Realigning Major League Baseball and What it Means for the Orioles
By Editorial Staff
If any of you watch ESPN, listen to sports talk radio, or read the sports section of any newspaper, I’m sure you’ve seen/heard some smatterings of realigning Major League Baseball. Why would they do such a thing? you may ask. Not only has it been the way it is now forever, it would cause tons of confusion and problems to change everything up. Well, there are 16 teams in the National League and 14 in the American League (why are they named that? Don’t they basically mean the same thing?) This means, everything is uneven and we all know baseball is a game of numbers so how could they let this happen?! The National League teams play more games and during Interleague Play, there’s always 2 NL teams playing each other.
I’m not sure how they would realign it. The most popular answer is to move the Houston Astros to the AL because they could form a nice rivalry with the Texas Rangers but then there’s the complete re-do that has been discussed as well. That would be getting rid of the National and American Leagues all together and creating an Eastern and Western Conference like in the NBA and NHL. Then you’d have the divisions within the conference but they would be completely different. For example, the Marlins and Rays would be in the same division.
Why should it be like this? Think about it. Think about how unfair it is for the Orioles and Blue Jays in the AL East and the Marlins and Mets in the NL East (I’m excluding the Nats because they’ll be good in a few years). It’s impossible for the first 2 teams to compete with the payrolls of the Yankees, Red Sox, and even the Rays and it’s impossible for the latter 2 teams to compete with the Phillies and Braves. By creating this whole new conference/division outline, you eliminate those ridiculous power-heavy divisions. The Orioles would be in a division with the Nationals, Pirates, Blue Jays, and maybe the Mets. Then there would be the power division of Red Sox, Yankees, Phillies, and Braves.
Even though this would give a chance for those teams that never have a chance to win their division, they would typically get manhandled in the playoffs by whatever team they had to play. It will obviously take a lot of work to figure things out perfectly no matter how they realign MLB but I’d love for all the underdogs to be in their own division so they get a chance at the playoffs and so there’s some competition. If you have the O’s, Blue Jays, Pirates, Nats, and Mets in a division, think about how exciting that would be. It’d be a race to the pennant between every single team every single year because these teams always having losing/around .500 seasons. There wouldn’t be a team 20 games back from the team leading the division, the last place team would be like 5 or 8 games back. It’d make baseball much more exciting for us fans of the losing teams.