I’ve written about this 3 times before. But all those posts are gone forever.
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:
New York Mets
Washington DC Nationals
St Louis Cardinals
Montreal Expos (formerly Tampa Rays)
Nashville, TN Expansion
Los Angeles Dodgers
San Francisco Giants
San Diego Padres
New York Yankees
Boston Red Sox
Toronto Blue Jays
Chicago White Sox
Kansas City Royals
Los Angeles Angels
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.