Shifting Baseball's Alignment

Hayden Dingle

Hey there reader or readeress, were you aware that the Houston Astros are coming to the American League West? You might have heard or read something about it, possibly even here! It's true. These are exciting and unpredictable times that we live in. Such an alignment shift is not unprecedented in sports or specifically in baseball. The Milwaukee Brewers switched from the AL to the NL and before there even was the Brewers, Milwaukee had another team that was in the NL.

Most recently in the sports world, the Atlanta Thrashers moved to Winnipeg to re-become the Jets which is a team that had existed before moving to Phoenix. What a crazy jumbled up world of change sports can be! For the mean time, the Jets of Winnipeg (which is in Manitoba, which is in Canada, which is a bit north of Atlanta) still reside in the Southeast division of the NHL along with the Washington (of D.C.) Capitals, the Tampa Bay Lightning, the Florida Panthers and the Carolina Hurricanes. Although the Hurricanes are in North Carolina, the north is beguiling, technically referring only to the state's position vis-a-vis the other, souther, Carolina.

So Winnipeg is a bit out of place and the NHL is expected to do a currently unknown form of the Realignment Shuffle next season. Speculation about how teams will shift is a fun and ongoing topic of discussion in hockey circles. Baseball's moves are already choreographed, but that doesn't mean we all have to just sit here, accept them and move on to possibly more meaningful subjects. No! We can ignore possible more pressing matters and cry out in many disjointed voices that we will sit here and argue the merits of various MLB alignment schemes.

I backveloped what I thought was a more logical solution. Personally, probably due to my isolated nature up here in mossy Cascadia, I care little about existing traditions or rivalries. My thinking is that those will change and re-form over time anyway and the best sports rivalries are geographically based. That and with a dash of travel efficiency in mind, I grouped teams thus:

Boston, New York, New York, Philadelphia, Toronto
Washington (DC), Baltimore, Detroit, Cleveland, Pittsburgh
Milwaukee, Chicago, Chicago, Cincinnati, St. Louis

Miami, Tampa, Atlanta, Houston, Texas
San Diego, Los Angeles, Anaheim, Arizona, Kansas City
Seattle, Colorado, San Francisco, Oakland, Minnesota

I'm a big fan of putting throwing teams from the same city into the same division rather than how baseball currently operates. I think they should play often and also reduce or eliminate the chance of a 2000-type championship series.

This is pure fantasy of course since never would a league totally redo its structure and if they did, never would that league be baseball with its traditionalists and silly different rules between leagues that would cause many teams to rightfully cry foul over being forced to move into or out of. But this is the sort of problem that tickles my brain so here is a thread for you to join me if you feel so inclined.

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