Maybe you’ve heard of the concept of floating realignment; the idea that’s being pondered by a committee who have been put together by Bud Selig to strengthen the great game of baseball and make it better.
One example of floating realignment, according to one insider, would work this way: Cleveland, which is rebuilding with a reduced payroll, could opt to leave the AL Central to play in the AL East. The Indians would benefit from an unbalanced schedule that would give them a total of 18 lucrative home dates against the Yankees and Red Sox instead of their current eight. A small or mid-market contender, such as Tampa Bay or Baltimore, could move to the AL Central to get a better crack at postseason play instead of continually fighting against the mega-payrolls of New York and Boston.
Divisions still would loosely follow geographic lines; no team would join a division more than two time zones outside its own, largely to protect local television rights (i.e., start times of games) and travel costs.
Floating realignment also could mean changing the number of teams in a division, teams changing leagues and interleague games throughout the season, according to several sources familiar with the committee’s discussions. It is important to remember that the committee’s talks are very preliminary and non-binding.
This isn’t the NCAA we’re talking about. Baseball’s rivalries are so much about time honored traditions. The one thing that really makes us cringe about the thought of a year by year musical chairs of teams and their divisions? The fact that they can move around based upon whether or not they choose to compete or not.
There’s nothing worse then when teams field a bunch of minor leaguers against established stars and veterans at the Major League level and try to sell it to their fan base as an attempt at competing (see San Diego and Pittsburgh currently). This idea would basically safely sheppard that whole concept and give those organizations a shot at the postseason, which threatens the integrity and hurts the quality of postseason baseball altogether. Ultimately, that’s why we don’t expect this bad Selig idea to ever come to fruition.
The only positive that would come out of this is matchups between two guys that would never normally meet up. But that’s what inter-league play is for and that’s what makes it special for those who enjoy it.
If this realignment really ever happens, expect us to be using some stamps and looking up the address of Bud Selig and his MLB headquarters.