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Commentary: It’s time for baseball to realign and here’s how

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In 2022, the Angels will play 19 video games in opposition to the Texas Rangers and none in opposition to the San Diego Padres.

In 2023, the Angels will play 14 video games in opposition to the Rangers and three in opposition to the Padres.

That’s progress. However the subsequent frontier of schedule reform ought to contain radical realignment, during which divisions could be organized not by conventional league construction however by geography — extra video games in opposition to groups nearer to house, with much less journey for gamers and a extra enticing house schedule for followers. The Angels and Padres may not have a rivalry now, however one may develop after enjoying one another 12 months in and 12 months out.

Major League Baseball is predicted to think about radical realignment, however solely after the Oakland Athletics and Tampa Bay Rays resolve their long-running searches for a brand new ballpark, and after growth to 32 groups.

That may very well be years away, however why wait? Let’s assume the A’s and Rays keep the place they’re, and growth groups are awarded to Montreal and Nashville. Right here’s our plan:

*The Cardinals and Cubs have one in every of baseball’s three best rivalries. We’ll keep that by making one swap within the division-heavy schedules: the entire Pirates’ video games in opposition to the Cubs go to the Cardinals, and the entire Cardinals’ video games in opposition to the Marlins go to the Pirates. When the Pirates get critical about competing, MLB can relegate one other NL Central staff to play a schedule heavier on the Marlins and lighter on the Cardinals.