REALIGNMENT REVISIT: HOW THE PLAYOFFS WOULD LOOK IN MY ALTERNATE REALITY

Over the summer I asked myself the question, “How would MLB look if the divisions and leagues as we know them were completely destroyed in favor of a geographically-based alignment?” Here it is again if you missed it the first time.

Now that the season is over and yesterday was one of those real sad days without baseball, I decided to take a look and see who would be going to the playoffs if the real MLB records were applied to my realignment. I guess this is like fan fiction or something.

Here goes:

EASTERN LEAGUE

Northeast
Washington Nationals (98-64)
New York Yankees (95-67)
Baltimore Orioles (93-69)
Philadelphia Phillies (81-81)
New York Mutts (74-88)
Boston Sad Sox (69-93)

Great Lakes
Cincinnati Reds (97-65)
Detroit Tigers (88-74)
Pitts(burgh Verified) Pirates (79-83)
Toronto Blue Jays (73-89)
Cleveland Indians (68-94)

Southeast
Atlanta Braves (94-68)
Texas Rangers (93-69)
Tampa Bay Rays (90-72)
Miami HR Machines (69-93)
Houston Astros (55-107)

WESTERN LEAGUE

Upper Midwest
St. Louis Cardinals (88-74)
Chicago White Sox (85-77)
Milwaukee Brewers (83-79)
Kansas City Royals (72-90)
Minnesota Twins (66-96)
Chicago Cubs (61-101)

Upper Pacific
San Francisco Giants (94-68)
Oakland Athletics (94-68)
Seattle Mariners (75-87)
Colorado Rockies (64-98)

Southwest
Anaheim (which is 27 miles from LA) Angels (89-73)
Los Angeles Dodgers (86-76)
Arizona Diamondbacks (81-81)
San Diego Padres (76-86)

A few notes, and then some observations. If MLB was actually set up this way, I’d imagine that the whole schedule would be different than what we saw over the course of 2012, so let’s just pretend that the schedule is the same here. Beyond that, keep in mind that this setup is not perfect. I originally spent around an hour tweaking it until I decided that it was “good enough.” That’s still more work than Bud Selig puts into more important matters.

Beyond the division winners, the Yanks get one of the wild-cards in the East, while Baltimore and Texas would have a one-game playoff for the second wild-card. In the West, after the A’s and Giants battle it out for the Upper Pacific Division title (and hopefully avoid another earthquake), the loser will go to the wild-card game to face the Dodgers. All of those trades would have gotten them in by one game, rather than missing the postseason altogether.

The most interesting thing that about the alignment above is that the MVP discussion would be totally different, as Triple Crown winner Miguel Cabrera would likely take it in the East, and rookie phenom Mike “Millville Meteor” Trout would win it in the West with little debate or whining (although I’m sure there would be some), mostly because the Angels would claim their division by three games.

But then again, maybe at this point there would only be one MVP like in the other major sports, and then the debate surrounding the winner becomes even juicier. With the leagues combined and there being only one MVP, Cabrera misses the Triple Crown by one category – batting average, which Buster Posey is tops in. But regardless, he still has stellar numbers, and the whole debate would be an interesting one. For the record, in both scenarios I’d award Mike Trout the MVP. Don’t like it? Let’s fight then.

Finally, most of the divisions end up having close races to end the season. The Eastern League’s Great Lakes Division is the only one that’s wrapped up before the final week. Interestingly enough, that division’s second place team is one that’s going to the playoffs this year.

That’s enough speculation for now. Who’s your Cy Young winner(s)? Rookie of the year?

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2 Comments on “REALIGNMENT REVISIT: HOW THE PLAYOFFS WOULD LOOK IN MY ALTERNATE REALITY”

  1. tjnicolaides says:

    I think teams in some of these divisions would have some legit gripes about having to climb over five other teams while teams in the Upper Pacific and the South-by-Southwest division only have to beat out three for a playoff spot.

    That having been said, I don’t see how anyone could arrange these teams into any better (closer) groups than you’ve got here, so what can be done about that except move teams to cities like Portland to balance things out?

    • SOP says:

      Someone came up with a good realignment that adds two teams – one in Montreal and maybe the other in Vegas? I wish I bookmarked it because it’s one of the best ones I’ve seen.

      To be honest, it was pretty fun to fool around with the divisions and try to organize it, but it is not easy. It’s actually quite frustrating.


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