Expansion talk comes and goes but it’s back in the forefront. In a recent Baseball America article by Tracy Ringolsby, he states his version of a possible expansion of Major League Baseball, where Portland, Oregon would be the 31st city and Montreal, Canada would be the 32nd team and bringing back the Expos. He also talks about only having four 8-team divisions and a 12-team playoff system. I’m not not going to spoil it all for you, so here is the link…
But here is my expansion… (The Map is interactive)
A league that keeps the sub-leagues (AL and NL) and adds an extra division to each sub-league, making it four 4-team divisions. For the expansion cities, Montreal was a National League city before, they become one again, leaving Portland as the American League city. Also, I tried to keep rivalries and similar sub-league affiliations close. But with that, there had to be some major and minor changes with teams and placement, but unlike Ringolsby’s massive expansion.
- Miami: The decision to make Miami an American league team was easy; Their location to Tampa made them automatic rivals, they are the most southern team (the next two teams are Houston and Tampa), and two Texas and two Florida teams just works.
- Colorado: The other team that switched from NL to AL. It was difficult to make them a “West” team because the addition of Portland made it seven teams on the West Coast. Then the closest team to the West Coast was Arizona. Also, it’s easier for them to be a American League Central team because; A) they are near the center of America, B) Closest team/city is Kansas City, and C) would be odd to call them a “South” team.
- Detroit: The only founding team to switch leagues. Reason being that they had to be a National League team is because they were closer to the National League Central than Cleveland.
- Baltimore: Three reasons here. A) Baltimore’s true rival is Washington. B) Cleveland would be a hard sell to be a “South” team because of location. C) Drawing a line from Montreal to Baltimore, there are nine teams in that general area that are North of Baltimore (Montreal, Toronto, Detroit, Boston, Cleveland, two New York teams, Pittsburgh, and Philadelphia).
- Cincinnati: When you look at the map, you are probably questioning why I have them as a South team. Not only because Detroit and Cleveland but before the actual expansions, they were historically a southern team (second to St. Louis).
Now how this would work. It is still a 162-game season, 57 games against divisional opponents (3 teams, 19 games each), 84 games against sub-league opponents (12 teams, 7 games each), and 21 interleague games (7 teams, 3 games each).
For the playoffs, Winners from each division, NO Wildcard. The seeding would be normal; best record as number one seed and so on and so forth. Postseason starts October 1st. Each series is a 7-game series. All series start on the same day, no stagger starts, i.e. NL games starts Oct. 1, AL games starts Oct. 2.