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Contraction Exercise: MLB
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BePcr07 Offline
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Post: #1
Contraction Exercise: MLB
If you were the commissioner of baseball and were tasked with reducing MLB from 30 teams down to 16: 1) Who would you keep? and 2) How would you organize the remaining teams? Feel free to add any commentary if you wish.

Mine:

I would organize 4 divisions of 4 geographically. They would all play by current NL rules - only way I can justify a pitcher winning an MVP that isn’t a Cy Young. Of the 14 teams I removed, I removed the 13 youngest franchises plus the 15th youngest franchise. I kept the 14th youngest, Texas Rangers, to have a presence in Texas.

West: Los Angeles Dodgers, Oakland Athletics, San Francisco Giants, Texas Rangers
South: Atlanta Braves, Chicago Cubs, Cincinnati Reds, St. Louis Cardinals
North: Chicago White Sox, Cleveland Indians, Detroit Tigers, Pittsburgh Pirates
East: Baltimore Orioles, Boston Red Sox, New York Yankees, Philadelphia Phillies
10-08-2020 11:17 AM
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GoodOwl Offline
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RE: Contraction Exercise: MLB
Personally, I like crunches for contraction. Next would be leg lifts.
10-08-2020 01:12 PM
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GoodOwl Offline
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Question RE: Contraction Exercise: MLB
Okay, really I don't like 4-team "divisions" for any sport. Even 5 teams is sorta too little competition. I would rather larger divisions and less playoff spots over the course of a 154 or 162 game season as the good teams have proven their mettle and the bad teams need to go home and think about things over the offseason. Wouldn't necessarily mind Braves back in a division with the reds, as those were good trips.
10-08-2020 01:15 PM
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Wedge Offline
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RE: Contraction Exercise: MLB
(10-08-2020 01:15 PM)GoodOwl Wrote:  Okay, really I don't like 4-team "divisions" for any sport. Even 5 teams is sorta too little competition. I would rather larger divisions and less playoff spots over the course of a 154 or 162 game season as the good teams have proven their mettle and the bad teams need to go home and think about things over the offseason. Wouldn't necessarily mind Braves back in a division with the reds, as those were good trips.

MLB could have 4 divisions grouped by time zone, because there are 14 teams in the eastern time zone, 8 in the central, and 8 total in the mountain and pacific.

AL East: Toronto, Boston, Yankees, Baltimore, Detroit, Cleveland, Tampa Bay
NL East: Mets, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Cincinnati, Washington, Atlanta, Miami

Central: Minnesota, Milwaukee, Cubs, White Sox, St. Louis, Kansas City, Texas, Houston
West: Seattle, San Francisco, Oakland, Dodgers, Angels, San Diego, Arizona, Colorado

Put the central division in one league and the west division in the other.

Add one expansion team to each east division if people think it's important to have the same number of teams in each division.
10-08-2020 05:12 PM
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AllTideUp Offline
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RE: Contraction Exercise: MLB
(10-08-2020 11:17 AM)BePcr07 Wrote:  If you were the commissioner of baseball and were tasked with reducing MLB from 30 teams down to 16: 1) Who would you keep? and 2) How would you organize the remaining teams? Feel free to add any commentary if you wish.

Mine:

I would organize 4 divisions of 4 geographically. They would all play by current NL rules - only way I can justify a pitcher winning an MVP that isn’t a Cy Young. Of the 14 teams I removed, I removed the 13 youngest franchises plus the 15th youngest franchise. I kept the 14th youngest, Texas Rangers, to have a presence in Texas.

West: Los Angeles Dodgers, Oakland Athletics, San Francisco Giants, Texas Rangers
South: Atlanta Braves, Chicago Cubs, Cincinnati Reds, St. Louis Cardinals
North: Chicago White Sox, Cleveland Indians, Detroit Tigers, Pittsburgh Pirates
East: Baltimore Orioles, Boston Red Sox, New York Yankees, Philadelphia Phillies

If contraction is the goal then I would create multiple tiers. No real need in getting rid of that many teams and it would be a fun way to utilize the minor leagues and involve more cities. It would never happen, but it's fun to think about.

Also, I wouldn't do divisions. With 16 teams, you could easily craft a schedule where everyone plays everyone an equal number of times.
10-09-2020 12:43 AM
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dbackjon Offline
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RE: Contraction Exercise: MLB
Why would you put TWO teams in the Bay Area, especially one with a horrid park/attendance?

And no, Chicago would not get two teams under a contraction exercise.




And how are you financing the contraction fees?
10-09-2020 12:20 PM
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Wedge Offline
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RE: Contraction Exercise: MLB
(10-09-2020 12:43 AM)AllTideUp Wrote:  If contraction is the goal then I would create multiple tiers. No real need in getting rid of that many teams and it would be a fun way to utilize the minor leagues and involve more cities. It would never happen, but it's fun to think about.

Right, it would never happen. It would cost MLB billions to do it.

TV doesn't want large market teams to be contracted because even if there's a lower percentage (rating) in that market, they're still reaching more viewers than in small markets. Example: A White Sox game with a 2.0 rating in the Chicago market reaches more local viewers than a Royals game with a 6.0 rating in the Kansas City market. So any hypothetical contraction would start with the smallest TV markets and the clubs that could be bought out at the lowest cost (i.e., lowest franchise value).

Eliminating more than one or two teams, let alone eliminating *14* teams as the OP suggests, would cut out so many local TV markets that TV networks would demand a gigantic discount. Cutting out the 13 smallest US MLB markets plus Toronto would take out US markets that have about 17 million US TV homes, roughly one-fourth of all the TV homes in current MLB home markets. MLB's new TV deals pay them a total of about $2 billion a year, so MLB might lose half a billion each year if it eliminated a fourth of its local TV homes.

And, eliminating a franchise means MLB is buying the franchise from its current owner. At current franchise values, even contracting "only" 6 teams, to get to 24 remaining teams and 4 divisions of 6 teams each, and even if you contracted the 6 teams with the lowest estimated sale price, would probably require MLB to spend at least $10 billion to buy and contract those teams and also pay off stadium owners and cities for breaking existing leases. I don't see how MLB could financially justify paying out that much money.
10-10-2020 05:07 PM
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chargeradio Offline
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Post: #8
RE: Contraction Exercise: MLB
I know it would suck from a competitive standpoint, but I would rather see MLB go the opposite direction to cover for their real objective - contracting the minors.

I'm thinking Nashville and Portland would be the most likely, although Charlotte and a few others may be viable as well. Keeping one of Charlotte or Nashville open will always ensure leverage for relocation.

Portland's new AAA affiliate would replace a city currently in the Short Season Class A Northwest League. The remainder of the NWL is folded.

Fresno is demoted from AAA to A, which allows a California League team to be folded, and for St. Paul to move in from independent ball to AAA.

Nashville's AAA franchise replaces the Birmingham Barons of the AA Southern League.

Sugar Land (Texas) also moves from independent to AAA. AAA then is reorganized into four leagues:

PCL - Tacoma, Portland affiliate, Sacramento, Reno, Las Vegas, Salt Lake, Albuquerque, El Paso

NEW - Sugar Land, Round Rock, San Antonio, Oklahoma City, Wichita, Omaha, Iowa, Saint Paul

IL - Buffalo, Syracuse, Rochester, Worcester, Lehigh Valley, Scranton-WB, Toledo, Columbus

NEW - Louisville, Indianapolis, Norfolk, Charlotte, Durham, Gwinnett, Birmingham, Memphis

With Birmingham gone from the Southern League, another team is contracted to get the SL down to 8 teams. Chattanooga was reportedly on the chopping block early on in the process. Four teams are promoted from Class A or Short Season Class A to create a "second" Eastern League, so all four AA leagues have 8 feams.

Like the Northwest League, the balance of the New York-Penn League is eliminated.
10-11-2020 09:46 PM
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vandiver49 Offline
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RE: Contraction Exercise: MLB
Off the top the easy contraction teams would be the Rays, A's and Marlins. But as many have replied, shrinking MLB is simply unfeasible. Realistically, the goal should be relocating teams the viable markets bolstered by TV revenue.
10-12-2020 02:58 AM
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Wedge Offline
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RE: Contraction Exercise: MLB
(10-12-2020 02:58 AM)vandiver49 Wrote:  Off the top the easy contraction teams would be the Rays, A's and Marlins. But as many have replied, shrinking MLB is simply unfeasible. Realistically, the goal should be relocating teams the viable markets bolstered by TV revenue.

The most recent new MLB parks are Atlanta (reported cost $622 million, no roof) and Texas (reported cost $1.1 billion, including a retractable roof). That's the price of admission, so to speak, for a new MLB market. What city/state is willing to pay half or more of the cost of a new ballpark in order to become a "major league city"?

Nashville seems like a place where the local politicians might spend a few hundred million of tax money on a new ballpark. Charlotte, maybe. Orlando is a possible landing spot for the Rays after their lease runs out. I don't see the political will in Portland to spend that much money on an MLB ballpark. Las Vegas, not now after they just put up over $700 million toward the Raiders' stadium, but maybe 10-20 years from now. Sacramento recently ponied up a few hundred million for the Kings' arena, so they're in the same category as Vegas.

MLB owners and cities have probably made these same calculations, and that's why many of them have had a difficult time getting a new ballpark. The A's don't have leverage in Oakland because no one in any other city is offering to gift them a new ballpark. The Angels' owner threatened to leave Anaheim, went around to several cities in LA and OC trying to get land and/or money for a ballpark, and struck out everywhere. He settled for a deal with Anaheim in which the city is selling him the Angel Stadium site in exchange for a promise to keep the team there for 30 more years. The Rays are stuck for 7 more years until their lease is up, and even then, who's going to put up the money to build them a new ballpark anywhere?
10-12-2020 04:16 PM
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