Written By: Matt Vereb

Our good friend, Ken Rosenthal is up to no good once again. I tend to dislike anything Rosenthal related due to the Fox Sports reporter’s anti-Yankee sentiment. Rosenthal went on record last year saying that the Yankees would once again, miss the playoffs. Great prediction, Ken. With no other relevant baseball stories, let dive into Rosenthal’s latest column, MLB Realignment. We covered team-expansion in New York yesterday. A third team in New York makes a little more sense than Rosenthal’s realignment suggestion.

Since the CBA expires in 2011, Rosenthal outlines three different alignment suggestions. I will tackle one suggestion today.

AL East AL Central AL West NL East NL Central NL West
Yankees           Red Sox          Angels        Braves         Cubs              Dodgers
Tigers               White Sox       Rangers     Phillies        Cardinals        Giants
Rays                Twins              Mariners     Mets            Brewers         Diamondbacks
Orioles             Indians            Athletics     Marlins        Reds               Rockies
Blue Jays         Royals             Astros        Nationals     Pirates           Padres

The most staggering changes?

The Red Sox and Yankees are no longer in the same division. Both teams are left with no true division rival. The only National League change involves moving the Astros to the AL West. Rosenthal proposes that this would set up a Texas-sized rivalry between the Astros and the Rangers, but no rivalry is as storied or marketable as Yankees/Red Sox. Moving the Red Sox does not make sense geographically, nor does it make sense financially. Fox Sports benefits greatly from Yankee/Red Sox matchups airing on Saturdays(Four match ups in 2010). Fans will no longer get to watch 19 Sox/Yanks matchups and would have to settle for 7-8 per season. Moving the Red Sox to the Central division improves the chance of the teams meeting in the first round of the playoffs. Compared to the AL Divisional Round, AL Championship Series match ups are much more profitable for Fox.

How it benefits baseball?

The AL Central will add a true financial powerhouse in the Red Sox. Currently, AL Central is the only division in baseball that does not have an economic super power. The Tigers would ultimately be sacrificed to the Yankees in order to create a financial balance throughout baseball. As a Yankee fan, I don’t want to see Justin Verlander 5-6 times per season. I’m content facing him 1-2 times in the current structure. One could also argue that less Yankees/Red Sox matchups would each game more important,  but I enjoy beating the Red Sox as many times as possible during the season.

Overall, realignment is an interesting concept, but not at the expense of the game’s best rivalry. Sports are 100% influenced by the movement of the dollar, but moving the Red Sox out of the East would lose some fan interest and hurt the game.

What are your realignment proposals? Or should baseball leave it alone?

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