Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Red Whines: United May Stand, Divided May Fall

Over the past several days there have been numerous sporting reports announcing that Major League Baseball is currently in talks over realigning the whole league.

First it was just simply extending postseason, and now this? What, was 1994's alignment not good enough for you guys?

Anyway, here's what it would be: There would no longer be divisions; MLB would have an East and a West. Where they would split it, I don't really know. This would be my guess:

Oh my, it's George, the Rampage Gorilla! He disapproves of the realignment! Beware of missing bathtubs!

Anyway, the top five teams from the East and the West would advance to the playoffs, and (I'm assuming) the top team in each region would get some sort of bye because this format looks very similar to the NFL.

I keep getting that thought of "if it ain't broke, don't fix it" in my head. Everything right now is working fine. If they were to eliminate divisions and take the top five teams from the east and west, there's a strong chance you may be seeing more than two teams from the current divisions that exist right now appearing in the playoffs (i.e. Red Sox/Yanks/Rays or Phillies/Marlins/Braves). But if this were to happen, the whole concept of "interleague play" would be eliminated; on the other hand, the concept of the designated hitter is then thrown up in the air. What happens to that?

Again, if it ain't broke, don't fix it.

However, there's the one idea that new alignments would equal newer and/or stronger rivalries. For example, the Houston Astros and the Texas Rangers would have a good 'ole Texas showdown without having the American League and National League being a parting factor. Also, the Mets and Yankees would have numerous subway series throughout the season. Fun, right? Okay, I guess that would be pretty cool.

If this really happens, the one thing that would most likely annoy me the most is the postseason format. Sure, there would be that method of 'seeding' like the other major sports have in their respective playoffs, but there would be the problem of the length of the entire season including the playoffs. Usually, the NHL and NBA playoffs last anywhere from 1 1/2 to 2 months. Major League Baseball doesn't have that kind of time. Officials have been in a big enough fuss that the World Series is going into November--when it starts getting chilly outside (they were rather lucky last year, but that's besides the point). They've already started the baseball season a week earlier than usual to avoid November baseball this year, why bother running into that problem again?

The conclusion I'm making with the wonderful goof that is Bud Selig is that he wants to change things up in the business and has no real idea on how to go about that without displeasing anyone. He actually plans on retiring after next season, so I would think this is almost his way of making a big bang before he leaves. But lemme say this: this isn't the first time he tried something controversial and it actually worked. He was the driving force in the introduction of the Wild Card and got major heat for that. Now he wants to get rid of it after 17 years of success. Puh-lease.

There could be other ways of avoiding this. Maybe altering the divisions would work and just eliminating the Wild Card would work rather well. For example, there could be an NFL-style division placement having North, East, South, and West instead of East, Central, and West with a Wild Card. It'll freshen things up and people won't complain about any drastic changes.

C'mon, I'm trying to help here. These crazy old guys in the front office won't listen to us precious fans.
Conclusion: The idea of realignment is stupid.