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Old 12-18-2000, 07:58 AM   #1
Anthony
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... to promote so-called "competitive balance," instead of messing with the game's economics, why not try NFL-style "progressive" scheduling? A very simple format, outlined below, could be used:

1. First it would be necessary to balance out the leagues at 15 teams each, with three five-team divisions in each league. So either move one of the current NL Central teams (it doesn't matter which one) to the AL Central and then move the Royals from the AL Central to the AL West, or you could even simply move the Astros from the NL Central to the AL West. And as far as this necessitating continuous inter-league play (due to each league having an odd number of teams) - so what? For the first few years it was probably a good idea to have all the inter-league series going on at the same time; but now that everybody has gotten used to it, this is no longer important. (And what would be so wrong with a season-ending Mets-Yankees or Dodgers-Angels series with playoff implications on the line for either or both?)

2. Each team plays 72 games within its own division - 18 games against each of its four division rivals.

3. Each team plays 60 games outside its division but within the same league - six games each against the ten teams in the other two divisions.

4. Each team plays 15 interleague games - three each against all five teams in one division of the other league.

5. The remaining 15 games would be scheduled based on the previous season's standings, with a first-place team playing three games each against all five of the other first-place teams in both leagues (including the ones for which games had already been scheduled under #3 and #4 above), a second-place team playing three games each against all five of the other second-place teams, and so on. For example, if this were in force in 2001, the Yankees would have ended up with nine games each against the White Sox and A's, six games against the Braves, and three each against the Cardinals and Giants. And note that this would result in interleague matchups not possible under the current interleague format (Yankees-Giants, Mariners-Mets etc.)

And if two teams finished tied for a place other than first, no problem - the following tie-breakers could be used to determine the last 15 games of the schedule:

1. Season series.
2. Best won-lost record within the same division.
3. Best won-lost record within the same league.
4. Best run differential in season series.
5. Best run differential in games within the same division.
6. Best run differential in games within the same league.
7. Best run differential in all games.
8. Coin toss.

(Rained-out games would not be made up after the end of the season to determine the final standings among teams not involved in post-season play; if, at the end of the regular season, for example, the third-place team in a division was one-half game ahead of the fourth-place team, that is how the season would end and the teams in question would have their 15 "position" games for the following season scheduled accordingly).

The schedule itself would become a lot easier to draw up, as all season series would be in multiples of three. And it would be a lot less controversial - and quite possibly even more effective - in facilitating competitive balance than all these cockamamie salary-cap and "luxury tax" schemes being discussed now. No one wants to see a strike (or lockout) come next November. If everyone involved is innovative and reasonable, it can definitely be averted.

[Edited by Anthony on 12-18-2000 at 09:00 AM]
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Old 12-18-2000, 05:17 PM   #2
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You made some valid points, but I doubt all of them will be done. I like the 15/15 balance and the playing of less games than currently, we will see what happens.
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Old 12-18-2000, 06:04 PM   #3
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Looks kinda complicated. Also baseball is alot different than footbal.
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Old 12-18-2000, 09:24 PM   #4
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I heard something on ESPN the other day that sounded fantastic to me. One of the problems of the so called "competitive inbalance" is that *some* owners will simply not spend any money on players. Now, you can say what you want about revenue, but owners and the team itself (revenue source) have the money to field a decent team.

The idea I heard was a minimum payroll. I think this would greatly change the whole competitive inbalance thing, by having teams spend a certain amount on players each year. I also believe something needs to be done of the height of salaries, but I don't think there should be a cap to how high you can spend, but the higher you spend, coupled with the amount of money you make, should raise what you contribute to any and all revenue sharing plans.
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Old 12-18-2000, 09:25 PM   #5
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Oh... just looked at Wedge's post. I agree baseball is different from football . I may be one of the only people that thinks the system in football is not good.

I like dynasties, they are good for the game in my opinion, rather its my team (Yankees) or someone elses (49ers), I think dynasties are good.

[Edited by iFroggy on 12-18-2000 at 09:27 PM]
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Old 12-18-2000, 09:30 PM   #6
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Wow, someone agrees with me. Never happened before.
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Old 12-19-2000, 03:50 AM   #7
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Apparently none of you who responded noticed the title of my post: IF Bud Selig Must Do Something. Let me go on record as saying I actually think the current system ain't broke and therefore shouldn't be "fixed," and I point to this past regular season's standings as proof: For the first time in the history of the game no team finished with a winning percentage of either .600 or better or under .400; and if you think this was a fluke, no team finished below .400 in 1997 either - Oakland trailing the majors that year with the same 65-97 record (.401) posted by this year's Cubs and Phillies. But making minor concessions regarding scheduling which would involve less than 10 per cent of the total number of games would be by far the lesser of two evils compared with denying George Steinbrenner, Ted Turner etc. the right to spend their own money in any way they see fit. And if you're a Minnesota fan, root for two teams next year - the Twins, and whoever is playing the Royals!

[Edited by Anthony on 12-19-2000 at 02:54 AM]
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Old 12-19-2000, 10:55 AM   #8
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I agree with Anthony. Last season seemed very competitive in baseball, despite how the money was spent. In the three AL divisions, all second-place teams were within 5 games of the division winners. Boston was 2.5 back of the Yanks, Cleveland was 5 back of my White Sox, and Seattle was just .5 behind Oakland. Also, the NL East was close too. The Mets were only 1 game behind the Braves. With many of the change that have been going on this offseason, It should be a pretty interesting 2001 season.
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Old 12-19-2000, 11:42 AM   #9
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Good, I agree too. Money isn't everything and I have maintained that. But, I was just speaking as if he has to do anything, that would be an idea for him.
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Old 12-19-2000, 03:32 PM   #10
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Sure, it is competitve but it is always the same teams competing. Something I think should be done. I hate seeing the Braves in first every year and the Yankees winning the World Series all the time too.
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Old 12-19-2000, 05:04 PM   #11
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Dynasties are good to a certain extint, but there a point where it becomes boring seeing the same one or two teams winning every year. Baseball is the perfect example: the Yankees are dominating every year, while teams like the Twins and Expos have no chance. By balancing the league more, more teams can become more competitive and thus increasing overall league popularity, revenue, and competition. How do you level the playing field? A salary cap, of course!
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Old 12-19-2000, 08:07 PM   #12
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Well, if a team only wins to a certain extent, then they are not a real dynasty.
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