The MLB Needs To Amend Its Weighted Schedule/Payroll Flaws By The 2016 CBA Renewal!!
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By Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Analyst/Website Owner): Follow @chuckbooth3024
Maybe it is because I am a West Cost (Vancouver B.C Canada) guy that lives 1100 Miles away from the nearest NL Ballpark, or maybe it is because I have seen it work well in other professional sports – when I worked as a pro handicapper for 3 plus years.
I am sick of seeing teams come in to town for 3 series in a year – when it might take another team 6 years to visit in Interleague.
Sure if I lived in the East Coast, in a place like New Jersey, I could have my pick of any home parks (AL + NL) within a 450 MILE radius, I may not feel the same, but even that I doubt it.
My friend Doug Miller (from Washington State), also wrote a column worth reading on this subject. He called it “Team Fatigue”. read that article here
I also wrote a similar column on MLB Baseball’s need to adapt a Payroll/Geographical Re – Alignment that could bring a huge amount of parity to the MLB in future years here.
I first wrote that piece when there wasn’t a 2nd Wild Card Position. This new slot has lessened my harsh opinion on a need to do something like this, however having a Division play itself 76 times each in a year is not cool.
While fans may love their most heated rivalries within the Division, this years AL East provides us with a look at why we should consider a more even playing schedule.
The Baltmore Orioles may win 87 – 89 games – and miss the playoffs with a heavy dose of seeing their fellow AL East counterparts down the stretch, while the Indians and Royals get to feast on the Twins and White Sox.
Don’t get me wrong, I am not begrudging the Royals or Indians from a chance at making the playoffs this year, I am just pointing out a flaw in the system that is causing S.O.S scales not being equal depending on what Division you play in.
Furthermore, look at the Texas Rangers or/Oakland even, they get to play against the equivalent of a AAA roster now in the Houston Astros, an injury trodden Angels club – and a woeful Mariners franchise, turning in a decade of not making the playoffs.
Don’t get me wrong, I think the Houston Astros have taken advantage of the MLB’s current format of Payroll right now – more than even the Marlins ever have.
The team is actually paying out more in Dead money to Wandy Rodriguez ($5.5 MIL), Carlos Pena ($2.9 MIL), Ronny Cedeno ($1.125 MIL), Rick Ankiel (750 K) and Buyout Money to Chris Snyder (500K) to equal $10.3 MIL, compared to the $7.7 Million they have on their active contracts for the 25 Man Roster and injured reserve cash on the DL.
This team is going to finish last in the MLB – and pick 1st overall yet again in next year’s MLB Amatuer Draft. The reason they are able to do this is because of holding a Team Salary that is a disgrace.
I will write a future blog about the stupidity of having a team in the Majors with a $233 MIL Salary – and a team that has a $19 MIL Salary. Really!!
Okay, now that I am back on track, this is precisely why they should have a balanced schedule.
I could go on forever about the pros about having more of a balanced schedule, however it is important to note that none of them could occur until they are collectively bargained when negotiating the next CBA (2016).
So let me give the MLB something to chew on.
Increase your Inter League Schedule. I would love to see a team at least play every other team in the MLB every year like they do in the NHL and NBA. It just makes sense for marketing.
In a time where you have incredible players in the league such as Mike Trout, Bryce Harper, Yasiel Puig, Manny Machado, Matt Harvey, Giancarlo Stanton and whoever comes up next, it would be nice to have a series at least once per year to look forward to for your favorite tean.
So, based on my model I used for 162 games, here is what I propose.
11 games each versus your own Division (4 * 11 = 44 Games Total).
6 games again the other 10 teams in your League (6 *10 = 60 Games Total).
4 games against your closest regional Division in the other league (NL EAST and AL EAST), (NL CENTRAL and AL CENTRAL) and (AL WEST and NL WEST) (5*4 = 20 Games Total).
3 games against the other Division’s in Interleague (10 *3 =30 Games).
8 games extra versus your Natural Rival.
44+60+20+30+8 = 162 Games
In this format, The Yankees would play 19 games still versus the Boston Red Sox. 11 for the Divisional Rivalry and then 8 in the Natural Rivalry.
They would play Tampa Bay Rays 11 times, Toronto 11 times and Baltimore 11 times as well.
Natural Rivals – You would play each other 11 times In Your Own Division or 6 For the Same League +8 or 4 in the other league by same of East, Central or West
So whats the one question left on the table? What rules would you use for the increased Inter-league? How about keeping it the exact same as now.
AL Park = DH and NL Park = Pitcher.
This would mean NL Teams would employ a DH 25 times (29 if they have their natural rival as an NL Team). The AL would have the same amount of games where they would need to have the pitcher hit.
In essence, the move should promote competitive balance, and marketability across the entire nation. Each fanbase would hear chat about every other team – at least once a year during that one series.
As for the purists that may hate the idea. That barn door has already been kicked in – and the horse is trotting down the street. Interleague, Wild Card Teams, Video Replay, have all been implemented to the betterment of the game.
As a fan who invests all of his free time in this Pastime, I would like a little variety thank you!
Also, while baseball’s parity has come along way in the last 15 years, I did a top teams for won-loss record recently for the last decade.
Funny how the Yankees, Red Sox, Braves, Cardinals, Dodgers, Angels, all appeared at the top of the heap. So either align all of the teams in Divisions based on geography and payroll, or use my alternative!
A player would visit every city on a team, at worst, every other year in this new format.
I will pray for this to happen while the Mariners play the Astros for the 19th time this year!
If the Tampa Bay Rays weren’t the best run franchise in the last 5 years, and hadn’t been pounced on by the Yankees and Red Sox for a decade prior (to draft high), they would have little chance to compete.
Here is another prognostication: The Yankees will only be down for 1 year to fall under the Luxury Tax Threshold. The Rays, Blue Jays and Orioles better cash in before the end of 2014, otherwise it will be lights out.
The Yankees will approach the Dodgers in the NL for salary again in 2014 ($230 – 250 MIL Range). Nobody will be there to stop them then either – and it is not against the CBA The Red Sox will follow suit soon there after.
The other three AL East teams can duke it out for 3rd place in the Division again, except they may not have a chance to make the playoffs based on if their cream puffs still in the other Divisions, who the mediocre clubs can feast on from their weighted schedules – while they play 36 games a year versus New York and Boston.
*** The views and opinions expressed in this report are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of mlbreports.com and their partners***
Chuck Booth - Lead Baseball Analyst/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 .
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Posted on August 1, 2013, in The Rest: Everything Baseball and tagged 2016 MLB CBA, al central, AL East, AL West, All 30 MLB Teams, American league, arizona diamondbacks, Atlanta Braves, baltimore orioles, boston red sox, bryce harper, bud norris, bud selig, Carlos Pena, chicago cubs, chicago white sox, Chuck Booth. fastest 30 ballgames, cincinnati reds, cleveland indians, colorado rockies, detroit tigers, giancarlo stanton, houston astros, interleague play, jose veras, kansas city royals, la angels, la dodgers, manny machado, matt harvey, miami marlins, Mike Trout, milwaukee brewers, minnesota twins, national league, natural rivalries MLB, new york mets, new york yankees, NL Central, NL east, nl west, oakland athletics, philadelphia phillies, pittsburgh pirates, Rick Ankiel, san diego padres, san francisco giants, seattle mariners, st louis cardinals, tampa bay rays, texas rangers, toronto blue jays, twitter @chuckbooth3024, washington nationals, yasiel puig. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.