How to make baseball better: Realignment, playoff reseeding, DH

baseballI’m totally uninterested, disinterested, discombobulated, and the rest, regarding the MLB playoffs.

Nothing against the teams left. Houston and the L.A. Dodgers played an exciting World Series last year, and we could do worse than a rematch. Boston was the best team from basically April 2 on. Milwaukee is a nice Cinderella.

But, meh.

One thing we can guarantee is that the best teams won’t meet in this year’s World Series, because the three best teams were in the American League: the Red Sox, the Astros and the Yankees.

The reason we won’t get the best teams in the final series is … tradition?

There’s been a National League since 1876, an American League since 1901. They play by different rules, which is dumb: the AL replacing the pitcher in the batting lineup with a designated hitter, the NL not doing that.

Akin to teams in the Eastern Conference having a four-pointer from 30 feet out, but the Western Conference, well, sorry, Steph, only when you’re in New York or Philly.

It’s a big deal in MLB that teams play interleague, that as a result we get a couple of series between the two New York teams, between the Nats and the O’s, the Dodgers and Angels, the Astros and Rangers.

Wouldn’t it make more sense if those teams didn’t just play each other in a home-and-home, but actually, I don’t know, competed head-to-head for a division title, a playoff berth?

Imagine a pennant race in September with Washington and Baltimore playing series on consecutive weekends with a shot at October on the line.

That’s called printing money.

The Mets and Yankees, the final weekend of the season. Winner goes to the playoffs, loser stays home.

And then when it gets to the playoffs, you don’t lock yourself in to, well, these teams are in this one pod, these teams are in this other pod, the winners of the two pods meet at the end.

Can you imagine, one day, a Boston Red Sox-New York Yankees World Series?

I mean, you can’t now, because we’re stuck in our pod system, and they’re in the same pod.

We all talk about how we can fix baseball, which, for those of us who love the game, it doesn’t need fixing. I’m not interested in the playoffs, but I’m still watching, not every pitch, but I miss watching the Nats every night, so Brewers-Dodgers is helping me cope.

The games are too long, supposedly, except that MLB games run three hours, and NFL games, which are apparently not too long, also go … three hours.

There’s not a lot going on in between pitches, except that, NFL games feature a play every 40 seconds.

Cut the BS about pace of play and length of game, and get to the real issues.

I want more Nats-O’s, more Mets-Yankees, more compelling playoff matchups.

And for God’s sake, figure out the thing with the different rules.

We all know that there’s no way the MLBPA gets rid of the DH, because the DH rule allows guys to extend their careers and make more bank.

OK, so, we go all-DH, all-the-time.

I’m a National League guy, and I can live with that.

Of course, I’m the guy suggesting blowing up the leagues, and tradition in general, but didn’t we do that already, when we went with interleague play and added the wild cards?

I’m not complaining there, incidentally. It’s called progress, getting better.

Baseball is great, but like everything else, it can get better.

Column by Chris Graham


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