• Astros move to the AL. Each league has 15 teams.
• Divisions are eliminated.
• Top five teams from each league make the playoffs. (No word on playoff format. But assume an NFL style? #1 seeds get a bye. #2 vs. #5, #3 vs. #4. Lowest seed advances plays top seed, etc.)
What are your thoughts?
I’m actually all in favor of moving to one division in each league. I’d probably prefer to go to two, but one division would ensure a return to the balanced schedule which I like. It would also get rid of the ridiculous divide between the four team AL West and the six team NL Central.
I’m not a big fan of expanding the playoff field to five teams, but that seems like what’s going to happen whether there is realignment or not, so this is probably the most fair of way of doing it. I can’t really complain there, either.
The real issue comes down to Interleague Play. It’s a huge money maker and attendance boost, so Major League Baseball will not abolish it, but with this new format there would be Interleague games played nearly every day. That includes Interleague games down the stretch with playoff spots on the line. If Major League Baseball is going to do that, they may as well just get rid of the distinction between the AL and NL and have one giant league. Personally, that sounds like an absolute soul killer and is enough to make me hate the idea.
Here is Buster Olney’s article on the plan. We’ll need to wait for more information including possible alternatives, but I would be very interested in hearing some opposing thoughts, so feel free to shoot me a line or drop it the comments.