Friday, June 24, 2005
How to Do Interleague Play Properly
Let's get the stuff you expect out of the way:
1) The Cubs remain dead. They will not make the playoffs given their current roster.
2) Dusty is insane. If Carlos Zambrano asked to be a closer, would Dusty let it happen? If not, why is Korey leading off?
3) Korey sucks.
There. On to real talk.
Last week, we discussed the concept that interleague play is not only good, but there is more needed. MLB must have each team within a division play the same schedule each year. Without that, the races can be skewed by a few key games (like the Cubs swapping 6 games against the White Sox for the Cardinals six games against KC and Tampa).
As commenter TJ noted, this is not possible with the current 6 teams in the NL Central. True.
Here's how to fix it.
First, you move a National League team to the Americab League. This gives you 15 teams in each division. My choice would be to send the Diamondbacks to the AL West. Now, you have 6 divisions of 5 teams. Scheduling falls into place almost automatically.
Each team has 4 divisional rivals. They would play each other 18 times per season with 9 home games and 9 road games. This is, effectively, no change from the current schedule. It does eliminate some inequities where some teams actually play each other 19 times in an unbalanced home vs. road schedule.
Each team has 10 intra-league rivals. They would play each other 6 times per season with 3 home games and 3 road games. This is also, effectively, no change from the current schedule. It does eliminate some inequities where some teams actually face each other 9 times (eg. Cubs-Marlins this year) in an unbalanced home vs. road schedule.
Each team would face 5 inter-league teams, one whole division per year, on a set rotating basis. The teams would play each other 6 times per season with 3 home games and 3 road games. This is an increase from the current schedule and balances all inequities in the schedule.
So, how many games does 18 divisional games against 5 opponents, 6 intra-league games against 10 opponents, and 6 games against inter-league opponents add up to?
There is only 1 downside to this. Such a schedule requires inter-league play everyday. My response is: So what.
Every other pro-league faces this issue. Hell. Had the Jets and Rams met up in last year's Superbowl, they would have just played each other in the season finale one month earlier. In fact, the NFL had 4 inter-league games in Week 17!
Who would lose in this scenario? Jerry Reinsdorf as he'd only get sell outs every three years instead of annually. Other than that, no one.
Who wins? Fans in single team cities. Fans who want fair competition. Fans who want to see every team. And the league gets to build rivalries where some don't exist.
This makes so much sense. That means, Bud Selig will never do it.
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