With all the recent talk about realignment of the baseball divisions, I decided to have a little fun with the topic. The following realignment idea is not something that I am necessarily in favor of, but something that I think could work though the purists would likely think that it is evil. My realignment proposal is one of relegation. Similar in some ways to the English Premier Soccer League in that successful teams are moved up and unsuccessful ones moved down. Mine would add a few twists and would give teams even in the lower division(s) a chance for glory. Even though a handful of teams in MLB realistically have a very slim chance of making the playoffs and winning the World Series, they do have a chance and should be given one. Without that chance, chances are their attendance would dry up and the team would likely fold.
My proposal has three tiers of divisions. Tier #1 would be for the best teams, Tier #2 for the mediocre teams and Tier #3 for the worst teams. Tier #1 would have 12 teams, Tier #2 would have 10 teams and Tier #3 would have 8 teams. Teams would play more games against teams from their same tier, but would play games against teams in every tier. The post-season would have 8 teams, just like the current setup has. The top five teams from Tier #1 would make the playoffs (41.7%). The top two teams from Tier #2 would make the playoffs (20.0%). The two top teams in Tier #3 would have a play in game into the playoffs, giving them one playoff birth (12.5%).
The playoff seedings would be as follows:
(T3#1 vs T3#2) vs T1#1
T1#4 vs T1#5
T2#1 vs T1#3
T2#2 vs T1#2
The bottom two teams from each division are moved down a tier. The top two teams from each division are moved up a tier. This is just a rough draft and the details would need to be worked out. For example, what would you do with the DH. My suggestion would be to let the home team decide whether or not the DH would be used in any game.
The 2010 alignment would look something like this...
|Tier #1||Tier #2||Tier #3|
|Marlins|| || |
|Giants|| || |