Bud Selig’s Dream Realignment Scenario

There will be thirty divisions, one team each. The winner of each division will be declared a divisional champion. Shirts and hats will be created. Commemorative baseballs. An MLB collectible plate. More shirts. More hats. Maybe a patch or two.

The winners of each of these 30 divisions will play rock, paper, scissors to decide on home field advantage for each of the 435 possible matchups (30*29/2, mathematicians please correct me if I am wrong here). This thirteen-hour rock, paper, scissors tournament will be televised on FOX. It will also stream live on MLB.com. However, it will be subject to blackout restrictions so that nobody who lives on Earth can actually watch it. They can watch it on the moon. Special commercials will be sold to moon companies. There will be an entire sponsorship package. Stay tuned for details.

Once home field advantage has been determined, teams will draw straws to figure out who will play each other. Facsimiles of the straws will be mass-produced and sold on MLB.com. They will be hand-numbered and signed by members of baseball’s All-Century-Team. Only the deceased members. The order of straw-picking will be determined by head-to-head matchup records, with ties broken based on the result of All-Star Game #15 in a new series of 15 annual all-star games where the all-stars of one team will play the all-stars of another team. Also known as a regular game, except with special hats and shirts and TV rights and a commemorative plaque you can affix to a commemorative plaque-holder available exclusively* on MLB.com. (*Exclusivity subject to restrictions and amendments and other fancy words that render the term meaningless.)

Once all of the straws have been picked, the games will be scheduled at 15 neutral stadium sites around the world, where people have never heard of baseball. Also on the moon. Fans will be flown/bused/rocket-shipped in to attend the games and stay in Baseball Village, a temporary housing project erected at each stadium site, sponsored by Coca-Cola and Budweiser and Knives, the official weapon of Baseball Village. Fence sponsorship will be auctioned off to the highest bidder. This auction for fence sponsorship will be aired on FOX.

Each of the Round One Championship Games will be required to end in a tie, no matter how many innings it takes. The winner will then be determined by random drawing.

Because there will be an odd number of Round One Championship winners (who will all receive commemorative shirts, hats, and celebratory nasal spray, all available on MLB.com), there will need to be a play-in for the 16th Round Two spot. The round one losers will play a round-robin tournament to determine the wild card winner. This will take six weeks.

Round Two will be a best of 5 series. Round Three (eight teams) will be a best of 3 series. Round Four (four teams) will be a best of 1 series. The winner of the championship game, the battle between the two winners of the Round Four games, will be determined solely by how much money the two owners are willing to pay to cover revenue sharing. The auction to win the ultimate championship will be aired live on FOX, subject to blackout rules. This winner be called the World Series Champion, and trophies will be available for purchase online.

Because of the length of this new playoff scheme, the playoffs will start in March and end in November. The 162-game regular season will be simulated using a proprietary simulation engine at MLB.com, and aired live on FOX. It will take twenty-two minutes (plus commercials). Because everyone knows people only care about the playoffs.

Also, each team will have nine designated hitters. Did I forget that part?




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Jeremy Blachman is the author of Anonymous Lawyer, a satirical novel that should make people who didn't go to law school feel good about their life choices. Read more at McSweeney's or elsewhere. He likes e-mail.


11 Responses to “Bud Selig’s Dream Realignment Scenario”

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  1. glassSheets says:

    There needs to be a reward for the division champions, so I suggest a bye for all division champions in round one and move everything accordingly.

    +11 Vote -1 Vote +1

  2. Luke says:

    Excellent! That was a great laugh

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  3. DevilsAdvocate says:

    I’m not a mathematician but if I remember my combinatorics, is it 30! number of possible matchups? 30*29*28*27……etc. is a really big number though and I’m going to skip calculating it.

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    • DevilsAdvocate says:

      Nevermind, I think it’s 29+28+27….etc. which turns out to be … 435. All hail NotGraphs !

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      • Ryan says:

        The game calculations go like this:
        There are 30 teams, and a game consists of two teams, or (30 choose 2). (30 choose 2) however, is 30!/(2!*(30-2)!) = 30!/(2*28!) = 435 potential matchups. Hurrah combinatorics.

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        • Ryan says:

          *We are all right. I’m right for the damn right reasons.
          **Just let me have this one guys… math sure as hell doesn’t get me women…
          ***Love me?

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  4. MikeS says:

    Under this plan the regular season is still too meaningful, but doesn’t seem meaningful enough.

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  5. SAmmy says:

    No love for the Cactus league champions? That’s gotta mean something.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

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