Absolutely no one is calling for a restructuring of the MLB, and yet, here I am, restructuring the MLB. There is very few problems with how Major League Baseball divides itself. The playoff format is a blast, but not very fair. Each division sends one team, who is ranked by record, and then the two next best records from each league play one game to decide who gets to play the best team from the regular season in the Division Series.

This format isn’t old, and the theory is that it would make winning the division mean more, which it does. The teams that are subjected to play in the Wild Card game are forced to throw their ace, which results in the winner of that game starting at a huge disadvantage, which is how it should be. Yet, this format can be severely unfair. In 2015 the three best records all belonged to the same division, the NL Central. The Cardinals won the division with 100 wins, while the Pirates won 98, the Cubs won 97 themselves. The Cubs and Pirates played in a one game playoff so the second and third best team in the regular season played in a winner take all game for the chance to play the best team in baseball. The Pirates had to face Jake Arrieta who had what could have been the greatest three month stretch in pitching history, and he promptly threw a shut-out. The Cubs would go on to beat the Cards in five game, and out of the three best teams in the league only one could make the Championship Series. People have dismissed this as an outlier of the system, something that won’t happen again in decades, and maybe they’re right, but that doesn’t excuse this injustice. A fantastic 162 game campaign cannot negated by one game. And you cannot solve this by just simply bumping the one game to a three game, you need a complete restructure.

There is another roadblock as well, toward a flawless league, what to do with the designated hitter which is only fueled by the fact that, since there is 15 teams in each league there is always an interleague game happening. Before interleague play teams from each league would play each other twice a year, once at the All-Star game and the other at the World Series. Starting in the 90s, interleague play started play and all the sudden the rarity and prestige of these games mean nothing. So let’s scrap the leagues entirely. I know I snapped some baseball loving souls in half with that sentence, which makes my conscious heavy. Seriously though, why pretend like the leagues truly mean anything anymore? They don’t, let’s make one big league and move forward. I know what your next question is. What do we do with the DH? I’m copping out of this argument with an interesting concept. What if the teams just hit eight batters? No, DH, who doesn’t have to play the field, and no useless pitcher being a drain of run production in the lineup. This compromise also sees the lineups turning over quicker. Giving Mike Trout, Jose Altuve and Nolan Arenado more at bats. All pros, no cons. Of course, unless you think forgetting tradition is a con, which I would say “to each his own.”

This is where I get excited, restructuring the divisions and playoff format. I kept six divisions, and since there is only one league I restructured them. I realized that by doing this I would break up some rivalries, for instance the current NL Central is in three different new divisions. I figured the best way to combat this would be by sticking by a few rules. The first being that these new divisions would try and stay as tight as possibly geographically. The second being that any teams that play in the same state MUST be in the same division. Having your mind on the Same State/Same Division Mandate I bet you could figure out the first division.

The Jackie Robinson Division

This division is absolutely dynamite. A division made entirely made up of Cali teams, Dodgers, Padres, Angels, Giants and A’s all playing for superiority of the biggest state of the west. The Dodger and Giant rivalry is already deadly, but throw in the A’s and Angels as well and all the sudden this division might create violent fandoms. Clayton Kershaw and Mike Trout facing off on a much more regular basis, has me drooling out my mouth. Two players, who might go down as the greatest to ever play, facing off against each other late in September has me looking like a British bulldog with the amount of saliva my mouth is creating. Young talent like Shohei Ohtani and Corey Seager will have this league exciting for years to come. Though for some reason I feel like the Padres will be forgotten all the way down on the south side of the state, poor San Diego. I would vote for the name to be the Robinson or Mays Division.

The Stan Musial Division

Moving eastward this division made up of the Mariners, Rockies, DBacks, Royals and Cardinals obviously isn’t as strong as the Cali-centered division, yet there is still plenty here to be exciting. The Rockies and DBacks have history, as they were both expansion teams from the 90s and have played the NL West. The Royals and Cardinals will have the obvious in-state rivalry. The Mariners are obviously the step child of this division, which is okay, they can’t really fit in anywhere. The biggest error of this division is removing the Cardinals from a division with rival Cubs and Reds. It is worth mentioning that they will still play, just not as frequently. I feel as though the creation of any division with spark rivalries, just by the competitive nature. This is one of the weaker new divisions, admittedly, but geographically it makes the most sense.

The Hank Aaron Division

This south oriented division has two different pairs of in-state rivalries, between the Marlins and Rays and the Astros and Rangers. The Braves have a long history while the Rangers and Astros haven’t even been around for 50 years and the Marlins and Rays have just over 20 years of franchise history each. This division, geographically makes a lot of sense. All southern states, and not much distance at all between the teams. The clear choice for this division is the Aaron Division.

The Ernie Banks Division

This division is by far my least favorite in the restructuring. Utilizing the north-west part of the Great Lake region. A division comprised of the Twins, Brewers, Cubs, White Sox and Tigers. Moving the Cubs from the Reds and Cardinals is very tough, though keeping them with the Brewers and pushing the White Sox in with them is still very fun. The Tigers and Twins will fit in nice with this division that entirely made up of current Central teams. Plus, currently this division will have the Brewers and Cubs fitting for superiority with the Twins trying to sneak in. Naming the division after Ernie Banks is clearly the way to go.

The Feller/Bench/Clemente Division

I love the geography of this division, the battle for the state of Ohio and the commonwealth of Pennsylvania along with the team that has a whole nation rooting for them, the Blue Jays. This division sees only one expansion team in the fold, with so much history between the other four. The Big Red Machine to the Whizz Kids to the Pirates who have the greatest homerun ever from Bill Mazeroski, and the Indians, who are… well they’re the Indians and they have been around for a while. With today’s current landscape this division isn’t that competitive, with the team I just made fun of winning most likely with ease. The other teams all in rebuilding phases, with the Phillies in a situation to start making pushes for the crown. This division will be named by the most devote fan base, it can go Bench, Feller or Clemente by history.

The Ruth/ Williams Williams

Absolutely no weaknesses in this division, the second best rivalry in sports between the Red Sox and Yankees, the intercity rivalry with the Mets, and the close proximity of the Orioles and Nationals makes this division so much fun. The real question is what you call this division with all the fantastic Yankees and Red Sox throughout the history. Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, Ted Williams, Derek Jeter, Mickey Mantle, Cal Ripken, Brooks and Frank Robinson all have claims for their name to be used for the division though it will certainly come down to Ruth or Williams.

Like I said, there is no need for a restructure, but I had to avoid doing work somehow.