If you have ever been to a San Francisco Giants vs. Los Angeles Dodgers baseball game, you may have noticed the intense rivalry feeling with the “beat L.A.” chants ringing in your ears.
Now imagine a similar feeling when attending the future I-5 rivalry between the Seattle Mariners and Portland…
The time can’t come soon enough. But let’s take a look at how the proposed MLB expansion from 30 to 32 teams will actually effect the league.
According to Axios writer Kendall Baker, who was reminded from an article published one year ago, that an expansion would most likely bring new structure to the league, and more specifically dividing the 32 teams up into four divisions rather than just the American and National league.
"One proposal would be to geographically restructure into four divisions, which would create a major reduction in travel ... and add to the natural rivalries by not just having them as inter-league attractions, but rather a part of the regular divisional battles." (It would also likely mean every team would use a DH.)
Assuming that Portland and Montreal (the other location rumored to be a part of the MLB expansion) are in, let’s see the teams that would be listed in each division: East, North, Midwest, and West:
East: Atlanta Braves, Baltimore Orioles, Cincinnati Reds, Miami Marlins, Philadelphia Phillies, Pittsburgh Pirates, Tampa Bay Rays, Washington Nationals.
North: Boston Red Sox, Cleveland Indians, Detroit Tigers, Minnesota Twins, Montreal (Expos?), New York Yankees, New York Mets, Toronto Blue Jays.
Midwest: Chicago Cubs, Chicago White Sox, Colorado Rockies, Houston Astros, Kansas City Royal, Milwaukee Brewers, St. Louis Cardinals, Texas Rangers.
West: Arizona Diamondbacks, Los Angeles Angels, Los Angeles Dodgers, Oakland Athletics, Portland, San Diego Padres, San Francisco Giants, Seattle Mariners.
So rather than the six divisions (AL East, AL Central, AL West, NL East, NL Central, and NL West), the league would have just four, limited long travel, and the space for rivalries to grow.