JUST SOMETHING TO THINK ABOUT

Just for fun, I wanted to talk about expanding MLB. Some people may think this is a bad idea. I think it definitely was during the steroid era. However, now that we are ending that era and beginning a new one where pitchers are once again becoming a bit more dominant I believe that this might be a good time to consider expansion. By adding two more teams, baseball could have 32 total teams with 16 in each league. I think it would be obvious to make four divisions consisting of four teams in each division. We could eliminate interleague play and still have a 162 game regular season schedule. A team would play the 12 teams not in their division 10 games each year and the 3 teams within their own division 14 games each year. That would come to 162 games each year.
I know that some people believe that the talent pool is not deep enough to consider expansion and even prefer contraction. To those people I encourage them to remember that baseball is a global game. We have players from all over the world playing today and I believe we will be able to see more players from Latin and South America, Asia and even Cuba some day soon. If there was ever a good time to expand baseball this is it.
Anyway, there are a lot of cities to consider. Buffalo, Charlotte, Indianapolis, Nashville, a third team in New York (Brooklyn), Orlando, Montreal, Vancouver, New Orleans, San Antonio, Salt Lake City and Portland to name a few. I know I probably missed a city or two and if you have a good suggestion please share. Of the teams I mentioned, I have a top four. 1. Portland, 2. San Antonio 3. Charlotte 4. Salt Lake City I believe that Portland makes the best sense of any of these cities, but that is always debatable. Adding any of these cities would require MLB to do some realignment as well. So, here are my ideas. I expect some of you to blast my ideas, but I would also like to hear your input as well.

If San Antonio and Portland were to be added this would be my new AL and NL divisions.

AL Central: Detroit, Cleveland, Chicago White Sox, Minnesota
AL East: Toronto, Boston, NY Yankees, Baltimore (Got to keep Boston and New York in the same division)
AL West: Oakland, Seattle, LA Anaheim, Portland
AL South: Colorado, Houston, Texas, San Antonio (this could create some great rivalries in the state of Texas)

NL Central: St. Louis, Kansas City, Chicago Cubs, Milwaukee
NL East: Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Washington DC, NY Mets (Thought about swapping DC with Toronto)
NL West: San Francisco, San Diego, LA Dodgers, Arizona
NL South: Atlanta, Florida, Tampa Bay, Cincinnati (Don’t necessarily like Cincinnati in this division, but it was the best fit with these teams)

If Salt Lake City and Portland were to be added this would be my new AL and NL divisions.

AL Central: Detroit, Cleveland, Chicago White Sox, Minnesota
AL East: Toronto, Boston, NY Yankees, Baltimore
AL West: Oakland, Seattle, LA Anaheim, Portland
AL South: Colorado, Houston, Texas, Salt Lake City (this could create a good rivalry with Colordao/SLC and Texas/Houston)

NL Central: St. Louis, Kansas City, Chicago Cubs, Milwaukee
NL East: Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Washington DC, NY Mets
NL West: San Francisco, San Diego, LA Dodgers, Arizona
NL South: Atlanta, Florida, Tampa Bay, Cincinnati

If Portland and Charlotte were to be added this would be my new AL and NL divisions. This alignment makes the most sense to me geographically.

AL Central: Detroit, Cleveland, Chicago White Sox, Minnesota
AL East: Toronto, Boston, NY Yankees, Baltimore
AL West: Oakland, Seattle, LA Anaheim, Portland
AL South: Colorado, Houston, Texas, Kansas City

NL Central: St. Louis, Cincinnati, Chicago Cubs, Milwaukee
NL East: Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Washington DC, NY Mets
NL West: San Francisco, San Diego, LA Dodgers, Arizona
NL South: Atlanta, Florida, Tampa Bay, Charlotte

Finally, my last option would be San Antonio and Charlotte.

AL Central: Detroit, Cleveland, Chicago White Sox, Minnesota
AL East: Toronto, Boston, NY Yankees, Baltimore
AL West: Oakland, Seattle, LA Anaheim, Colorado
AL South: San Antonio, Houston, Texas, Kansas City

NL Central: St. Louis, Cincinnati, Chicago Cubs, Milwaukee
NL East: Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Washington DC, NY Mets
NL West: San Francisco, San Diego, LA Dodgers, Arizona
NL South: Atlanta, Florida, Tampa Bay, Charlotte


Advertisements

24 comments

  1. The Wizard of Ozzie

    I am one of those people who says the talent pool isn’t deep enough. If you look at some of the Major League rosters, many of the players (especially relief pitchers) simply don’t have Major League talent.
    I am in favor of moving some of the more financially underperforming teams to other markets though, especially to southern cities like Nashville.
    Catherine

    • strictlycubsbaseball

      Catherine, I understand what you are saying, but I do think that the steroid era is over and the gap between hitting and pitching is closing. I also think that some cities should be considered to move existing franchises. Yet, this was a fun idea for me and I have a few more to throw at people soon.

      Ron

    • strictlycubsbaseball

      Dropping attendance is a good point. I think part of the problem is having owners that simply don’t care as long as they are turning a profit. Like I mentioned to Catherine, this was a fun idea for me. It can also create some good conversation about expansion, contraction or even moving a franchise.

      Ron

      • Soua

        Would like to have some baserunning tips. Tips for stlaeing bases, what to look for when trying to steal 2nd and 3rd off of RHP’s and LHP’s and leads at 2nd base (deep or shallow) and why and what situation.

  2. Michael David

    Ron, it is always fun to think about. From some of the Minor League cities I’ve visited, Indianapolis, Louisville, and Des Moines would make good choices for expansion. I wouldn’t mind seeing another team in Canada, though, like maybe Vancouver (the only existing MiLB Canadian city). I agree with you that there is talent out there. So many countries to get players from, plus all the U.S. kids that go unnoticed in junior colleges and Indy Pro ball.
    –Mike
    ‘Minoring In Baseball’

  3. Red State Blue State

    I can’t get on this train. I wish they’d get rid of a couple teams myself… I’m loving the influx of great pitching we’re getting, but it seems like it took 30 years (and a wild run of steroids) to finally get that back. I think the talent pool is too watered down (proof? Wilson Betemit has a job).
    –Jeff

  4. toosoxy

    Charlotte won’t ever happen. Seriously. Worked in broadcast news there for two years and it was discussed- but they can’t fill the seats of the teams they have. The Charlotte Knights (white sox affils) are supposed to move to center city, but a lawyer is trying to stop it, fearing that, if they move to center city, an MLB team will never come to charlotte. it was this complicated situation… I don’t really know what happened with it- but we devoted a lot of coverage time to people who told us definitively the audience just isn’t there.

  5. toosoxy

    honestly, i’d love it. esp if it was in the sox division. i live in boone, nc right now… and the closest parks to me are atlanta and baltimore… sigh…

  6. mlblogsbluejaysnest

    Owners caring more about profit than winning is a problem in some places, but for Florida and TB it doesn’t seem to matter what they do, the fan base just isn’t there sadly. I think before expanding the teams they should expand the playoffs. If more teams in a playoff race increases fan interest (and I’m sure it would) then maybe they could explore more teams.

    http://bluejaysnest.mlblogs.com/

  7. bob3472

    Not sure I would put a team in Portland. I think a city like San Jose, CA could do good. It is the 10th largest city in the USA and the only major sports team they have is the Sharks (NHL). Also, I think Oklahoma City would be a good one. Thunder fans are crazy about their team and there is no reason to think that they won’t be crazy about a baseball team.
    Bob: Soxoholics
    http://soxoholics.wordpress.com/

    • strictlycubsbaseball

      I think OKC would be another great option! I also thought about San Jose, but it’s close to Oakland and San Francisco. I also believe that it’s Giants territory as far as fans go, but I could be wrong on that.

      Ron

  8. roughriider

    There isn’t enough talent to field the teams out there now. That’s why some pitchers are dominating and why teams are willing to pay so dearly for talent. It would be better to contract than expand. My first pick would be St Louis. Just kidding, but it would make more sense to remove three teams and realign than to expand. Of course I know that won’t happen unless the economics of MLB get so bad that they are forced to. I also think that baseball needs a salary cap and a hard cap on draft pick compensation.

    • strictlycubsbaseball

      I agree with you about a salary cap. However, I would cap it at $150 million and also have a minimum of $75 million. I think that would help baseball a lot, but it’s not a popular idea.
      Ron

  9. southernbelle

    I always think about this myself, though I don’t think it’ll happen anytime soon. I always think of where the teams would be, what their stadium would look like, their team name, and most importantly, their UNIFORMS! Haha. But before making any new teams, I do think some teams should be moved. Get the Jays out of Canada and get the teams out of Florida!
    -Virginia
    http://southernbelle.mlblogs.com

  10. Emma

    Interesting and intriguing all your suggestions. Some American league pitchers would hate going to Colorado and some NL would love your suggestions. But like it was mentioned, there isn’t enough talent for all those expansions.
    I would like a team from the NL Central to go to the AL West so all divisions have an equal number of teams.

    • strictlycubsbaseball

      I most definitely want an equal number of teams, but I personally cannot stand interleague play. So, MLB would have to add 2 teams or contract 2 teams in order to achieve the same number of teams in each league.

      Ron

  11. This is a very simple game...

    He he, we’ve been talking expansion at my house too and Nashville and New Orleans are on our lists as well. I would love to add two teams and have one of them in the west, but we’re pretty economically sad right now. Vegas and Salt Lake City make the most sense in terms of local interest in a team, but are terrible in terms of local economy. Portland is the opposite – good economy, little interest as near as I can tell.
    — Kristen

    • strictlycubsbaseball

      I wish the economics and amount of talent forced MLB to expand. I think it would be awesome! You mentioned some good points about local economy and local interest. Both of those would be key if expansion ever happens again.

      Ron