View Full Version : The Buck Showalter MLB Plan
08-24-2009, 12:40 AM
Has anybody seen this? I don't watch or read ESPN that much, so I don't know much about Buck Showalter, but I don't have a particularly high opinion of him after reading his proposal (http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/notebook?page=bbtn).
It seems a much more logical solution is to simply balance the divisions and play divisional opponents 12 times a year. Problem solved, and it doesn't involve eliminating the concept of rivalries, killing two teams over a flawed schedule, spitting in the face of 100+ years of tradition, or alienating an entire league's fanbase.
08-24-2009, 05:44 AM
I am real old school when it comes to baseball. NL and AL each w/ two divisions. None of this interleague play and no wild card crap. AL and NL teams shouldn't play until they get to the WS. That was always the allure for me.
Now, I'll follow that up w/ the fact I really don't care what MLB does. They completely lost me as a fan earlier this decade when they had to go to arbitration to avoid a player's strike.
08-24-2009, 10:38 AM
Hate the idea.
I'm also a traditionalist when it comes to baseball...the 2 leagues should stay untouched. The Brewers need to go back to the AL too.
I don't like using player names for divisions. I don't like breaking up the current divisions.
I am a White Sox fan and still love watching every NYY/Boston game. It's the best rivalry in all of sports, even moreso than my beloved Redskins vs. the Cowboys.
Sure the geographical alignment makes more sense, but at what cost? When Tampa Bay or the Marlins, Diamondbacks, Royals, Mariners or whomever else loses money and is forced to move...what then?
Looking at the "Babe Ruth" division, only the addition of the Phillies upgrades the division over the current AL East. The Mets are on par with the Blue Jays, usually in contention for second-place but never good enough. The Jackie Robinson Division is no better than the currently-weak West divisions. Removing the Tigers from the current AL Central actually weakens the division and rivalry with the other three teams that are always in a battle until September. I guess adding the Cubs or Brewers makes it about as strong as a division as before, but some bad teams are added too and the end result is a division not really any more competitive than the old one...no real advantage to changing it. The birth of the Hank Aaron Division means the death of one of the better rivalries in MLB, Cubs-Cards. This is the weakest of the proposed divisions.
So this change would still end up with one very strong division with the Yanks/Red Sox in it...with the others trying to keep up...and one very weak division.
All this would accomplish is throwing traditions out the door for no real improvements.
08-24-2009, 11:46 AM
Meh. I wouldn't mind some schedule tweaks to try to balance the schedules out some, but this seems rather extreme. Divisional strength is cyclical: this year the NL central is rather weak, but just a couple of years ago it was the best in the league and the NL west was the joke. Besides, the world series wouldn't be as much fun if the teams played each other 6 times already that year. And yes, I realize this can happen with current interleague play. Get rid of that too.
08-24-2009, 11:58 AM
For the most part I'm a traditionalist, but I could go either way on interleague play. If it gets fans excited about baseball and puts more butts in seats, I can see the argument for it.
Having said that, for the most part the system isn't broken, so this isn't necessary. Does it need tweaks? Absolutely. (Can we please use regular season standings to determine home-field advantage in the WS?) But this is not a tweak. This is akin to demolishing and rebuilding a house because you don't like the kitchen wallpaper.
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