[Ed. note: Once or twice throughout the season, the United Cardinal Bloggers undertake a roundtable discussion via e-mail that involves and answers various questions from the bloggers taking part over the course of a few weeks. We've spent most of our writing time answering those questions and taking part in those discussions (gladly, I might add), so figured they are fair game to post here - not to mention trying to gain a little exposure for both the project as well as some other blogs you all should be reading.]
Ryan from CardinalsGM asks:
Bud Selig’s special 14 man MLB committee has discussed a variety of topics that could improve the game. The topic that grabbed the most attention the past couple of days, is the controversial “floating realignment plan.” In this realignment, teams would not be fixed to a division, but free to change divisions from year-to-year based on geography, payroll and their plans to contend or not.
Would you be in favor of such an alignment? Why or Why not?
I would not be in favor of this plan being implemented.
It’s a great idea in theory. Allow the Royals, Indians, Orioles, Blue Jays, and Orioles battle it out in a fight of the teams that just can’t put it together in the AL. Have Pittsburgh, Washington, Cincinnati, Houston, and Florida duke it out for best of the third level in the NL.
My first reaction is that it would destroy history within the game and long-existing rivalries. Could Cardinal fans get really riled up for a divisional slate of games versus the Colorado Rockies?
My next thought – who gets to choose where teams are placed? Do the Marlins get to play the small market, struggling franchise card every season but mop up their division 3 out of 5 years when they put a bunch of players together before they leave for the big money?
What happens to the current playoff system when you have a divisional “champion” who made their living beating up on other also-rans? What happens when one of those lower-level teams puts it together for one season and wins the wild card by a game over a team playing in a division with Boston, New York (A), and Tampa Bay?
I should make clear that I really appreciate the direction of the committee. They should be thinking out of the box, just like this suggestion. This is no doubt something on the minds of upper management around the league as the gap between haves and have-nots widens. The answer, however, does not lie in allowing those teams to continue to mismanage their assets. Hire smarter, draft better, spend more wisely. It’s been done, teams have won consistently with less.
Good start for the committee for truly keeping all options on the table. – now let’s see them build on it with implementable ideas.