It seems that the plans for realignment are worse that I could have possibly imagined.
In addition to the ignorant idea to move one National League team to the junior circuit to even the schedule, baseball's brain trust seems to think it would be a good idea to:
- Get rid of the six current divisions altogether and instead let clubs in each league play for one of five playoff seeds.
- Instead of playing one interleague game at a time, baseballs longstanding rivalies would be completely destroyed with a balanced schedule that would see NL clubs play the teams in their own division 84 times and American League teams 78 times.
- Sneak the DH into the National League through the back door by basically forcing the senior circuit clubs to use the designated hitter into nearly half of their games.
What in the world are they smoking?
Who wants to play for a fifth place seed in the post season. Baseball is about championships. And even clubs who bow out in the first round of the playoffs can fly a flag the next season that proclaims their club the division winner. What bragging rights do you get from being the fourth or fifth place team. And what excitement is there for the other two-thirds of the teams in the game that have no chance to win after the all-star break?
That idea is unfathomably stupid because it is from so far out of left field. But the interleague schedule seems as if the operators of the game are intentionally trying to throw it off a cliff. Baseball is all about rivalies. And if interleague play has taught us anything, it's that seeing the Cardinals play the Toronto Blue Jays is incredibly boring.
And it's not just boring. It's stupid to play a team in the regular season that is not in the same competition as you for a playoff spot. It is basically an exhibition game that counts. Usually the schedule makers are smart enough to bring the teams in each division together down the stretch so the Cardinals are playing the Reds or the Cubs in games that are very meaningful in the NL Central divison race. How much sense does it make to play a home and away series with the Cubs and Reds in June and then never see them again for the rest of the year?
As much as I hate the Reds, it is compelling to see the teams play in meaniningful games. Even in the NHL where teams play opponents from each conference, they still have divisions and divisional and conference foes play each other more often than teams from opposite conferences.
There will never be any balance between American League and National League clubs because of the DH.
National League clubs are going to be forced to take on a designated hitter if they play nearly half their games against the AL. You can't expect to compete on a nightly basis with Tyler Greene as your professional hitter when the other club has a .300 hitter with power in that slot.
So why don't NL owners just admit they're throwing away 200 years of history by eliminating the way the game was supposed to be played.
I'm just sick about this whole situation. Not only do I think I won't be interested in seeing the new product. I think most other people aren't going to want to see it either. At least I don't think they'll like it for long.
It seems like a good time to finally let major league baseball go.