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95% Phillies, 4% Eagles/Flyers/Sixers/Big Five, 1% Nonsense .... Contact us: Scott Graham ~ Andy Musser

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Proposed Geographical Re-Alignment

As I stated in the comments yesterday, I'm in favor of contraction of the number of teams in MLB. This will almost definitely not happen, so I think the second best option (assuming the talks of Houston changing leagues is legit) would be to move re-align the divisions creating two leagues with an equal number of teams. As you can see below, I took this season's attendance statistics, and arranged them by percentages of seats sold rather than strictly by the total number of people drawn.

While I think that geographic re-alignment would help things in some cases by helping create more "natural" rivalries, I don't think it's just as simple as putting the all of the closest teams together. I quickly tried to assemble my 6 divisions of 5 teams each in a way that followed geography closely, while attempting to help those teams that have a hard time drawing fans by putting some of the more popular (?) teams in their divisions.

Again, this was thrown together quickly, and I would like to hear your opinions about this. I included Seattle with the CA teams because they their help drawing more than San Diego (which I find hard to believe). I also aligned the Florida teams with STL because STL draws more than either of the Texas teams. I think the Phils/Mets rivalry is more important than the Mets/Yankees rivalry. I would also like to the see the Phillies play the Pirates more.

Please let me know what you think. I won't call Selig to make this official until I hear back from the 5 people that read this site!

Oh yea, I'm color deficient so if my Excel colors don't match the Paint lines, I'm sorry. You can also click on the figures to enlarge.


Robby Bonfire said...

Scott -

Yes, the Phillies - Mets rivalry is "more important" than the Mets -Yankees rivalry, because the Phillies and Mets play in the same division. If the Mets and Yankees played in the same division, I think only White Sox - Cubs intra-division, and Dodgers - Angels intra-divionsional rivalries would compare with it, and I would give the emotional edge to those looney tunes fans on the North Side of Chicago.

hk said...

I'm good with everything except I would swap Baltimore and Washington, thereby keeping Baltimore with three of their current division rivals (the Yankees, Red Sox and Blue Jays) and keeping Washington with two of their current division rivals (the Phillies and the Mets).

Robby Bonfire said...

What would be wrong with Baltimore and Washington being in the same division? First, you have a natural rivalry, second, both used to be in the American League.

Look how the Dodgers and Giants owned New York, just for being in the same league, while the Yankees were the outsiders looking in, in New York, even with all those great teams, because they were not in the same league with one or both of the other two metropolitan area teams.

Baltimore and Washington should also be in the same Conference and division in the NFL - they don't know how to market their best-selling product - natural rivalries, either. (What a surprise).

Scott Graham said...

I wouldn't put up a huge fight about the Orioles and Nats being in the same division, but you better put more than just the Phillies in their division to get a draw. The Orioles currently play the Yankees, Red Sox, and Rays, and have terrible attendance figures.

Scott Graham said...

We plan to continue posting throughout the offseason. We enjoy chatting with you guys though (hk and robby mostly), so feel free to start conversations here whenever.

Robby Bonfire said...

Hey thanks for including me in your acknowlegment, Scott. I don't make friends easily. lol.

Robby Bonfire said...

I want to dump on a really hypocritcal New York sports talk radio jerk, some may not be familiar with, by the name of Steve Sommers. As an upstate NY resident, I get the WFAN, NYC signal clearly, so I "suffer" this blowhard, in the evening, more than I should.

He is the most ostentatious phony-baloney I have ever come across in sports radio, if not in all of life. Calls the Mets "The Metropolitans," the Knicks "The New York Knickerbockers," etc.

In 2004, when the Red Sox were trailing the Yankees, three games to none, Sommers said: " Mark my words,the Boston Red Sox will never win anything in our lifetime." Well, and good, and all of us are wrong, too often, with our outcome predicitions. However, just a few days later, when the Red Sox became world champions, Sommers said: "I picked the Boston Red Sox to win it all, back in August."

This Covering his backside lying goes on a lot with this guy. I am ticked at him today because last night he started really sarcastically sniping at Tony LaRussa, AFTER the Rangers had won game five, of course.

Guess what I am saying is that it is hell for a Philly sports fan to have to suffer dorks like Sommers, and Mr. "That won't play in New York" Mike Francesa, whom I acutally like, apart from his "New York is all there is, everything else is Green Bay," mentality.

But Sommers is the worst. Anyone may dial him up on WFAN, NY, via iTunes, as I do, 7PM+ if you can't get him on the radio, if you want to hear what really stilted, bloated sports broadcast journalism sounds like.

Have a nice day.


Scott Graham said...

I went to a concert in NYC last year. On the way home, I listened to WFAN, and Sommers was the host. I couldn't agree more.

Also, I believe Mr. Musser is familiar with Sommers, and I'm sure he would love to comment.

hk said...

I also appreciate the shout-out and I will also add my two cents on Sommers. My take is that the sports talk industry, be it radio, television or the internet, has become so competitive that many of the participants feel the need to have a schtick (or a gimmick for the non-Yiddish) to differentiate themselves from the pack. In Sommers's case, that schtick seems to be one where he makes outlandish comments if for no other reason that to elicit responses from his listeners. It's funny, I recently relocated my business to an office closer to home and cut down my commute from 20-25 minutes to 7-10 minutes. An unintended, but extremely positive consequence of the move is that I listen to less sports talk radio.

Robby Bonfire said...

Input, above, appreciated.

I will say this for Sommers, he has a cultivated voice, BUT, it is a well-trained and modulated voice which smacks of Orson Welles or Vincent Price Broadway Theatre superficiality. (I liked Price, but not Welles.)

Sommers does not have a "jock" voice, so that I always get the impression that I am listening to an out of work, wannabe actor who somehow is acting and moonlighting his way through a sports talk program for a living.

Francesa, on the other hand, is a natural who is in his element and who was born to ply his craft, for all the good fortune that entails.

Robby Bonfire said...

Wow, what a baseball game! Hard pressed to think of many others that rank with it...

1926 An inebriated G.C.Alexander K's Tony Lazzeri.

1929 A's score 10 runs in 8th inning to overcome Cubs 8-0 lead in Shibe Park.

1946 Slaughter - Pesky embarrassment for Boston and harbinger of Buckner to come.

1951 Playoffs Thomson - Branca

1956 Don Larsen Perfect WS game, With a little help from his friend behind the plate on the final called strike which was only a foot or two out of the strike zone.

1962 Giants score four runs in 9th inning to overcome two run deficit and beat Dodgers for N.L. pennant.

1975 Red Sox - Reds Fisk home run.

1980 Phillies - Astros finale.

1986 Both the Red Sox - Angels playoff finale, and
Mets - Boston Buckner's game 6.

1992 Twins - Braves game 7.

2001 Diamondbacks stun Yankees and
Mariano Rivera in 9th inning
of game 7.

2011 Cardinals - Rangers game 6.

1993 Joe Carter home run to win Series is close but not quite as dramatic when you break a tie, as contrasted with coming from behind. That of course was compounded by the Phillies blowing a 14-9 lead in an earlier game.

Maybe some others belong, but that is my list as I can think of it, for now. Branca - Thomson, to me, will always rank as the most dramatic moment in sports history, with Jesse Owens in Munich ranking second on my list.

Robby Bonfire said...

Got a little anecdotal story, as regards Bill Buckner. Thirteen years before his infamous botched World Series play, in 1973, I saw him play for the Dodgers in a game at Candlestick Park, Labor Day weekend. (Visiting SF from LA, where I lived at the time.)

Just before the Giants took the field to start the game, Buckner took a "hot dog" speedy jog around the contour of the ball park, down the foul lines, across the outfield near the walls, and back to the Dodgers dugout. He was truly a hot dog with the mustard on, and a taunting "in your face" wise guy.

I often contrast this showboat moment with his comeuppance as the World Series goat, 13 years later, and wonder if it was karmic, because he certainly set himself up for a fall with his brash, smart-ass attitude, throughout his career. If there had to be a Red Sox goat in 1986, it is so fitting that it turned out to be the most puffed-up, narcissistic, spoiled brat player in the game.

And why no Giants player ran out there to challenge him is another question? You let a jerk like Buckner pull a hot dog stunt in your own stadium? That would not have been the case in the old Polo Grounds - Ebbets field real Dodgers - Giants rivalry.