My analysis on the MLB changes, and Jose Molina a Ray?

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Yesterday was a monumental and historic day for Major League Baseball. The Astros moved to the American League and the MLB added two more Wild Cards into their playoffs. There’s many debates on wether these two changes are necessary or irrational. Let’s start with the Astros switch to the AL West, which will take effect in 2013. This move was absolutely common sense and should of been done years ago. With Houston now part of the AL West, the MLB now consists of six divisions of five teams. The thirty-team MLB now is split into two leagues of fifteen teams each, rather than a sixteen-team NL and a fourteen-team AL. Therefore, now MLB realignment is unnecessary and unless a team is subtracted or added, the system doesn’t need to be tweaked with. Apparently, regular Interleague year-round was part of the deal with the Astros’ move. I have always been against year-round Interleague play in baseball, and I don’t understand how this is relevant at all with the Astros’ move. My main problem with it, is that it’s going to give the NL a huge advantage in their home games. AL pitchers are simply not trained to hit while NL pitchers are. When Interleague was an occasional affair, it wasn’t really a big concern. I believe that the new Interleague system was made for MLB publicity. When you think about the amount of money being made in MLB Interleague games, it’s not surprising that they would do this. The TV rates, merchandise sales, and ticket sales are all very high during Interleague games. It will be interesting to see how this will effect baseball. Year-long Interleague play will not take effect until 2013 though.

So that covers the first part of MLB’s historic day. The second part is a much larger and more surprising change. I was actually shocked when I first heard that each league was adding a Wild Card. When it comes to my stand on the playoff expansion topic, I was never a huge supporter but thought it could be good if done correctly. The best thing about the playoff expansion in my eyes, is that the Rays may end up being one of the main benefiters from this. Before I state my opinion, I probably should explain how the new postseason system works. The two Wild Card teams play each other in a one-game playoff, the winner advancing to the final eight (regular playoff format). The new playoffs will take effect possibly as early as next year; 2013 at the latest. The decision to make the extra ‘series’ a one-game playoff, is my one problem with the whole thing. After all that work and time, I thought they would be able to make it a best out of 3 series. In a one-game playoff, I believe that the better team doesn’t always advance. It’s not a real big deal, but it just irks me a little bit knowing how close they were to getting it right.

In Rays Hot Stove news now, it looks like the Rays have made their first dive into free agency. Unofficial sources say that Blue Jays’ catcher Jose Molina has signed to a 1-year deal. The deal is pretty unsurprising, as I have mentioned in past articles that the Rays are likely going to look to free agency to find a catcher. Although Molina is in the final years of his career, his defense is still an effective part of his game (well he is a Molina). I was kind of hoping that the Rays would pick up a young backstop, but this move is not such a bad one at all. For a full article at The Rays Way (The Rays Rant ‘sister blog’) on Molina joining the Rays, click here.

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18 comments

  1. This is a very simple game...

    It’s not just the money Yossi, it’s the fact that with 15 teams in each league, on every game day where all teams play (every day except Monday and Thursday, basically) you have one AL team and one NL team without an opponent. If they don’t play one another, then the both have a rest day (a series worth of rest days, potentially) that they would not have had under the old alignment. All of those rest days either lead to a longer season when you have to tack the games they would have played to the end of the season or less than 162 games during the same length season if you just eliminate these games all together unless you either add more Interleague games or, as I would prefer, have some three-day series for each team include a single admission double header to make up for the rest day.The players’ union hates double headers, so more Interleague it is.
    Jose Molina, eh? Good call by the Rays. I think he’s still a great season or two in him.
    — Kristen

    • mlblogsyossif

      Kristen- Thanks for bringing that to my attention, that’s a good point I didn’t think of before. I guess it is easier to have Interleague play rather than to manage a system to even out the rest days. As for Molina, I think it was a good move but I was optimistic for a bit better. He can hit and throw out runners much better than the Rays current catchers, but is notorious for issues with blocking balls in the dirt.

  2. mlblogsbluejaysnest

    I don’t like the constant interleague play (I wish they’d get rid of it all together) but for the 15-15 split it has to happen. As for the one game playoff, that too is the only way it’s going to work I’m afraid. Having the other teams wait four or five days after the season to start their playoff series wouldn’t go over well.

    • mlblogsyossif

      Blue Jays Nest- I think they could of figured something out to make a 2 out of 3 series work. The 2 out of 3 series could take place the day after game 162. Then the next series (Divisional Series) would only be a maximum of 3 days rest (if there is no break in between). To give the team(s) their needed break, there could be a off-day between game 1 and game 2 of the Divisional series. And then you might have the problem of a late World Series. The solution to that is easy; simply start the regular season earlier.

  3. mlblogsfishfry55

    I prefer constant interleague play, otherwise teams are cooped up in their own division or league. It can get exhausting watching the Marlins play in Philadelphia and New York one week, and St. Louis the next. It adds diversity to the schedule, and I think it will be more fun for teams. And maybe, bench depth on NL teams will mean something more since the DH will be used more often.
    Steve

  4. mlblogsyossif

    Steve- I definitely understand that and I was never against Interleague as a whole, in fact I think MLB should have Interleague. The first couple of years of the year-round Interleague will kind of be an experiment for the teams. It will be interesting to see how it all plays out.

      • Loredana

        If there’s one thing these games can improve on, it’s pehitcr’s mechanics. Lincecum strides a lot further forward and he keeps his plant foot straight when he kicks his left leg. It would be physically impossible to throw a ball that fast with that motion seen in the game. Other than that, one of the best games I’ve seen.

      • Marielle

        San Antonio 7th largest city in the cuntory still has a Double A team for God’s sake! The Marlins came close to relocating here. With 62% of the population being Hispanic, it should be the San Antonio Tacos, but would probably wind up being something like the Missions (the current minor league team) or Armadillos.Las Vegas will have a team in the next few years as well, either through expansion or relocation, just like San Antonio. No way could Vegas call their team the Gamblers, so it would have to be something else, Desert Rats maybe.Portland is another good possibility. Maybe they could call them the Sasquatches.Another possible place is Charlotte. I’d like the Charlotte Hicks or Hillbillies, but they’d probably be called something like the Racers to honor NASCAR (whoopie).And there’s always the possibility of the Tidewater area of Northern Virginia which could take the name of the minor league team, the Tides.Buffalo is another good candidate, but the weather there is a big drawback. Hard to tell what they would call them, the Bisons maybe?And one place you can be sure they WON’T put a team into is Montreal. Think they learned their lesson there.

      • Muhammad

        I’ve heard of not biting the hand that feeds you I’ve never tried to buy a hand at all. I wonedr what one of those would run you. Just kidding, Josh! I think this is a fine point but I already told you that in the car yesterday. I get way more into professional sports when I have a fantasy team. Why would they want to limit interest in their league? I have a hard time watching baseball at all, though. If there were more live bears on the field, then I’d watch and have a fantasy team of all bears.

  5. Nidhi

    Tim Lincecum looks like he has huge muscles in this video, LOL. He doesn’t have his stteutr step windup either. Still, cool looking game.

  6. Rock

    Modern insurance practices can be traced back to 17th-century London, where the famous Lloyd’s of London had its start. In�terestingly, Edward Lloyd’s business establishment wasn’t an insurance QuotesChimp at all.* It was a dockside coffeehouse where business investors and merchants met to negotiate insurance pro�tection for shipping. Investors, called underwriters, would agree to insure the ship and cargo of a proposed trip. The more dan�gerous the voyage was thought to be, the higher the price of the insurance. Because travel by ship was, almost by definition, dangerous, few underwriters would agree to be responsible for the entire risk of loss. Instead, several underwriters would typ�ically insure individual voyages, sharing in the benefit and loss proportionate to the percentage of the entire underwriting cost that each individually assumed. Thus, the risk of loss was spread and then spread again.

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