”, but IMO that would not be accurate.

    ALE would have had NYY, BOS, TBR battling it out over the last few years. In the 90s CLE and NYY would have been giving the division hell. This division would be continually competitive.

    The ALW would be a continual battle between MIN, CWS, LAA, and now TEX. This division would be continually competitive.

    The NLE would be competitive as well. StL, PHL, NYM, as would the NLW … ATL, SFG, LAD, COL.

    The divisions remain strong and competitive with various teams winning the division, seemingly by 3 year stretches.

    In short, it wouldn’t be the same teams winning the division every year, regardless of format. What the extra divisions do is give a 5th/6th place team the illusion that it’s really a 3rd place team.

    Comment by CircleChange11 — January 21, 2011 @ 12:04 pm

  67. Why do we need wild cards?

    I guess that’s the one thing I do not understand.

    Why should the 2nd place team go to the playoffs when they have already been shown to be inferior to the team that won their division?

    I understand the idea from an NFL, NBA, NHL, NCAA perspective, but they play 16, 82, 82, 13(FB) and 30(Basketball), games per season.

    Baseball plays 162 games, and that is far long enough to decide which team has won the division and deserves to go to the playoffs.

    Comment by CircleChange11 — January 21, 2011 @ 12:09 pm

  68. Not sure how much of an issue this is any more, but a North/South orientation versus an East/West would cause problems with time zones.

    If Atlanta is in the same division as San Diego and plays fifteen or eighteen (or whatever the intra-division games are with an unbalanced schedule) games against them, that’s a three hour difference in game times.

    San Diego fans have to watch half their games against Atlanta start at 4 PM instead of 7. Meanwhile, Atlanta fans have half their games against SD starting at 10 PM. And this would be true of every extreme west team playing an extreme east team (Yankees/Mariners, Giants/Phillies, etc.).

    I believe that would have such a significant reduction on viewing audiences that teams wouldn’t go for it.

    As a Cards fan, I recall back in the late ’80s / early ’90s, conversations on talk radio about MLB potentially moving the Braves to the NL East and the Cards to the NL West. St. Louis fans did much grousing that almost half their games would be starting at 9 PM local time (how Braves fans did it back then … I salute them). I imagine that sentiment would still be true today if you went with a North/South orientation.

    Comment by arch support — January 21, 2011 @ 12:28 pm

  69. There is no, repeat, no possibility of having a low-win division winner in the AL East as long as it contains are two teams with massive payrolls and at least competent management.

    Comment by siggian — January 21, 2011 @ 12:48 pm

  70. The country is also a far bit longer East-west, than it is North-South. So if you have teams going from your example Atlanta-SD/LA more often than from Atlanta to NY/Philly, then players spend more time on planes, which they won’t like, and will also cost more money, which owners won’t like.

    Comment by Wally — January 21, 2011 @ 1:25 pm

  71. Yeah, 7 with less teams and playoff spots….

    Comment by Wally — January 21, 2011 @ 1:27 pm

  72. I would love to see 4, 8-team divisions with the winners going to the playoffs to duke it off in the league championship series and World Series. However, I don’t think MLB is going to be able to convince fans that a playoff contraction is a good thing.

    Comment by Mr. Red — January 21, 2011 @ 2:24 pm

  73. good point wally. but thinking it through, i don’t think it is actually that big of a problem. teams will often bunch away games for this purpose. i know my mets will do a west coast trip and bunch together games against say the pads, giants, and dodgers. and yes, while some flights will now be longer, some will be shorter as well you cant forget that.

    overall, i concede that travel distance might increase, but i think the difference would be negligible.

    Comment by dutchbrowncoat — January 21, 2011 @ 3:13 pm

  74. “(2 teams in Ohio and only 2 in all of NY/NJ/Conn?? Really?)”

    Actually, no. Not really. While the Mets and the Yankees are the only teams based in those three states, that tristate market heavily consists of the Red Sox (in Connecticut and northern New York) and the Phillies (southern New Jersey)I consider that a four-team region.

    Granted, New York City could easily support a third team on its own, and doing so would help equalize the playing field between the Yankees and the rest of baseball in a more market-friendly way, but that ain’t happening in this lifetime.

    Comment by Paul SF — January 21, 2011 @ 3:17 pm

  75. yes i did miss the 80s, not being born yet will have that effect on a person.

    but its one thing to compare WS winners with total playoff appearances; in the 1980s, ie the years from 80-89 including the 81 division series, 44 team-seasons reached the playoffs, here are the recidivists: KCR 4, NYY 2, MIL(AL) 2, OAK 4, CAL 2, TOR 2, MIN 2, DET 2 (the only AL 80s teams to only reach the playoffs once were the Orioles and White Sox, and oddly enough that year, 1983, they played each other in the ALCS); PHI 3, HOU 3, LAD 4, STL 3, CHC 2, NYM 2, SFG 2.

    so 39/44 = 88.6%

    so the 80s had both a higher gross repeat postseason count, as well as a higher percentage…

    besides, if you’re just going by WS winners, since 2005 “looks” just as varied: SFG, NYY, PHI, BOS, STL, CWS

    Comment by fredsbank — January 21, 2011 @ 3:48 pm

  76. The 93 Giants should have won more games.

    Comment by TK — January 21, 2011 @ 4:11 pm

  77. Let’s be realistic here, expanding and putting 2 more teams in the league to create 8 (4)team divisions just isn’t a good idea. Diluting the talent pool by adding more teams is not the answer, and do we want the playoffs going until mid-November? Face it, until there is a salary cap nothing will change.

    Comment by Sox2727 — January 21, 2011 @ 9:30 pm

  78. Because interleague is great.

    Comment by MGP — January 25, 2011 @ 7:34 pm

  79. “Divisional bragging rights are a thing of the past.”

    Not if you are a Yankees or Red Sox fan. Those games are big games in to us and the division bragging rights are worth something to us even if both teams make the playoffs.

    I also suspect there are plenty of other intra-division rivals that would agree as well.

    Comment by TL — January 26, 2011 @ 12:58 pm

  80. yeah, i fuckin hate the cubs and cards

    Comment by miguel — January 27, 2011 @ 9:24 am

  81. Selig would absolutely keep the Brewers-Cubs rivalry alive, if for no other reason than the fact that the number of Cubs fans at Cubs-Brewers games is a significant portion of ticket sales.

    Comment by Joe — February 6, 2011 @ 1:18 pm

  82. My proposed split:

    AL = 152 AL + 12 IL for 164 games total (nothing sacred about 162)
    6 x 16 = 96 division
    7 x 8 = 56 other div
    4 series of 3 IL games for 14*12=168 IL games

    NL = 152 or 155 NL plus 12 or 9 IL = 164 total
    7 x 14 = 98 division
    8 x 7 = 56 other div
    Those with a “significant IL rivalry” play 12 (and 2 fewer against ‘other division’ teams), those without play 9 (and 1 more against an ‘other division’ team); to get to 168 we need 8 of each, 8*12 + 8*9. NYM (NYY), CHC (CWS), SFG (OAK), PHI (BOS), CIN (CLE), STL (KC), FLA (TB), LAD (LAA) would be one possibility for that.

    Comment by Joe — February 6, 2011 @ 1:43 pm

  83. al west laa tex oak sea kan min chw milw

    al east nny bos tap balt tor det clev buffalo expansion team

    nl west col arz lad sd sf hou stl chc

    nl east phi nym atl cin pitts wash fla jacksville fl expansion team

    play the teams in division 24 games each for a total of 168 games and only the division winners would be in the playoffs the league champship series would be 5 out of 9 games and the ws , al so not likey a team with a 86-82 record would win their divisions sense all regular season games would be played in division

    Comment by dennis — May 17, 2011 @ 6:48 pm

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