Buster Olney, in his blog yesterday, proposed a realignment scheme that is both radical and thought-provoking. I wanted to know what fellow O's fans think about it. Here's a link to the story (I know that many of you probably aren't "insiders" at ESPN, so I'll provide a little synopsis for you):
This is Olney's proposal: Eliminate the divisions, but keep the AL and NL at 16 teams and 14 teams for the sake of interleague play. Keep the 162-game schedule, but adjust a team's games from season to season so that they reflect their previous year's record (i.e. take a page from the NFL and have teams with like records play one another more often). Finally (and most controversially), Olney wants to see the top six teams from each league advance to the post season, with the top two teams receiving a bye. The first round would be a three game series played entirely at the higher seed's home field.
I was interested in what you guys think about this. I've always been of the mind that the Orioles don't need an easier division, they have just needed a better product. Balanced scheduling would be a plus (for obvious reasons); but would we want to see the Orioles lose the revenue that they receive from having Boston and New York come to town as much as they do? Would eliminating the divisions hurt current rivalries? I think that Yankees-Red Sox and Cubs-Cardinals would still be pretty be pretty big draws given this scenario, but many fans seem to feel that the significance of these rivalries would be diffused in some way. The playoff proposal seems a little far-fetched; yet the more I think about it, the more I like the idea of a week full of three-game series with seasons on the line.
Usually I roll my eyes at realignment proposals, but Buster Olney is a pretty with-it dude. He's of the mind that this whole issue, "isn't a matter of if, but when." I've definitely seen this topic discussed before in this forum, but I think this particular proposal is a pretty fresh idea. How do you guys think that realignment should hash out?