Fans of the MLB and Cleveland Indians should consider what an alternative AL Central could look like and what fresh matchups that may bring year-round.
A lot of fans want baseball to never change, while also changing everything to suit new viewers. Frankly, that’s dumb. The MLB commissioner Rob Manfred is awful at his job and is actively harming the sport trying to juggle both these trains of thought. As my Hebrew-homies would say, the man’s a putz. He’s actively taking away from a game that is so easy to love. The fans don’t need new rules, we need a new commissioner and better marketing. Why Mike Trout isn’t in every commercial possible is beyond me. Francisco Lindor has never stopped smiling. That’s scientifically proven. The man can’t stop smiling. Makes for one hell of a dinner date because he never finds anything you say boring. Wanna talk about your rock collection? He’s just gonna smile through it all.
You have so many great personalities in the world of baseball, and the solution is pitch clocks? Doubling down on sabermetrics? Sure, let’s put in more confusing math into a sport that already takes three and a half innings to explain the rules of strikes to a potential new fan.
Adding new pitching rules won’t make it harder to get into. Nope. Not at all. Sarcasm aside, there is something that the Major’s can do that would shake things up a bit; shake up the divisions.
Now, I don’t mean put the Dodgers in with the Indians, the Astcheaters, Rays, and Blue Jays. That makes no sense what-so-ever. Yet, why not an AL Central that features the Indians, the Tigers, Pirates, Reds, and Twins? Then in the NL, you can have both Chicago teams, both Missouri teams, and the Brewers.
Imagine actually having a two-sport rival with Pittsburgh? One that the Cleveland team actually wins regularly?! Be still my giddy heart…
You could really have something here. The NL East could be all your southernly teams, like the Marlins, Braves, Rays, Nationals, and Orioles, with the AL East being the Red Sox, Blue Jays, Phillies, Yankees, and Mets. Your NL West could be the California teams, with the Dodgers, Angels, Padres, Giants and A’s. Meaning your AL West team is your Texas and Rocky Mountain region featuring the Diamondbacks, Rockies, Mariners, Rangers, and Astros.
Radically different but not at all different in a bad way. In order to make this work, however, you might have to finally make a decision about the pitcher-who-hits vs. designated hitter argument. Frankly, just do the DH in both leagues. The NFL, NBA, and NHL don’t play with different rules. With Manfred’s new pitching substitution rules affecting the NL hardest, it seems like it’s time to finally put pitchers out of their misery.
Also, make a rule that a pitcher could be a team’s DH if he’s actually a good two-way player. There’s no reason to be brutish with the rules.