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Hypothetical Baseball Realignment & How It Would Affect The Minnesota Twins

Posted by MidwestTwinsFan15 , 27 December 2017 · 2,167 views

realignment minnesotatwins playoffs worldseries
This was an article/idea that I wrote back originally back in 2013. I've updated it to include the changes MLB have already implemented, like removing the significance of the All-Star in the World Series Home Field Advantage.

Back in 2013, I had been listening to the baseball commentators, reading ESPN, SI and MLB.com about the uneven schedules pertaining to having inter-league play everyday and how people don't seem to like it. Personally, I am not a fan of the inter-league play and would prefer having a balanced schedule between the leagues.

Here is my proposed adjustment to the current league structure: I'm a big fan of having the pitcher hit for themselves (it makes the managers actually manage the game) but lets get real, it's time for the universal DH in both leagues.

Here is my realignment of the divisions: 6 divisions of 5 teams is moved to 4 divisions of 8 teams. The alignment of teams would increase geographic rivalries (to a certain extent), hopefully making travel to opposing ballparks more appealing, increase attendance, decrease team travel and increasing bottom lines (since this is what the owners want in the end).

The Divisions:

"American League"

North: Minnesota Twins, Chicago Cubs, Chicago White Sox, Detroit Tigers, Milwaukee Brewers, Cincinnati Reds, Cleveland Indians and Colorado Rockies

West: San Diego Padres, San Francisco Giants, LA Dodgers, Anaheim Angels, Oakland A's, Arizona Diamondbacks, Seattle Mariners, and Vancouver BC (Proposed new team)

"National League"

South: Miami Marlins, Atlanta Braves, Texas Rangers, Houston Astros, Kansas City Royals, St. Louis Cardinals, San Juan, Puerto Rico (Tampa Bay moves), and San Antonio, TX (Proposed new team)

East: Boston Red Sox, Philadelphia Phillies, New York Mets, New York Yankees, Washington Nationals, Baltimore Orioles, Pittsburgh Pirates, and Toronto Blue Jays

This alignment also expands the coverage of baseball more into Canada, which has a big baseball following, along with adding a team in Puerto Rico, a baseball rich area.

I chose San Juan, Vancouver and San Antonio because of the the size of their markets and location need within the proposed league. These locations are all currently larger than the following MLB Markets: Milwaukee, Cleveland, Kansas City, Cincinnati and Pittsburgh.

The Playoffs:

Playoffs would include the Top 2 teams from each division. The #1 (home) team (North) would play the opposing divisions #2 (away) team (West) and visa versa in a 5-game series (this would be the current "Wild Card Round").

The winners of their respective series would move onto the "AL or NL Championship Series Round." This series would include a 7-game series with teams playing for the American or National League Pennant along with a trip to the World Series.

The World Series would remain the same, a 7-game series, as it currently is stands. With the team with the best overall regular season record determining the home-field advantage.

This would be a big shake up to the current format of baseball but I believe this would have its advantages that fans, players and owners would enjoy. I understand that it currently eliminates the 2nd wild card team but lets not water down the playoffs with additional teams.

In regards on how this proposed realignment would affect the Twins, I would say that it would not be in the best interest for them. Soley based on the 2017 results, this is where the Twins would have ended up to finish the season...not in the playoffs:

Cleveland Indians - 102 Wins
Chicago Cubs - 92 Wins
Colorado Rockies - 87 Wins
Milwaukee Brewers - 86 Wins
Minnesota Twins - 85 Wins
Cincinnati Reds - 68 Wins
Chicago White Sox - 67 Wins
Detroit Tigers - 64 Wins

When we look at the payrolls for each of these organizations (Numbers from 2017 Opening Day) - we continue to fall towards the middle of the pack. Interesting to note that the team with the largest payroll also had the worst record in 2017. If the Twins were to raise their annual payroll to about $125 Million - would that help us climb this proposed standing?

Detroit Tigers - $199 Million
Chicago Cubs - $172 Million
Colorado Rockies - $130 Million
Cleveland Indians - $124 Million
Minnesota Twins - $108 Million
Chicago White Sox - $99 Million
Cincinnati Reds - $93 Million
Milwaukee Brewers - $63 Million

The idea was to create discussion and have a little fun with hypotheticals. Would be interesting to see how the addition of the DH to the former national league teams would affect their overall record and if that would be a positive or negative to the Twins playoff hopes.

Any thoughts or ideas to add?

  • ashbury and nytwinsfan like this



Twins had 85 wins .Not a bad idea but probably more fair to takeDivision winners and then the top two teams period rather than the 2nd place team in each division. For example, this formatin 1987 would have had the 85 win Twins and the 83 win Royals while excluding the 91 win Brewers and the 89 win Yankees.I would also be ok with the 3rd best record making it and 4th and 5th playing a play in game.All sorts of possibilities.

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MidwestTwinsFan15
Dec 27 2017 11:48 AM

 

Twins had 85 wins .Not a bad idea but probably more fair to takeDivision winners and then the top two teams period rather than the 2nd place team in each division. For example, this formatin 1987 would have had the 85 win Twins and the 83 win Royals while excluding the 91 win Brewers and the 89 win Yankees.I would also be ok with the 3rd best record making it and 4th and 5th playing a play in game.All sorts of possibilities.

Thanks for the catch on the error! And yes, all sorts of possibilities could come into play.

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Sssuperdave
Dec 27 2017 04:34 PM

I like it! I like the new divisions, the new teams, and trimming the playoffs by 2 teams. My only quibble is that there wouldn't much of an incentive to win the division - the only advantage for winning the division vs just making the playoffs would be home field advantage in the first round. What I like best about the Wild Card game right now is that it really rewards winning the division as you don't have to play in a single game elimination.

 

Here's an idea people will probably hate. :-) What if you kept everything in your proposal but instead of having 2 wild cards in each league you have 4, with the wild cards going to one-game playoffs to determine who advances to the next round to face the division winners? This would expand the playoffs rather than contract them, which is probably a negative, but would increase the reward for winning the division, which I think is a positive.

 

 

    • MidwestTwinsFan15 likes this
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MidwestTwinsFan15
Dec 27 2017 07:33 PM

 

I like it! I like the new divisions, the new teams, and trimming the playoffs by 2 teams. My only quibble is that there wouldn't much of an incentive to win the division - the only advantage for winning the division vs just making the playoffs would be home field advantage in the first round. What I like best about the Wild Card game right now is that it really rewards winning the division as you don't have to play in a single game elimination.

 

Here's an idea people will probably hate. :-) What if you kept everything in your proposal but instead of having 2 wild cards in each league you have 4, with the wild cards going to one-game playoffs to determine who advances to the next round to face the division winners? This would expand the playoffs rather than contract them, which is probably a negative, but would increase the reward for winning the division, which I think is a positive.

Makes some good sense. Doesn't make the playoffs smaller. Totally like the idea of having of the Wild Cards in a one game play-off putting a nice incentive to win the division outright and having some good meaning to it. 

 

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nicksaviking
Dec 28 2017 08:00 AM

It took awhile but I now prefer the smaller divisions, but I'm pretty easy, I don't fuss much about change. Just so long as the Twins don't get shafted and end up in a division where everyone else is in a different time zone.

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jorgenswest
Dec 28 2017 08:23 AM
This proposal has been published a few places (recently SI).

East: Atlanta, Baltimore, Cincinnati, Miami, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Tampa Bay, Washington

North: Boston, Cleveland, Detroit, Minnesota, Montreal, New York Yankees, New York Mets, Toronto

Midwest: Chicago Cubs, Chicago White Sox, Colorado, Houston, Kansas City, Milwaukee, St. Louis, Texas

West: Anaheim, Arizona, Los Angeles, Oakland, Portland, San Diego, San Francisco and Seattle

I hate it for the Twins. They need to be in the Midwest. Yours is much better.
    • MidwestTwinsFan15 likes this
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MidwestTwinsFan15
Dec 28 2017 08:32 AM

 

This proposal has been published a few places (recently SI).

East: Atlanta, Baltimore, Cincinnati, Miami, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Tampa Bay, Washington

North: Boston, Cleveland, Detroit, Minnesota, Montreal, New York Yankees, New York Mets, Toronto

Midwest: Chicago Cubs, Chicago White Sox, Colorado, Houston, Kansas City, Milwaukee, St. Louis, Texas

West: Anaheim, Arizona, Los Angeles, Oakland, Portland, San Diego, San Francisco and Seattle

I hate it for the Twins. They need to be in the Midwest. Yours is much better.

Yes - I saw this the other day as well. Absolutely hate it. Basically everything in the Eastern Time Zone and the payrolls we would have to compete against would be ridiculous. If the Twins were to be put into this proposed division, we would be the doormats, in my opinion.