A Common Sense MLB Realignment Plan

In case you missed it Buster Olney reported that MLB and the players association are talking about realignment. In short the plan would send the Astros to the AL evening the leagues out at 15 per league. Interleague play would be a constant part of scheduling. There would be no divisions and the top 5 teams from each league would make the playoffs.

There obvious flaws with this version of baseball. First off, there would be NO PENNANT RACES! Yeah it makes perfect sense to get rid of one of the most exciting aspects of baseball. Actually that’s all I’m going to say about the flaws. Anyone with half a brain will see the other major issues with this proposal.

Any ways it’s time to get down to business.  If MLB insists on changing the current format I’d propose the following solution:

  • The leagues stay same. 14 in the AL 16 in the NL.
  • Inter-league play is abolished.(Optional)
  • The DH is abolished.(My Biggest wish but the player’s union will never allow it)
  • AL & NL both eliminate a division and go back to the 2 division format.
  • Division winners get automatic playoff berth and 1 round bye.
  • 4 wild card spots per league go to the 4 best non division winning teams.

This proposal would satisfy the league’s desire to get more team in the playoffs. And it actually adds 2 more teams than the bogus proposal reported by Buster Olney. More importantly this keeps the League’s separate and end of the season pennant races in tact.

On paper it looks like this proposal would expand the season too much. However my vision of the playoffs would be the first round made up wild-card teams would be a best of 3series that is completed in 3 consecutive days. The divisional Round would then start immediately on the 4th day of the playoffs. Doing it this way gives the division winners a real reward and condenses the playoff schedule. From this point forward the playoffs would be the same format as now. But once again I’d propose that there would be fewer off days to keep things moving and prevent a November World Series.

MLB Proposed Playoff Bracket

Here's how this common sense approach would look.

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John Gotti on Steroids and Pro Sports

After my last post I thought it’d be fitting to post this video of John Gotti. What he says in this video while talking to his grandson is very intriguing. His grandson tells him that he wants to be a baseball or basketball player and Gotti doesn’t take kindly to his grandson’s dream.

First off, Gotti is a complete prick in that video. But watching this video really makes you think about just how much guys on the wrong side of the law might know about steroid use in sports. The date on that video appears to be 1/30/1998 so he made these statements even before the McGwire/Sosa home run race. He could just be talking out his ass. But it’s not too far fetched to think that organized crime has in some way, shape or form been involved in the steroid business at one point and time.

He also mentions basketball. You really don’t think of steroids in basketball being a problem. But for all we know, players could have used/still use steroids to aid recovery from injuries. Basketball was light years ahead of baseball in terms of testing so I believe that if it was ever a problem it never spiraled out of control like baseball.

Personally I remember watching that video on a documentary around 1999 or 2000 and thinking,”Gotti is it really that bad?”. This was before the public and media went into steroid hysteria so I knew that position players juiced but I gotta admit I had know idea that the percentage was so high. And I certainly was oblivious to the fact that pitchers were juicing at just as high of not higher rates. I really don’t see any long term benefits of juicing in a sport like basketball so if there was juicers in the NBA I think it was very isolated cases. But who really knows anymore? In this day and age we have to look at every athlete skeptically.