Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Let's Talk Baseball: Bold Proposal May Standings

Following are the current standings for my bold proposal for baseball realignment. The basic idea is two divisions, upper and lower, determined by last year's final standings. The bottom three of the First Division are relegated for next year. The top two of the Second are promoted, along with the winner of a playoff between the next four.

First Division

1. Rays (unchanged from April)
2. Yankees (unchanged)
3. Twins (+1)
4. Cardinals (-1)
5. Dodgers (+10)
6. Braves (+10)
7. Phillies (unchanged)
8. Red Sox (+1)
9. Giants (-4)
10. Rockies (unchanged)
11. Tigers (-5)
12. Rangers (unchanged)
13. Marlins (-2)
14. Angels (-6)
15. Cubs (-1)
16. Mariners (-3)

Second Division

1. Padres (unchanged)
2. Blue Jays (+4)
3. Reds (+1)
4. A's (+1)
5. Mets (-3)
6. Nationals (-3)
7. White Sox (+4)
8. Brewers (+2)
9. Pirates (-1)
10. Royals (+2)
11. Diamondbacks (-4)
12. Indians (-3)
13. Astros (unchanged)
14. Orioles (unchanged)

Biggest rises: Dodgers and Braves, both pulling their way well clear of relegation position.

Greatest fall: Angels. Suddenly their slump seems a lot more perilous!

We now have three division winners in the Second Division: Padres, Reds and A's. I will declare the experiment a failure if one of the Second Division teams wins the World Series.

Most interesting to me is what has now happened to the American League East. Three of the teams in baseball's toughest division are now in playoff position (top eight in First Division): Rays, Yankees and Red Sox. The Blue Jays, meanwhile, are in promotion position in the Second Division. In the real world, the Jays are ahead of the Sox in the standings but still a game behind the Yanks for the wild card. At least two of those four teams will miss the real world playoffs no matter what, despite the fact that all four have better records than the West Division-leading A's. My way, they're now suddenly all having very meaningful and exciting seasons. The Red Sox' fourth place standing doesn't look so worrisome.

The Orioles still stink.

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