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Articles Tagged Divisional Alignment 

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November 4, 2010 8:00 am

Prospectus Perspective: Four and No More

52

Christina Kahrl

Spare us expanding the playoffs to include scheduled play-ins.

It was a glorious World Series to cap a glorious October, and detracting from it in any way would be difficult. Sadly, baseball managed it.

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Can the Indians take the Bombers, or will baseball's best offense rock on?

A repeat of a matchup which produced some thrilling postseason baseball back in 1997 and 1998, this Divisional Series matches the American League's two hottest teams since the All-Star break, two teams that didn't earn their postseason berths until putting together a finishing kick that separated them from the rest of the pack. For the Indians, this marks a return to glory, their first division title since 2001 after a run in which they'd made the playoffs six years out of seven. For the Yankees, though their nine-year run atop the AL East came to an end, this marks their 13th straight postseason appearance, a streak that predates Joe Torre.

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August 17, 2004 12:00 am

From the Desk of Vex Peters

0

Jim Baker

Note: As we've mentioned in the past, every so often, we lay our hands on a document that was probably not intended for public consumption. We are not at liberty to say how it is we come by these things because we do not wish to compromise our conduit thereto. Suffice it to say, we will continue to make these available to you as long as we can continue to "come by" them. Here is the latest of these intercepted internal missives.

To: Realignment Planning Committee
From: Vex Peters, Steering Chairman, MLB
Date: August 16, 2004
RE: Operation Save-the-Game

People, have you looked at the standings? Are you happy about this? A month ago, we had our army of shills in the broadcast booths claiming there were 23 teams in the hunt for a playoff berth. What's that number down to now, people? Thirteen? We've got four divisions completely out of hand. We've got two wild card races that are tight but how long can we count on that? Either one or both could go s***sville in two weeks' time.




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I get a lot of e-mail suggesting that baseball should use European-style relegation/promotion to encourage teams to compete. People suggest it to me in bars. I've read it in columns by otherwise sensible baseball writers. It is easily the most impractical idea anyone has proposed to solve some of baseball's problems, and I am baffled by its continued popularity.

I get a lot of e-mail suggesting that baseball should use European-style relegation/promotion to encourage teams to compete. People suggest it to me in bars. I've read it in columns by otherwise sensible baseball writers. It is easily the most impractical idea anyone has proposed to solve some of baseball's problems, and I am baffled by its continued popularity.

Let's say that basketball decides to do something even more radical, and every year they're going to turn the NCAA Division I college with the best record into a professional team, and the Nuggets have to go into the amateur business and start a university.

But wait, that's ridiculous, you say. Those players don't have professional contracts. Where would they play? They've graduated, would they then have to stay with the same team? Who would pay these new salaries?

Uh huh, yup, you're right. And those are only some of the problems that relegation in baseball faces. But I want to take a concrete approach to showing the barriers to this course.

Let's say that baseball implemented a modest form of relegation to begin after the 2002 season. One team from each league is relegated. Then one team from each Triple-A league is promoted. I chose that method because it seems fairer that way, but what happens next is applicable no matter how you divvy up the joy and pain.

The two teams in 2002 would be Milwaukee (56-106) and either Tampa Bay or Detroit (55-106), with the tiebreaker being Tampa Bay's 2-4 record against Detroit, and the team's distinguished record of sustained, general haplessness.

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December 14, 2000 12:00 am

Competitive Balance

0

Brian Troxell

One of the drumbeat arguments put forth by Bud Selig is that competitive balance has been shattered since the 1994 players' strike. We all know how the argument goes: unless you have a high payroll, you have no chance to compete. Doom and gloom to follow any time now. Really. We mean it this time.

And a cursory glance at things might lead you to believe the riff. After all, the Yankees have blown through every payroll standard in the game, and they've won three of the last four World Series. The Braves have a high payroll and are in the playoffs every year. The Expos and Twins spend about as much money on salary as some people do on a really nice dinner, and of course, they have no hope. They're profitable, though.

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June 1, 2000 12:00 am

The Wild Card

0

Derek Zumsteg

The Yankees and Red Sox played a great series last weekend. And while there are 159 other games in the season, those three had the kind of drama that baseball lives on: a long-standing rivalry, bred in neighborhoods, handed down from parent to child like a family heirloom, nursed by patriots in foreign cities. This is the joy of divisional rivalries, a boon of the unbalanced schedule...and a great argument for the elimination of the wild card.

If the season had ended Monday, both teams would still have made the playoffs. And that playoff entry is just as good as a division title. That's not right, for a couple of reasons.

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