Buster Olney thinks baseball should just get rid of divisions for the sake of competitive balance. The plan would call for the top 5 teams in each league to qualify for the playoffs.

So rather than competing directly with the Red Sox and Yankees every year, the Rays would also be competing with the rest of the American League.

What is the downside? A balanced schedule means more trips to the west coast and the 10pm start times that come with those games. But in the end, that might be a small price to pay for a better shot at making the playoffs each season.

THE JUNKYARD DOGS WEBTOPIA

  • The Rangers called the Rays and asked about James Shields and Matt Garza. [Boston Globe]
  • The Angels have signed Scott Downs which probably takes them out of the Rafael Soriano sweepstakes. [ESPN LA]
  • The Rays are still looking for “under-the-radar” types, or as Marc Topkin calls it: “reduced prices on the leftovers.” Maybe the Rays should change their name to the Tampa Bay Remoras. [St. Pete Times]
  • Leslie Anderson’s agent thinks Anderson will be given a shot to replace Carlos Pena or Carl Crawford. [El Nuevo Herald via Google Translate]
  • The real winner in the Carl Crawford sweepstakes? Jason Varitek! [WEEI]
  • Flockaball’s take on the Carl Crawford signing and what it means for the Red Sox. [flockaball]

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9 Comments

  1. a.j. says:

    I’m excited to see Leslie Anderson! All he’s done is hit…he doesn’t seem to have great power, but someone who can hit .280-.300, would be a welcomed addition to our lineup. And if he hits 20 HR, then great! In terms of trading with the Rangers, I think Shields will definitely be the guy to go. The Rays have shown they will hold onto quality rather than just go the cheap route. The only way Garza goes is if we get blown away…and I don’t see that happening.

  2. Sublime says:

    Truth be told, I think it’s going to be a fantastic opportunity for these young players to showcase themselves. Jennings, Leslie Anderson, Brignac, Hellickson, ect. Not to badmouth those that have left, Pena had an excellent glove and occasional homeruns, but the batting .190 wasn’t going to get it done! As I’ve said before, I’d rather a guy bat .280 with 15 homeruns then for someone to hit .198 and hit 30 hrs. If we can clean the bullpen situation up, I feel good about this year.

  3. Still a chance to get MFIKY back. That would make all of this worth it!

  4. Don says:

    If the Rays can’t compete with the Red Sox/Yankees during the season why should they be in the playoffs??? To lose to the Sox/Yankees in the first round?? what good does that do?

    • MJ says:

      The point is that Os, Jays, and Rays play them a disproportionate amount of times compared to other AL teams. The Rays CAN compete w/ those teams in a 3, 5, or 7 games series, but playing an interdivision schedule is different.

  5. a.j. says:

    I’m with mj on this…I think olney might be onto something here…however, this makes too much sense for MLB to do it

    • MJ says:

      I also liked his angle on how playing in the AL east negatively affects attendance. Not the only reason attendance is low, but good points on the effect NYY and BOS have on the attendance of Os, Jays, Rays.

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