My Ridiculous Ideas

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?

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7 Comments

  1. We’ve got to stop revenue sharing. This is a capitalistic society – if a small-market team owner doesn’t like his/her lack of income, relative to that of the big-market teams, he/she should sell the team and get out of the baseball business instead of asking for handouts from the big-market teams. I’m sure there would be plenty of potential buyers – lots of rich people would love the challenge of trying to build a winning small-market team. In addition, from what I’ve read, small-market team owners often pocket the revenue-sharing money instead of spending it on their teams. Finally, from a utilitarian standpoint, what’s wrong with big-market teams winning more often than small-market teams? There are more fans in the big markets, so more people are happy when big-market teams win than when small-market teams win.

    • Troy

      Problem is we could really have a competitiveness problem. We do not now. But we could.

      I do not like revenue sharing either but you can’t have a partial free market where the Yanks and Mets can operate in NY but Pittsburgh can only operate in Pittsburgh. If you remove revenue sharing you need to remove territorial restrictions.

      While that would be extreme it is why I proposed adding 2 more NY teams.

    • DZB

      They cannot stop revenue sharing and have a functional league. The Yankees cannot play games without the other teams, and those teams need to be able to compete. That is for the best of the sport and the overall health of the league. A system that allows huge wealth disparity like the Premiere League is awful for most fans.

  2. caffreyjm

    Great suggestion relegation, here is why

    The player’s association should be all over your relegation idea. It gives owners the incentive to put a competitive team on the field and punishes teams for tanking.

    The owners should be all over this proposal too because for teams on the bubble every game in September will be important (aka. more fans in the seats, more eyeballs for the RSN).

    The networks should like this proposal too because if there are not important games during the last two weeks of September for teams getting into the post season there are likely to be games which are critical to determine if a team is relegated.

    I’d prefer relegation (not eligible for post season play) to be based on the record for the past two years and relegate the 3 or 5 worst teams in the the league.

  3. Wire Fan

    I like the 5 year wait as it gives a little time to analyze things with a bit of distance and perspective. Maybe shorten it to 3 years?

    I think you would have more Hall of Very Good elections as the momentum of the player just retiring may give them an advantage over guys on the ballots for a while (in terms of perception)

  4. Troy

    I like the idea of realignment but may go in a different direction as I like the divisional rivalries but would like to double down on that with more of a geographic focus, similar to hockey and basketball, in other words put the NY teams in the same division.

    I also think we have too much baseball some places and too little others. Pittsburgh cannot sell 81 home games in that market. NY could sell 300 or more. Solution. Less games per team but more teams.

    As for where the teams go. Let’s add 2 to the NY market. We used to have 3 teams when there were half as many teams overall. NY can easily support 2 more. Hoboken and Brooklyn would be ideal. Give the entire new franchise fee to the Yanks and Mets to ease the objection. This would also be easing the financial advantage of the Yanks and Mets.

    Two other locations? Las Vegas? Nashville? Charlotte? Austin? Montreal? Vancouver?

    Cut the schedule back to 140 games?

    NY could easily sell for 4 teams. Smaller markets would do better with less games to sell.

    The NE division would look something like this:
    NYY
    NYM
    Hoboken
    Brooklyn
    Bos
    Phil
    Bal
    DC

  5. mikenyc2007

    HOF thought was interesting, especially in the age of data and video, where its more obvious than ever that in most cases the Hall has become a data driven exercise…

    I humbly would add a wrinkle to your thought….18months after retirement, vote is taken over July 4th weekend, and inductee immediately enshrined during AS Break the next week…..this would certainly be better for the game and draw attention to the process moreso than than a sleepy weekend over the summer when many of the highlighted guys have passed away or have lost popularity….and having all the HOF guys at the game is always a treat…but the caveat is the player has to promise to not un-retire (part of the reason for the 5 year rule currently) or they are both taken from the Hall and are ineligible for readmittance.

    I can imagine the debates around the players, and the temptation to suit up again, would add some drama to the selection

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