Wednesday, February 22, 2012

MLB changes

MLB has decided to once again make a few changes to the divisions and playoffs for the 2013 season. Here's an opinion piece from yahoo that lists out the changes. By all indications this doesn't fix the biggest problem with baseball, which is the crazy unbalanced schedule. Major changes are that Houston goes from the NL Central to the AL West and the addition of one more wild card team.

No other sport will ever be as successful as the NFL simply because of our modern day attention span and the format of weekly games. The other major sports seasons are just too long and too unbalanced. Because of the length of a season and attendance, TV contracts are too hard to balance revenue in these other sports which creates discrepancies between large and small markets. Small market teams continually win Super Bowls and can turn things around very quickly in the League simply because TV revenue is so huge and the salary cap keeps everyone on an even playing field.

Honestly, the NBA is more interesting this year because they are cramming so many games in a short time and playing less games overall, i.e. the season is shorter. The playoff scheduling is a joke but the regular season is actually fun this year. It's bad for players but great for fans.

But back to America's pastime (past tense). Living in Tampa for 3 years, I really got to see the major issue with baseball and that's how small market teams have to play unbalanced against large market teams. The A's can compete in the West because they don't have to play the Yankees and the Red Sox 22% of their games. Tampa has done some amazing things over the past few years by getting to the playoffs and even a World Series but that's an anomaly and not see very often (think Baltimore, Toronto, or Washinton). The Rays are in a huge disadvantage for a wild card slot because they have to compete more times against the highest 2 spending teams than a team from the AL Central or West. I like the move of evening out the divisions, now they just need to even out the schedules. IMO, this works out better for the fans too. As a Braves fan, I get tired of seeing them play the Mets, Marlins, Nats, and Phils so often. Here's my schedule solution:

Play 12 games against everyone in your division (6 home/6 away) and 9 against the other 2 divisions within your league (rotating by division who gets the 6 vs 3 home games). Then play 3 games against a rotating division from the other league with 4 games played each against the team that finished in the same place as you in the previous season (like the NFL does). So the Braves schedule for 2013 would look something like this:

  • 48 games against NL East (12 each vs other 4 teams)
  • 45 games against NL Central (9 each vs 5 teams)
  • 45 games against NL West (9 each vs 5 teams)
  • 16 games against AL East (4 vs team that finish in same place as you previous season and 3 each vs other 4 teams). Rotating by division every 2 years to get the home and home series.
  • 4 games against AL Central team that finished in same place as you previous season
  • 4 games against AL West team that finished in same place as you previous season

I like this idea as a fan because you get more chances to see other teams and it makes the wild card spot a little more balanced. I'm also okay with reducing the number of regular season games but I don't like the idea of adding too many more wild card teams. Hockey and Basketball have too many and baseball probably could use 1 or 2 more and the NFL has the perfect amount.

At the end of the day, I just want the Braves to play the Rockies more out here so I can see them.

-Simple



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