Take Me Out to the New Ball Game
Major League Baseball has been using its current division alignment since 1998 when the Milwaukee Brewers switched from the American League Central to the National League Central and the Tampa Bay Devil Rays (now the Rays) were added to the league. Ever since then, the realignment never made sense.
To make things better for baseball and to keep the game’s best rivalries intact, I have developed a solution to solve the woes of Major League Baseball’s division alignments.
The first step would be to ensure that both leagues have 15 teams. I understand the 1998 switch brought an even number of teams to each league (which means more games could be played per night, which means more money for the teams and the league.) But come playoff time, the divisions just are not fair. Therefore, I have proposed a few changes to the current Major League Baseball division alignment.
Firstly, the Houston Astros are to be moved from the National League Central to the American League West to address the even-number-of-teams-in-each-league issue.
The AL West is a perfect place for the Astros. Firstly, the Astros have struggled on the field and off the field the last decade and a half and a change could jump start them back on track. Plus, with the DH in the AL, this could greatly improve Houston’s chances at winning and making the playoffs. Secondly, both the Astros and the Rangers would be in the same division. This will make for a great rivalry in the lone star state.
In the American League East, not much would change. As a matter of fact, nothing would change. The Red Sox and the Yankees would remain great division rivals and the other three teams – Rays, Orioles, and Blue Jays – would still compete for third best.
The American League Central would also stay intact.
Switching over to the National League, the NL West would remain as is. This keeps all west coast teams on the west coast and also keeps the great rivalry between the Giants and the Dodgers.
The National League East and the National League Central would be involved in a team-for-team trade: the Braves for the Pirates. Not only does this shift make geographical sense but it also makes sense for enhanced rivalries.
In the NL East, the Philadelphia Phillies and the Pittsburg Pirates would now be in the same division, creating another in state rivalry similar to that proposed for the new AL West.
In the National League Central, the Braves would be closer for teams to travel to and would make that division that much more competitive and historic, now being the oldest division in baseball.
To recap, here is a breakdown of the new Major League Baseball divisions:
American League East
Boston Red Sox
New York Yankees
Toronto Blue Jays
Tampa Bay Rays
American League Central
Chicago White Sox
Kansas City Royals
American League West
Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim
National League East
New York Mets
National League Central
St. Louis Cardinals
National League West
San Francisco Giants
Los Angeles Dodgers
San Diego Padres