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MLB Realignment?

The MLB recently announced they are seriously considering realigning the league. As currently constituted, the MLB is split into two leagues, the National League and the American League. The National League or N.L. is composed of 16 teams while the American League or A.L. is made up of 14 teams. The proposed realignment would move one National League team over to the American League so each League would stand at 15 teams apiece. The team that has been speculated the most about moving from the N.L. to the A.L. has been the Houston Astros. This would make sense because the Astros are currently undergoing an owner change and a move to the AL would more than likely stir up a rivalry between them and the Texas Rangers. There has also been talk about doing away with divisions within the two leagues. The theory behind the removal of divisions is that currently some teams have a better chance of making the playoffs than others. The N.L. Central has 6 teams so those teams have less of a chance of making the post-season than do the 4 teams that make up the A.L. West. Instead of the 4 playoff teams made up of the 3 division winners and one wild-card winner, the proposed realignment would have the top 5 teams with the best records from each league move onto the playoffs. There are two pressing issues with this new format. The first is that since each league would have an odd number of teams, there would have to be more inter-league matchups. Instead of the current 12 to 18 inter-league games, there would probably have to be closer to 30 inter-league games for each team and there would always be an inter-league series between at least two teams throughout the entire season. The second issue deals with what to do with the DH. Since there will be a whole lot more inter-league games, it makes sense to possibly think about either adopting the DH throughout the MLB or dropping the DH entirely. Obviously, this is just in its early stages but things will begin to heat up as the current MLB CBA is set to expire in December of 2011, and I assure you this proposed realignment will be very high on the list of the MLBPA’s priorities.

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