BOTTOMFEEDER BASEBALL BLOG

Dedicated to the constructive criticism of the Washington Nationals.

ALL ARTICLES AND PICTURES UNLESS OTHERWISE NOTED ARE (C) DAVID W. NICHOLS

E-mail us at: natsnewsnetwork@gmail.com

Tuesday, May 1, 2007

How To Fix Major League Baseball

MLB has problems. Some are fixable, others not so much. From where I sit, the steroids issue is working itself out, thanks to the U.S. Government. It might be a slow go, and too late to do anything about Barry Bonds passing Hank Aaron, but I truly believe that we will know much more about who was doing what pretty soon.

What I'm more concerned about is competitive balance. It seems patently unfair that there are 16 teams in one league and 14 teams in the other, each competing for the same number of spots in the playoffs. It also seems patently unfair that the Red Sox and Yankees get to play 19 games each against the Orioles and the Rays. It also seems patently unfair that 53% of MLB plays under one set of rules and the other 47% a different set. Here are my suggestions, free of charge. You may consider some of this radical, but allow the logic to creep in.

What to Do:

1) Eliminate the two leagues. It's a sham anymore. With free agency, unbalanced schedules and interleague play there's almost no uniqueness (save for one, which I'll address later) to having two leagues, and it's absolutely impossible to judge teams against each other when nobody is playing a similar schedule.

2) Standardize the schedule. Arrange it so that teams that are competing for the same playoff spots are playing the same schedule. That seems fair, doesn't it?

3) Standardize the rules. Pick one: DH or No DH. It doesn't really matter. I would imagine standardizing would eliminate the DH, maybe the time has come. We don't need anymore scoring to make games interesting. The home run champ has come out of the NL eight out of the last ten years, so it looks like the DL has outlived its usefulness. But I really don't care. Pick one and stick with it.

How To Do It:

Set up the 30 MLB teams regionally into divisions of ten teams: East, Central and West as shown below:

East: BOS, NYY, NYM, PHI, PIT, BAL, WAS, ATL, TB, FLA
Central: TOR, DET, CLE, CIN, CHC, CWS, MIL, MIN, KC, STL
West: SEA, SF, OAK, LAD, LAA, SD, AZ, COL, HOU, TEX

Schedule eight games (two four-game series) against seven division teams for a total of 56 games, schedule nine games (three three-game series) against the remaining two division "rivals" for a total of 18 games, and schedule four games (two two-game series) against every other team in MLB, for a total of 80 games.

That totals 154 games, which used to be the standard schedule anyway, so it gives the purists something to hang their hats on. That spreads the mechandise (MLB talent) to every market in the game every year and provides for an almost balanced schedule. Those "rivals" games can be showcase games in your division, such as Yankees-Red Sox and Yankees-Mets. Cards-Cubs, Cards-Royals, Dodgers-Angels, Dodgers-Giants; you know, all those fun match-ups you just can't get enough of

Then, to make up for the missing week of regular season games, take each division winner and the next 13 best records and seed them all by record and have an sixteen-team playoff. Blasphemy, you say?!? P'shaw. What could be more exciting? But schedule the first two rounds just like the regular season, with no extra travel days. Start the series the Monday night right after the regular season, and play 2-2-3. Now that's home field advantage in the playoffs.

1 comment:

Griff said...

You had me till the final paragraph. Thank gosh, cause you were making too much sense. But you have too many teams in the playoffs.2 from each division - and the top 2 teams across the divisions gives you 8 teams and a manageable post-season. That and get rid of the DH and it would bring the sport into the 21st century