Josh Donaldson

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Braves’ chairman doesn’t want them playing in the Central

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Several of the various, as yet ill-formed plans to play the 2020 baseball season involve radical realignment of some form or another. Elimination of the leagues and throwing all 30 teams into three broad divisions to limit travel has come up. MLB has not stated anything official, but many have suggested that they could involve the Atlanta Braves playing in the Central Division.

The Atlanta media has rather enjoyed this, because it would mean a lot of games against the Minnesota Twins who, in addition to being a good team that might make for a fun, new, competitive rivalry, employ Josh Donaldson, who last played with the Braves before signing with the Twins as a free agent in the offseason.

One guy who doesn’t like the Braves in the Central, however, is team chairman Terry McGuirk. Here he is talking to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution today:

“That’s not happening. There is no possibility of that happening. We live in the East. We play in the East. Our travel will be in the East. We’re an Eastern division team, and that’s where we’ll stay.”

It’s probably worth nothing that geographically speaking, Atlanta is farther west than Pittsburgh. And Cleveland and Cincinnati and Detroit for that matter. It’s also probably worth noting that the Braves, until 1994, played in the NL West. Heck, they’ve won more NL West titles (5) than the Colorado Rockies ever have (0). They’re tied with the Padres in that race, actually.

I dunno. I really don’t think that, in light of all of the other, far more pressing concerns about plans to bring baseball back in 2020, which division each team plays ranks anywhere close to the top. Divide the league up alphabetically or color code them or create divisions based on astrological signs, I don’t care.

I’m far more concerned with things like “will players, managers, and team employees end up on ventilators because of how things were handled” than I am with whether the Braves play in the Central or the East.