Monday, September 26, 2005

Redrawing divisions...

The last post I made, outlining my idea for a 32-team MLB, has one flaw: the divisions suck, especially the south divisions. This is mostly because I tried to maintain as much as I could in terms of league affiliations and "classic" divisions. So, I decided to get a blank US map, and work out a better idea of how the divisions should be aligned. I mean, it's all a mental exercise, so why not throw everything away.

Step One was to simply draw out where all the current teams are. Note the two new teams in Portland (possibly an odd choice) and Vegas (possibly a pariah because of gambling).

Step Two was to identify the two-team markets, and also what I don't consider being two-team markets. What made the cut were NYC, Balt/Wash, Chicago, LA, and the San Fran area. What did NOT make the cut were Texas, Pennsylvania, and Florida. I figure that if it has to be identified by a state name, it wasn't a two team market. In each instance, I put one team in each league, arbitrarily choosing to maintain the current league affiliations (but no, I can't promise I got the Dodger and Angel dots in the right relationship to each other).

From there, it was a matter of connecting the dots. The AL East was easy, as it follows I-95 from DC to Boston. What this does is put the Phillies into the American League, and it removes the Blue Jays. From there, the NL East was obvious, and Toronto makes the jump from the AL to the NL.

Next up was connecting the two Florida dots and Atlanta with the next closest team, which ended up being the Indians into the NL South. The two North divisions each had to include a Chicago team. The AL North grabs Milwaukee and the two untaken teams to the east. NL North is just the three closest teams that weren't taken.

AL South kind of spreads through a big swath of America. It was inevitable that one league does so. ALW spans the west coast, and NLW the Southwest.

Confused? Well, perhaps I should just show the map where I've got all of the divisions mapped out.

Textually, the leagues and divisions:

American League:
East: Orioles, Phillies, Yankees, BoSox
South: Astros, Rangers, Rockies, DBacks
North: ChiSox, Brewers, Tigers, Reds
West: Mariners, Whalers, As, Angels

National League:
East: Nats, Mets, BJays, Pirates
South: Braves, DRays, Marlins, Indians
North: Cubs, Cards, Royals, Twins
West: Dodgers, Giants, 51s, Padres

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