Monday, July 4, 2011

Some Independence Day Baseball Thoughts

Realignment is necessary

*I still can't believe the owners of teams in the NL Central ok'd a division that has six teams in it. It is a huge disadvantage to be competing with five other teams instead of four (or three in the case of the AL West) to secure a playoff berth.

*I think the best way to realign would be making two leagues of 15.

*Scheduling would be relatively simple (keeping 162-game season):
-Each team would play every team in the opposite league four times per season (15 x 4 = 60 games)
-Each team would play every team in its own league seven times (14 x 7 = 98 games)
-Based on prior year's standings, the top five, middle five, and bottom five teams in each league would play each other one extra time each. Example: if a team finished seventh in the AL in 2011, they would play the 6th, 8th, 9th, and 10th place teams once more during the 2012 season (4 x 1 = 4 games)

*Major benefit: scheduling would be much more fair than the current system.

*Potential issues: interleague games would be played every day of the season since there would be 15 teams in each league (not sure this is actually a big deal); if teams in the NL would now have to play 60 interleague games, rosters would almost certainly have to expand to allow them to carry an extra hitter (would the owners agree to this?)

At the very least, it is worth discussing.


Non-Realignment Thoughts

-Guillermo Mota of the Giants recorded his 10th career save on Saturday. No big deal, right? Well, he entered the game in the seventh inning with a 15-run (!) lead. He proceeded to surrender two home runs and three earned runs in three innings. It's time to revisit exactly what qualifies as a save. This absolutely should not even if he did pitch the requisite three innings.

Mota will never have an easier save than the one he recorded on Saturday

-Is the luster finally wearing off Billy Beane's shining armor? Sure, he's cash-strapped, but his team hasn't had a winning record since 2006, and in his 13-year tenure, the A's have won only one playoff series.

He helped introduce sabermetrics into the game, but this is a "what have you done for me lately" game and unfortunately for the (eight) fans in Oakland, the answer is not very much.

-Do not count the White Sox out just yet. My preseason pick to win the World Series just keeps creeping back into contention.

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