Friday, August 05, 2005

Why Is A Cub Fan Bringing Up Brooklyn?

Because he doesn't want to root for the Cardinals.

Does that make any sense to you?

Let me clarify by quoting from Cubsnet.com:

One of the stupidest things about the wild card system is that, with the St. Louis Cardinals and the Florida Marlins playing a four game series and the Cubs having a miniscule chance of catching the Cardinals for the divisional crown, I'm supposed to cheer for the Cardinals. I can't do it, at least when this is not the last week of the season.

The solution is obvious: Expand by two teams, put them in the American League, and have four divisions in each league. The eight divisional champions advance to the playoffs.

SI.com's Jonah Freedman notes where one of those expansion teams can go: Brooklyn. That the New York metropolitan area can support a third major league franchise is next to certain. Portland could be given the second team. Unfortunately, a third New York franchise will not happen. As Freedman notes, "The Major League Baseball constitution gives team owners the ultimate veto power if a team wants to set up shop in their market -- and we all know there's no way Big George ever would agree to that."


Not only that, a team in Brooklyn would throw a lot of things out of whack in terms of alignment. A team in, say, Charlotte, would work a lot better in terms of making sure the Braves never have to play in the Mets' divis...I mean, in terms of geography.

It is an interesting concept, so let's run with it, replacing Brooklyn with Charlotte, and see how a potential radical re-alignment might work:

NL East:
Mets, Phillies, Tigers, Blue Jays

NL South:
Braves, Devil Rays, Marlins, Charlotte

NL Central:
Cardinals, Cubs, Brewers, White Sox

NL West:
Dodgers, Padres, Angels, Diamondbacks

AL East:
Red Sox, Yankees, Orioles, Nationals

AL Central:
Pirates, Reds, Indians, Twins

AL South:
Royals, Rockies, Astros, Rangers

AL West:
Giants, Athletics, Mariners, Portland

Obviously, there is regrettable residue from this kind of re-alignment, which I've based mostly on geography. The Dodgers and Giants are seperated. But the Dodgers rivalry with the Giants is replaced by potentially a great one with the Angels (and the Giants get Oakland).

In terms of the Mets, I never thought they had that one division rival that stood above the rest...it was always in terms of the standings. In '69 it was the Cubs. Then the Cardinals in the mid-80's. Then the Pirates in the early 90's. Now it's the Braves who are blood enemies. So replacing the Braves, Marlins and Nats being replaced by the Tigers and Blue Jays won't make too much of a difference. But the Mets do have the Phillies as a natural geographical rival, and the closely situated Detroit and Toronto are brought back together to rumble.

Of course, O's and Nats...the Dodgers and Angels...and the Giants and A's would never agree to this, because it would probably mean sharing home dates. To me, each play in a city that is a good distance away from the other one, so it shouldn't really matter, but that's living in fantasyland so I know this doesn't have a chance in h-e-double hockey sticks.

And that doesn't even address putting the Cubs and Sox in the same division.

Speaking of the Cubs, they're in town this weekend (I knew there was a point to this):

Friday: Rich Hill (0-0, 3.78) vs. Tom Glavine (7-9, 4.50)
Saturday: Greg Maddux (8-8, 4.67) vs. Kazuhisa Ishii (3-9, 5.04) OR Jae Seo (2-1, 2.00)
Sunday: Carlos Zambrano (8-4, 3.24) vs. Victor Zambrano (5-9, 4.19)

Both clubs are at 54-54 and have reinforcements coming. The Cubs have Nomar Garciaparra due to make his return on Friday, and Kerry Wood due to come back soon after and join the Cubs bullpen (the "who is going to return to the DL first" pools have been popping up all over Chicago). The Mets have Jae Seo (maybe) coming back on Saturday to replace Ishii, and Steve Trachsel back before the month is out.

Mike Piazza is a career .254 against Greg Maddux, while Cliff Floyd is batting .238 lifetime against the former Brave.

Oddly enough, Kaz Matsui (I know, he's not playing this weekend, but...) is batting a combined 7 for 14 against Maddux and Kerry Wood.

Meanwhile, Friday night could be scary. Not only have the Mets not seen Rich Hill (which we know is their kryptonite), Derrek Lee is batting .304 lifetime against Tom Glavine with a homer and eight walks. Aramis Ramirez is a lifetime 6 for 13 with a HR off of Glavine.

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

Just Metstradamus being Metstradamus

Sharp as always Mestra..

keep it up

mr. met said...

My problem with the no wildcard thing if one division has a team so dominant, like the Yankees and Braves, they have little shot to make the playoffs. The Wild Card provides a saftey net. You can point that the teams in their division need to step it up, but competing with Yankee money and Braves smarts are tough. I like it just the way it is.

Metstradamus said...

Mr Met: To further your point, in turn it would also create a bigger chasm between the haves and the have nots, as teams would be out of it quicker and there would be a rise in salary dumps. I liked what happened this season with the slow deadline, because it will eventually force teams to make more trades driven by baseball needs and not salary requirements.