I have heard several times in the past few weeks of sportswriters and commentators lamenting that there is no good way to realign baseball to make it work more evenly. The current system with two divisions, one of 16 and one of 14, just cannot be made even because of the impossibility of scheduling 6 divisions with 5 teams apiece.
The solution I came up with certainly would not satisfy any baseball purist. Of course considering the purity of baseball contains drugs, more drugs, fighting, juiced balls, juiced bats, financial inequity, changing mound heights, and the never ending love/hate relationship with the designated hitter, then I would simply ask, "How pure is it to begin with?" And if you have ever had the pleasure of watching the movie 'The Great Bank Robbery of 1876" then you would know that apparently the game started out with more tackling and shennanigans then most purists would have you believe. Of course the game in that movie was set in Minnesota and that's awful close to Canada so maybe not all games were like that one, but movies have never lied to me before. So here goes nothing, here's what I would do:
First thing is to get rid of both the American and National Leagues, they no longer exist and everybody is just part of Major League Baseball consisting of 3 divisions comprised of 10 teams each: EAST, CENTRAL, & WEST - TEXAS. Your Team would play the other 9 team in your division 8 times made up of two 4 game series, one home and one away totalling 72 games. Your team would also play every team in the other two divisions 4 times made up of two 2 game series, one home and one away totalling 80 games. Which then gives you a grand total of a 152 game season, eliminating the 2 weeks of the season that baseball can't seem to ever cram in at the beginning or end of the year without running into snow.
My division breakdowns would be this, listed according to current won/loss records:
EAST CENTRAL WEST - TEXAS
Philadelphia Detroit San Francisco
NY Yankees Milwaukee Arizona
Atlanta St. Louis Texas
Boston Cleveland LA Angels
Tampa Bay Cincinnati Seattle
NY Mets Toronto Colorado
Pittsburg Chi. White Sox San Diego
Washington DC Minnesota Oakland
Florida Chi. Cubs LA Dodgers
Baltimore Kansas City Houston
Each Division Winner makes the playoffs automatically as the three highest seeds and the teams with the next 5 best records regardless of division, that way every year guaranteed the best 8 teams are playing in the playoffs. Because they are balanced it means that on most nights during the season there will be 5 games being played in prime time in each time zone. And since now you are playing every team in the league, no one team has an unfair schedule advantage and fans will be able to see ALL the best players and best teams play regardless of where you are in the country, which believe it or not lends itself to more interest in fantasy baseball which in turn will drive viewership up just like fantasy football did for the NFL. And as an added bonues to all the fans who hate the big money spending East coast teams, now all those same teams will have to beat up on each other during the season which would almost certainly prevent a clean sweep of the wildcards by the East.
The more I look at this idea the more I think it would really work and I can only come up with three problems. First, no one ever listens to me. Second, people are reluctant to change for any reason even if better results are guaranteed. And lastly, a reasonable compromise will have to be made on the designated hitter. Now I can't do anything about the first two, but on the DH I think I have an answer. (For the record I personally hate the DH and prefer National League style baseball) The easy solution is to make the DH optional. In a 152 game season, any team may put in a lineup featuring a DH 76 times, its purely a matter of team discretion when to use it regardless of whether the other team does or not. In a seven game playoff series each team gets to feature the DH 3 times whether the series goes 4 games or 7. What this does is instantly make the DH a strategic part of the season and the game which is the main complaint by the people who hate it, that it takes away from the strategy of the game. Using it this way only adds to it, not to mention now you will be able to keep pinch hitters sharp without having to try and figure out how to get them in the lineup here and there. I think it works beautifully.
On a final note, since there are now three divisions, that means then each division would have its own awards, 3 Cy Youngs,3 MVPs, 3 Gold Gloves, etc. As for All-Stars, fans now would vote for the four best players at each position across the whole league, and please break up the outfielders into LF, CF, and RF, stop lumping them together, vote for the 18 best pitchers and only let each one pitch just a single inning. Once you have all the players let the two managers from the previous year's World Series draft their team from the players voted in and just have a fun game featuring the best players in the league.
That is what I would do, it has almost no chance of happening, but that is what I would do.