Monday, December 7, 2009


Bud Selig has failed at many things during his time as commissioner of MLB. (His response to steroids being the most obvious example; I'm also not happy with his handling of parity-related issues.) He has also succeeded at many things, but the article I'm about to highlight is supposedly about his failures so I just wanted to establish up front that I'm not a Selig apologist. I'm generally on board with this guy's premise. However: what?

The thought of major league baseball without Bud Selig as commissioner? I'm absolutely giddy.

Sure. I wouldn't say I'm giddy, but I do think it's time for a change.

Replacing Selig is the only way that major league baseball can really get their house in order.

OK... fine. I think it's hyperbolic to say that MLB's "house" is "out of order," or whatever, but fine.

Yes, Selig has done a number of positive things during his reign; having said that, he's missed the boat on other opportunities.

Hear hear! Such as...

Perhaps a new commissioner will embrace the concept of two 15-team leagues, and schedule one interleague game every day, rather than 2 dedicated interleague periods, leaving a lone NL game on the schedule.


Maybe he'll recongize the necessity to go back to the balanced schedule, if for no other reason than to help the have-nots in the AL East have a fighting chance.


The travesty of the whole "contraction" issue - a total red herring - and the "this time it counts" nonsense surrounding the All- Star Game are just two of the strikes against Selig.

Two of the least significant ones. People need to shut the fuck up about the All Star Game. Immediately.

Avoiding a work stoppage for 15-plus years is a genuine accomplishment.

What? Weren't we just talking about...



"Missed the boat" on the "opportunity" to fuck around with scheduling? Is this clown seriously bothered by the idea that two NL teams have to play each other during weeks when everyone else is involved in interleague? Is anyone out there- anyone at all- clamoring for fewer intradivisional games?

You know what, fuck it. Let's just keep Selig. I'd hate to have him replaced by a guy who has the same shortcomings, but also thinks it's a great idea to have at least one interleague series happening at all times.


pnoles said...

I'm totally on board with the 15-team league thing. I think that would be a serious improvement. Why should the Reds have to have a better record than more teams to get to the playoffs than the Mariners? The only thing that would change is that the interleague seriesesees would be spaced out over the course of the season, as he said. It's no big deal in the other sports, so I don't see why it has to be in baseball.

*Disclaimer* Larry, I don't disagree with you, this guy totally whiffed on the important stuff (and pointing out that there's a lone NL game on the schedule still is 100% worthless). I just have thought a lot about the 15-team leagues thing and am glad someone finally brought it up.

Anonymous said...

The 15 team league thing wouldn't work for one reason IMO: it would require a balanced schedule or it wouldn't "fix" anything. If you have a 15 team league and an unbalanced schedule, you end up with defacto divisions anyway.

Assuming they do two 15 team leagues with balanced schedules, I, again, see a serious issue. Divisions are ideally created to foster the rivalries. Now in some cases it succeeds (NYY v. Boston, Philly v. NYM, LA v. SF) and other times it fails (TB v. Baltimore), but do you really think that anyone involved with baseball's operations would sacrifice some of these rivalry games in order to attain a balanced schedule? I mean ESPN and Fox would die if they had to give up Yankees v. Red Sox games b/c the Yankees need to play Oakland more.

I mean I don't have a problem with baseball's scheduling, other than I'd like to see inter-league play be home and home series. I wouldn't want MLB to say the Phillies get to play the Mets/Marlins/Braves (screw the Nats) a lot less so that they can play the Astros, Reds, Brewers, Rockies, Padres, etc. more.

Does the whole "team A has a better record than team B, but didn't make the playoffs" suck sometimes? Yes it does, but that's why the wildcard exists.

Playing devil's advocate with myself, the current system has screwed several teams out of competing in the playoffs.

2009: Texas would have made it over the Twins (same number of wins, Twins have one more loss due to the playoff).

2008: Again, because of the playoff in the Central, the Yankees and White Sox have the same number of wins, but the Sox have one extra loss. In the NL, Houston would have made it in over the Dodgers.

2007: Padres would have made it in over the Cubs.
2006: Phillies over Cards
2005: Philles over Padres

Concluding: Would two 15 team leagues work? Ya they would. But you'd either end up with more uninteresting games or you end up with a team with a slightly better record (I think the max difference was 3 games) not making the playoffs. It's a trade-off that depends on what you'd rather see happen. I'd rather have my team play their rivals and watch a slightly worse team make the playoffs than be stuck with more games I really wouldn't watch (and we all know TV deal = $$$$ and MLB wouldn't piss off the networks by reducing the high ratings games).

Martin said...

Selig was and has been working for the owners. This guy thinks the new commish is gonna be any diffrent? That's some bad crack.

Tonus said...

There is only one thing that I would want from any baseball commissioner, and that would be to force the Angels to name themselves the California Angels. Once that egregious injustice is rectified, he can fuck with the schedule and teams and the DH all day, I don't care.

Anonymous said...

Eh, the All-Star thing IS kind of a big deal. It seems pretty retarded to determine home field advantage for the World Series based on one game between rosters selected by the fans and players. Why not determine home field advantage by height? Or, just base it on record like every other major sport at every single level in the entire world? Either way.

pnoles said...

Anonymous - I wasn't suggesting that the divisions get abolished. I was just suggesting that they fix the problem that there are 6 teams in the NL Central and 4 in the AL West. I was suggesting that they add another team to the AL.

2 leagues, 3 divisions each, 5 teams per divison = 15-team leagues.

Chris W said...

the problem with 15 league teams is that the scheduling difficulty would make it so that every day a team would have to have an off day or an interleague game....

Which is why this guy's freaking out, man.

rondoman said...

Exactly. 15 team leagues would mean just what Chris said.

It wouldnt fix anything, actually it would fuck more shit up.

Also, who cares about teams that get in with inferior records because they are the best of a bad division. This can happen in the NFL as well. I dont see the issue.

pnoles said...

Question: Why is there a problem if there's an interleague game every day?

Think about it, really. Why would this cause a problem?

You could structure the schedule the same way (i.e. off days only on Mondays and Thursdays). The only catch is that on the other days, when everyone plays, one of the games is between an AL team and an NL team. Is it a big deal if interleague play isn't restricted to a few set weeks in the summer? The other sports seem to get by okay.....

pnoles said...

And no, I'm not talking about having a one-game series to make the schedule work. It would work fine spacing out 3 game sets over the entire season.

pnoles said...

AND without increasing the number of interleague games played by each team.

Chris W said...

There's no inherent problem to an interleague game every day, but interleague was introduced to be a special event in baseball, not a regular everyday occurrence...

I mean, the end of the day, I don't care that much one way or other re: interleague, but let's face it--it wasn't conceived to be regular thing

Elliot said...

There's a simpler way to fix this problem: get rid of interleague. I would much rather see my team play each of its division rivals one more time than have interleague, which, IMO, is stupid.

pnoles said...

I disagree wholeheartedly for the following reasons.

1) You get to face teams that you wouldn't normally get to face. It's exciting to see Albert Pujols come to your home park if you're an AL team, else you might have never gotten a chance to watch him play live. Similar situation for the NL....Padres fans might otherwise endure a Jeterless, A-Rodless existence. And who wants that?

2) Crosstown rivalries. I'm sure that I'm a little partial here, living in the city where the crosstown rivalry is most fierce (although it's died down in recent years). It's fun to see the Cubs and Sox throw down on the field 6 times a year. I know not every team has such a rival, but it's a big part of the seasons' excitement for fans of the teams that do.

3) Watching AL pitchers pick up a bat. Some of them look downright foolish, and some have success, thoroughly embarrassing NL pitchers in the process. Going to Miller Park to watch the seemingly punchless Mark Buehrle go yard was one of most fun things I've ever watched on a baseball field.

Elliot said...

Regarding #3, there's an easy fix. Get rid of the DH. Way more Mark Buehrle homers that way.