Major League Baseball is looking to expand.
The league is reportedly looking into expansion and possible realignment in the near future. As a result of this decision, it would eliminate the American and National Leagues. This might be something that fans will or will not like but at the end of the day, they might not have a choice in the matter.
Tracy Ringolsby of Baseball America is reporting that Portland, Oregon, and Montreal would be the target cities if MLB decides to expand for the first time since 1998. This would be a major change to the game.
Ringolsby also noted one proposal if the MLB expands to 32 teams then "would be to geographically restructure into four divisions," instead of the current two-league, six-division format.
MLB commissioner Rob Manfred went on record back at a September news conference in Seattle that Portland "would be on a list" of potential expansion cities for the league. This is definitely something to keep an eye on going forward.
The commissioner has also cited Montreal as a city of interest, and the Canadian Press reported in March that a group of investors met MLB's conditions to bring a team back to the city after the Expos left for Washington D.C. after the 2004 season.
According to the report, the other elements of this potential realignment include a reduced schedule from 162 games to 156 games with playoff teams being made up of the four division winners and the next eight teams by record playing four play-in games for the right to play the division champions. This is something that has been talked about for sometime now. Many people think that the MLB is way too long thus it hurts interest from a casual fan standpoint.
Add in the fact that the playoffs start when the NFL’s regular season just begins and the regular season for the NHL. By cutting down the regular season then it would lead to the playoffs starting earlier.
For those who may not remember, the MLB last expanded in 1998 with the Arizona Diamondbacks and Tampa Bay Devil Rays, who have since dropped the Devil from their nickname, bringing the league to 30 teams.