It’s the offseason, folks, which means a slower trickle of news to begin with. On top of that, it’s the week before Christmas, which slows things down even more. And, as I’m sure you’re well aware, there’s a lockout on, which goes beyond gumming up the works and straight up stops them. With that said, let’s get to a favorite past time of mine: coming up with ridiculous ideas MLB will never implement because there is precious little else to talk about.
Leading off, let’s talk one of my favorite things: realignment! I’ve spilled my guts about this before on the podcast and probably in digital ink, too, but let’s go over it again. I would love to see MLB radically realign in one of two ways.
First, let’s keep AL/NL, but we go back to a 16/14 split, with Houston going back to the NL or Milwaukee going back to the AL. We implement a universal DH, because duh, but balance the schedule so each team plays everyone in their league an equal amount of times and we eliminate interleague play. In this scenario, the top four teams in the AL and NL respectively make the playoffs–like the pre-second wildcard days–and we go from there.
My second idea is similar, but with an added twist: eliminate AL and NL altogether, institute a universal DH, balance the schedule, and the top 8 make the playoffs, regardless of original league, and we run the tournament from there. Yankees/Red Sox World Series? Hell yes. Full disclosure, such an event would likely take a decade off of my life.
The other schedule/alignment altering idea I had, one I’ve kicked around a lot, is relegation/promotion, similar to that in European football. This will never, ever happen in the US, but it’d be cool to see in baseball. Now, with the way the minors feed the majors and all the things that go along with that system, relegation to AAA couldn’t happen. Instead, we’d have to split MLB in two and go from there. In my idea, the top half would be eligible to play for the WS while the bottom half wouldn’t. The bottom teams in the top and the top teams in the bottom would trade places, like they do in European football.
In this scenario, I’d also like to see a cup style competition added, perhaps as the last game of each series (balance the schedule, find a way to make every series three games), so that the first two would count towards the regular season standings with the third counting towards a cup standings, with different incentives for placement there (draft position, IFA money, etc.). I’ll live on Mars before this happens.
Last on this list is a change to the Hall of Fame. I’ve tweeted this out for sure, though I’m foggy on the old specifics, so let’s see what I can (re) hash out. This thought was inspired by Albert Pujols. Albert Pujols will be on the HOF ballot in 2026 and will be inducted in 2027. At that point, it will have been 11 years since his last above average season (2016) and 15 years since his last elite season (2012). That is a super long time! For some players, it’s pretty clear right away that they should be eligible way sooner than five years.
What I’m proposing, aside from eliminating the ten-player limit, is a sort of pre-ballot for retiring players. When a player retires, he goes on a ballot to determine if he will get on the ballot immediately or have to wait five years before appearing on the official ballot. Hell, given the age of baseball information we’re in, we could argue that a five year wait is pretty outdated at this point, but I get it.
Anyway, these are my ridiculous ideas. Like ’em? Hate ’em? Got any of your own?