Friday, September 23, 2005

REAL fantasy baseball

This is something that I've turned over a few times in the past over in my Live Journal. Now that I've decided to move all my sports stuff over to this new blog, I figure it's time to bring this post over, especially since most people who read this haven't seen my LJ.

This is a post I first made in April '04, and revisited in December '04, which is what I'm copying into here, with a few edits, as it was written in a brief period when the Nats coming to DC looked in jeopardy, so I said things like "I'm going to assume the Expos still move to DC..." It's not something that everyone will like, and it's certainly something that could stand for some editing, but here we go...

Step one. The new teams. There would be two new teams, Portland and Las Vegas (I had originally said San Antonio). For the sake of argument, let's call the two new teams the Whalers and the 51s (borrowing the name of the Vegas AAA club). They would also both go to the AL to balance out the two leagues.This also doesn't take into account the threats of the Marlins to move. If this happens, assume that Norfolk and San Antonio would probably become the two biggest players for trying to get baseball. Either way, the team would stay in the NL South.

Step two was to line up all the teams, and figure out who would get put into divisions. Seven were easy. The NL South, though, is basically a "teams leftover division".

National League:
East: Nationals, Mets, Phillies, Pirates
South: Marlins, Astros, Rockies, Braves
North: Brewers, Cardinals, Reds, Cubs
West: Dodgers, Giants, Padres, Diamondbacks

American Leage:
East: Yankees, Blue Jays, Orioles, Red Sox
South: Rangers, 51s, Devil Rays, Royals
North: Indians, Tigers, Twins, White Sox
West: Whalers, Mariners, Athletics, Angels

Step three was to create a schedule. I aimed at about 160-164 games. First try I ended up with 162 games. With each team...Own Division: One 4-game home series, one 4-game away series, one 3-game home series, one 3-game away series. This is 42 games.Other three divisions: One 3-game home series, one 3-game away series. This is 72 games. 114 total.Other league, same division: One 3-game home series, one 3-game away series. This is 24 game. 138 total. There would be no need to worry about the traditional regional matchups, as this would take care of all the major ones (Chicago series, New York series, Bay Series, LA Series, and BWI series)I had, at this point, originally said that the teams would then play a single 2-game series against every team in the other league, other division. This is insane. Instead, it would be set up similar to how it is now, with the divisions rotating in a three year cycle. So there would be a 3-game home and 3-game away series with each of these. This is another 24 games for a total of 162

The playoffs. Baseball purists will hate this, but I think that, with this setup, a 16 game playoff would be best. Yes, I said 16. Yes, I realize that this would mean that half of the teams in baseball would make the playoffs. The alternative was to eliminate the Wild Card, which I wasn't willing to do, or to give teams bye series, which just isn't baseball.So. Four division winners, and the top four teams among the non division winners. The second third and fourth rounds would be the same as now. 5-7-7. However, here's the mixup. The first round would be hosted by the division winners, and would be 3-game, single site series. They would be set up so that the WC would be ranked roughly the 5-8 seeds, but with division foes not meeting in this round.

The big question will be what happens if either of the Florida teams move, which I think is possible, for reasons that I think also need to make a trip into this blog from another blog. However, I see the best candidates among cities that are not part of this league as San Antonio and Norfolk, both of which would remain in the Southern division of their league.

Discussion question: Suckier division, NLW or ALS?


At 12:48 PM, Blogger Basil said...

Interesting post. A lot to ponder.

I don't know if either "South" division would work, and I'm not sure why the WC needs to be retained if there's eight division champs.

At 6:59 PM, Blogger thurdl said...

I had considered whether to revert to pure win-and-in. But...but I just think that very recent history has shown that the WC is a viable playoff option, and does create more interesting playoffs, just by the fact that there have been a few recent WC champions.

Plus, the way I'm restructuring the playoffs with what amounts to college world series style "super regionals", people who don't deserve to be in the playoffs get dispatched very quickly.

At 7:01 PM, Blogger thurdl said...

And yeah, the two souths are very widely spread. Mostly, I was trying to do this without realigning the two leagues. If I made a map of it, I could probably make better divisions by ignoring classic league alignments (though keeping two market teams in both leagues).


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