The game of baseball is rich in history and luster, but recently, in the last two decades or so, the game has fallen out of favor in many baseball cities. Players went on strike, teams have folded, and lastly, a large portion players went on steroids, rewriting the record books and making 50-year-old records vanish. Today, in many baseball minds, those records come with an asterisk next to them.

Baseball, ever since the strike of 1994, has seen attendance dwindle in many baseball markets. Baseball lost the Montreal Expos, who moved to Washington after seasons of only averaging 7,600 and 9,400 fans a night. 

To the casual baseball fan, the game is slow, it’s boring, and in many cities, it’s a quiet setting. 

Today, baseball teams who have a rich history, such as the Cleveland Indians, are seeing record lows in attendance. Gone are the days of the consecutive sellout game streak at Jacobs Field. Now Indians brass are happy when the stadium is half full with around 23,000 fans. 

Back in the early 1990s, when the Skydome first opened, the Blue Jays were a team on the rise, little knowing they would win two straight World Series titles. The Skydome was filled every night with 50,000 loud fans. After the strike occurred, the fans began to disappear and the team began to unwind and disappear. In its place was a 90-loss team and a stadium that become more of an eyesore than an architectural gem. 

Today, the Blue Jays and Indians are averaging the least amount of fans to their games, averaging roughly 15,500 fans a night, a far cry from the 50,000 and 46,000 seat capacity of the ballparks.

Recently, Alex Rios has said, “Baseball is dead here.” A team manager added, “Jays fans don’t show up because they’re like a book that you already know the ending to, so why bother reading it?” And to that I say, it’s time for baseball to try something new and become more current to today’s fans.

This maybe a bit far fetched, but my idea I believe is logical and makes the game at least more interesting.

The Plan (bear with me its a tad complicated)

Step One: Division Re-Alignment

We’ll start off by realigning the divisions back to the two divisions per league. In the American League, you play five series against your division (with two extra games played against two teams, cycled every three years), and two series against the other division (1 four and 1 three-gamer).

For example, the Yankees play BOS and TOR one extra time in year one, the next year they play TB and BAL, and then in year three, CLE and DET, and so on and repeats over again.

This leaves the schedule at 141 games. Note: The schedule is shortened by about three and half weeks, this will be explained later.

I have not decided to switch teams from National to American League or visa versa, I believe that’s too much of a change. Example: Making MIL an AL West team and moving the Mets in the AL East and moving the Rays to the NL East.

AL East


AL West


In the National League, since there are more teams, the schedule is worked a little differently. You play four series, with one series  being a four game series. Makes 91 games (13 games against each team) within division leaving the remaining 50 games, 6 games each against the other division.

This leaves 48 games, with the remaining two games played against the other division to be cycled through every four years. Example: ATL plays COL and SD two extra times in year one, then for year two they play SF and ARI two extra times and so on.

NL East


NL West


The total here is 141 games which means in my plan, I’m scraping inter-league play. It’s a dying breed in my opinion. The only way its fair for everyone is if they play every team. Some divisions are easier, some divisions are harder. For example, the Blue Jays play the Phillies, Rockies, Giants, Diamondbacks, and Cardinals, while avoiding teams like the Astros, Pirates, Nationals and Cubs.

Step Two:
Revenue Sharing

Since baseball will never go to a hard cap—at least, that’s my opinion—this is a way to help out the struggling teams. This has worked pretty nicely in the NHL, and in baseball, this could be a valuable option for teams. Granted the NHL also has a hard cap, but it’s just an idea I’m throwing out there. 

This offers teams some extra cash to go after a big name free agent or two knowing they may have some extra cash in their back pocket. The Blue Jays lost Roy Halladay mostly because they could not afford him anymore. Doc often brought on average 2,500-5,000 more fans in the seats each time he pitched.

Star players have that kind of impact. Sammy Sosa, Mark McGwire, Barry Bonds, and Ken Griffey Jr. are past players that often brought big crowds with them.

Step Three:
Nationally Televise MLB Draft on ESPN/TSN (Canada)

This is an attempt to make the game’s young and upcoming stars more noticeable on the national stage. The NBA, NFL, and NHL drafts all have their drafts nationally televised, yet for baseball I see nothing.

Granted, the MLB network broadcasts the draft, but there isn’t near the amount of attention brought to this draft and its often forgotten about. I’ve heard about Strasburg and Bryce Harper getting national attention, but nobody else seems to be heard from unless you read baseball prospect magazines.

Step Four: Expansion of Playoffs 

This is my last and most important step. People often say, “If you know the ending, why bother reading the book?” as a reason why to not show up to some teams games. They make a good run, but always fall short come September.

Teams like the Tampa Bay Rays, Florida Marlins, Toronto Blue Jays, and Oakland Athletics are just a few teams that seem to fall into this lull, and to no one’s surprise they are ranked in the bottom tier in terms of home attendance.

With this thought in mind, I believe expanding the playoffs to eight teams is great for the game.

The rounds of 16 and eight are each five games series, while the LCS and World Series are both seven game series.

Granted, this runs late into the year when the snow flies, but I believe with the season shortened slightly but roughly three weeks, this will allow for playoff expansion.

Each division winner gets a top three spot, while the Wild Card winner from years part gets the fourth spot, with the remaining four spots taken from the other teams.

Looking at the AL East this year. They have currently the four best teams in the AL and only two will make the playoffs. That makes little to no sense to me. Thus, the reason for the article.

Playoffs energize cities and ball-clubs, but most of all, during the dog days of August and well into September, if teams are in playoffs races, it just makes for a better baseball atmosphere.

If the playoffs started right now the standings would finish like this for playoff seeding.





Doesn’t this make for a more exciting regular season? It also limits travel and saves teams money in the long run.

Thoughts on this nasty long article I wrote after a few too many Heineken’s?

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