Talks of realignment in Major League Baseball have spawned debates coast-to-coast. However, everyone seems to be overlooking something very promising. Something the other sports leagues have been unable boast recently.
While the NFL is in the middle of a lock-out and the NBA’s collective bargaining agreement already expired less than a month after the finals ended, Major League Baseball has exhibited a strange phenomenon in this world of bickering and social media attacks. They’ve shown cooperation between the owners and the players.
The impending doom of a lock-out isn’t baring down on baseball throughout the course of the season. The on-field achievements are not being overshadowed by threat of a strike. Instead, all signs point to amicable movement towards a new CBA for Major League Baseball.
Part of those discussions includes potential realignment. Moving one team from the National League to the American League makes total sense. Of course, there are plenty of logistical problems that arise. For example, should there be divisions or not? How will they deal with the odd number of teams in each league? An inter-league series every day?
There are questions, but answers will come with compromise. It feels like baseball is heading toward a golden age.While I’m sure financial discussions will rear their ugly head during the negotiations, so far those have been kept private. Unlike demands to “open the books,” and 8th Circuit Court rulings, baseball’s new collective bargaining agreement seems to be focused on advancing the game for the owners, players, and the fans.
Baseball has wallowed in its share of disasters (the Black Sox Scandal, strike after strike, Pete Rose, steroids, etc), but more than I can remember at any other time in my life, baseball is doing well. Actually, baseball is doing very well. In a down economy, attendance is up. In a time of increased ticket prices, $9 beer, and parking that can cost as much as the game ticket, fans are still flowing through the turn styles. Why? Because the game is great and trying to get better.
Realignment and additional play-off teams make better conversation than revenue splitting and salary caps. So the next time you enter into a debate with someone about how exactly an additional two/four/six play-off teams will work, remember baseball is moving in the right direction. When discussing the merits of moving Houston to the AL verse moving Arizona, remember a lock-out is not on the horizon.
Baseball will go on. Better than ever.