Back in March, I posted a bold proposal for a realignment of Major League Baseball, essentially setting up a European soccer style promotion/relegation system. The basic premise was an improvement of the narrative for the mid-range teams. Now that we have one month of the season in the books, the standings under my system would be as follows.
9. Red Sox
6. Blue Jays
11. White Sox
So, as things stand at the moment, the top eight teams in the First Division would make the playoffs: Rays, Yankees, Cardinals, Twins, Giants, Tigers, Phillies and Angels. The bottom three in the First Division would be relegated to the Second: Cubs, Dodgers and Braves. The top two in the Second Division would be automatically promoted to the First: Padres and Mets. The next four would be in a playoff for the third promotion: Nationals, Reds, A's and Blue Jays. The Orioles, regardless of alignment, still stink.
Obviously, the two teams who are not well-served by this arrangement are the Padres and Mets, who currently lead their divisions in the real world. As I said in my initial post, I will consider my experiment a failure if one of the Second Division teams wins the World Series.
The point of this is how it enriches the narrative for the middle of the pack teams. Suddenly, the Nationals are in playoff position. There's more of a sense of urgency for the Cubs - a lovable loser might not be so lovable toiling in the lower division.