A proposal for realignment in Major League Baseball is reportedly gaining steam with the owners and the players, and though the structural changes might not be what some desperate Orioles fans are hoping for, the subtle switch being considered makes too much sense when it comes to competitive balance.
According to ESPN’s Buster Olney, Major League Baseball and the players' union are considering moving a team from the National League to the American League so that there will be 15 teams in each league. Why Major League Baseball thought it was fair to have 16 teams in the National League and 14 in the American is beyond me, but it appears they could finally make this necessary change.
Sure, it’s going to make things slightly more challenging for the league’s schedule makers, and it will tinker with history of the American League -- like, say, moving the Astros or the relatively new Marlins to the Junior Circuit -- but every team should have an equal opportunity to make it into postseason play. It is ridiculous that the NL Central has six teams while the AL West has just four. (How has everyone stood behind this?)
Of course, when we talk about equal opportunity, the Orioles naturally come to mind. They are stuck in the toughest division in American professional sports -- Vegas oddsmakers gambled that it was more likely the Orioles would win the World Series this year than the AL East -- and some fans would welcome an escape from the big-spending Yankees and Red Sox, traditional rivalries be damned. There is said to be some owners who want to see each league split into 15 teams with the division structure getting scrapped to bail out the Orioles, the Blue Jays and the Rays.
I would much rather see the Orioles stick it out and then eventually stick it to the big boys in the AL East like the Rays have the past few years instead of them running for cover in another division. So count me among those who think keeping it simple is the way to go when it comes to realignment in Major League Baseball.
Your turn: What's your take on the proposed MLB realignment?