Hey, the snow is flyin' in Pittsburgh and baseballs are flyin' in Bradenton. And that's about all the Bucco news you need to know today. So we thought we'd bring you some hot stove fodder - Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports has a couple of radical realignment ideas for baseball, in the main to break up the Red Sox and Yankees and spread the wealth.
One plan was to break up the teams by geography and revenues; we'll ignore that one, because it's quite frankly weak. But the other two...
His simplest machination involves the Red Sox and Tigers switching divisions, with the Astros moving to the AL West to match up with their natural rivals, the Rangers. Each league would be balanced.
Ah, but his biggie - he mixes the leagues up, basing most of his alignment on geography. This shakeup results in these divisions:
AL Atlantic: Mets, Yankees, Jays, Orioles, and Nationals.
AL Great Lakes: Twins, Pirates, Indians, Tigers, and the Reds.
AL Pacific: Dodgers, Angels, Athletics, Giants, and Mariners.
NL East: Red Sox, Phillies, Braves, Marlins, and Rays.
NL Midwest: Cubs, Cards, White Sox, Brewers, and Royals.
NL Southwest: D-Backs, Rockies, Rangers, Astros, and Padres.
Hey, it does provide a lot of natural rivalries; it does a much nicer job of that than inter-league play ever could. And it balances the leagues, too.
Of course, it shatters the traditional NL/AL history, and MLB would probably have to finally figure out if it wants to keep the DH or not league-wide (and we know how the union would vote on that one!)