FOX’s Ken Rosenthal thinks it’s time to realign the divisions to break up the Red Sox-Yankees hegemony. You gotta go to the interactive map in the middle to see his actual idea for radical realignment, but it breaks down like this:
AL Atlantic: Yankees, Mets, Nationals, Orioles, Blue Jays;
AL Great Lakes: Reds, Indians, Tigers, Pirates, Twins;
AL Pacific: Dodgers, Angels, Giants, Athletics, Mariners;
NL East: Red Sox, Phillies, Braves, Rays, Marlins;
NL Midwest: Royals, Cubs, Cardinals, White Sox Brewers;
NL Southwest: Astros, Rangers, Rockies, Diamondbacks, Padres.
- This scheme makes the Yankees’ path to the playoffs easier, not harder, replacing the Red Sox and Rays — tough competition — with the Mets and Nationals — less tough;
- The AL Great Lakes would never get a game on national television;
- I gotta admit, the AL Pacific is a pretty sweet division;
- The NL East suddenly becomes an impossibly difficult division;
- The new NL Midwest gives the Royals even less of a chance than they have now; and
- The Padres probably won’t care much for being disassociated from the west coast and forced to play so many games far from home. Otherwise I don’t have any strong feelings about the NL Southwest.
Of course radical realignment like this just isn’t going to happen. Nor should it. Yes, right now the AL East seems a little unfair, but but baseball has always done well by practicing small-c conservatism with respect to this kind of thing and not allowing temporary problems dictate long-term planning.
If the AL East is a joke for another 5-10 years call me, but right now this sort of thing is best left as an intellectual exercise, not a serious proposal.