Doesnt mean that I agree with how the economics of baseball are way out of whack. I was talking with a few other Canadians about the MLB and thought of a radical new change in division re-alignment that may finally end the disparity between all ball clubs having a chance to make the playoffs each year. Much like soccer it would kind of be a tier system. Scheduling and travel wise it makes a lot more sense. For those hardcore fans I would also make each team play at least 2 games against every other team. Lets see if you like what I have done. The AL would have the bigger payrolled teams. I know this breaks up 130 years of tradition but it is time to move into the new millennium.

PROPOSED CHANGES

AL EAST NEW AVERAGE PAYROLL 141 MILLION (705 MILLION)
COMB RECORD 446-365 OR 88-74 AVG


guestimate of 2010 PROJECTED PAYROLLS RECORDS OF 2009

IN-PHI, NYM AND DET. OUT-TOR, TB, FLA

NEW YORK YANKEES $200 MILLION 103-59 (AL EAST WINNER WITH NEW ALIGNMENT)
NEW YORK METS $125 MILLION 70-92
BOSTON REDSOX $140 MILLION 93-69
PHILADELPHIA PHILLIES $120 MILLION 94-68
DETROIT TIGERS $120 MILLION 86-77 MOVED FROM CENTRAL TO EAST

Detroit might suffer because of the economy but they are one of the proudest franchises. With New York and Philly 100 miles away they should all play each other a lot more. Boston is not too far either. ALL HAVE THE CAPAPBILITY OF DRAWING 3 MILLION-4 MILLION FANS to compete

AL CENTRAL IN-CHICAGO CUBS AND MILWAUKEE

NEW AVERAGE PAYROLL 95 MILLION (475 TOTAL)
COMBINED RECORD 405-415 OR 80-82

CHICAGO WHITE SOX $100 MILLION 79-83
CHICAGO CUBS $130 MILLION 83-78
MINNESOTA TWINS $75 MILLION 87-76 (AL CENTRAL WINNER WITH NEW ALIGNMENT)
CLEVELAND INDIANS $85 MILLION 65-97
MILWAUKEE BREWERS $85 MILLION 81-81

This division makes the most sense. with Milwaukee with the two Chicago teams being 100 miles apart only. Minnesota is within a 6 hour drive of chicago too. Cleveland does have the ability to play with the big timers if they play well. With Minnesota's ballpark their payroll should be able to match at least the Brew Crew

AL WEST IN-SF GIANTS, LA DODGERS/ OUT-TEX AND OAK
NEW AVERAGE PAYROLL 105 MILLION
COMBINED RECORD 365-283 OR 91-71


SEATTLE $100 MILLION 85-77
SF GIANTS $100 MILLION 88-74
LA DODGERS $120 MILLION 95-67 (WILDCARD POSITION WINNER)
LA ANGELS $100 MILLION 97-65 (AL WEST WINNER WITH NEW ALIGNMENT)

Because of the 4 teams only in the AL WEST. this was the best configuration. I sent Oakland to the NL because of the salary capability. In this re-alignment the AL WEST could also play the NL a bit more weighted when it came to interleague so that you have OAK-SF, LA CLUBS WITH SAN DIEGO
and SEA WITH COL playing a lot more games together too

NL EAST IN TOR, BALT, TB. OUT-NYM, PHI, ATL

NEW AVERAGE PAYROLL IS 61 MILLION (307 MILLION)
TOTAL COMBINED RECORD 371-439

WASHINGTON $60 MILLION 59-103
TORONTO $80 MILLION 75-87
TAMPA BAY $65 MILLION 84-78
FLORIDA $37 MILLION 86-76 (NL EAST WINNER WITH NEW ALIGNMENT)
BALTIMORE $67 MILLION 67-95

Its a natural to have BAL-WSH, TPA-FLA in the same division. You have to think about practicality here of Marlins/Rays fans being able to watch their own team in the same state a few more times. Toronto is the odd duck of the group, but with four teams having two-sets of close ballyards, going on road trips would be a lot easier.

NL CENTRAL-IN ATL, TEX. OUT-MILWAUKEE, CHICAGO CUBS

NEW AVERAGE PAYROLL 81.5 MILLION (490 MILLION)
COMINED RECORD 479-492 OR 81-81

ATLANTA $102 MILLION 87-75 (WILD CARD PLAYOFF BERTH WITH NEW ALIGNMENT) east-central
ST.LOUIS $92 MILLION 91-71 (NL CENTRAL WINNER WITH NEW ALIGNMENT)
CINCINNATI $73 MILLION 78-84
HOUSTON $102 MILLION 74-88
PITTSBURGH $48 MILLION 62-99
TEXAS $73 MILLION 87-75 MOVED FROM WEST TO CENTRAL

Pittsburgh has to get its act together regardless of what division they are in. Houston and Texas could benefit by more state kind of games. Cincinnati is really close in flights to all

NL WEST IN-OAK, KC. OUT LA DODGERS AND SF GIANTS
NEW AVERAGE PAYROLL IS 65.5 MILLION (328 MILLION)
COMBINED RECORD 377-433

ARIZONA $73 MILLION 70-92
SAN DIEGO $48 MILLION 75-87
KANSAS CITY$ 70 MILLION 65-97 MOVED FROM CENTRAL TO WEST
COLORADO $75 MILLION 92-70 (NL WEST WINNER WITH NEW ALIGNMENT
OAKLAND $62 MILLION 75-87


IT MAKES TOTAL SENSE FROM A PAYROLL POINT OF VIEW

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Comment by Chuck Booth (35) ALL 30/23 DAYS! on October 22, 2009 at 2:20pm
I agree Tony, that payroll doesn't equate to wins all the time, and your lucky having such an awesome scouting staff that the Twins compete every year. Of course The Yankees are at a mega-payroll limit compared to divisional rivals TB, and BAL. Even worse is being a Blue Jays Fan, this was a model frnachise under the 'PAT GILLICK ERA,' and cashed in 2 WS rings in '92 and '93, now they have to beat BOSTON and NEW YORK to make it to the playoffs. Toronto fans have given up in attendance as well, they are a front-runner city, because they should draw 4 million fans like they used to when SKYDOME opened. You also have some big disparity in the NL East where Philly spends 113 million this year and Florida spends 37. I know Florida is getting a new ballpark, but I am not sure they will sustain much more attendance when that is finished. Soccer uses this kind of 'Tier System' and it works. Another thing in the whole re-alignment was the geography. With 162 game schedule they should try and make it easier on the players, and putting natural rivalries in the same division lke: TB/FLA/, NYY/NYM, HOU/TEX, BAL/WSH, CWS/CHC, LAD/LAA should increase attendance to. Good discussion from both Tony and Craig.
Comment by Tony F. Rezac on October 22, 2009 at 11:21am
This might make sense, if payroll was constant. But it isn't, it is fluid. The Cardinals opened 2009 with a payroll 22 million dollars less than in 2008 and went from 4th to first in the NL central. Even adding Matt Holliday's full salary it would have been 9 million less. The Astros added almost 15 million dollars from 08 to 09 and it translated into 12 less wins. The Tigers dumped 24 million in payroll and went from being worse than the Royals to forcing game 163. Being a Twins fan it is frustrating to see the "big" market teams spend the money year after year when the Twins are just a player two away from making some noise in the AL. But payroll isn't everything.
Comment by Craig (17) on October 21, 2009 at 7:50pm
This is very, very interesting. Yeah, it would kill a lot of tradition and I think MLB is too conservative to make a big move like this. However, something does need to change with the lack of salary cap.
Comment by Chuck Booth (35) ALL 30/23 DAYS! on October 21, 2009 at 1:50pm
of course i meant team not time down below
Comment by Chuck Booth (35) ALL 30/23 DAYS! on October 21, 2009 at 1:48pm
That there will be competitive balance all throughout baseball. As it stands right now there is going to be a shift with the have and the have nots. Before it was okay with the payroll disparity. The Marlins ruined the idea of no small market team can win in '03. However it looks like the Yanks, dodgers, Phillies, Angels and have a firm grasp of their divisions for years to come. More important though is the travelling the ball clubs do. This new division alignment would save a great deal of travel. Also, with the exception maybe of PIT, (who can never compete with anyone anyway based on their payroll and drafting) every time will have a chance to make the playoffs at least. You are putting clubs that have similar payroll capabilities-along with drawing attendance. If you are a fan of the Blue Jays, Orioles, Tampa Bay Rays(excuse their fluke-especially if they do not get their new ballpark), Nationals, Padres you have no little chance of having sustained success. Only, Florida, Minnesota and Oakland, who both had good decades in the 00's, when it came to small market teams.
Comment by Evan (13) on October 21, 2009 at 1:02pm
So wait, what's the overarching rationale, or what are the changes actually aiming to do?

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