Baseball for the Thinking Fan

Login | Register | Feedback

btf_logo
You are here > Home > Baseball Newsstand > Baseball Primer Newsblog > Discussion
Baseball Primer Newsblog
— The Best News Links from the Baseball Newsstand

Monday, October 16, 2017

EXPANSION COULD TRIGGER REALIGNMENT, LONGER POSTSEASON

There seems to be a building consensus that baseball will soon be headed to a 32-team configuration.

Lol, wut? I thought the consensus was that there were already two too many teams (Athletics, Rays) and that expansion is off the table until those teams find a home, anyway:

One proposal would be to geographically restructure into four divisions, which would create a major reduction in travel, particularly for teams on the East Coast and West Coast, and add to the natural rivalries by not just having them as interleague attractions, but rather a part of the regular divisional battles.

It’s an interesting idea, but one that would mean the end of pitchers hitting (or less likely the end of the DH) and reduce the schedule by 6 games per year.

Joyful Calculus Instructor Posted: October 16, 2017 at 04:00 PM | 125 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: expansion, montreal, portland

Reader Comments and Retorts

Go to end of page

Statements posted here are those of our readers and do not represent the BaseballThinkFactory. Names are provided by the poster and are not verified. We ask that posters follow our submission policy. Please report any inappropriate comments.

Page 1 of 2 pages  1 2 > 
   1. fra paolo Posted: October 16, 2017 at 05:45 PM (#5555257)
From the comments:

We've already had teams switch leagues...Houston moved to the American League a few years ago, and nobody noticed.


That's not how I remember it.
   2. PreservedFish Posted: October 16, 2017 at 05:51 PM (#5555260)
I often forget which league Houston is, and sometimes even Milwaukee.
   3. catomi01 Posted: October 16, 2017 at 05:51 PM (#5555261)
There seems to be a lot to dislike about this than to like.

Expansion - I like, but I just don't see the markets when you've got teams in Oakland, Tampa, and Miami struggling already. None of the expansion markets look particularly attractive.

Re-alignment and geography based divisions, I'm indifferent to - I like the idea of geographic divisions to lessen travel time, increased rivalries, etc. but it would basically be the true end of the American League v. National League thats been in place since the start of the 20th century...not that that division is all that significant outside of the DH any more, but it would be letting go of a very large piece of the game's history.

Adding to the playoffs seems inevitable I guess - but I hate play-in games...if the schedule is going to be shortened, do it to turn the wild card round into a 3 game series instead.

And last, don't shorten the season. 162 games. If the players/union want off days, schedule some double headers and let the teams carry a few extra players for those games. I don't really see the owners agreeing to give up and potential gate revenue.
   4. Pasta-diving Jeter (jmac66) Posted: October 16, 2017 at 06:28 PM (#5555278)
I often forget which league Houston is, and sometimes even Milwaukee.

and sometimes Louisvile
   5. Pasta-diving Jeter (jmac66) Posted: October 16, 2017 at 06:29 PM (#5555279)
this is just another Mighty Manfred feeler to the media to see how it flies

("I would consider it")
   6. Gold Star - just Gold Star Posted: October 16, 2017 at 06:30 PM (#5555281)
Oakland, Tampa, and Miami struggling already
I see that list and think: shitty stadium situation; shitty stadium situation; previous owner spent years shitting on his fan base.
   7. Steve Balboni's Personal Trainer Posted: October 16, 2017 at 06:32 PM (#5555283)
In terms of 32 teams, the NFL has 32 teams in 30 markets (NY and LA each have two teams). For the purpose of this, I am going to call Green Bay and Milwaukee the same market...

Markets that have an NFL team, but not an MLB team:
Buffalo
Jacksonville
Nashville
Indianapolis
New Orleans

Markets that have an MLB team, but not an NFL team:
Toronto
St. Louis
San Diego

I think two of Las Vegas, Montreal, and Nashville could handle an MLB team.

   8. Joyful Calculus Instructor Posted: October 16, 2017 at 06:41 PM (#5555287)
Sometimes I forget that the Pirates, Dodgers, Cardinals and Reds are no longer in the American Association.
   9. Joyful Calculus Instructor Posted: October 16, 2017 at 06:45 PM (#5555291)
[7] Buffalo and Toronto are about an hour and a half drive apart. Having a team in both locations would be overkill.
   10. Joyful Calculus Instructor Posted: October 16, 2017 at 06:48 PM (#5555292)
[6] Seeing the list and thinking of the geographical similarity of Miami and St. Petersburg, it makes me think that Floridians are just not the into baseball.
   11. phredbird Posted: October 16, 2017 at 06:54 PM (#5555294)

i've been screaming for adding two teams and radical realignment for years.

the key is creating eight 4-team divisions, splitting the country down the middle, no wild cards, three 7-game playoff series.

boom.

the two teams to add are Brooklyn and San Antonio -- don't laugh, NY can handle another franchise and SA is part of the booming texas demographic.

sub out montreal for Brooklyn if you like, i don't care.

how they would realign everybody is a helluva parlor game, but it would be possible to split up rivalries like NYY-BOS and STL-CUBS and SF-LAD by putting them in different adjacent divisions so they could at least meet now and then in the playoffs.

just a thought.
   12. Shredder Posted: October 16, 2017 at 07:00 PM (#5555295)
the key is creating eight 4-team divisions, splitting the country down the middle, no wild cards, three 7-game playoff series.
I'm assuming then four 5-game series? If you have eight divisions, you need 8 playoff teams, and thus seven playoff series. I guess California would be tough to split up, though I'd probably be tempted to go LAD, LAA, SD, and ARI in one division and SFG, OAK, STL, and COL in another division.
   13. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: October 16, 2017 at 07:05 PM (#5555302)
i've been screaming for adding two teams and radical realignment for years.

the key is creating eight 4-team divisions, splitting the country down the middle, no wild cards, three 7-game playoff series.

boom.


Ugh. I'm probably done with baseball if this happens. Would still play DMB and Roto, where the players are basically just stats generators, but I'd no longer care who won in real life.

A system that virtually guarantees we'll eventually have a below .500 team in the playoffs while a 95-win goes home is a non-starter for me.
   14. Misirlou doesn't live in the restaurant Posted: October 16, 2017 at 07:06 PM (#5555303)
it makes me think that Floridians are just not the into baseball.


And yet, Florida produces a ton of major leaguers. 2017 All Star squad of Florida players:

C - Alex Avila
1B - Anthony Rizzo
2B - Dee Gordon
SS - Addison Russell
3B - Manny Machado
LF - Andrew Mccutcheon
CF - Michael Taylor
RF - J D Martinez

SP - Chris sale
SP - Zack Greinke
SP - Gio Gonzalez
SP - Jacob DeGrom
SP - Carlos Rodon
CL - Wade Davis
   15. Shredder Posted: October 16, 2017 at 07:07 PM (#5555304)
A system that virtually guarantees we'll eventually have a below .500 team in the playoffs while a 95-win goes home is a non-starter for me.
Really depends on how balanced or unbalanced you make the schedules.
   16. phredbird Posted: October 16, 2017 at 07:08 PM (#5555305)

shredder, you are right, i messed this up before.

with 8 division winners, you do need seven series. the first four would be 5-game series, because it would be a nightmare of TV scheduling otherwise. the second round -- can't really call it an LCS -- and the world series would be best of seven.

i know how offensive this is to longstanding fans, but i don't see how they can go on like this with these stupid wild cards. that's as bad as anything else MLB has done to the game. YMMV. i just don't like wild cards. it's NFL-think.

the league distinctions are disappearing. they might as well throw in the towel, realign, and make a big fanfare out of it. The NEW IMPROVED major league baseball.
   17. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: October 16, 2017 at 07:08 PM (#5555306)
Really depends on how balanced or unbalanced you make the schedules.

You can't play more than 20 games vs. each divisional rival. The current 18 is already tedious.
   18. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: October 16, 2017 at 07:09 PM (#5555307)
2 x 5-game series followed by 2 x 7 game series, so yeah, four rounds of playoffs.

Ugh. No. Your idea keeps getting worse and worse.

If you must do 32 teams. Keep the same leagues, 4 8-team divisions, 4 wild cards.
   19. Joe Bivens Will Take a Steaming Dump Posted: October 16, 2017 at 07:09 PM (#5555308)
What about Charlotte? That and Nashville would be my choice. Montreal would have build a dome. Would they?
   20. Traderdave Posted: October 16, 2017 at 07:10 PM (#5555309)
Is the NHL really what we want baseball to emulate?
   21. Shredder Posted: October 16, 2017 at 07:16 PM (#5555313)
If you must do 32 teams. Keep the same leagues, 4 8-team divisions, 4 wild cards.
The presumed benefit of 8 divisions x 4 teams is the potential creation of as many as eight pennant races. If you go to 4 divisions of eight teams, you're looking at maybe half that. Of course, not every division has a race every year, but on average, four wild cards with full playoff privileges is going to reduce a lot of interest in late season games.
   22. Sweatpants Posted: October 16, 2017 at 07:23 PM (#5555319)
A system that virtually guarantees we'll eventually have a below .500 team in the playoffs while a 95-win goes home is a non-starter for me.
I agree that a sub-.500 team making the playoffs would suck (although we've already had an 82-80 team make it, and in 1994 the AL West may have ended up sending a team with a losing record). I kind of like the idea of 95-win teams not making it, though, even with a much less deserving team getting in. That's part of why the 1993 NL West race is so fondly remembered.
   23. Ulysses S. Fairsmith Posted: October 16, 2017 at 07:24 PM (#5555320)
"The end of pitchers hitting"? I must have missed the start of pitchers hitting.
   24. Ulysses S. Fairsmith Posted: October 16, 2017 at 07:34 PM (#5555324)
Also, while baseball is the best sport, the NHL does have the best playoffs.
   25. TDF didn't lie, he just didn't remember Posted: October 16, 2017 at 07:48 PM (#5555329)
"The end of pitchers hitting"? I must have missed the start of pitchers hitting.
It was a bit before your time.
   26. Infinite Yost (Voxter) Posted: October 16, 2017 at 08:11 PM (#5555350)
I think two of Las Vegas, Montreal, and Nashville could handle an MLB team.


I wouldn't put Las Vegas or Nashville in my top 5 expansion targets, and that's not even in the fantasy third-team-in-NY-or-LA scenario. Charlotte, Portland, San Antonio, Salt Lake, Vancouver BC, and Monterrey are all bigger, richer, not shrinking, and not isolated in the desert. So maybe LV would be fifth. Maybe.
   27. Lassus Posted: October 16, 2017 at 08:24 PM (#5555358)
Expansion just seems unbelievably stupid.
   28. Ziggy: The Platonic Form of Russell Branyan Posted: October 16, 2017 at 08:31 PM (#5555369)
Please no more post season. There's so much randomness in baseball that it takes 162 games to get even a reasonable guess as to which teams are the best. We already throw out a lot of that information, don't throw out even more of it.

My proposal, which I propose every time this comes up, and which no one else likes: one "division", as many teams as you want, as many games as you want. At the end of the season, the team with the best record wins. No post season. Sure, almost everyone will stop paying attention by June, and so of course its an absurd non-starter, but it's what I would prefer. Giving championships out on the basis of coin flips offends me.
   29. Rennie's Tenet Posted: October 16, 2017 at 08:42 PM (#5555383)
There's always room to expand downward. Free up a couple of Quad A leagues, and start promotion-relegation.
   30. Leroy Kincaid Posted: October 16, 2017 at 09:03 PM (#5555408)
My proposal, which I propose every time this comes up, and which no one else likes: one "division", as many teams as you want, as many games as you want. At the end of the season, the team with the best record wins. No post season. Sure, almost everyone will stop paying attention by June, and so of course its an absurd non-starter, but it's what I would prefer. Giving championships out on the basis of coin flips offends me.


Not sure if this helps, but I've proposed pretty much the same thing.
   31. crict Posted: October 16, 2017 at 09:12 PM (#5555415)
Take this as a grain of salt: In my OOTP league, I have a 32 team, 2-leagues 8-division setup with no wild cards, with balanced scheduled, no interleague. In a sample of 32 seasons, I had 12 95+-win teams miss the playoffs (best: 99) and 40 teams with 85 wins or less in the playoffs, including 6 teams with a losing record (worst: 75 wins).
   32. Lance Reddick! Lance him! Posted: October 16, 2017 at 09:22 PM (#5555430)
i've been screaming for adding two teams and radical realignment for years.

the key is creating eight 4-team divisions, splitting the country down the middle, no wild cards, three 7-game playoff series.

boom.

That's the sound of the bomb I've placed under your car.
   33. PreservedFish Posted: October 16, 2017 at 09:22 PM (#5555431)
#28 - horrible horrible.
   34. BDC Posted: October 16, 2017 at 09:24 PM (#5555435)
The current alignment is a half-###ed contraption arrived at by tinkering and retinkering, but it has some advantages that the various suggestions and appalled reactions above highlight.

a) You don't want divisions to be too big. Nobody roots for an 8th-place team anymore, if they ever did. And if you go to four divisions of eight teams, with the top two in each division making the playoffs, there might be no races at all in a good percentage of seasons. The current 6X5 with two wild cards all but guarantees some races every year – "artificially," but then all competitions are artificial.

b) You don't want divisions to be too small. If you go to eight divisions of four teams, winner-take-all, you have some of the same problems as 4X8, compounded by the certainty of getting a sub-.500 playoff team on occasion, as has happened in the NFL.

Maybe the 6X5 alignment is better than we think. (And I agree that there's no pressure for expansion. The best places are Montreal and Brooklyn, but there are substantial barriers to doing that, and even if there weren't, you'd indeed move the A's to one and the Rays to the other.)

The main difficulty I have in following the sport as a whole is that there are too many teams, anyway, but it's a big country, and complaining that there are too many major-league sports teams is just the usual "too many states, I am not a crackpot" line of thinking. Basically, these days, I just follow my local team closely and I learn about each visiting team as if it was brand new, forgetting about them before they roll into town again (by which time they usually have mostly new players anyway). It's still fun to go to games.
   35. Shredder Posted: October 16, 2017 at 09:26 PM (#5555440)
Also, while baseball is the best sport, the NHL does have the best playoffs.
Not anymore.
The 10-team SPHL announced on Monday that they are overhauling their opening round and turning it into what’s being dubbed the “Challenge Round.” The top three teams will get to choose their first-round opponent during a “Challenge Round Selection” event which will be broadcast to fans on Sunday, April 8, the day after the regular season concludes. After the top three seeds select their opponents, the No. 4 team will be matched against the leftover side.
Pretty sweet idea. Could be fun, but high end pro leagues would screw it up. They're notoriously risk averse. You'd almost never see anything but 1v8, 2v7, etc. Only way you'd see anything out of the ordinary is if a potential opponent's superstar got hurt right before the playoffs.
   36. Shredder Posted: October 16, 2017 at 09:45 PM (#5555458)
Basically, these days, I just follow my local team closely and I learn about each visiting team as if it was brand new, forgetting about them before they roll into town again (by which time they usually have mostly new players anyway). It's still fun to go to games.
I think this is less a function of the number of teams and more a function of the information age. When I was growing up, and even into my late teens, I never really knew much about the Angels farm system. I could have named a ton of players in the majors (and seemingly every player in the NHL). But then we got two major introductions: 1) Almost every game for your favorite team is on TV, when you used to get maybe a little less than half, and 2) The internet gives us a wealth of information on every player in your team's system. I know more about the Angels than I ever used to, and watch at least part of almost every game on TV, my iPad, or my phone. Meanwhile I can't name three guys on the White Sox, and play in the city where I live.
   37. The Yankee Clapper Posted: October 16, 2017 at 10:11 PM (#5555480)
the two teams to add are Brooklyn and San Antonio . . .

That would destroy the Mets. Is that a bug or feature?

32 teams gives you a lot of options for the regular season and playoffs. The problem is that there doesn't seem to be two more good franchise locations. Could try to revive some for the former two-team markets, but I doubt that works.
   38. phredbird Posted: October 16, 2017 at 10:33 PM (#5555492)
That would destroy the Mets.


no it wouldn't. NYC is big enough for three franchises. by far. i don't believe one word of poor mouthing about any MLB franchise anywhere.

but give it to montreal, i don't care as long as we're just speculating here.

also, i seem to remember when there were 4-team divisions back in the day it wasn't a big deal. the NL west had 4 teams, right?

geez, how can folks be bugged about the possibility of a sub-500 team getting in the playoffs? with all the goofiness we have now? one-game play-ins? really? boy, that establishes who belongs in the post-season.

the whole magilla is just an exhibition anyway ... at least that's what i tell myself when the cards don't make the playoffs. :-)
   39. jayjay Posted: October 16, 2017 at 10:35 PM (#5555493)
West: Arizona, Colorado, Los Angeles, Los Angeles, Oakland, San Diego, San Francisco, Seattle
South: Atlanta, Charlotte, Houston, Kansas City, Miami, St. Louis, Tampa Bay, Texas
East: Baltimore, Boston, Montreal, New York, New York, Philadelphia, Toronto, Washington
North: Chicago, Chicago, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Detroit, Milwaukee, Minnesota, Pittsburgh
   40. winnipegwhip Posted: October 16, 2017 at 11:28 PM (#5555513)
West: Arizona, Colorado, Los Angeles, Los Angeles, Oakland, San Diego, San Francisco, Seattle
South: Atlanta, Baltimore, Houston, Kansas City, Miami, St. Louis, Tampa Bay, Texas
East: Boston, Cleveland, Montreal, New York, New York, Philadelphia, Toronto, Washington
North: Chicago, Chicago, Cincinnati, Detroit, Milwaukee, Minnesota, Pittsburgh, Winnipeg
   41. Tulo's Fishy Mullet (mrams) Posted: October 16, 2017 at 11:29 PM (#5555514)
I've always supported the idea of letting the top seeds pick their playoff opponent. I'd love it. I'd really like to see it in the college football playoff for starters.
   42. Dog on the sidewalk Posted: October 17, 2017 at 12:11 AM (#5555526)
My proposal, which I propose every time this comes up, and which no one else likes: one "division", as many teams as you want, as many games as you want. At the end of the season, the team with the best record wins. No post season. Sure, almost everyone will stop paying attention by June, and so of course its an absurd non-starter, but it's what I would prefer. Giving championships out on the basis of coin flips offends me.

I like your idea. I do like playoffs though, so I'd probably add a round or two of marathon postseason series (best of 21 sounds good!)
   43. Walt Davis Posted: October 17, 2017 at 01:08 AM (#5555534)
#40: There's no way the Cubs and Cards will accept not being in the same division -- they've nixed realignments over that before. You can swap St L and Cincy since Cincy's always wanted to be a southern city anyway. I think you will get a lot of griping that Baltimore is "south" while DC is "east."

I suppose you could go to more of an NBA-style with 2 leagues, 2 8-team divisions per league, 4 division winners go in automatically and (depending on how you want to structure your playoffs) another 2-4 teams per league based on overall record -- "fair" if the intra-league schedule is reasonably balanced. Basically, do you want a "real" WC round where the division winners get a bye and the other 8 teams battle to get down to 4 ... or essentially jump past the current WC round and go straight to the 8 teams in the NLDS at the other extreme ... or somewhere in between?

I'm not a fan of either. But back in the day I did regularly set up Baseball Mogul or OOTP for a 32-team, 4-division setup with only the division winners advancing ... and I moved the Rays to NY/NJ, put another team in NY/NJ, I think moved the A's to Vegas (it ranked well in those sims at the time) ... and don't remember where my other expansion team went. So I'd be fine with that but it's never going to happen.

As we all know, baseball is properly 24 teams, 2 leagues, 2 divisions per league, 18 games per opp in division, 12 per opp in the other division, no inter-league and Cincy and Atlanta obviously in the West where they belong. Why? Because that's how it was when I first became a fan so obviously that's the right way to do it. The major drawback to that is the two West Coast trips per year in which the Cubs inevitably will go 2-7.

But I don't see the markets to expand to. Maybe Tampa, Oakland and Miami are the only ones "in trouble" but it's not like Pitt, KC, Cleveland, etc. are particularly "stable" or more than a couple of 100-loss seasons away from substantial attendance drops. Throwing more small markets into the mix I suppose increases the random chance of a small market winning it all but it only further distorts the revenue disparities, requiring yet more tinkering with salary caps and shared revenue -- fine but it seems a system that must eventually collapse of its own weight. The "natural" way to expand is to pile teams into NY and LA such that individual markets are equalized to a greater extent. But that will never happen either.

There are 20 teams in the English Premier League -- 6 are within 20 miles of London Bridge (per Google). There are 18 teams in the Australian (rules) Football League, 9 are in Melbourne and 1 not far away in Geelong (AFL is much more popular in Vic, SA and WA). There are 16 teams in the (Australian) National Rugby League and 7.5 are in Sydney (more popular in NSW and QLD). Now the US population is less concentrated in a handful of cities and of course a much larger population than the UK or Australia but you still need a concentration of population and it's silly to think that a team in a metro area around 2 million people can compete in revenue terms with 2 teams in a metro area with a pop of 20 million. NY Metro could easily support at least 4 teams -- even if two of them end up drawing only from a pop closer to 3 million each due to location/competition, the hope has to be that eventually they'll grow in popularity and/or that their sub-regional markets will grow in population. And there's no particular reason to think that NY Metro is going to start declining in population -- we might well have two teams splitting a market of 25 million then 30 million over the next few decades -- while Cleveland, Detroit, Pitt, etc. might well continue to see population declines, making the revenue disparities increasingly absurd.

But it will never happen so it's silly of me to bring it up.

One point I think is worth raising again is that the US, like most western countries, has experienced population growth pretty much only due to immigration. For the US, many of these immigrants would have been raised in baseball-playing countries -- although soccer is probably more popular -- but many won't.

Looking for better historical data but for now ... in 2003 there were slightly fewer than 4.1 M births in the US. We can think of those as baseball's "emerging market." That was the most since 1991. It was less than 500,000 more births than 1980, less than 500,000 more than 1969 and essentially less than or equal to every year from 1954 to 1964. The obvious "emerging market" for baseball -- i.e. kids born in the US and "raised on baseball" -- is the same now as it was 50 years ago.

Now baseball attendance is through the roof compared to where it was 50 years ago so obviously sombody's coming to games who didn't used to (those babies born in the 50s-70s who now have real money). And of course there's nothing stopping an immigrant from becoming a baseball fan. But the market potential of a metro area is likely tied in part to how much of its population growth is due to people raised outside of the US. The baseball market potential of Vancouver for example would probably be pretty low. A lot of growing cities are also relying on high rates of internal migration -- not sure what the market potential is for a Charlotte team when some sizeable chunk is non-Charlotte folks relocating for warmth, housing cost and bank job reasons (as in I am not sure, anybody know).

   44. DFA Posted: October 17, 2017 at 01:38 AM (#5555537)
Expansion is always a terrible idea, though the Players Union love the additional jobs and owners love the free money. In fairness, I don't know what the "right" amount of teams would be, but it would be south of 30, not north of it. But I'm relatively certain MLB won't be soliciting my opinion.
   45. Joyful Calculus Instructor Posted: October 17, 2017 at 01:47 AM (#5555538)
MLB, the NBA and the NHL have each had exactly 30 teams for 15 years or more now. This suggests it's the optimal number for a major North American sports league.
   46. QLE Posted: October 17, 2017 at 02:18 AM (#5555541)
The devil with American and National League expansion- when are we going to get someone crazy enough to attempt to set up a rival major league again?

I can't say that it would be a good idea, but it would certainly be an entertaining one.....
   47. manchestermets Posted: October 17, 2017 at 05:00 AM (#5555542)
Snapper - who are you quoting in #18? I can't see any previous comment that says that, was something edited after your post?
   48. TomH Posted: October 17, 2017 at 07:50 AM (#5555553)
the problem with leagues of 30ish teams is that your team hardly ever wins a championship. In a 50-yr span, if a fan is a fan for that long, you might win 1 or 2, or get lucky and win 5, but many of those teams will never win.

Solution: divide into 2 or 3 levels, like western Europe football (soccer).

A 12-team MLB with 2 divisions and a playoff best-of-7 or best-of-9

Another 12 to 20 team MLB tier II with its own season. Teams are fluid; a couple (2 each?) move up or down after each year.

Yeah, it's radical, but look at it like college leagues, where at least you celebrate winning your conference. The small market teams have a more level playing field. Lots of other positives.

As BJames wrote once in the late 80s "Hey buddy, I love tradition too"
   49. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: October 17, 2017 at 08:24 AM (#5555557)
Please no more post season. There's so much randomness in baseball that it takes 162 games to get even a reasonable guess as to which teams are the best. We already throw out a lot of that information, don't throw out even more of it.

My proposal, which I propose every time this comes up, and which no one else likes: one "division", as many teams as you want, as many games as you want. At the end of the season, the team with the best record wins. No post season. Sure, almost everyone will stop paying attention by June, and so of course its an absurd non-starter, but it's what I would prefer. Giving championships out on the basis of coin flips offends me.


Great, so you lose all the fans who watch postseason baseball, and before that you've lost all the fans of nearly every team that was virtually eliminated from the pennant race by August.

Congratulations. You've just made anywhere from 25 to 29 fanbases into clones of 1950's fans of the Kansas City Athletics and Washington Senators, just so.....no fanbase will ever have to suffer the agony felt by the fans of the 2001 Mariners. Great tradeoff!
   50. Tom Ryan Posted: October 17, 2017 at 08:26 AM (#5555558)
MLB will expand to 32 teams somewhere and sometime. With that will come 8 by 4 divisions and perhaps some realignment of some nature. The dilemma will however be the continued existence of wild cards and how they can fit within a post season. Good bet that the Owners will not give up wild cards and the late season effect they have on game attendance and revenue. So, how can 4 division winners and most likely 2 wild cards in each league be set up for a post season? Not an easy one. I suspect MLB will even choose to go the 4 wild card per league route to address this. The right answer is no wild cards and I would bet that is not an acceptable answer. No, we need to make the post season an entire crapshoot, the NHL model be a guide. No thanks.
   51. Lassus Posted: October 17, 2017 at 08:32 AM (#5555562)
MLB will expand to 32 teams somewhere and sometime.

I guess the questions remains to me, why? I see no evidence this would be a good business decision for anyone.
   52. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: October 17, 2017 at 08:40 AM (#5555564)
If you're going to 32 teams, something's got to give. The simplest solution would be two leagues of two 8-team divisions each, geographically divided within each league. No need to make radical realignments, just put one of the new teams in each league and then do the geographic sorting.

You could then choose among three different scheduling models:

1. Keep all the games within each division, making for each team playing its division opponents 22 times each in a 154 game schedule. Great for rivalries, good for building up postseason tension between division winners meeting for the first time, not so great for variety. This is simply an extra layer added to what we had between 1901 and 1960. Of course the World Series would carry on as before under all of these scenarios.

2. Have interdivision play within each league, but no interleague play. This was the model between 1969 and 1993. (1994 through 1996 fall into an entirely different category.)

3. Have both interdivision and interleague play, which is what we've had since 1997.

The nostalgist in me wouldn't mind that first scenario, but the current fan in me likes the third much better. The adjustments to the postseason can be made and we'll get used to them, but the real problem is going to be finding two truly viable new markets, not to mention dealing with the existing train wrecks we already have in St. Pete and Miami.
   53. PreservedFish Posted: October 17, 2017 at 08:47 AM (#5555566)
How else is Manfred supposed to put his stamp on the league?
   54. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: October 17, 2017 at 08:53 AM (#5555570)

the league distinctions are disappearing. they might as well throw in the towel, realign, and make a big fanfare out of it. The NEW IMPROVED major league baseball.


Worked for Coke.
   55. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: October 17, 2017 at 09:00 AM (#5555574)
Snapper - who are you quoting in #18? I can't see any previous comment that says that, was something edited after your post?

Soemone edited. I think phredbird.
   56. BDC Posted: October 17, 2017 at 09:07 AM (#5555579)
NY Metro could easily support at least 4 teams

Yes. It was suggested above (maybe with hope and glee :) that expansion even to three would kill the Mets, but I think almost the reverse would happen. The Mets and the Yankees would gain a few more games that home fans could easily get to, interest in all three (or four) clubs would feed off one another. Everybody would make good money. Naturally they wouldn't all win championships all the time as the 1947-56 NY clubs did, but they would be very successful as business propositions, especially compared to the weaker franchises and markets today, as you note.

It sometimes seems in retrospect that NYC failed to support three teams in the 1950s. But the fact (gleaned from league records by historians like Steve Riess) seems to be that all three NY clubs made very good money in the '50s. The Giants and Dodgers were lured away by the prospect of making even more money in the west. Those moves were not really like the shedding of second teams from Boston, St. Louis, and Philadelphia, which were clearly not large enough to merit second franchises anymore by the '50s, especially with such rich markets to be tapped elsewhere.

   57. Lassus Posted: October 17, 2017 at 09:09 AM (#5555581)
NY Metro could easily support at least 4 teams
Yes.


I think you guys are freaking dreaming.
   58. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: October 17, 2017 at 09:13 AM (#5555585)
NY Metro could easily support at least 4 teams
Yes.


I think you guys are freaking dreaming.

Concur. Building a stadium in NYC is so ludicrously expensive ($1.5B+) that there's simply no valid model to get a return on investment from being the 3rd (let alone 4th) most popular team.

No Gov't official in NY or NJ is going to spend to build a stadium for a team that has no fans among his voters.
   59. BrianBrianson Posted: October 17, 2017 at 09:15 AM (#5555587)
With TV making more and more and more of the total revenue pie, the obvious expansion locations are Montreal and Monterrey - the biggest untapped TV markets being French Canada and Mexico.

I'd much prefer 8 divisions, no wildcards. But I'm aware you can't always get what you want.
   60. Lassus Posted: October 17, 2017 at 09:15 AM (#5555588)
Re: #58 - Yeah, I don't even think it needs to go that deep. I just don't think the mindset exists to support two additional baseball teams attendance-wise. I suppose I don't have any proof of that, but.
   61. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: October 17, 2017 at 09:22 AM (#5555593)
Re: #58 - Yeah, I don't even think it needs to go that deep. I just don't think the mindset exists to support two additional baseball teams attendance-wise. I suppose I don't have any proof of that, but.

I think you might do OK on attendance, if your tickets were cheaper. You only need ~35,000 people in a metro-area of 20+ million.

I think TV is the real issue. With the Yankees and Mets on virtually every night, who are the hundreds of thousands of people that are going to turn on the NJ Sad-Sacks game instead?
   62. Rickey! the first of his name Posted: October 17, 2017 at 09:24 AM (#5555595)
From a pure market size perspective, NYC could definitely support a Brooklyn team. Finding the money and space to build a third stadium would obviously be problematic, but Brooklyn is a larger market by itself than Charlotte or Portland. Ditto New Jersey.

That said, it's a much tougher ask to carve a brand new fan base out of two well established and existing team territories than it is to create a new one from whole cloth in an underserved area. Charlotte people have no natural team to root for per se, so putting a new logo there is easier in ways than putting a new logo into a fan base that is already bought in pretty heavily to either the Yankees or Mets.
   63. PreservedFish Posted: October 17, 2017 at 09:24 AM (#5555597)
It's probably an impossibly complex project, but I wonder if you tabulated all of the factors that are at play in deciding who is and isn't a potential fan of a new team, such as:

- travel distance from proposed stadium site
- loyalty to teams already in place
- competition from other local attractions
- competition from different sports
- communities less likely to care (eg some immigrant populations)
- disposable income

... I wonder if NYC really does have a lot more potential to take on a new team, compared with some of the other cities named in this thread.
   64. Lassus Posted: October 17, 2017 at 09:29 AM (#5555605)
that is already bought in pretty heavily to either the Yankees or Mets.

Or any of the other teams. Hell, pulling Red Bull and Cosmos eyes would even be an issue.
   65. Nasty Nate Posted: October 17, 2017 at 09:29 AM (#5555606)
Baseball is just not a good sport for tournaments. It sucks that it's the direction it is heading. And it sucks that the regular season keeps getting watered down into meaninglessness.

When people talk about pennant races, they are too fixated on the last week of September.
   66. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: October 17, 2017 at 09:30 AM (#5555607)
From a pure market size perspective, NYC could definitely support a Brooklyn team. Finding the money and space to build a third stadium would obviously be problematic, but Brooklyn is a larger market by itself than Charlotte or Portland. Ditto New Jersey.

Brooklyn would work, but your stadium problems get much, much worse, and I think you really hurt the Mets badly.

New Jersey has the people, but they're all spread out, with no large municipalities to foot the bill, and a transit system not designed for moving people between NJ locales.
   67. Rusty Priske Posted: October 17, 2017 at 10:05 AM (#5555623)
I have no problem with expansion.

I have no problem with realignment (and in at least one case, I am all for it).

But eliminating the separation, even as it is, between the AL and NL is a non-starter.

If there IS realignment, it needs to fix the error that has Toronto and Detroit in different divisions. Do people not realize how close those two cities are?
   68. BrianBrianson Posted: October 17, 2017 at 10:18 AM (#5555626)
That said, it's a much tougher ask to carve a brand new fan base out of two well established and existing team territories than it is to create a new one from whole cloth in an underserved area.


The Devils did this without terribly much difficulty.
   69. Shredder Posted: October 17, 2017 at 10:30 AM (#5555643)
When people talk about pennant races, they are too fixated on the last week of September.
That's funny, the Angels were in a wild card race almost all season long, and the last week of September was the only week I didn't care about.
The Devils did this without terribly much difficulty.
They had some help from Mickey Mouse. And Jim Schoenfeld.

It's funny, I had just turned 9 in 1982 when the Devils moved, so to think the Schoenfeld thing happened only six years into their time in New Jersey, and it only took 13 years for a Stanley seems strange, considering I don't really remember an NHL without the Devils. My perception as a kid, as I remember it now, was that they were always there, even though I know they weren't always there. Same is true for the Oilers, Calgary, and the rest of the WHA teams. Some of that probably has to do with growing up on the West Coast in what was not a hockey hot bed at the time (even though I was a big Kings fan even back then).
   70. fra paolo Posted: October 17, 2017 at 10:31 AM (#5555646)
But I don't see the markets to expand to. Maybe Tampa, Oakland and Miami are the only ones "in trouble" but it's not like Pitt, KC, Cleveland, etc. are particularly "stable" or more than a couple of 100-loss seasons away from substantial attendance drops.

This is a ranking of 2017 'attendance', top 5 and bottom 5.

1. Yankees
2. Mets 
3. Cubs 
4. Boston 
5. Cleveland 
...
26. Cincinnati 
27. White Sox 
28. San Diego 
29. Miami 
30. Oakland 


This is another ranking of 2017 attendance.

1. Dodgers 
 2. Cubs 
 3. Yankees
 4. Colorado
 5. Boston
 6. Washington
 7. Houston
 8. Arizona
 9. Minnesota
10. Cleveland 


Ballpark attendance isn't quite the factor that is sometimes considered, as these lists indicate. The first list is average television viewership of prime-time games. Cleveland do quite well there, being fifth in all baseball.

The second list is average attendance per game of the ten teams that made it into the post-season. Cleveland, despite being the reigning AL pennant-holders, props up the rest of the table.

Cleveland's attendance has been bad for years now. Back in the 1990s, the Indians regularly broke the 3 million mark, but they haven't been above 2.5 million since 2002, and even this year barely finished above 2 million.

That's right -- the AL pennant winner, doing exceedingly well in the following season, struggled to draw more than 2 million fans to the ballpark.

Nonetheless, they did exceedingly well on the television broadcast. (I don't have the 2016 numbers handy, but using a ratio of viewership to rating suggests the Indians had a six-figure viewership in 2016 as well, which would probably place them in or near the top 5.)

Television revenue is much more stable than income from ticket sales and parking and concessions, so I'm going to guess that, in comparison to Kansas City and Pittsburgh (especially the latter, which only finished 6,000 viewers ahead of Tampa Bay*), the Cleveland market is not doing as badly as ballpark attendance alone would suggest.

____
* Tampa Bay, BTW, does much better on television viewership relative to other teams than would appear from looking at ballpark attendance alone. I suspect the problems of the Tampa Bay market are heavily related to the ballpark, rather than any inherent issues with the market itself. Miami is a different story.
   71. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: October 17, 2017 at 10:47 AM (#5555670)
The Devils did this without terribly much difficulty.

Not really, no. Despite multiple Stanley Cups, their attendance is routinely terrible.

In the 2002-03 season, when they won their 3rd Stanley Cup, the Devils averaged only 14,858 per game, 23rd in the league.
   72. DL from MN Posted: October 17, 2017 at 10:56 AM (#5555680)
I just follow my local team closely and I learn about each visiting team as if it was brand new


With TV making more and more and more of the total revenue pie, the obvious expansion locations are Montreal and Monterrey - the biggest untapped TV markets being French Canada and Mexico.


I agree. The expansion will happen to open up new TV markets with the caveat that they need to get taxpayers to foot the bill for a new stadium.

TV money makes the best locations for expansion Montreal, Monterrey, North Carolina, Portland, Nashville, San Antonio. Of those locations I think San Antonio will be the first to volunteer to spend taxpayer dollars on a new stadium. I think a return to Montreal will be the top priority for expansion.

   73. catomi01 Posted: October 17, 2017 at 11:33 AM (#5555738)
Nashville just opened a new Triple A stadium a few years ago. I would think that would likely preclude them from the next round of expansion - it doesn't have to of course, but I would have to think the city or regional government (or whoever paid most of the bill) wouldn't have invested ~$100 M for a stadium to use for less than a decade to be replaced with an MLB park. Nashville is a great sports town right now with the Predators and college football dominating, but probably not a great fit for an MLB team. Baseball would probably be the third draw behind college football and hockey.
   74. BrianBrianson Posted: October 17, 2017 at 11:45 AM (#5555757)
Not really, no. Despite multiple Stanley Cups, their attendance is routinely terrible.


They average ~15k a game, and the NHL as a whole averages ~17K a game. In '02-'03, the Rangers were getting 18,148 a game, and the Islanders were getting 14,930 (and the Devils and Islanders are usually pretty close in attendance). Their attendance is a bit below average. And hell, their stadium only seats 16,514 - they can't even have average attendance.

And, of course, if the newly added teams aren't 31st and 32nd in attendance - they're better markets than those already inhabited. It's foolish to imagine the expansion teams should be the top two in attendance. Those markets should already be occupied.
   75. fra paolo Posted: October 17, 2017 at 11:58 AM (#5555769)
Television revenue is much more stable than income from ticket sales and parking and concessions, so I'm going to guess that, in comparison to Kansas City and Pittsburgh (especially the latter, which only finished 6,000 viewers ahead of Tampa Bay*), the Cleveland market is not doing as badly as ballpark attendance alone would suggest.

I made a blunder here. Even with drops in 2017 viewership, the Pirates and Royals are among the best 'draws' for the television audience out there, in terms of a percentage of 'capacity' (the size of the television market).

In absolute numbers, the New York teams, the Cubs and the Dodgers tend to dwarf everyone else. But in relative terms the strong markets are --

Baltimore
Cleveland
Kansas City
Pittsburgh
St Louis

During the past four seasons, they have regularly featured among the top five. Detroit could be added to this list.
   76. jmurph Posted: October 17, 2017 at 12:01 PM (#5555774)
Baseball is just not a good sport for tournaments. It sucks that it's the direction it is heading. And it sucks that the regular season keeps getting watered down into meaninglessness.

Agree. This would dramatically reduce my interest in baseball. I'd be into four 8-team divisions with just the division winners advancing, but we're clearly not going back to that, as others have mentioned.

I think the race to the bottom with the NFL of enforced league-wide mediocrity and increased variance is not going to serve the game in the long run.
   77. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: October 17, 2017 at 12:11 PM (#5555785)
They average ~15k a game, and the NHL as a whole averages ~17K a game. In '02-'03, the Rangers were getting 18,148 a game, and the Islanders were getting 14,930 (and the Devils and Islanders are usually pretty close in attendance). Their attendance is a bit below average. And hell, their stadium only seats 16,514 - they can't even have average attendance.

And, of course, if the newly added teams aren't 31st and 32nd in attendance - they're better markets than those already inhabited. It's foolish to imagine the expansion teams should be the top two in attendance. Those markets should already be occupied.


The point is the Devils have been, by far, the most successful hockey team in NY for the last two decades, and are 35 years in the market, and still can't outdraw the woeful Islanders.

If the Devils are your best argument for adding a third team to existing two team markets, your argument is weak.
   78. Shredder Posted: October 17, 2017 at 12:16 PM (#5555793)
. Nashville is a great sports town right now with the Predators and college football dominating, but probably not a great fit for an MLB team. Baseball would probably be the third draw behind college football and hockey.
It would seem that Nashville, outside of the stadium issue, would be a perfect fit for baseball. It can clearly support a professional sports franchise (two, actually) and has no summer competition. I'm not sure how it could be a third draw against two or three teams that don't play in the same season. I'm not saying you're wrong, just that Nashville, on the surface, has a lot of things going for it as a potential expansion location. I mean, the summer weather can't be much worse than Atlanta or Arlington.
   79. fra paolo Posted: October 17, 2017 at 12:25 PM (#5555813)
If one can use nearby television markets as a guide to 'baseball interest' in potential expansion cities, the most fertile ground for expansion may be Portland. Seattle taps into its market quite effectively.

As for a second city, television offers little hope for success. The Texas teams and Atlanta are middle of the table performers, suggesting that San Antonio or a Deep South option are weak hopes. At this point, one could do worse than just pick the biggest market without a team. Within the US, that's either Orlando or Sacramento, and I'm not enthusiastic about either. They are just not big enough where a three-percent share of the television market would lead to a large audience in terms of raw numbers.

I just don't see further room for baseball except by going back to Montreal, putting a third team into NY/NJ or giving Mexico a try.

In retrospect the 1998 expansion looks like it was a bad idea. They would have done better to move some permutation of teams from Chicago's South Side, Miami, Montreal and Oakland to Phoenx, Tampa Bay and Washington.
   80. Shredder Posted: October 17, 2017 at 12:27 PM (#5555818)
The point is the Devils have been, by far, the most successful hockey team in NY for the last two decades, and are 35 years in the market, and still can't outdraw the woeful Islanders.
Over the last five years, they've outdrawn the Islanders by roughly 1,500 fans per game, and have about 2.5 percentage point lead in capacity. I think the argument for adding another team is not that they'd clearly be a juggernaut, but rather a successful and healthy franchise. They both beat the hell out of Arizona. If you're adding teams, you're not necessarily going to find a market that is a lead pipe cinch to play to 100% capacity over the next 20 years. Those places all have teams. You're probably looking for "in 20 years, are we pretty certain that this team will still be here, and be a healthy, going concern." The Devils are actually an excellent example of that.

The argument against Brooklyn is that it's not necessarily a new TV market, but with the reach of cable and the internet, I'm not sure that most places move the needle on that. It's not like the Big 10 expanding to the East Coast to get the Big Ten Network into new markets. Pro sports are already coast to coast.
   81. Rickey! the first of his name Posted: October 17, 2017 at 12:34 PM (#5555828)
Brooklyn would work, but your stadium problems get much, much worse, and I think you really hurt the Mets badly.


Aside from the stadium problems, I see nothing problematic with this.
   82. Rickey! the first of his name Posted: October 17, 2017 at 12:35 PM (#5555829)
It would seem that Nashville, outside of the stadium issue, would be a perfect fit for baseball. It can clearly support a professional sports franchise (two, actually) and has no summer competition. I'm not sure how it could be a third draw against two or three teams that don't play in the same season.


Let me be perfectly clear. Any professional sporting club, in any league, would be able out compete Vandy football. It's ####### Vandy.
   83. Steve Balboni's Personal Trainer Posted: October 17, 2017 at 12:36 PM (#5555831)
. Nashville is a great sports town right now with the Predators and college football dominating, but probably not a great fit for an MLB team. Baseball would probably be the third draw behind college football and hockey.
It would seem that Nashville, outside of the stadium issue, would be a perfect fit for baseball. It can clearly support a professional sports franchise (two, actually) and has no summer competition. I'm not sure how it could be a third draw against two or three teams that don't play in the same season. I'm not saying you're wrong, just that Nashville, on the surface, has a lot of things going for it as a potential expansion location. I mean, the summer weather can't be much worse than Atlanta or Arlington.


Totally agree that Nashville would be successful. It has become one of the most popular convention hubs in America, and has become of the three economic hubs of the South (Atlanta, Charlotte, Nashville). The football and hockey teams have been successful. It is a major tourist destination, and has a fast-growing population of upwardly mobile families moving there for corporate relocations (for example, Nissan). THe key would be putting it downtown, as they have with the hockey and football stadia. The AAA ballpark is downtown, but there is room around it to expand to MLB-size if needed. I'd say Montreal and Nashville (or, at least, move Tampa and Oakland to these two locations).
   84. Rickey! the first of his name Posted: October 17, 2017 at 12:39 PM (#5555834)
As to the question of expansion per se, I have supported a 32 team league for years now. I would prefer that they expand to 32, split to 4x8 divisions, and then create Leagues out of the divisions. True leagues, reminiscent of the old AL/NL distinctions (but with the same rules), and extremely limited (or better yet, non-existent) interleague play. Let the West and the MidWest form a league, crown divisional and WC teams, play a LCS and send their champion to the WS where they play the similar produced champion of the North+East/Southeast league, who have never set foot on a diamond against each other before.
   85. BDC Posted: October 17, 2017 at 12:40 PM (#5555835)
The impossibility of a stadium is certainly a valid objection to returning to three clubs in NYC. If for some reason

- it'd only been the Giants who left in the '50s

- the Yankees had co-existed with the Dodgers

- who would now be milking a phenomenal cash cow of a landmark gem ballpark in a Flatbush version of Wrigleyville

- and somehow you could build a stadium in Flushing, or North Jersey

- and overcome the vetos that the Bombers and Bums would have over new players on their turf

then there is no doubt three teams could be very successful there. But it's a heck of an "if" and history is not about to reverse itself, I agree.

   86. Rickey! the first of his name Posted: October 17, 2017 at 12:41 PM (#5555836)
Totally agree that Nashville would be successful. It has become one of the most popular convention hubs in America, and has become of the three economic hubs of the South (Atlanta, Charlotte, Nashville).


OH! The Titans. I always forget that the Oilers moved. Never mind.

That said, Nashville is very much today where Atlanta was in the 1990s. They can support a third professional club.
   87. BDC Posted: October 17, 2017 at 12:48 PM (#5555846)
And for analogous reasons, the more you know about a potential expansion market, the more practical problems you see with it. People have mentioned San Antonio, which checks out by market size, especially if you think of Austin/San Antonio as one market. And you could probably get a smaller city there to foot the bill. But where do you actually put your club? The greater metro area there runs for 120 miles along a corridor from Georgetown to the south of San Antonio, and there's no regional public transit network. If you put a stadium in the middle, San Marcos for instance, you've got a traffic nightmare in both directions (it's already a nightmare).

You could fill an NFL stadium in downtown SA, and there's already an NBA arena there, obviously, but there are far fewer seats to fill in both instances. You'd need a monster TV deal to make such a thing viable for MLB. It could happen, but most MLB franchises need either a true center city or in a couple of cases a really, really vast surrounding market (as in DFW and Anaheim) to flourish.
   88. PreservedFish Posted: October 17, 2017 at 12:56 PM (#5555856)
Honest question. MLB is no doubt paying McKinsey or some such many gold doubloons to compile analyses of potential expansion sites. Do you think that their analysis is markedly better than our own casual, superficial analysis on this page?
   89. Steve Parris, Je t'aime Posted: October 17, 2017 at 01:11 PM (#5555867)
You could fill an NFL stadium in downtown SA, and there's already an NBA arena there, obviously, but there are far fewer seats to fill in both instances. You'd need a monster TV deal to make such a thing viable for MLB. It could happen, but most MLB franchises need either a true center city or in a couple of cases a really, really vast surrounding market (as in DFW and Anaheim) to flourish.

The Spurs were actually one of the nine NBA franchises to "lose" money last season. As well run as they are, that seems incredible to me. It doesn't bode well for another pro sports franchise trying to move in.


   90. Lassus Posted: October 17, 2017 at 01:12 PM (#5555870)
Do you think that their analysis is markedly better than our own casual, superficial analysis on this page?

Conclusion-wise, I doubt it. It would (should) have more numbers than opinions backing it up, though.
   91. BrianBrianson Posted: October 17, 2017 at 01:21 PM (#5555884)
If you're adding teams, you're not necessarily going to find a market that is a lead pipe cinch to play to 100% capacity over the next 20 years. Those places all have teams. You're probably looking for "in 20 years, are we pretty certain that this team will still be here, and be a healthy, going concern." The Devils are actually an excellent example of that.


Yeah, exactly. Sure, if you reduced the NHL to just the Buds and the Habs, attendance would be way up, profitability per franchise would be way up. But the Devils were added as a third team, and they do fine. Not "phenomenal", but fine. The Devils draw in NHL terms like Minnesota or Arizona do in MLB teams - they're not printing money like the Yankees or the Dodgers, but they're viable, financially healthy franchises.
   92. Swoboda is freedom Posted: October 17, 2017 at 01:37 PM (#5555898)
I don't care if they go to 32 teams, but I would hate it if they went to 8 divisions. The chances of a bad playoff team increase dramatically. I would like to reward the best regular season more. I would prefer 1 division in each league. I would settle for 2 with 8 teams. Top 2 teams get a bye in the first round. Next 4 teams play a best of 3 (or 5) to play the other 2. Then regular play.
   93. The Yankee Clapper Posted: October 17, 2017 at 01:38 PM (#5555901)
With the Yankees and Mets on virtually every night, who are the hundreds of thousands of people that are going to turn on the NJ Sad-Sacks game instead?

You mean the Jersey Barriers? Aside from that name, such a franchise wouldn't have much going for it.

There was a time when civic pride was a big factor in mobilizing locals behind getting a MLB team, but back then you had to be a Major League city to watch much of MLB. That is no longer true, thanks to Extra Innings™, MLB.TV, and a slew of broadcast & cable deals. MLB will probably get to 32 teams eventually, but that is 5 - 15 years down the road, and dependent on stadium deals that will likely generate some controversy.

The big issue with 32 teams is whether you have 4 8-team divisions, or 8 4-team decisions. MLB probably goes with the latter so no one has to bear the shame of finishing worse than 4th.
   94. jmurph Posted: October 17, 2017 at 01:41 PM (#5555904)
Top 2 teams get a bye in the first round.

I'm not sure this is a desirable thing in baseball?
   95. Ziggy: The Platonic Form of Russell Branyan Posted: October 17, 2017 at 02:03 PM (#5555950)
I'm still behind the "just say no to the post season" idea, but if we're going to have a post season we could ensure that no sub-500 team gets in. Something like a rule which says that you have to have a 500 record or better to get into the post season. If an odd number of teams that would otherwise get in have 500 or better records, give the team with the best record a bye in the first round.

You could do something similar to ensure that any team with X-or-more wins gets a seat in the post season. TV execs wouldn't like to juggle things at the last minute if there suddenly end up being more or fewer post-season series' than expected, but that's what they get paid the big bucks for.
   96. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: October 17, 2017 at 02:18 PM (#5555971)
Honest question. MLB is no doubt paying McKinsey or some such many gold doubloons to compile analyses of potential expansion sites. Do you think that their analysis is markedly better than our own casual, superficial analysis on this page?

I think they don't give a crap. The existing owners just want to pocket the expansion fees.
   97. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: October 17, 2017 at 02:22 PM (#5555977)
I don't care if they go to 32 teams, but I would hate it if they went to 8 divisions. The chances of a bad playoff team increase dramatically. I would like to reward the best regular season more. I would prefer 1 division in each league. I would settle for 2 with 8 teams. Top 2 teams get a bye in the first round. Next 4 teams play a best of 3 (or 5) to play the other 2. Then regular play.

This is the best idea for 32 teams I've seen on this page. I'd tweak it slightly. 4 division winners get a bye. 4 WC in each league play best of 3 to advance. DS is 5 games. CS and WS is 7. That only adds 2 games to the existing playoff length.

So, 12 teams make the playoffs, but still only 8 in the real playoffs.
   98. BDC Posted: October 17, 2017 at 02:25 PM (#5555984)
I like the postseason. Admittedly, I'd like it better if the first 2+ rounds were on broadcast TV, but I weigh that against the relationship damage it would cause if I checked out on La Dernière for the entire month of October, instead of just the week of the World Series, and there's an upside even to that.
   99. catomi01 Posted: October 17, 2017 at 02:30 PM (#5555994)
Let me be perfectly clear. Any professional sporting club, in any league, would be able out compete Vandy football. It's ####### Vandy.


Tennessee - go downtown on a Saturday in the fall...the entire town is Orange until that game ends, then they switch to Gold as soon as the predators game starts.
   100. oscar madisox Posted: October 17, 2017 at 02:38 PM (#5556015)
But eliminating the separation, even as it is, between the AL and NL is a non-starter.



To me, this is spot on. Add teams wherever. Or don't. But keep the league structure intact.


Page 1 of 2 pages  1 2 > 

You must be Registered and Logged In to post comments.

 

 

<< Back to main

News

All News | Prime News

Old-School Newsstand


BBTF Partner

Support BBTF

donate

Thanks to
Edmundo got dem ol' Kozma blues again mama
for his generous support.

Bookmarks

You must be logged in to view your Bookmarks.

Hot Topics

NewsblogHow an Astros player helped high-school kids have a cool World Series celebration
(1 - 12:20am, Nov 19)
Last: ajnrules

NewsblogOTP 13 November 2017: Politics, race now touching every sport
(1992 - 11:58pm, Nov 18)
Last: PreservedFish

Hall of MeritMock 2018 Modern Baseball Committee Hall of Fame Ballot
(76 - 11:33pm, Nov 18)
Last: robd4701

NewsblogOT - NBA 2017-2018 Tip-off Thread
(1410 - 11:06pm, Nov 18)
Last: don't ask 57i66135; he wants to hang them all

NewsblogOT: Winter Soccer Thread
(197 - 10:58pm, Nov 18)
Last: SPICEY WITH A SIDE OF BEER ON A BABYYYYYYY

NewsblogThe Eric Hosmer Dilemma | FanGraphs Baseball
(37 - 9:34pm, Nov 18)
Last: 6 - 4 - 3

NewsblogOT - November* 2017 College Football thread
(181 - 7:36pm, Nov 18)
Last: Jay Z

Hall of Merit2018 Hall of Merit Ballot Discussion
(240 - 5:49pm, Nov 18)
Last: The Honorable Ardo

NewsblogStanton, Altuve capture first MVP Awards | MVP
(51 - 4:35pm, Nov 18)
Last: Lance Reddick! Lance him!

NewsblogJim Palmer on Mark Belanger and Omar Vizquel: The Hardball Times
(98 - 4:33pm, Nov 18)
Last: Walt Davis

NewsblogFangraphs: Let's Make One Thing Absolutely Clear About Aaron Judge
(22 - 3:42pm, Nov 18)
Last: Walt Davis

NewsblogThe story of Alex Anthopoulos: From tragedy to prodigy to Braves GM
(1 - 8:30am, Nov 18)
Last: bfan

NewsblogBraves will lose prospects, and possibly a lot more, for violating international market rules
(48 - 1:30am, Nov 18)
Last: Armored Trooper VOTTO

NewsblogJudge, Bellinger named BBWAA Rookies of Year | MLB.com
(86 - 9:25pm, Nov 17)
Last: Walt Davis

NewsblogDerek Jeter addresses Giancarlo Stanton rumors | MLB.com
(24 - 7:38pm, Nov 17)
Last: Khrushin it bro

Page rendered in 0.7997 seconds
47 querie(s) executed