I’ve written about this 3 times before. But all those posts are gone forever.

So I get to start over. However, my old picks for expansion: Nashville, TN (I’m a little biased) and Vancouver, BC are looking like top potential targets for MLB expansion now.

Obviously, the league would need to restructure the divisions but keep the rivalries intact.

I also suspect it’s time to move the Tampa Rays to Montreal to give a city that desperately wants a baseball franchise a second chance and leave a city that clearly doesn’t care.

Here’s how I’d break down the divisions:

 

NL East

New York Mets

Washington DC Nationals

Pittsburgh Pirates

Philadelphia Phillies

 

NL North

Chicago Cubs

St Louis Cardinals

Milwaukee Brewers

Montreal Expos (formerly Tampa Rays)

 

NL South

Atlanta Braves

Miami Marlins

Cincinnati Reds

Nashville, TN Expansion

 

NL West

Los Angeles Dodgers

San Francisco Giants

San Diego Padres

Arizona Diamondbacks

 

AL East

New York Yankees

Boston Red Sox

Baltimore Orioles

Toronto Blue Jays

 

AL North

Chicago White Sox

Minnesota Twins

Detroit Tigers

Cleveland Indians

 

AL South

Kansas City Royals

Texas Rangers

Houston Astros

Colorado Rockies

 

AL West

Los Angeles Angels

Oakland Athletics

Seattle Mariners

Vancouver, BC Expansion

 

With the restructuring, a new playoff format is needed. Out is the stupid one game Wild Card playoff. In is a six-team per conference, sliding scale series postseason.

Four division winners and two wildcard teams make the playoffs in both leagues (AL and NL). The two division winners with the best records get a bye in the wild card round.

The Wild Card round will be a 3-game series where the 6-seed faces the 3-seed and the 5-seed faces the 4-seed (division winner with the fewest wins).

The Division Series (LDS) will remain a 5-game series with the lowest remaining seed facing the top seed in each league.

The LCS and World Series remain 7-game series.

 

With expanded playoffs, we have more baseball games. But the season is already too long. It’s time we reduce the number of games and shorten the season.

I have had many lengthy discussions on this with fellow baseball fans. Some don’t want to reduce the season at all. Some are willing to revert to the old 152 game season, shaving two weeks off the season (by also having a couple double-headers per year).

But that’s not enough if add a round of playoffs. We should shrink the season to 140 games. Cutting out 3 full weeks of regular season games will make each game more signifcant and allow the World Series to be played before we sit down for Thanksgiving feasts.

 

Aside: not related to expansion (of the league and playoffs) or contraction (of the season), but MLB needs to either make all teams use a DH or no teams get a DH. It’s silly that there’s still a divide within the league. Pick one and go with it. I’d prefer more DH because it’s more exciting.

 

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