MLB Should Distribute More Games Against All Teams For Every Club

Thursday, Nov.29/2012

.

Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Writer/Website Owner):

I wrote an article about 6 months ago that investigated a solution to a Payroll/Geographical Alignment that the MLB should consider in going forward for the next CBA discussions in 2016 here.  Let’s be real and this will never happen.  The idea of running any drastic re-alignment is probably too much for the folks at MLB to fathom.  However, there is a growing trend that is starting to rear its ugly head in MLB Baseball.  It is the bigger market teams really starting to throw down some serious dollars, while the lesser revenue teams can’t keep up with same kind of salary influx.  Of course I have fought this fight on Twitter, Facebook and any other social media platform I have found.  Sooner or later these big salaried teams will reel off a bunch of World Series Titles amongst themselves and it will leave the MLB having as much competitive balance as the NBA.

Just look at the biggest culprits in the last few months, added to the old favorites of blowing out the Benjamins.  The Dodgers are the clubhouse leaders right now for next year and could spend 250 Million on their payroll.  If the Yankees make any signings in the off-year, they are staring a 200 Million Dollar Payroll right in the face.  The Phillies are sure to try to reach the 175 Million Dollar Plateau in 2013 if they are playing for another shot at a World Series Trophy before the roster becomes too old.  The Angels, Tigers and even the Blue Jays are all heading to or over the 150 Million Dollar Mark for the next campaign.  Boston is about 3 big signings away from joining them again too.  It used to be the Yankees and the Red Sox spending this kind of money only about 7-8 years ago.  The worst news out of this resides for Pittsburgh, Kansas City, Cleveland, Tampa Bay, Miami and San Diego.  These are teams with attendance problems and not that great of ability to spend.  Of course Tampa Bay has been run flawlessly by the management in order to compete.  They also had to be abysmal for 10 years in order to stockpile draft picks until they turned it around.  the Pirates and Royals have not had success with their recent draft record.

So seeing that the divisions look to stay the way they are, how about increasing the amount of games versus other divisions and the other League.  History pundits are going to have field day with this very suggestion.  But seriously how wrong is it?  Maybe it is because I am a West Coast guy and have to travel 900 Miles to see the nearest NL team to play.  In the next few years, I will have the Houston Astros and Oakland Athletics ran down my throat for 18 games a year at the confines of Safeco Field.  I have to drive 3 hours to Seattle and cross a border to go to a game.  Lord knows I would double the amount of games I would flock too if we were offered a variety of teams. Heck, you have 162 games in a year to play with.  How about 40-50 are only played in the division and the remaining 25 teams can round out the other 110-122 games? 

Under the current schedule configuration, you play 76 games versus your own division, 15 in Inter-league  play, 6 versus your natural rival and about 65 versus your own given League.  I am in favor of each time playing at least one series versus every other MLB team.  This would mean it would only take 2 years in order for every MLB to tour through your park.  With so many exciting young players in the league like Mike Trout, Bryce Harper, Giancarlo Stanton and Stephen Strasburg, it only stands to grow your brand by having them play in every big MLB city, every couple.  So how does one configure such a plan?  Here it is.  It would require a minimum of 50 Games in Inter-league scheduling for every club ( I will pause now while all of the people scream at me.)  Yes that is crazy.  However you have 15 teams in the other league.  If you have a series of 3-4 games against each of them, it is not hard to accumulate that total. 

Divisional play would be 11 games (4×11 for 44 games), League play (non-divisional) would be 6 games x 10 teams (60 gms=104 overall).  The opposing league East vs. East, West vs. West and Central vs. Central all play each other on a 4 game set.  (5×4 =20) for 124 overall. You would play the other 10 teams in your cross leagues 3 games (10×3=30) and 154 overall.  You then would play your natural rivalry 8 games to make up the 162 game season. This would give more teams across the board a chance to compete against all of the teams and not be eaten up by the best teams in the league.  We could go on for hours about the Miami Marlins shedding their payroll all down to near A-ROD’s salary next year, however even if they spent a reasonable 80-90 Million Dollars, that would only be about half of the Phillies Payroll.  

Natural Rivalries: Games vs. Each Other for The Year:

NYY/BOS (19)

DET/TOR (12)

PHI/NYM (19)

TB/MIA (19)

BAL/WSH (19)

STL/KC (12)

LAA/LAD (19)

ARZ/SD (19)

COL/SEA (12)

SF/OAK (12)

CWS/CHC (19)

MIL/MIN (19)

CIN/ATL (12)

PIT/CLE (19)

TEX/HOU (19)

Natural Rivalries (Play each other an additional 8 games even if not in the same division.)   For this example, the New York Yankees are playing Boston as their main rival and would play the normal 11 divisional games plus another 8 rival games.  However, Toronto and Detroit would only play each other 6x for American League (Non-Divisional) play each other for an additional 8 rival games for 14 overall.   You would keep the Leagues separate for Individual Statistical Leaders (just like the NFL does.)  You would still play by the home parks rules for Inter-League.  Although baseball should consider adding a roster spot for every MLB if the DH is permanently eliminated.  How would the MLBPA say no to 15 more jobs?  That is another debate for another time though.

The Divisional look at what the New York Yankees season series would look like versus the other teams.

NYY opponent list (162 Games):

Divisional Games (52 or 32%):

AL EAST

BOS (19) Natural Rival

TOR (11)

BAL ( 11)

TB (11)

Same League (AL)  Games (60 or 37%):

AL CENTRAL

CLE (6)

MIN (6)

CWS (6)

DET (6)

KC (6)

AL WEST

TEX (6)

HOU (6)

SEA (6)

OAK  (6)

LAA (6)

Inter-League Series Matchups  Games (50 or 31%)

NATIONAL LEAGUE:

NL EAST

NYM (4)

MIA (4)

WSH (4)

ATL (4)

NL CENTRAL

PIT  (3)

CHC (3)

STL  (3)

MIL (3)

CIN (3)

NL WEST

LAD  (3)

SF  (3)

ARZ (3)

SD (3)

COL (3)

So until the MLB switches its unbalanced schedule, I will see fewer games as I refuse to go to see a team twice in the same year on a regular basis.

*** The views and opinions expressed in this report are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of mlbreports.com ***

  ***Chuck Booth- Lead Baseball Writer/Website Owner and author of the Fastest 30 Ballgames:   To learn more about my  “The Fastest 30 Ballgames Book” and how to purchase it, click here . You can also follow my Guinness Book of World Record Successful Bid to see all 30 MLB Park in 23 Days Reports click here.  I am happy to be part of such an awesome Magazine-Style Baseball Website and am looking forward to talking to all of the fans of the MLB.  You can reach me on Twitter here

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About chuckbooth3023

I played competitive baseball until 18 years old and had offers to play NCAA Division 1 University Baseball at Liberty University. Post-concussion symptoms from previous football and baseball head injuries forced me to retire by age 19. After two nearly made World Record Attempts in 2008, I set a New World Record by visiting all 30 MLB Parks (from 1st to last pitch) in only 24 Calendar Days in the summer 0f 2009. In April of 2012, I established yet another new GWR by visiting all 30 Parks in only 23 Calendar Days! You can see the full schedule at the page of the www.mlbreports.com/gwr-tracker

Posted on November 30, 2012, in The Rest: Everything Baseball and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. There is a very high possibility, using your scheduling idea, that an entire division could have losing records. Division games have to be at least 76 to try and get a clear winner in the division. To solve not seeing NL games, maybe they could expand the league. Put a team in BC or Calgary or even Edm. I know, more wishful thinking, but we all dreaming here.

    • I see where you are going and it is a valid point, however they could also change some of the playoffs format as well. I think a team is possible in Vancouver BC Canada because we already possess a 1 Billion Dollar State of the Art facility and we also have a high Asian population that would help in supporting baseball. It will be extremely tough for any city ever justifying building a stadium with taxpayer dollars ever again (Thanks to the Miami Marlins.) Vancouver and it suburbs have about 4 Million People in population and would be a perfect rivalry with Seattle.

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