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Report: MLB considering a MORE unbalanced schedule than it already has

Jun 6, 2012, 2:00 PM EDT


Danny Knobler of CBS has an interesting and unwelcome report.  According to “a high-ranking official” the 2013 schedule may be more unbalanced than the current unbalanced schedule:

In fact, the official said, teams may well go from playing 18 games a year against each division opponent to playing 19 a year. In that case, teams would play 47 percent of their games against teams within their own division.

Which means that teams in the tough divisions will have an even harder time competing for the wild card with teams from easy divisions.  But hey, look on the bright side: that’s one more Yankees-Red Sox game for ESPN or Fox to broadcast. And we all win when that happens, right?

  1. number42is1 - Jun 6, 2012 at 2:04 PM

    Wasn’t it 19 games up until about 5 years ago anyway?

  2. danaking - Jun 6, 2012 at 2:21 PM

    Odd. Since there will have to be at least one interleague series all the time, the schedule works out at exactly to 162 games if the following formula is used:

    18 against the other four teams in your own division = 72
    6 against the other ten teams in your league = 60
    6 against five teams in the other league = 60 (rotating divisions year-by-year would be nice, but we wouldn’t want to run the risk of missing the eagerly anticipated Pirates-Tigers rivalry, would we?)

    72+60+60= 162

    19 games throws it all off.

    Must be Selig’s idea.

    • danaking - Jun 6, 2012 at 2:21 PM

      oops. 6 games against five teams in the other league is obviously 30, not 60. Sorry.

      • dlindstedt2 - Jun 6, 2012 at 2:25 PM

        I was about to say, um where did you go to school that 60+60+72=162. LOL.

      • pmcenroe - Jun 6, 2012 at 2:28 PM

        yeah i really wish they would go to this schedule format. i hate that they are trying to shove these “rivalries” down our throats

    • pmcenroe - Jun 6, 2012 at 2:43 PM

      the only reason I can guess as to why they would go to 19 games within own division is to 100% break ties. That way they can eliminate the extra day from the post season schedule. As it is now they have set aside one day for a one-game playoff in case two teams are tied atop of division to see who gets the bye to the DS and who goes to the wild card game. 19 games ensures there are no 9-9 reg. season match up records.

      • danaking - Jun 6, 2012 at 2:55 PM

        Good point. I hadn’t thought of that. Still, it’s not too bright to disrupt the entire schedule for something that won’t happen very often. Even if it does, there are tiebreaker procedures in place to handle such an occurrence, such as division records. A team shouldn’t miss the playoffs altogether because of a tiebreaker, but deciding between which seed they get shouldn’t require an extra game after 162 have been played.

      • pmcenroe - Jun 6, 2012 at 3:28 PM

        Yeah I don’t like the 19 game idea but I can see their reasoning and understand the need for having to build in that extra day in the off chance it does happen, and I can also understand teams not wanting to go to the wild card playoff b/c of the inter-division record tie-breaker(which I’m assuming would be the 3rd layer after reg season record and head-to-head). I def. prefer the 72+60+30 method you listed above and besides couldnt teams cry foul based on who got the extra home game out of the 19?

  3. bmorethansteel - Jun 6, 2012 at 2:41 PM

    Another 20 years of losing baseball for my O’s

  4. stairwayto7 - Jun 6, 2012 at 2:52 PM

    Why not either add 2 more team and be like the NFL and have 8 4 team divisons witha rotation interleague play yearly or contract 2 teams, preferrably the Florida teams and have 28 teams 2 divisions with 7 each. Top 4 teams make playoffs then.

    • pmcenroe - Jun 6, 2012 at 3:33 PM

      yeah I don’t think MLB will be pulling out of the #13 and #16 largest media markets any time soon. esp when one just built a brand new stadium with tax payer money.

    • stratomaticfan - Jun 6, 2012 at 3:35 PM

      How about contracting 2 teams and having 4 divisons of 7 teams. Fewer teams = more quality players per team = better baseball….especially in the pitching department.

      • pmcenroe - Jun 6, 2012 at 3:43 PM

        Which teams? You would have to find 2 owners willing to accpet a buyouts or else MLB would for sure be facing litigation. Also fewer teams does not equal better players/teams. Organizations can easily be mismanaged reagardless of the size of the player pool

    • catcher50 - Jun 7, 2012 at 11:40 AM

      The 32 team concept would be the best possible. Since the phony rivalries would disappear, you could do 18 games against the three teams in your division. 9 games against the other 12 teams in your league. No Inter-league nonsense.

      There is only one small problem. You can’t just add 2 teams. You need to add at least 12 new teams, because you need a set of at least 5 minor league teams for each major league team.

  5. fellspointbird - Jun 6, 2012 at 3:19 PM

    I’m sure that this is the trade-off to teams accepting all of these multi-million dollar TV deals.

    As an O’s fan who just watched Baltimore play nothing but Tampa, NY, Boston, and Toronto for most of May… this is getting alittle out of hand.

  6. sictransitchris - Jun 6, 2012 at 3:20 PM

    “one more Yankees-Red Sox game for ESPN or Fox to broadcast. And we all win when that happens, right?”

    Considering you don’t have to listen to Joe Buck call your team’s game, I’d say yes, you win.

  7. jlovenotjlo - Jun 6, 2012 at 3:37 PM

    Yes, the AL East has been the strongest division as of late, but it is something that will continue to change. The AL West was the strongest a decade ago, the AL Central the strongest in the middle of the decade. I think that in a couple of years, when Oakland’s rebuilding plan comes together and Seattle’s young team grows up, the AL West will become the strongest division in the American League again.

    In my opinion, it is a constant cycle. In a couple years, I think it will be favorable to play in the AL East compared to the West, and you East Coasters won’t be complaining about the extra division game.

  8. blazertop - Jun 6, 2012 at 7:34 PM

    Get rid of all divisions, stack them up in one row for each league (like pre-60s), then take the top 4 teams from each league. Division “championships” are weak and of little value now.

    For division lovers, why not make 6 divisions, or 8, or….??

    • pmcenroe - Jun 7, 2012 at 9:40 AM

      Divisions were created in order ease travel/scheduling thats why they are primarily based on time zones, and only 3 of them. In the Pre-60’s out of 16 total teams, the farthest west anyone had to go was St. Louis/KC (before the Dodger and Giants moved) thats why having no divisions was manageable, it isn’t feasible anymore.

  9. leftywildcat - Jun 6, 2012 at 8:52 PM

    What’s the point of having an unbalanced schedule when a balanced one is possible?

    Play your 4 division rivals 13 times, = 52
    Play the other 10 teams in your league 6 times = 60
    Play the 5 inter-league teams in your area (NL East plays AL East) 6 times = 30
    Play the other 10 teams in the other league 2 times = 20 games

    Odd game in division rotates between the 2 stadiums one year to the next.
    Play AL Cent at home and AL West on the road one year, for example; flip schedule year to year.

    52 + 60 + 30 + 20 =162

    32% of games are within division, 18% are with other league’s division in your area, and 50% are against your league’s other 2 divisions and the other league’s other 2 divisions.

    • pmcenroe - Jun 7, 2012 at 9:47 AM

      too much revenue would be lost scheduling 10 two game series b/c they would all have to take place during the week (everyone plays Friday, Saturday, Sunday for obv reason) also forcing those games to only take place during the week would be a scheduling nightmare (b/c of get-away days)

    • terryneoterryneo - Jun 7, 2012 at 8:16 PM

      You got it right, leftwildcat! Your formula is actually logistically sensible and simple. A good balance of maintaining divisional rivalries without overdoing it, some good inter league regional matchups and still keeping a fair number of games inter league. Mr. Selig, hire that man!

  10. rico7207 - Jun 7, 2012 at 11:40 AM

    When attendance drops, they will know why. This is incentive for the cheaper teams to stay cheap and spend less. Whatever, I can spend my $$$$ elsewhere. Tickets are over priced any way for the garbage talent out there any way. There are too many teams and not enough talent to support it, and we see it daily with the terrible relief pitching.

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