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NFL style unbalanced schedule idea


glorydays

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There has been talk around here about realigning the divisions to allow for more competitive play. But I have a suggestion... why don't we have an unbalanced schedule like the NFL's?

The way it would work is that everyone would still play the teams in your division 14 times a year (56 games) and every other team in your league 6 times (54 games). You would play the bottom or top 7 teams in the league (depending on where you would finish) an additional 5 times (30 games). For interleague games you would play the bottom/top 7 3 times (21 games). I know this is only 161 games but I think you know what I am trying to say here.

So, under this schedule here is a comparison of Oriole vs Yankee schedules

Oriole Schedule

Yanks - 14

Red Sox - 14

Rays - 14

Toronto - 19

Detroit - 6

Twins - 6

White Sox - 11

Indians - 11

Royals - 11

Angles - 6

Rangers - 6

Mariners - 11

A's - 11

Mets - 3

Nats - 3

Astros - 3

Reds - 3

Pirates - 3

Padres - 3

Diamondbacks - 3

Yankee's Schedule:

Sox - 19

Rays - 19

Jays - 14

O's - 14

Detroit - 11

Twins - 11

White Sox - 6

Indians - 6

Royals - 6

Angles - 11

Rangers - 11

Mariners - 6

A's - 6

Phillies - 3

Cards - 3

Dodgers - 3

Rockies - 3

Marlins - 3

Giants - 3

Braves - 3

I know there there would need to be some things done to work the schedule out right... but I think you all have an idea of what I am trying to get out. An unbalanced NFL style schedule based on your final standings would bring more competitive balance to MLB without having to realign the divisions or leagues and losing long running rivalry's.

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There has been talk around here about realigning the divisions to allow for more competitive play. But I have a suggestion... why don't we have an unbalanced schedule like the NFL's?

The way it would work is that everyone would still play the teams in your division 14 times a year (56 games) and every other team in your league 6 times (54 games). You would play the bottom or top 7 teams in the league (depending on where you would finish) an additional 5 times (30 games). For interleague games you would play the bottom/top 7 3 times (21 games). I know this is only 161 games but I think you know what I am trying to say here.

So, under this schedule here is a comparison of Oriole vs Yankee schedules

Oriole Schedule

Yanks - 14

Red Sox - 14

Rays - 14

Toronto - 19

Detroit - 6

Twins - 6

White Sox - 11

Indians - 11

Royals - 11

Angles - 6

Rangers - 6

Mariners - 11

A's - 11

Mets - 3

Nats - 3

Astros - 3

Reds - 3

Pirates - 3

Padres - 3

Diamondbacks - 3

Yankee's Schedule:

Sox - 19

Rays - 19

Jays - 14

O's - 14

Detroit - 11

Twins - 11

White Sox - 6

Indians - 6

Royals - 6

Angles - 11

Rangers - 11

Mariners - 6

A's - 6

Phillies - 3

Cards - 3

Dodgers - 3

Rockies - 3

Marlins - 3

Giants - 3

Braves - 3

I know there there would need to be some things done to work the schedule out right... but I think you all have an idea of what I am trying to get out. An unbalanced NFL style schedule based on your final standings would bring more competitive balance to MLB without having to realign the divisions or leagues and losing long running rivalry's.

Not a bad idea except that they should get rid of interleague play all together.

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Not a bad idea except that they should get rid of interleague play all together.

I agree no more interleague play. I have always thought it was stupid. :clap3:

I would prefer a balanced schedule of all teams playing the same number of games against each other in their division. That way we play the Royals the same number of times we play the Yankees. the top 6 teams from the league goto the playoffs and the top 2 have byes. in addition we should have 150 or so game schedule, so that baseball doesn't run into december.

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I think that messing around with the schedule to make successful teams play harder schedules is just treating the symptoms instead of the disease.

Under this plan the Rays can be really hard-core about fielding a great team in terms of marginal dollars per marginal win, and they're rewarded by getting a killer schedule that puts 95 of their wins on par with 85 of a less successful team.

I'm much more in favor of everyone in the league playing the same schedule, and fixing revenue inequities.

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I think that messing around with the schedule to make successful teams play harder schedules is just treating the symptoms instead of the disease.

Under this plan the Rays can be really hard-core about fielding a great team in terms of marginal dollars per marginal win, and they're rewarded by getting a killer schedule that puts 95 of their wins on par with 85 of a less successful team.

I'm much more in favor of everyone in the league playing the same schedule, and fixing revenue inequities.

Drungo, I agree with you, but I don't think the Players Union will ever accept the neccesary concessions to make it a fair playing field. They are only worried about the players (and the union) making absurd amounts of money.

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Drungo, I agree with you, but I don't think the Players Union will ever accept the neccesary concessions to make it a fair playing field. They are only worried about the players (and the union) making absurd amounts of money.

You can fix revenue sharing without impacting what percentage of revenues go to player compensation.

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I think that messing around with the schedule to make successful teams play harder schedules is just treating the symptoms instead of the disease.

Under this plan the Rays can be really hard-core about fielding a great team in terms of marginal dollars per marginal win, and they're rewarded by getting a killer schedule that puts 95 of their wins on par with 85 of a less successful team.

I'm much more in favor of everyone in the league playing the same schedule, and fixing revenue inequities.

I understand and agree but the NFL has both a salary cap and an unbalanced schedule... they realize in order to really have competitive balance you need both.

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They should just go back to a balanced schedule. That solves the problem. The Yankees and Sox have to play tougher competition more often. The Orioles and Royals and Jays get a break from having to play the same two teams 12 games in a row some stretches.

It is just more fair. Dump interleague too - the bud is off the rose on that one.

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As long as they don't do away with the divisional structure* and AL/NL, then I'm a-ok with getting a little more fairness in the scheduling.

Furthermore, if balanced schedules make it easier for less financially capable teams to compete, there will be less of a call for a salary cap. Whatever keeps the game from going capped is what the MLBPA will fight for.

*if they possibly wanted to switch a few teams around, fine, but I like the East/Central/West divisions. None of the crazy stuff Showwalters proposed with http://thefairball.com/2009/08/buck-showalters-mlb-realignment-idea/

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I think teams should have right to first refusal on "franchise tagged" free agnets that they offer arbitration to. Money from revenue sharing would be used to pay that salary. If the players still wants to go to the other team then equitable compensation needs to be provided to the team losing the player. That system has it's flaws but something along those lines should be able to be done to keep a fan favorite in place for the fans sake.

Second, the schedule is the least of the problems. We can't create a system that just benefits the O's. If anything we are at least middle of the road in terms of being able to generate revenue we have just been poor in managing our return on it.

Realistically, we should expand to 32 teams and have 4 eight-team divisions. They should be geographically arranged much like NBA and NHL.

You only play the other 7 teams in your division, 23 times each and one of those a 24th time.

The 2nd and 3rd place team in each division would play a 3 game playoff series to meet the 1st place team in each division in a best of 7 series. The higher seed would get all of the home games. Then when we are down to the final four, 1 plays 4 and 2 plays 3 in a best of 7. The winners meet in a best of 9 series.

THE AL EAST would be:

Atlanta Braves

Baltimore Orioles

Boston Red Sox

Florida Marlins

New Jersey Generals (Moved the Rays to NJ)

New York Mets

New York Yankees

Washington Nationals

I would also rename the divisions after the four of the most significant figures in baseball history.

Cal Ripken Division

Babe Ruth Division

Jackie Robinson Division

Roberto Clemente Division

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I understand and agree but the NFL has both a salary cap and an unbalanced schedule... they realize in order to really have competitive balance you need both.

Need both? Really? Because I can point out all kinds of sports leagues that are very successful that don't have a salary cap or a parity-driven schedule. In any case, competitive balance is in the eye of the beholder. Why is the NFL model, where it's almost a crapshoot who makes the playoffs and the cap drives lots of player turnover, the best?

And I think that the NFL's parity is almost completely attributable to the fact that most of their revenues are shared national TV contracts. The cap just serves to hold down the salaries of the players, who are represented by one of the weaker unions in sport.

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As long as they don't do away with the divisional structure* and AL/NL, then I'm a-ok with getting a little more fairness in the scheduling.

Furthermore, if balanced schedules make it easier for less financially capable teams to compete, there will be less of a call for a salary cap. Whatever keeps the game from going capped is what the MLBPA will fight for.

*if they possibly wanted to switch a few teams around, fine, but I like the East/Central/West divisions. None of the crazy stuff Showwalters proposed with http://thefairball.com/2009/08/buck-showalters-mlb-realignment-idea/

If you have a balanced schedule and keep the same number of playoff teams, doesn't a division structure just serve to make sure the best teams don't always make the playoffs? If you just have one big AL and one big NL, each with three wildcards, you ensure the best four teams from each league play in the postseason. If you start dividing up by divisions or conferences or whatever then you virtually guarantee that a 5th-, 6th-, 7th-best or worse team will get in while a better one is excluded.

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If you have a balanced schedule and keep the same number of playoff teams, doesn't a division structure just serve to make sure the best teams don't always make the playoffs? If you just have one big AL and one big NL, each with three wildcards, you ensure the best four teams from each league play in the postseason. If you start dividing up by divisions or conferences or whatever then you virtually guarantee that a 5th-, 6th-, 7th-best or worse team will get in while a better one is excluded.

Just add a second wild card. (Gasp? WHAAAA? Yeah, second wild card).

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Need both? Really? Because I can point out all kinds of sports leagues that are very successful that don't have a salary cap or a parity-driven schedule. In any case, competitive balance is in the eye of the beholder. Why is the NFL model, where it's almost a crapshoot who makes the playoffs and the cap drives lots of player turnover, the best?

And I think that the NFL's parity is almost completely attributable to the fact that most of their revenues are shared national TV contracts. The cap just serves to hold down the salaries of the players, who are represented by one of the weaker unions in sport.

In the NFL - very well run organizations like the Pats, Steelers and Ravens almost always make the playoffs. Very poorly run organizations like the Lions, Bengals and Browns will almost never make the playoffs. What the unbalanced schedule does is give a tremendous amount of hope for the other 25 teams that they have a chance to make the playoffs, regardless of what they did the previous year (and in some instances, because of how poorly they played the previous year). Say what you want about the other leagues but in this instance this would be a sensible solution for MLB to follow.

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