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Is the realignment issue really a gambit to make the DH universal?

Jun 14, 2011, 4:30 PM EDT

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I’ve read several articles in which writers are at least somewhat positive and accepting of the recent realignment idea that has been floated. Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch wrote the first meaty counterargument today, and it’s a pretty comprehensive one.

I’m not sold on every argument of course — I really don’t care if teams can’t put up “wild card champion” banners in parks and can’t make finishing out of the playoff race sound good by calling it “third place”  – but it’s an intellectual response to the idea as opposed to some emotional traditionalist claptrap you might be expected to hear whenever the idea of change is floated.

But even if I disagree with some of Goold’s criticisms, he makes a great point when it comes to how the idea of constant interleague series — as two 15-team leagues would require — would mess with team rosters due to the fact that clubs would have to switch between the DH game and the non-DH game far more often than they do now for the more sporadic interleague play.  And after detailing the issues with that, he reaches a conclusion that no one has really talked about it yet:

So let’s call this discussion, this talk of realignment, this Trojan horse what it really seems to be: an attempt to force the DH on the NL.

Whether that’s the main idea or merely a side effect, it does seem to be an eminently possible result of two fifteen team leagues. An alternative: loosening roster rules to deal with the changes, but that wouldn’t be ideal and wouldn’t necessarily placate a union that may truly want 16 extra designated hitters in order to sign off on such a plan.

In light of that, are you still cool with realignment?

  1. ta192 - Jun 15, 2011 at 1:49 AM

    DH, no DH, don’t care, just want both leagues to do it the same way…

  2. mvd513 - Jun 15, 2011 at 1:52 AM

    I was never cool with realignment in the first place

  3. umrguy42 - Jun 15, 2011 at 9:19 AM

    I’m not cool with realignment, and I’m *really* not cool with going to the DH. I think we should go the other way, if it becomes the case – ABOLISH the DH. In the immortal words of Crash Davis, “I believe there should be a constitutional amendment banning the designated hitter”.

  4. leftywildcat - Jun 18, 2011 at 3:45 PM

    Let’s look at the pieces separately. 3 divisions + 1 wildcard = 4 playoff slots per league. Since the 4th can come from any division, it keeps fans interested and attending games for a lot of teams throughout September, right up to the last weekend. Good idea, it works, don’t change it.

    4 team, 5 team, 6 team divisions. Unfair to some, scheduling likely not easily balanced, bad idea, change it. If Houston won’t willingly move to the AL West, move Bud’s Brewers to the AL Central and the KC Royals to the AL West. 2 Leagues, 3 divisions each, 5 teams each. 2 teams always either in interleague play or having a travel day.

    Balanced schedule: Best I can come up with is 168 games. Cancel 4 off days in April, and add 2 day-night doubleheaders. A team plays each of its 4 division rivals 6 games at home and 6 games on the road, total 48. It plays each of the 10 other teams in its league 4 home games and 4 away games, total 80. It plays each of the 5 teams in the other league’s same geographic division (AL East plays NL East, etc.) 2 home games and 2 away games, total 20. And it plays each of the other league’s other divisions’ 10 teams 2 games a year (NL East plays each AL Central team 2 away games this year and each AL West team 2 home games this year, next year the home stands and away games alternate), total 20. 48 + 80 + 20 + 20 = 168. Union wouldn’t balk if roster size increased by 1 or 2.

    No DH in any regular season game until game goes into a 10th inning; save the strategy of removing or not removing the pitcher who has an at-bat coming up, and the double substitution strategy. Protect the pitcher by awarding him (and any baserunner at the time) 2 bases if he is hit by a pitch. So DH only in extra innings, All Star games, and all post season in both leagues.

    Appeals

  5. leftywildcat - Jun 18, 2011 at 3:59 PM

    (My computer locked up)

    Appeals: Change the rule so that a manager’s challenge of a umpire’s call has to be appealed to another umpire. Original umpire cannot retain the discretion of having his own call seconded or reversed (other than ball or strike). That cost a perfect game last year and takes away from the sport. And put a 5th ump up in the booth to see all possible replay angles. Put a DL player or a coach from each team with him to keep him honest.

    Any chance (or any thoughts) about getting a uniform strike zone?

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