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Thursday, November 17, 2011

Owners Confirm Realignment/Post-Season Blog




     By Ross Newhan

     The decision by major league owners Thursday to tentatively approve 2013 realignment, which will move Houston to the American League West, and the expansion of the post-season (possibly 2012) to include a second wild card team in each league (with the two wild card teams in each league meeting in a one-gane play-in), was reported by this blog on Oct. 30. The Angels have some legitimate objections to the addition of a second Central Time Zone team moving into the West, but barring total realignment of the 30 teams, moving the Astros from the six team National League Central to the four team AL West was the simplest step. Also, the current down cycle of the Astros can easily become an up cycle in a few years, so the Angels should be welcoming the Astros to a division in which the Texas Rangers, for the time being, are still their only real title rival. In addition, the more interesting and challenging aspect of having 15 teams in each league will be the nightly (daily) need for an interleague game and having that play out fairly for each team over the schedule of 162 games.

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     So, the Dodgers get some positive news as the ownership tenure of Frank McCourt creeps toward resolution. Commissioner Bud Selig allows the Dodgers to sign Matt Kemp to an eight year, $160 million contract (the bulk of which will become the responsibility of the new owner), the NL Cy Young Award deservedly goes to Clayton Kershaw, and Kemp should receive the NL's Most Valuable Player Award
next week. However, buried by these bigger stories is the fact that General Manager Ned Colletti is still being forced to fill holes with second tier type players. Free agent Matt Treanor will join A.J. Ellis as an underwhelming duo behind the plate, and a fading Mark Ellis takes over at second base, surprisingly getting a two year contract at almost $9 million. If this is the way the Dodgers are going to fill rotation, bullpen and third base needs (they had also signed second tier Juan Rivera to play left field for $4.5 million), it isn't going to be any easier for Don Mattingly in his second year as manager, presuming a new owner won't be in place until the current player market has been depleted. 

         








      

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