FanPost

50-team MLB?: expansion and realignment idea.

Add expansion teams in Hartford, New Jersey, Buffalo, Montreal, Norfolk, Birmingham, Jacksonville, Charlotte, Louisville, Nashville, Albuquerque, Oklahoma City, Omaha, Mexico City, New Orleans, San Antonio, Las Vegas, Portland, Salt Lake City and Vancouver.

The Mets move to Brooklyn, the White Sox to Indianapolis and the Athletics to San Jose, while the Angels change back to Anaheim.

Realign into 10 divisions of 5 teams each, no more American League or National League, no conferences, just one Major League.

Atlantic Division: Boston, Brooklyn, Hartford, New Jersey and New York.

Northeast Division: Buffalo, Cleveland, Detroit, Montreal and Toronto.

Capital Division: Baltimore, Norfolk, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh and Washington.

Southeast Division: Atlanta, Birmingham, Jacksonville, Miami and Tampa Bay.

Metro Division: Charlotte, Cincinnati, Indianapolis, Louisville and Nashville.

Central Division: Chicago, Kansas City, Milwaukee, Minnesota and Saint Louis.

Mountain Division: Albuquerque, Arizona, Colorado, Oklahoma City and Omaha.

Southwest Division: Houston, Mexico City, New Orleans, San Antonio and Texas.

Northwest Division: Las Vegas, Portland, Salt Lake City, Seattle and Vancouver.

Pacific Division: Anaheim, Los Angeles, San Diego, San Francisco and San Jose.

The regular season remains 162 games, played within 24 weeks, unless makeup games are neccessary. Each team plays one 4-game home series and one 4-game road series vs. each of their 4 division opponents = 32 games + one 3-game series vs. the 30 teams in 6 other divisions = 90 games + one 4-game series vs. the 10 teams in 2 other divisions = 40 games. This means that each team would not play any games vs. the 5 teams in 1 division per season.

The All-Star game would be played at a warm weather site between the end of spring training and the start of the regular season. So in effect, All-Star weekend would kick-off the regular season. The regular season would never start before April 5th, while most early season games would try to be scheduled at the 25 warmest weather sites to avoid as much bad weather as possible.

A 16-team playoff field would include the 10 division winners + 6 wild cards. A tie-breaker system would be used to determine seeds and could even eliminate teams from post-season contention. All 4 rounds, including the World Series, would be the best 5 out of 9, with a 3-4-2 format. The World Series would always be played at a warm weather neutral site in November. Any 2 teams, even from the same division, could meet in the World Series.

Rosters would be increased from 25 to 30 players for the entire regular season and post-season. Each team would have the use of 3 designated hitters per game, and they could be used for any position players. For example, if a teams starting pitcher that day was a really good hitter, then the manager could DH for the catcher, shortstop and second baseman.

Each MLB franchise would be limited to only 4 minor league affiliates - one Triple-A, one Double-A, one Class-A ( no more Class A-Advanced, Low-A or Class A-Short Season ), and one Rookie League. The amateur draft would be reduced to 25 rounds, and would include international players.

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