PDA

View Full Version : Question about NL Central/AL West



Dunner44
02-16-2006, 03:05 PM
Ok, this may seem like a dumb question, but I've only casually followed baseball for about 3 years now outside of the Reds. Football was always my sport of choice, but damned if I can;t help but like any Cincinnati team.

My question reguards the state of the divisions in baseball. With there being 30 teams, why aren't the teams evenly distributed between the NL and AL? And why does the central get 6 teams as opposed to only 4 for the AL West? It just seems to be a competitive advantage for the AL west, as you only have to beat out 3 other teams for the division as opposed to 5 other teams for the Reds/NL Central guys. Obviously fixing this would mean one team switching from NL to AL, but why was this never done?

Thanks!

Chip R
02-16-2006, 03:08 PM
If they had 15 teams per league they would have to have an interleague game every day because of the odd number of teams in each league.

westofyou
02-16-2006, 03:10 PM
why aren't the teams evenly distributed between the NL and AL? And why does the central get 6 teams as opposed to only 4 for the AL West

If they were there would have to be a constant interleague schedule to engage all the teams.

Houston is in a different Time Zone than the West and lobbied to be put in the central so that game start times on the road start at 6 instead of 9.

It's purely a marketing move to maximize the amount of viewers and dollars.

Texas has no recourse but to deal with it it due to the lack of a 4th team in the AL west of Dallas.

Dunner44
02-16-2006, 03:15 PM
If they had 15 teams per league they would have to have an interleague game every day because of the odd number of teams in each league.

Ok, this makes sense, but not every team plays every day. There are about 3 to 4 off days every month, so it shouldn't be that hard to schedule so that interleague every day was unnecessary, should it? Maybe schedule a few more double headers to allow for more days off even... i love a good double header, but i guess the league doesn't. oh well....

westofyou
02-16-2006, 03:17 PM
And because of the imbalance Milwaukee becomes the only city to have two different incidents of franchises in both the American League and the National League

Red Leader
02-16-2006, 03:17 PM
Maybe schedule a few more double headers to allow for more days off even... i love a good double header, but i guess the league doesn't. oh well....

I love doubleheaders, too. I think all fans do, but it's all about the money.

westofyou
02-16-2006, 03:19 PM
Players hate em owners want the extra day of revenue.

During WW2 some teams played up to 45 DH IIRC.

IslandRed
02-16-2006, 03:23 PM
Ok, this makes sense, but not every team plays every day. There are about 3 to 4 off days every month, so it shouldn't be that hard to schedule so that interleague every day was unnecessary, should it?

Off days for travel are usually Monday or Thursday. Just look at this year's Reds schedule -- except for the first week of the season, which is always a little screwy, and the All-Star break, they play every Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Pretty much everyone else does the same. So that's five days a week where interleague would be necessary.

macro
02-16-2006, 04:19 PM
I just wish MLB would get over their insistence that interleague games should only be played during certain weeks of the season. Divide the teams up into two leagues of 15 and play interleague games whenever necessary. It works for the NFL, and that league seems to be doing okay.

KronoRed
02-16-2006, 05:08 PM
Or expand by 2 ;)

BRM
02-16-2006, 05:25 PM
Or expand by 2 ;)

Or contract by 2. ;)

Mario-Rijo
02-16-2006, 05:43 PM
I have thought some about this as well. I figured the ideal situation would be to move the Rockies to the AL west (What better place for a launching pad) and then move the Astros to the NL west. The Astros stay where they have rivalries in the NL and the Rockies who really have no true rivalry would be the easier to start fresh in the AL. It urks me that MLB has still not addressed this imbalance.

RedsManRick
02-16-2006, 05:55 PM
Nats move to Vegas and to the AL West. Houston moves the NL East where they have natural geographical rivalies with Atlanta and Florida. One interleague series going on at all times. Problem solved.

Dunner44
02-16-2006, 07:54 PM
If the Marlins go to Oklahoma, could they be moved to the AL west?

http://msn.foxsports.com/mlb/story/5337066 --->might just happen

macro
02-16-2006, 11:10 PM
If the Marlins go to Oklahoma, could they be moved to the AL west?

http://msn.foxsports.com/mlb/story/5337066 --->might just happen

Again, not unless MLB gets over its resistance to there being an interleague game every day, which I don't think they will. It's special, you know, this Interleague Week.

bianchiveloce
02-17-2006, 06:10 AM
Or contract by 2. ;)

If contraction, which two teams would you choose? Remember, it wasn't that long ago that MLB was seriously considering doing away with the Montreal Expos and the Minnesota Twins.

I would vote to contract Kansas City and Tampa Bay, then move Milwaukee back to the American league along with Florida.

M2
02-17-2006, 09:26 AM
I just wish MLB would get over their insistence that interleague games should only be played during certain weeks of the season. Divide the teams up into two leagues of 15 and play interleague games whenever necessary. It works for the NFL, and that league seems to be doing okay.

The NFL only plays once a week and 25% of a team's schedule is outside its conference. Neither applies to MLB.

Johnny Footstool
02-17-2006, 09:52 AM
If contraction, which two teams would you choose? Remember, it wasn't that long ago that MLB was seriously considering doing away with the Montreal Expos and the Minnesota Twins.

I would vote to contract Kansas City and Tampa Bay, then move Milwaukee back to the American league along with Florida.

A lot of people (not here) would vote to contract Cincinnati.

RED59
02-17-2006, 10:24 AM
Let's not forget history. After the last expansion, each league had 15 teams. Bud Selig decided to move his Milwaukee team to the NL Central, and thus we have our current alignment.

Chip R
02-17-2006, 10:58 AM
I know we talked about this in another thread but contraction would be a horrible idea. Contraction just sends the message that your league isn't doing well. Move the darn teams if they can't be viable where they are at.

If the goal is just to make the divisions look nice and pretty, just make the NL 4 divisions with 4 teams. But that won't happen cause they have to have a wild card.

westofyou
02-17-2006, 11:32 AM
Contraction just sends the message that your league isn't doing well.

Last time the NL contracted the AL popped up to fill the holes.

Took them 65 years to win back the game.

M2
02-17-2006, 11:39 AM
Let's not forget history. After the last expansion, each league had 15 teams. Bud Selig decided to move his Milwaukee team to the NL Central, and thus we have our current alignment.

Actually, Milwaukee was the only team that offered to shift leagues, which was necessary because the schedule became impossible with two 15-team leagues.

And for those remembering history, the AL had two more teams than the NL from 1977-1992 and that caused exactly zero amount of squawking.

Chip R
02-17-2006, 11:48 AM
Actually, Milwaukee was the only team that offered to shift leagues, which was necessary because the schedule became impossible with two 15-team leagues.

And for those remembering history, the AL had two more teams than the NL from 1977-1992 and that caused exactly zero amount of squawking.

Of course there was no interleague play then and all the divisions were even.

M2
02-17-2006, 11:49 AM
Of course there was no interleague play then and all the divisions were even.

Not completely even. Your raw chances of winning a division were better in the NL than in the AL.

Chip R
02-17-2006, 11:54 AM
Not completely even. Your raw chances of winning a division were better in the NL than in the AL.

You're right and I phrased that poorly. What I meant was that the divisions in their respective leagues were even - 6 & 6 in the NL and 7 & 7 in the AL. The problem with odd numbered divisions is that some team isn't going to be playing within their division during stretch time.

KronoRed
02-17-2006, 12:09 PM
Split the NL in four 4 team divisions with the 4 winners getting to the post season, the AL into two 7's with 2 winners and 2 wild cards

;)

macro
02-17-2006, 12:38 PM
The NFL only plays once a week and 25% of a team's schedule is outside its conference. Neither applies to MLB.

Okay, so assume for the sake of argument that my comparison to the NFL isn't valid. That still doesn't answer my question as to why MLB can't play interleague games throughout the season.

If Yankees-Mets is a good matchup, it's a good matchup and will generate interest whether Dodgers-Angels or Astros-Rangers are playing at the same time or not. I just don't get MLB's practice of having all the interleague games at the same time. It doesn't make them any more special, IMO.

Those who would promote that practice would probably say that it generates buzz and helps with marketing, and therefore with attendance. I don't buy it. Put the Yankees or Red Sox on the Reds home schedule and the place will be full regardless of what's going on with the rest of MLB that week. Put the Devil Rays on the Reds home schedule and there will be 15,000 people in the stands, again regardless of what else is going on with other teams' schedules.

The benefits of having six 5-team divisions far outweigh any imagined advantages of having all interleague games at the same time.

macro
02-17-2006, 12:41 PM
Split the NL in four 4 team divisions with the 4 winners getting to the post season, the AL into two 7's with 2 winners and 2 wild cards

;)

Hey, don't joke about that. Didn't Pud actually suggest that one time?

:eek:

M2
02-17-2006, 12:59 PM
Okay, so assume for the sake of argument that my comparison to the NFL isn't valid. That still doesn't answer my question as to why MLB can't play interleague games throughout the season.

Because the CBA and stadium agreements make it a nightmare. IIRC, MLB looked into the 15-15 possibility before settling on the current format and found that it would lengthen the season by almost a month.

There's barely enough interleague games (201) to cover each day of the season (180). Once you start figuring in mandatory travel and off days (and take away the possiblity of off days on Friday-Sunday) it extends the season schedule.

macro
02-17-2006, 10:25 PM
Because the CBA and stadium agreements make it a nightmare. IIRC, MLB looked into the 15-15 possibility before settling on the current format and found that it would lengthen the season by almost a month.

There's barely enoung interleague games (201) to cover each day of the season (180). Once you start figuring in mandatory travel and off days (and take away the possiblity of off days on Friday-Sunday) it extends the season schedule.

Ahh, gotcha. I now see what you're saying when you point out that 1/4 of NFL games are interconference and only a small percentage of MLB games are. I hadn't considered that.

Perhaps they could reduce the season down to 150 games or so and/or increase the number of interleague games? I'm am a traditionalist, but the schedule has been such a mess since the realignment of 1994 that I don't think it even matters anymore. I don't know if it's feasible to have teams playing so many interleague games or not, though.

Otherwise, it looks like the only solution would be to contract down to 14/14. That would still leave two divisions with four teams, but at least there wouldn't be one with six and another with only four. I'm not saying that I favor contraction, necessarily, but it would be nice to have some symetry to the leagues again.

M2
02-18-2006, 12:10 AM
Ahh, gotcha. I now see what you're saying when you point out that 1/4 of NFL games are interconference and only a small percentage of MLB games are. I hadn't considered that.

Perhaps they could reduce the season down to 150 games or so and/or increase the number of interleague games? I'm am a traditionalist, but the schedule has been such a mess since the realignment of 1994 that I don't think it even matters anymore. I don't know if it's feasible to have teams playing so many interleague games or not, though.

Otherwise, it looks like the only solution would be to contract down to 14/14. That would still leave two divisions with four teams, but at least there wouldn't be one with six and another with only four. I'm not saying that I favor contraction, necessarily, but it would be nice to have some symetry to the leagues again.

Most of my life the leagues have been asymmetrical (24 of 39 seasons to be exact). So it's really not much of an issue for me. The 14-14 setup only existed for five years, making it the exception rather than the standard.

Plus, with the wild card around I don't see the big deal. A good second-place finisher in the NL Central has an excellent shot at making the playoffs. The NL Central has produced four of the 11 wild card teams in the NL since the playoffs expanded to four teams in each league and all four of those WCs came in the eight seasons since the division expanded to six teams. On top of that, the Reds finished in a dead heat with the Mets in 1999 and forced a one-game playoff, meaning that the six-team division has produced a club good enough for the Wild Card 62.5% of the time. Meanwhile the four-team AL West has only produced three Wild Card teams in 11 seasons, or 27.3% of the time.

macro
02-18-2006, 01:00 PM
My complaint with the asymmetrical divisions isn't that there is a competitive imbalance, it's that the schedules for the teams are so cluttered and messy. My favorite time as a baseball fan (and not just for this reason) was the era of the 12-team NL. Each year you knew each team would play 18 games agains the teams in their division and 12 games against the teams in the other division. Very often each division would play within itself and then they'd switch and the divisions would go head-to-head. It just made it a lot easier to keep up with who was playing whom and what games were left on the schedule. I am an admitted symmetry-freak, though, so I'm probably one of the few people who cares about such things.

The symmetry I speak of is that MLB was two leagues of eight teams each from 1901-1960 and two leagues of ten teams each from 1962-68. From 1969-76 it was 6/6/6/6 followed by 6/6/7/7 from 1977-92. Although the AL had the complications brought on by an odd number of teams in each division, the NL was able to maintain its scheduling order until the arrival of the Rockies and Marlins in 1993. Since then (especially since the realignment of 1994) it has been pretty crazy, and interleague play made it even more complicated.

I am aware that it is not 1960 or 1976 anymore, though, and scheduling isn't the only thing that is more complicated now than it was then. Gosh, I'm really starting to sound OLD!