I devoted the previous 4 Wednesdays to an examination of Main League Baseball’s enlargement choices. A complete of 37 American, Canadian, Caribbean, and Mexican markets have been put beneath the microscope, main me to conclude that Montreal and Charlotte are the perfect selections.
In case you’re concerned about reviewing the rankings, observe these hyperlinks to learn concerning the candidates in thirty first by thirty seventh place, twenty first by thirtieth place, eleventh by twentieth place, and first by tenth place.
MLB will likely be confronted with tough selections at any time when it lastly launches its enlargement course of — a date that continues to be up within the air — however baseball’s worries gained’t be restricted to the number of its two latest franchises.
There’s additionally the vexing query of how the American and Nationwide Leagues will likely be restructured to include the newcomers.
The straightforward reply, after all, can be an allocation of 1 enlargement workforce to every league. Montreal can be a logical addition to the Nationwide League, given its 36-year NL historical past with the Expos (1969-2004), who subsequently relocated to Washington. Charlotte would grow to be the latest member of the American League.
I’ve taken the freedom of naming each enlargement golf equipment, reuniting Montreal with the Expos and tying Charlotte to the nickname of its current minor-league workforce, the Knights.
Every 15-team league is at present break up into three divisions of equal dimension. Sixteen, nonetheless, is cleanly divisible not by three, however by 4. So it’s virtually sure that the post-expansion leagues will comprise 4 divisions apiece.
I’ve taken a stab at a brand new construction under, labeled Plan #1. Every league will identify its divisions after the 4 factors of the compass, and a lot of the ensuing alignments will likely be logical and wise.
Not all of them, although. Kansas Metropolis will definitely be displeased about being assigned to the American League West. Cincinnati and Pittsburgh are unlikely to be thrilled about being shunted into the Nationwide League South. However in the event you transfer the items round on the map, you’ll see that it’s tough to search out options which might be any higher.
That leads me to Plan #2, which eliminates the separate league constructions completely. The 32 groups will likely be grouped into eight divisions based mostly solely on geography, not prior connections to the AL or NL. (I haven’t bothered to call the divisions, selecting as a substitute to designate them by capital letters. Any person, I’m certain, can give you an interesting system of nomenclature.)
New intradivisional rivalries will likely be established, pitting golf equipment which might be positioned shut to one another, but have been beforehand separated by synthetic league boundaries: Mets-Yankees, Orioles-Nationals, Marlins-Rays, Cubs-White Sox, Royals-Cardinals, and Angels-Dodgers. The enlargement groups will likely be handed ready-made geographic foes of their very own: Expos-Blue Jays and Knights-Braves.
However different groups may have causes for unhappiness. The long-standing rivalry between the Cardinals and Cubs will likely be disrupted by Plan #2, as will the matchup between the Padres and Dodgers. These golf equipment will proceed to fulfill in interdivisional play, after all, although the variety of video games will definitely be decreased.
These, as you may see, are a number of of the complications awaiting Rob Manfred and the homeowners of MLB’s 30 present golf equipment, at any time when they lastly permit the enlargement derby to get underway. I envision them enduring a whole bunch of arguments within the years forward.
Better of luck to them as they wade by the method.
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AL East Division — Baltimore Orioles, Boston Purple Sox, New York Yankees, Toronto Blue Jays
AL South Division — Charlotte Knights, Houston Astros, Tampa Bay Rays, Texas Rangers
AL North Division — Chicago White Sox, Cleveland Guardians, Detroit Tigers, Minnesota Twins
AL West Division — Kansas Metropolis Royals, Las Vegas Athletics, Los Angeles Angels, Seattle Mariners
NL East Division — Montreal Expos, New York Mets, Philadelphia Phillies, Washington Nationals
NL South Division — Atlanta Braves, Cincinnati Reds, Miami Marlins, Pittsburgh Pirates
NL North Division — Chicago Cubs, Colorado Rockies, Milwaukee Brewers, St. Louis Cardinals
NL West Division — Arizona Diamondbacks, Los Angeles Dodgers, San Diego Padres, San Francisco Giants
Division A — Boston Purple Sox, New York Mets, New York Yankees, Philadelphia Phillies
Division B — Cleveland Guardians, Detroit Tigers, Montreal Expos, Toronto Blue Jays
Division C — Baltimore Orioles, Cincinnati Reds, Pittsburgh Pirates, Washington Nationals
Division D — Atlanta Braves, Charlotte Knights, Miami Marlins, Tampa Bay Rays
Division E — Chicago Cubs, Chicago White Sox, Milwaukee Brewers, Minnesota Twins
Division F — Houston Astros, Kansas Metropolis Royals, St. Louis Cardinals, Texas Rangers
Division G — Arizona Diamondbacks, Colorado Rockies, Las Vegas Athletics, San Diego Padres
Division H — Los Angeles Angels, Los Angeles Dodgers, San Francisco Giants, Seattle Mariners