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Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Two of three games must be in division.

See post TUESDAY, JUNE 14, 2011 Re-organizing MLB and resolving the DH.

In case it was missed one of the many benefits of my ideas was that 62.2% of games would be played against division rivals.  I think the basic rule should be simplified to 66.6%, i.e., a minimum of two of every three regular season games.  When expressed as a percentage it seems reasonable, maybe even too low.  So why are teams playing such low percentages of their games against division rivals?

AL East: five teams (18*4)/162 = 44.4%
AL Central: five teams (18*4)/162 = 44.4%
AL West: four teams (19*3)/162 = 35.1%    Hey, an odd number.  Who gets the extra home game?

NL  East: five teams (18*4)/162 = 44.4%
NL Central: six teams (18+14+15+16+16)/162 = 48.8%
NL West: five teams (18*4)/162 = 44.4%

Cincinnati Reds against division rivals in 2010 as NL Central example:
St. Louis Cardinals 6-12 (18)
Milwaukee Brewers 11-3 (14)
Houston Astros 10-5 (15)
Chicago Cubs 12-4 (16)
Pittsburgh Pirates 10-6 (16)

What the heck?  I don't pay much attention to the NL but still ... I was shocked that I did not know that NL Central teams played different numbers of games against division rivals.  Come on, did you know?

The Reds played 28.6% more games against the Cardinals than against the Brewers.  What the heck kind of system is this?  MLB should be embarrassed.  MLB should embrace my suggestions and stop fiddling with silly little modifications like moving Houston into the AL.  To achieve what: six divisions all playing 44% of games against division rivals?  That's progress?  And, of course, MLB must be tormented by the specter of the DH rule messing up even this dopey little change.  Demolish American and National names and go to geographic re-organization already.  It's staring you in the face.  Just do it!

MLB treats its organization and therefore its schedule like the federal tax code: an unfair mess with zillions of patches.

NFL and NBA have similar problems.  Obviously, a constitutional amendment is required to establish basic guidelines and thresholds.  My minimum 66.6% of games in division is certainly a fundamental tenet.  Let's get that amendment rolling so it can be passed by the end of the week to head off whatever lame proposal is being hatched by MLB commissioner Bug Selig and his fellow rocket scientists.

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