Results tagged ‘ Miami Marlins ’

Is Baseball Prepared for a “Walking Dead” Apocalypse?

Happy Valentine’s Baseball lovers. Tonight is the second half of the current season of “The Walking Dead” and while it is far from my type of entertainment, I’m personally all too familiar with the storylines because my wife like so many American’s finds it more interesting than politics, the news, or other more pressing subjects. So much of what is presented at least in the view of this writer is an overhyped and overblown focus on a postapocalyptical world where everything has been destroyed by some horrible event, be it man made or nature’s doing or some out of world alien/zombie created circumstance and the few survivors fight for what is left in a tribal like society.

What I present may seem a tad apocalyptical but based on past baseball history and current trends, it could become a stark reality that dramatically alters the sports and baseball landscape over the next 20-40 years. God willing, I’ll still be alive at age 82 in 2056 with spring training upon us, but will baseball look anything like it does today, will any major sports league? Below, I present some of the potential pitfalls that await MLB and its pro sports partners in the NFL, NBA and NHL, and the question is, what will they do to prepare for the end of the sports world as they know it?

Walkers are coming from all around to eat up the sports landscape. From the west, a group of walkers is carrying signs that state in very harsh language that government funding is dead, sports leagues must make it on their own. The owners are running in circles with no idea how to resolve this conflict. They don’t want to admit that society finally grew tired of their endless begging for corporate welfare, which asked for public money to build new stadiums and arenas to replace the ones that were built just 15-30 years ago. The last round of the sports building boom, everyone was told that to compete and field a winning team, the club had to have the latest, greatest state of the art facility. Build it, we win championships and contend every year for the opportunity to win more. Don’t build it, we leave. NO one stopped and realized, there are 30 teams in MLB, so if every team won just one single championship, it would take 30 years for every team to get its title, meaning it was nearly a stone cold lock that several MLB teams would not see a championship and might not even make it to the World Series during the same 30 year or shorter term for said stadium lease. The White Sox, Giants, Astros, Padres, Marlins, Rays, Athletics, Twins, Pirates, Mariners, all made the I’m leaving threat in baseball and the Expos eventually did leave. IN the NFL, the Rams have made good on the threat twice, the chargers and Raiders both could potentially join the Rams on that have done it twice list, while the Saints, Jaguars, Colts, Bills, Vikings, Seahawks, and buccaneers, have had or are currently making the same threat to government officials, while the Colts and Cardinals, and old Houston Oilers made good on the threat. IN the NBA, the Kings and Bucks are the latest teams to make the threat and get a new building, those two had brand new arenas in 1988, while the Hornets, Heat, and Magic which all got new buildings at the same time as new expansion teams all have since moved into new buildings that replaced those original new homes. The Grizzlies had a new home in 1995 and moved six years later, getting a second new building in 2004, while the Supersonics moved and became the Thunder in 2008. Similar arena threats were put out by the Rockets, Spurs, and pacers that got new buildings put up between 1999 and 2003, while other multiple sports cities, Dallas, Denver, and Chicago opened new facilities between 1994 and 2001. IN the case of Dallas, the new arena was replacing a building just 21 years of age that now no longer exists, Reunion Arena. Miami may be the most gross case here, because the new Miami arena that opened in 1988 was used to get both the expansion Heat in the NBA that year and the Panthers NHL team in 1993. It was built specifically for both sports. Yet by 1996 both teams were asking for new buildings, they each got one that they call home, the Panthers in 1998, the Heat a year later. The original Miami Arena was used sparingly until it was brought down less than 20 years before its first NBA game. Meanwhile, in the NHL, the Senators want a new arena, the current facility this 1992 Ottawa expansion franchise called home opened in 1996. The Red wings are getting a new building of their own, largely paid for by local public dollars in a city and state that is bleeding red ink, even though the owner could easily spend enough of his money to build the whole thing and still have billions left over. Talk about welfare, but of course when it is the owner of Little Caesar’s Pizza, the Tigers and Red Wings, that is somehow OK, but it is horrible when we give well fare to a 19 year old pregnant girl who is on her own with no family to turn too? Every arena used by NBA and NHL teams today not named Madison Square Garden and Oracle Arena is younger than Jennifer Hudson, younger than Yankees slugger Mark Teixeira. Remember the Warriors are getting a new building unless things fall apart in San Francisco, scheduled to open by 2018. Only six MLB stadiums are older, Wrigley which is getting remodeled, Fenway which has had upgrades, Kaufman which received a new round of upgrades on the public tab in 2006, Dodger Stadium and yes, that ballpark urrrr stadium in Oakland; Angel Stadium went through a pair of major upgrades, one to add football in 1979 and one to undo that change and update the baseball only feel in 1997. IN the NFL, the only older venues that predate Jennifer and Mark are Lambeau Field and Soldier Field (both which had a major makeover and upgrade in 2002-03), Arrowhead Stadium, Rich Stadium, that stadium again in Oakland, the temporary home the Rams are moving to at Los Angeles Coliseum which had no NFL team since the Raiders left in 1995, QUALCOMM Stadium in San Diego and the new Orleans Super Dome which has had its share of upgrades and repairs. The Falcons like several NBA teams got a new facility that opened the year Bill Clinton was elected to his first term in office, only to have it torn down potentially in the first year of another Clinton administration 25 years later in 2017. The Dolphins again as we point fingers at greater Miami moved to a facility built in 1987 for them and to get what would become the marlins. Almost immediately, the Marlins wanted out when it rained too much before baseball games to keep fans coming, hey Miami has always been that way, and now the Dolphins want upgrades or a new facility.

How do owners then fund new palaces to play in you ask? Well that depends on where else they can reach out with buckets in hand begging for private money to build the new stadiums. The public money is all gone, being used to build much more needed and much more outdated public works items such as electrical grids, water and sewer lines, replacing old gas pipes that keep exploding, and upgrading the telecommunications utilities. But there is another problem, walkers coming from the east, with signs featuring more stark language. Your cable TV money is gone, never to return. Here, we see another problem that takes us back in time while also developing on the horizon like a hurricane 1000 miles out in the Atlantic. We know damage could be done, we don’t know where or to what extent, but we know it is coming. IN this case, let’s think back to 1988 and the announcement that CBS had paid massive media rights fees to MLB. Teams were spending money on players left and right with this new found wealth of TV dollars. Yet in 1994, that CBS deal was gone and the new package was not nearly as lush with free greenbacks. Since MLB is not the treasury, it could not issue its own money and had to cut back. Baseball’s best season was ruined by a player strike, but the owners had just as much to do with it. Instead of using some of that TV money to build and update stadiums, owners bid against themselves and overpaid players, then begged for a salary cap to keep their fellow owners from spending too much on player contracts. We all know how that ended. But now fast forward to 2016, many teams have recently entered into or are just now starting new TV contracts with massive payouts from regional sports networks that are operated by and owned by divisions of the major cable and satellite TV companies. ESPN, Fox and TBS also are in the middle of huge contracts that pay very high rights fees to MLB through the 2021 season. But by 2021, it could be painfully apparent that baseball will need to come up with new revenue sources. The problem is simple, many people especially younger folks are ditching cable and satellite TV for on demand internet programming and who can blame them, a new trend known as chord cutting. Our own Time Warner bill has gone up almost 25 dollars in the last year, most of that in extra fees including a 6 dollar sports channel use fee. TWC and the other providers like Comcast, DirecTV and Dish will say that ESPN is to blame because of the high fees it demands for carriage over these systems. That has some truth to it, but look at how much money these same cable companies have sank into local TV rights contracts for teams in MLB< the NBA and NHL. The NFL largely dodges this issue because most of its games are still on over the air TV, something that is almost unheard of these days with the other leagues. This also does not even take into consideration the huge amount of money promised to college athletics, mainly in the form of NCAA football and men’s basketball at the division I level, viewed by many including myself as nothing more than university sponsored minor leagues. As more and more customers drop 180 to 200 dollar a month cable bills for on demand internet programs where they are purchasing only the programming they want to see, it forces the cable folks to raise rates. That bubble is about to pop like an overblown helium balloon and when it does pop, the sports leagues could find themselves being short changed because future promised dollars that were coming are suddenly now evaporating in the smoke and dust that is left behind by the burning down of the cable and satellite TV industry as we know it today.
Walkers are coming from the north and south too. From the north, they carry signs from entitled players who want even larger salary figures from owners who no longer have public welfare and no private money in hand to spend. The southern flank carry signs representing fans who are revolting against ticket prices that are increasing at many times the rate of working wages, fans who are tired of overpriced food and drinks provided by third party venders that do not follow food safety requirements in several instances. Minimum wage was $4.25 in 1993, it is now $7.25 in most locations. Yet $4.25 in 1992 will cost you more like $9 in today’s market for the same goods.

So the fans won’t buy tickets, the players are demanding money that is not there because the cable contracts are dead and worthless sheets of legal paper, while the government bonds have expired and no public official worth his or her weight in is coming through that door with as much as a dime of free goodies. This could happen and when it does, how do the pro leagues respond, and how does baseball in particular adapt to this very possible future reality?

I don’t have all of the solutions, but here are a couple. First, MLB should realize that the way fans are going to consume sports is changing and they will not be able to rely on passing this service fee on to the backs of many people who will never watch a game on television, much less attend a game in a stadium. MLB must come up with other revenue from the broadcast of game events. How you do this in part would be to make every single game you broadcast on TV and radio available worldwide to anyone online, no matter what. The audio service largely already accomplishes this and the MLBTV product should follow suit. Make that service available to any fan who wants to see any game, any team, anywhere. Already class action has forced MLB to sell an individual team package for out of market games, but this out of market concept is outdated and frankly it should have been terminated 15 years ago. MLB should have a very basic process here, no matter the fan, no matter where in the world you are geographically. Want to get the audio only package, sell it on a monthly or season long basis, sell it also on a per team or whole league type of package. So, I can get all MLB games for a month at a time, one team for the entire season, or all MLB games for the entire season. The same concept naturally would be true for those who upgrade to the video streaming service.

MLB should also hire broadcasters to cover games in other foreign languages. Many teams already have Spanish announcers, but hire a few MLB controlled broadcast teams who can do games in various popular languages around the world. While these announcers would not be able to cover all 2430 regular season games, they could cover 5-7 games a week, with all teams being offered throughout the season. Imagine if on any given day, you could find a couple games with an option in French, or German, or Chinese, Etc. These foreign language products would be streamed anywhere in the world, including to US based customers with a 30 day free intro to get fans interested. Teach them about the game if you will, then if they get hooked and fall in love, they can by a subscription. Similar audio broadcasts in various languages should also be made available via streaming services and if in languages that are in parts of the world with less internet traffic, dedicate a shortwave or related radio broadcast service specifically for this purpose.

Second, find ways to make the stadium into a year round money generating facility. Stadiums would become better public works investments if they were used more than 80 some odd times a season. MLB teams should find ways to book events at stadiums on all possible dates outside the baseball season and during the season, allow various events to take place at the facility on all dates not used for baseball, accept the day prior to a team returning home from a long road trip when the facility needs to be prepared for the next home games on the schedule. With more and more teams creating social zones in stadiums, those could all be rented out for big events and receptions on a very regular basis. I think the future here is interesting, as I could see a day where seats as we know it are no longer sold, with fans instead buying tickets to various zones within a ballpark and having areas to move around in, while using more restaurant style seating with tables and movable seating that allow for folks to face the field of play if using such setups on game days. Plus here is a big leap of Sheldon Cooper sarcasm, host more baseball games. Schedule the big state high school tournament during certain seasons at your stadium, bring college teams in on a regular basis for more than just the single weekend tournament and have events at the stadium on those open dates that are baseball related that get the community involved with one another. Have showcase events for international prospects, have baseball combine style events prior to the draft, and other events that promote baseball’s future talent, but do so in MLB stadiums where you can draw in MLB crowds. Imagine, you sell 30 thousand seats at 15 bucks a pop for any seat in the stadium and charge 5 dollars for parking, you know, minor league rates back in the day and you have made 450K just in ticket sales for that one event. For the stadiums as we know them to become true profit machines and thus to view them as investments or properties that have value, they must be living breathing spaces that are regularly active throughout the calendar year. We would never see funding for office buildings that were open only on Monday and Tuesday, or about 100 days in the year, which is even more than we see for actual game day events in MLB, even when postseason is accounted for. The numbers are certainly much worse in terms of usage dates for the NFL which has a max of about 12 in any given season, while the numbers for NHL and NBA arenas are about a max of 58 dates if a team played all the way to the finals, since no team plays the max 7 games in all four series. Even and arena that is home to both an NBA and NHL team gets a max of fewer than 120 usage dates during the year.

In conclusion, it is safe to say that things will probably not unfold in exactly the way that my imagination is presenting here. But the issues I have laid out on electronic paper here could very well take baseball and sports as we know it into new directions that require very difficult decisions and it will require creative solutions by power brokers who are used to getting everything the way they want it. All in the baseball and sports industry will need to be willing to make some real sacrifices and change how they think today, or risk forever destroying the very games we love in the future when resources have dried up and the league as currently funded becomes a bankrupt hulking mass of debt with empty decaying buildings that are home to no games, no fans, and no joy.

Bringing a Full Slate of Exhibition Games to Fans Outside Florida and Arizona, a 2017 Proposal.

Spring training 2016 is coming upon us and one month from today, the first teams begin reporting for pitcher and catcher workouts in Florida and Arizona. As fun and relaxing spring training is for the many fans who make the journey to warm climates for spring ball, another tradition is the many games that are played between MLB teams at unique venues that do not normally host MLB games. Teams face one another in larger minor league ballparks, in international settings such as Mexico and the Dominican Republic, and in large multipurpose stadiums that could be temporary baseball venues for a city trying to show itself as a candidate for a potential MLB expansion or franchise relocation.

Typically, the final weekend of the exhibition season features about a 50-50 split of games played in traditional spring training venues and games played at sites outside Florida and Arizona. I propose a one-time unique form of baseball outreach for 2017, where all teams play outside Florida and Arizona on the final Friday and Saturday of spring training. March 31-April 1 of 2017 assuming the scheduling model remains as is would be those dates. NO games are played April 2 and it is likely six teams will have a regular season opener that Sunday if MLB finds that the 2016 triple header is a big success. So here is my proposal.

First, the traditional games, Dodgers v Angels, Giants V Athletics which have been made a bit less meaningful with interleague play, would still be scheduled as Wednesday and Thursday exhibitions, one at each ballpark.

The following matchups would all take place Friday March 31 and Saturday April 1, 2017. The Padres top two minor league clubs are in El Paso and San Antonio, while the Dodgers used to be a long time San Antonio affiliate. So the dodgers and Padres would face one another, Friday in San Antonio at the Alamodome, Saturday at El Paso. The Rangers and Astros would also face one another going in the opposite direction, Friday at El Paso and Saturday in the San Antonio Alamodome, as they did in 2014. Houston also played an El Paso exhibition against the Brewers in 1997.

The marlins and Rays would play a pair of games at the 55,000 seat stadium in Havana, Cuba, while another international matchup would take place in Montreal as the Blue jays play another pair of games, this time the opposition would be the New York Yankees. Keeping with the international theme of the moment, the Diamondbacks would face the Angels for two games at Monterey, Mexico. Other matchups, the Giants would face the Mariners for a pair of games in Sacramento, while the Rockies and Athletics play at Salt Lake City. The Nationals and Orioles would meet in Norfolk, the Pirates and Phillies at Redding, Pennsylvania and the Cardinals would meet the Royals in Springfield, Missouri. Indianapolis would get two games between the White Sox and Cubs, The Reds and Indians would play in Louisville, while the Braves would face the Twins in Charlotte. The new ballpark in Hartford, Connecticut though not affiliated with either of these teams would play host to a matchup between the Red sox and Mets, and Toledo Ohio would be host to the matchup between the Brewers and Tigers.

What June 30 Standings Tell Us About Postseason Odds, A Look Back at 1997, 2003 and 2008

As we awake this morning on June 30, we are now in terms of the calendar at the midpoint on the baseball schedule or very close to that point for all teams. So for fun, let’s look at the standings on this very calendar day of Monday June 30 from the three prior seasons that also were at this same point on the schedule for this very date and examine how predictive those standings were in identifying those teams that would go to postseason. The three seasons which are identical in terms of the baseball schedule and yes to the calendar are 1997, 2003, and 2008. Interestingly, the Marlins had success in all three of those seasons and they have been a mild surprise this season as they were in 2008 and 2003. It is not so likely though that a Florida team will be in a World Series this season unlike the Marlins of 1997 and 2003 and the 2008 Rays.

In 1997, the Orioles, Indians, Mariners, Braves, Astros and Giants claimed the division titles, while the Yankees and marlins were the Wild Card teams. Had a second Wild Card been added in ’97, the 84-78 Angels would have played at New York against the 96-66 Yankees, while the 86-75 Indians rested as AL Central champs. The NL would have been even wilder as the Mets and Dodgers were both 88-74 and they would have had to play a game to decide who would then play another elimination game at the 92-70 Marlins, all teams with better marks than the 84-78 Astros that claimed the NL Central crown.

As for the standings on the morning of June 30, the Orioles lead the Yankees by 5.5 in the AL East, they ultimately would go wire-to-wire but only win the division by 2 games over New York. The Indians held a 1 game lead on the White Sox in the AL Central and the Brewers were 3 back at 37-39. It would be September before Cleveland had enough separation and they ultimately won the division by 6. The Mariners lead the angels by 5.5 in the Al West and they ultimately won the division by 6. The NL East was very competitive, the Braves lead the Marlins by 4.5, the Mets by 6.5 and the Expos by 7.5. Montreal would fall back after the All Star break and though the Mets and Marlins would eventually lose ground with Atlanta winning by 9 games over Florida, those teams along with the Dodgers would contend for a Wild Card into September before the marlins pulled far enough away. The NL Central was the joke of the league, Houston at 40-41 had a 1 game lead on the Cardinals and 3 on the Pirates. Houston’s struggles and Pittsburgh hanging near .500 most of the season would ultimately make the Pirates the largest threat to the Astros who would finally claim a weak division the season’s final Thursday. Meanwhile, the Giants had a 4.5 game lead on the Rockies in the NL West and the Dodgers trailed by 7. Ultimately Los Angeles would get to within 2 by seasons end, the Rockies would finish 7 back. As for the Wild Card races, the Yankees had a 4.5 game lead on the Angels which would end up at 12 by seasons end while the Marlins had a lead of 2 over the Mets and 3 over Montreal, ultimately they would finish 4 ahead of the Mets and Dodgers, the Expos would slip 11 games further behind the Marlins over the second half. IN 1997 as it would turn out, the 8 teams in the lead all would end the season that way and in fact, the only change would have been for the second Wild Card berth in the NL if it existed, as the Dodgers would have pulled even with the Mets, overcoming the Expos by a wide margin.

Moving forward six years to 2003, the ultimate division winners that season were the Yankees, Twins, Athletics, Braves, Cubs and Giants. The Red Sox and Marlins would claim wild Card births. Had second Wild Card teams existed in ’03, the Red Sox heart break in game 7 against the Yankees may have not even occurred because they would have hosted the Mariners at Fenway, Seattle was 93-69 and just a pair of games behind Boston. Meanwhile in the NL, the Marlins at 91-71 would have hosted the 87-75 Astros and the Phillies at 86-76 would have missed that second spot by a single game in their final season at the Vet.

As for the standings on the morning of June 30, the Yankees held a 3.5 game lead over the Red Sox that would end up at 6 in the AL East. IN the Al Central, the Twins and Royals were in a tie six games over .500, Minnesota had two more games played and thus on percentage points they were listed as the first place team. The White sox were 4.5 back and ultimately Minnesota would edge Chicago by 4 and KC which stayed in the race would finished 7 games out. The AL West was a different story as the Mariners held a 6 game lead on the Athletics on this date. Seattle was 52-28, they would play exactly .500 the rest of the way and ultimately finish 3 behind Oakland in the division and 2 behind Boston in the Wild Card. Seattle in fact on this date had the best record in baseball, though the Yankees, Red Sox, Athletics, Braves and Giants would all end up better than Seattle three months later. The Braves would hold a 6.5 game lead over the Phillies in the NL East, the Expos were 7 back and the marlins were 12 back and a game under .500. Ultimately Atlanta won the division by 10 over the Marlins, the team with the second best second half in baseball. The Cardinals would hold the NL Central lead at 43-37, they would end up finishing in third 3 behind the Cubs. The Cubs on June 30 were a game behind St. Louis and the Houston Astros trailed by 1.5, all would hold the division lead at various points into September before the Cubs won out. The Giants held a 3 game lead on the Dodgers in the NL West, San Francisco would ultimately get on a second half roll and cruise to a 15.5 game lead.

The Wild Card races would look completely different from June 30 to the end of the season. The Red Sox lead the Athletics by a game and the Blue Jays by 2 on June 30, Toronto would finish 9 games behind Boston and Oakland would actually finish a game ahead of the Red Sox and take a division title, Boston would get in because of the Seattle clubs going cold. The Phillies would have the NL Wild Card lead on June 30 which they shared with the Dodgers and the surprising Expos in their second to last season in Montreal were only a half game off the pace. The Marlins of course would ultimately come from nowhere to claim that spot, they were in the bottom half of the race among all NL teams on June 30 5.5 games out, but went 50-29 the rest of the way and ultimately took the World Series as they had six years before.

Unlike in 1997, 2003 would not be as predictive as on June 30, teams leading the AL West and NL Central would miss postseason all together, the AL Central which was tied would see the Twins outperform the Royals in the second half and the NL Wild Card race would look completely different when the ’03 season had concluded.

We now move forward another five years to 2008, a season that saw a lot of change from what had been the norm. The Rays came out of nowhere to claim the first franchises division title, joining the white Sox who won in a division playoff game with the Twins, as well as the Angels, Phillies, Cubs and Dodgers as division champions. The Red Sox and Brewers would be wild card teams and it would mark Milwaukee’s first postseason visit since 1982. The Brewers would hold off the Mets who had a legendary fall the final two weeks of the season and it marked a great collapse the final weeks of the season for a second straight year in New York. If a second Wild Card existed, the Mets would have claimed it in the NL and yes the Yankees would have done so in the AL and in Yankee Stadium II’s final season, the Wild Card game would have been Yankees at Red Sox, while the Mets would have played the Brewers and the Twins and White Sox had that AL Central playoff as both finished game 162 a single game behind New York.
As for those June 30 standings in 2008, the Rays held a half game lead on the Red Sox in the AL East. Tampa would win by 2 though they had the lead as high as 7 games and they would clinch the division with 8 days to go in the 2008 season. The Yankees who were 5.5 out would close to within 3 but ultimately they would finish 8 back. Baltimore which was 42-39 and just 7 out on June 30 would have a horrible second half and not even win 70 games while Toronto at just 40-43 would have a good second half and if additional wild card births existed, the Jays would have been in a battle with the Yankees as the season concluded along with the Twins and White Sox for that slot. IN the AL Central, the White Sox lead the Twins by a game and unlike in 2003, the very tight standings would in deed hold true to the very end. The Tigers were just 4.5 back but they had a rough second half and finished 14 back and in last place. The Angels lead the AL West by 4.5 over Oakland, the Athletics would have a horrible second half and the Angels would cruise to a 21 game lead over second place Texas when it was all said and done. The Rangers were already sliding and 7.5 out on June 30.

For all the struggles of the Mets in 2008 in closing out the season on a good note, they were just a very average team on June 30. The Phillies in fact had the division lead at 44-39 and a game back at 42-39 were the surprising Marlins. The Mets at 40-41 were in third 3 off the lead and the Braves were only 4 games out. The Cubs were showing they were one of the best teams in baseball as they were 49-33 and well on their way in the NL Central. The Cardinals and Brewers were in the race, St. Louis second 2.5 back and Milwaukee third 4.5 out. The Brewers would stay hot the second half, but the Cardinals would slide and the Astros would come from nowhere to make a very interesting contender for the wild Card. Houston was just 39-43, they would get very hot in August and early September before things came apart when hurricane Ike arrived. The Diamondbacks at just 41-41 lead the NL West, the Dodgers 2.5 back were the only contender, though the Rockies who were just 32-50 would play better in the second half and begin to make some wonder if an even more amazing repeat of 2007 was in order.

The Wild Card races on June 30 saw the Red Sox leading the Twins by 4, Athletics by 4.5 and Yankees by 5 games in the AL, while in the NL the Cardinals lead the way, Milwaukee at 2 and Philadelphia at 3 out were next, while the Marlins at 4 back, Mets 6 and Astros 8.5 would all become second half factors.

Ultimately, the teams that had division leads on June 30 accept the Diamondbacks would end up advancing to post season, though for the White Sox and Phillies, a lot of doubt existed along the second half route. Boston would get the Wild Card which it lead, but the Cardinals would be the team ultimately let down in the NL. The Dodgers played well enough in the second half to overtake Arizona by two, though the NL Wild Card contenders all had better records. Just how different was the NL in the second half you ask? The Cardinals were just 39-40 and the Brewers at 45-36 were good enough to get the wild Card berth, though the 49-32 Mets and 47-32 Astros certainly made things very interesting.

So overall during those three previous seasons, 15 of 18 division leaders would get to post season, the ’03 Mariners, ’03 Cardinals and ’08 Diamondbacks would not. Among the six Wild Cards, the AL leader advanced to post season each time, but in the NL, only the Marlins of 1997 were so fortunate as the ’03 Phillies and ’08 Cardinals were overtaken. Philadelphia would have been the second Wild Card team in 2003, St. Louis would still have missed all together in 2008.

On this morning of June 30 in 2014, the blue Jays lead the Orioles by 1.5 in the AL East, though both are not playing as well of late. Do the Yankees at 2 back or Red Sox at 6 back come through in the second half? All teams that won division titles on this date in the seasons reviewed were no worse than second in the division, though Oakland was in terms of games played 6 off the pace where the Red Sox are now when they came back in 2003. Amazingly, the Rays are 10 back and they have played a bit better of late. But the odds of a team that is 14 under .500 going 24 to 30 over in the second half and finishing 10 to 16 over are very long. Interestingly, this is the first time since 1993 that the Yankees and Red Sox would both be out of the playoffs on this date. The Tigers lead the Royals by 3.5 in the AL Central. KC has played much better since May 28 and Detroit has been a streaky team in both directions this season. The AL Central has provided several dramatic finishes when teams are 10 or fewer games over .500 at this point, so are we looking at another 2008? If anything is likely a guarantee at this point, it is that the Athletics at 51-30 will win the AL West or at least get into postseason play. The Angels show signs of cooling off a bit and they now trail by 5.5, the mariners continue to hang in at 7.5 off the pace. Does Seattle’s offensive troubles come back to pass in the second half, how about the Angels pitching? The wild Card race in the AL is rather remarkable, the Angels are leading and they are followed by a bunch of teams in play for that second birth that now exists. The Mariners currently claim that position, while the Royals and Orioles are 1.5 back, the Yankees are just 2 out and teams under .500 are very much alive, the Indians the closest at 5.5 out.

Over in the NL, the Braves and Nationals appear to be in place for a great NL East race as the 44-38 Braves and 43-38 Nationals are a half game apart. The Marlins though now under .500 are still just 5 out but they are showing signs of fading. The Brewers just keep on winning in the NL Central and they are now 6.5 games ahead of everyone else and out in the NL West, the Giants and Dodgers are now in a dog fight but the rest of the division is so bad that while these two rivals are just 10 over .500, the closest teams are 10 under .500 and 10 games off the lead. The drama may very well be held in the NL’s second wild Card slot this season. If the Giants and Dodgers keep playing well, one of them will almost for sure get a wild Card and the same could be said of the Braves and nationals, though both are not appearing to be as solid as their western counterparts. This morning, the Nationals, Reds and Cardinals are all tied for that second wild Card slot 5 games over .500, while the Pirates are 1.5 out. The closest team under .500 is the Marlins at 4.5 games off the pace. If this holds, six teams are in play for this slot, three each from the NL Central and NL East.

When we awake September 29 and the season is at its likely conclusion, will these standings look similar to today? Which team stumbles and gives away its position on top? Does a team that is struggling get red hot and become the second half surprise? Stay tuned for what is coming over the next 13 weeks of the season.

In Attendance Race to Show Baseball Interest, Montreal Speaks, San Antonio Dissapoints

In this very space March 18, I wrote about the exhibition games scheduled for March 29-30 that would mean more to the cities of Montreal and San Antonio, than they would to the teams playing in them, Mets and Blue Jays at Olympic Stadium, Rangers and Astros at the Alamodome. I wrote about how unlikely expansion appears to be in the short term for Major League Baseball and I wrote about how we all know which two teams potentially would be paying attention to these efforts, the Tampa Bay Rays and the Oakland athletics who let’s be honest need a new stadium and who genuinely want to stay in the greater San Francisco Bay region. San Jose already offered to build a stadium, but efforts are being blocked by the Athletics’ neighbors in San Francisco, creating a Giant obstacle to stadium efforts and potentially leading to the removal of the Athletics from the region all together. The issues with the Tampa situation I detailed in brief in my March 18 editorial.

My closing comments were strait forward, it would be almost unthinkable that both franchises would relocate and given the less than high percentage odds of expansion, Montreal and San Antonio were not only trying to show folks in the Commissioner’s Office that they deserved baseball, they were also trying to outscore one another. IN terms of the box scores then from those games Friday and Saturday, what truly stood out was the very last column, attendance. I genuinely expected San Antonio to draw more than Montreal and this is not because I am from Texas and yes, I was a big Expos fan growing up. For one, San Antonio drew over 75,000 two a pair of games at the Alamodome last spring, Rangers victories over the San Diego Padres and as baseball capable facilities go, Olympic Stadium 113 months after its last baseball event was still leaps ahead of what the Alamodome could be as a ballpark. Furthermore, this spring saw both of the Lone Star State’s teams playing in San Antonio and unlike last year, both of these games were on dates where the local Spurs basketball franchise was not playing a home game simultaneously. Instead, neither game drew more than 28,000, 22,677 on Friday night and 27,255 on Saturday afternoon, a total of 49,932 fans for the two games. The Saturday game alone last spring in San Antonio drew more than 40,000.

Then there is Montreal, a city most Anglo writers here in the States gave up for dead as a baseball market, a city most thought never deserved another team, despite Montreal outdrawing both the Mets and Yankees at various times from 1979-1992. How did Le Québécois respond? ON Saturday alone, fans of the former Expos chanting “Let’s Go Expos”, showed up and then some, 50229 in attendance, which topped the two nights in San Antonio combined. Oh and the prior night for the Friday game, they only drew another 46,221. If this weekend taught us anything, Montreal is a baseball town and given the proper ownership and support for the team from MLB, Montreal will show up for a winner and for the game that is only outpaced in popularity by hockey. This is not to say that San Antonio is a bad market, it could very easily be a high level baseball city, but such a drop in attendance from year one to year two is concerning. Perhaps the 2014 numbers are a better gauge of baseball fandom in the Alamo city and if an average of between 24,000 and 25,000 per game came to see the Rangers and Astros, perhaps one could argue that such numbers for the new local team if it existed could push north of 30,000. But one could also argue that 2013 was an example of the baseball novelty which drew in more fans per game, over 37,000 than the baseball purity represented by the 2014 numbers. That is alarming for San Antonio, because a drop of 13K per game in attendance is similar to the drop in attendance after the expansion season of 1998 for the afore mentioned Tampa Bay Rays, who saw a drop from 30,900 to 19,200 per game from season 1 to season 2. The Rays in their best years of attendance from 2008-2010 would average right around 23,000, since then the club has not broken 20,000 per game, despite contending teams that made the playoffs in 2011 and 2013 and a team in 2012 that was contending well into September. Montreal remember drew as well in 1995 per game after having its team gutted and its baseball dreams crushed by the 1994 strike, as Tampa drew in its 2011 and 2013 playoff seasons. Montreal in 1994 drew more per game than any Tampa season accept 1998 and how bad was Tampa outdrawn by its expansion cousins that first season, 1993 Marlins +7,000, 1998 Diamondbacks +14,000, 1993 Rockies +25,000. Furthermore, while Tampa saw a drop from its first to second year in average attendance of more than 12,500, Arizona and Miami each dropped by around 5,000 and Colorado actually went up another 2,000. When the Rockies left 70,000 seat Mile High Stadium for 50,000 seats at Coors Field, they averaged over 40,000 for seven seasons 1995-2001 and only once has attendance averaged below 25,000 in 2005. The Diamondbacks worst season average has been in the 25,000 range, but they have never cleared 40,000 a game per season after their huge draw in 1998. San Antonio will not be Denver or Phoenix, but it needs to be better than Tampa and better than Miami to prove its worth as an expansion city. Montreal has numbers that can be as good or better than Miami and this such a relocation to Canada may just be what the Rays need.

What this weekend shows is that Montreal is ready for baseball and if San Antonio had any hopes of trying to convince the Rays or Athletics to relocate to the home of hot salsa, their dreams may be shattered by a cold dose of reality blowing down from baseball hungry Montreal. One can only imagine how the Montreal Expos would be doing right now if they had the current Tampa Rays ownership in place. Montreal would also be a perfect fit in the division where the Rays currently call home and so it would require no realignment. The question is, what is more likely to be in place within five years, a new baseball stadium for the Rays somewhere on Florida’s sunshine coast, or a new stadium for the relocated and rebranded Montreal Expos in French Canada?

Links to Sunday December 15 Morning Simulation Games

Here are the boxscores for the games simulated Sunday morning December 15. Three simulations are done each day, final regular season simulations scheduled for February 11. Not all teams will play all three sessions each day, think of it like any real life form of baseball schedule.

Highlights from the morning games on December 15, a White Sox grand slam, a Red Sox player hits 3 homers, and a Padres starter throws 8 innings of no-hit ball.

Braves over Athletics 4-3
Boxscore at http://www.whatifsports.com/x.asp?r=232075&u=/slb/Boxscore.aspx?gid=21443887.ppid=1.ppbp=0.ptf=1

Dodgers over Nationals 10-3
Boxscore at http://www.whatifsports.com/x.asp?r=232075&u=/slb/Boxscore.aspx?gid=21443881.ppid=1.ppbp=0.ptf=1

Marlins over Red Sox 13-1
Boxscore at http://www.whatifsports.com/x.asp?r=232075&u=/slb/Boxscore.aspx?gid=21443880.ppid=1.ppbp=0.ptf=1

Giants over Yankees 4-1
Boxscore at http://www.whatifsports.com/x.asp?r=232075&u=/slb/Boxscore.aspx?gid=21443885.ppid=1.ppbp=0.ptf=1

Phillies over Angels 9-5
Boxscore at http://www.whatifsports.com/x.asp?r=232075&u=/slb/Boxscore.aspx?gid=21443886.ppid=1.ppbp=0.ptf=1

Rays over Mets 5-4
Boxscore at http://www.whatifsports.com/x.asp?r=232075&u=/slb/Boxscore.aspx?gid=21443874.ppid=1.ppbp=0.ptf=1

Padres over Orioles 3-0
Boxscore at http://www.whatifsports.com/x.asp?r=232075&u=/slb/Boxscore.aspx?gid=21443876.ppid=1.ppbp=0.ptf=1

Rangers over Astros 6-4
Boxscore at http://www.whatifsports.com/x.asp?r=232075&u=/slb/Boxscore.aspx?gid=21443873.ppid=1.ppbp=0.ptf=1

Royals over Diamondbacks 7-1
Boxscore at http://www.whatifsports.com/x.asp?r=232075&u=/slb/Boxscore.aspx?gid=21443878.ppid=1.ppbp=0.ptf=1

White Sox over Cardinals 9-5
Boxscore at http://www.whatifsports.com/x.asp?r=232075&u=/slb/Boxscore.aspx?gid=21443884.ppid=1.ppbp=0.ptf=1

10 innings Rockies over Twins 5-4
Boxscore at http://www.whatifsports.com/x.asp?r=232075&u=/slb/Boxscore.aspx?gid=21443879.ppid=1.ppbp=0.ptf=1

Blue Jays over Cubs 8-6
Boxscore at http://www.whatifsports.com/x.asp?r=232075&u=/slb/Boxscore.aspx?gid=21443882.ppid=1.ppbp=0.ptf=1

Indians over Brewers 4-2
Boxscore at http://www.whatifsports.com/x.asp?r=232075&u=/slb/Boxscore.aspx?gid=21443875.ppid=1.ppbp=0.ptf=1

Reds over Mariners 13-3
Boxscore at http://www.whatifsports.com/x.asp?r=232075&u=/slb/Boxscore.aspx?gid=21443883.ppid=1.ppbp=0.ptf=1

Pirates over Tigers 6-1
Boxscore at http://www.whatifsports.com/x.asp?r=232075&u=/slb/Boxscore.aspx?gid=21443877.ppid=1.ppbp=0.ptf=1

Simulated League 2.0 Featuring Players From 1901-2013 Opens Sunday

The second version of a fun baseball simulated league which I had previously written about will begin Sunday December 15. Using http://www.whatifsports.com, a roster was created for each of the 30 teams using players from 1901 to 2013. Each player chosen was used based on his statistical profile as compiled for his given franchise over one season. Players who played on more than one team in the big leagues in the same season were assigned to the team that generally had their better performance, particularly in the case of pitchers. Players who were on more than one team used only their team stats while with the chosen club. For example, Rick Sutcliffe on the Cubs roster from 1984 is only having his Cubs portion of his 1984 performance history, not his combined profile earned with both Chicago and the Cleveland Indians used in the league. Each player is only used once for his career. So players who had different seasons with different ball clubs, Luis Gonzales, Nolan Ryan, Catfish Hunter, and many others could have in theory been on multiple rosters given their different season by season history. In most cases, the player was assigned to the team he was on for his best season.

The whatifsports site sets a salary value for every player in the database and each season has a different value based on performance, defensive ability, and the number of innings pitched or plate appearances. The number of turns at bat and innings thrown impact how much the player can be used because of a fatigue factor that is built into the WIS simulation engine.

The league format is a balanced schedule like that used from 1998-2000 and the division alignment is like that of MLB from 1998-2012, but the teams have been realigned for this league based on a geography theme. The division alignment is as follows: NL East (Rangers, Astros, Braves, Marlins, Rays), NL Central (Red Sox, Yankees, Mets, Orioles, Nationals, Phillies), NL West (Giants, Athletics, Dodgers, Angels, Padres), AL East (Pirates, Tigers, Indians, Reds, Blue Jays), AL Central (Cardinals, Royals, Rockies, Mariners, Diamondbacks), and AL West (Cubs, White Sox, Brewers, Twins).

Players who were on franchises that relocated are naturally eligible for this league. NO Seattle Pilot made the Brewers roster, but the following teams have players from days gone by in another city: Oakland Athletics from Philadelphia and Kansas City Athletics, Texas Rangers from Washington Senators (1961-1971), Minnesota Twins from Washington Senators (1901-1960), Baltimore Orioles from St. Louis Browns, San Francisco Giants from New York Giants, Los Angeles Dodgers from Brooklyn Dodgers/Robins, Atlanta Braves from Boston/Milwaukee Braves, and the Washington Nationals from the Montreal Expos.

All teams use a DH because of this special alignment. Most teams have no unusual lineup situations, though a few noteworthy changes are in place. The Red Sox, Nationals, Angels, Pirates and Marlins feature an outfielder at first base. The Red Sox have a second shortstop playing at second base, while the Diamondbacks and Twins feature another shortstop at third base. The Brewers feature a player who is able to play short and second, but both those positions were taken by better defenders, so Milwaukee features a fifth infielder playing as a regular starting outfielder. IN all these examples accept for the Marlins, the player never played at the position where they have been moved too, but they are headed in the proper direction on the defensive hierarchy chart, meaning an outfielder is going to be relatively reliable at first base, but a first baseman who did not play outfield is not going to be a reliable defender at such a position. For the same reason, shortstops will be fine at third or second, but moving a player from second or third over to short would not be a good idea if the player had no experience at shortstop, while the same logic holds for the Brewers middle infielder playing outfield. The Marlin outfielder assigned to first base did play the position. The Blue Jays have an outfielder at third base, but here is a situation where the player did spend time at third and played very well defensively. The Rays have the same situation only the outfielder is playing at second base and the White Sox feature a pair of powerful first baseman, one who also played third and has been assigned that position.

All teams have four bench players who combined can back up the starters at all positions. When reading the roster, players primary positions only are listed, which does not take into account the secondary positions that they appeared at in a given season. The Mariners have a pair of primary designated hitters, but the cheaper player on the bench also plays first and the outfield. When playing in a simulated league, a * indicates a primary position for a given player, while all secondary positions that a given player appeared at during the season are indicated with the ^ sign. While these designations are not seen below on the roster list copied from the WIS league management center, you do see these options when on the manager page for the roster of the given team.

All teams have five pitchers in a rotation and seven assigned relief pitchers, though some rosters will feature one or more starters who threw limited innings in real life and thus they are placed in relief assignments. All rosters have a pitcher designated as the closer and all teams have at least three pitchers in the setup role and at least one in a long relief role, most have two. Some but not all teams have a pitcher set to a mop-up assignment. Most teams will have three setup, two long relief, and one mop-up pitcher in addition to the closer, but this will be different from team to team, with a fourth setup pitcher or a third long man if no mop-up role is in place, or one long man, one mop-up, and four setup roles in a couple of instances.

In the original league that I ran from May to July of 2013, the actual 1998-2012 alignment was used, different of course from this new league. The salary cap of $200 million meant all rosters could be loaded with the best of the best player seasons in a team’s history, giving a huge advantage to teams with great historic performance and longevity, the Cubs, Giants, Red Sox, and Yankees in particular. The Dh was only used by AL teams. As mentioned before, the DH is used for all teams in this league and the salary cap has been reduced to $135 million. Most teams are very near this cap, though a few teams in the expansion era and the 1990’s expansion teams in particular fall well below this mark.

Below is the complete list of players on all 30 rosters, showing their season, primary role in real life that season, and the salary value calculated by the formula used at WIS.

I will be posting updates in writing on this blog and updates will also be posted on my new Baseball Nerd channel on YouTube, the link is: http://www.youtube.com/channel/UCMYu7jLIfBZ6jhUn36R-nqg

Now the rosters for each team.

Angels
Jim Abbott 1991 California Angels SP $6,363,692
Rudy May 1969 California Angels SP $4,433,954
Andy Messersmith 1969 California Angels SP $8,340,121
Frank Tanana 1976 California Angels SP $9,210,405
Jered Weaver 2011 Anaheim Angels SP $7,525,205
Mike Witt 1986 California Angels SP $8,158,234
Ken Brett 1978 California Angels RP $1,699,236
Ernesto Frieri 2012 Anaheim Angels RP $1,932,762
Bob Lee 1964 Los Angeles Angels RP $4,927,298
Tom Morgan 1961 Los Angeles Angels RP $2,746,939
Troy Percival 1995 California Angels RP $4,105,020
Francisco Rodriguez 2003 Anaheim Angels RP $2,957,803
Mike Napoli 2008 Anaheim Angels C $2,177,649
Lance Parrish 1990 California Angels C $4,676,713
Robb Quinlan 2006 Anaheim Angels 1B $1,469,664
Benji Gil 2002 Anaheim Angels 2B $660,224
Bobby Grich 1979 California Angels 2B $4,975,061
Doug DeCinces 1982 California Angels 3B $6,983,990
Troy Glaus 2000 Anaheim Angels 3B $6,397,680
Jim Fregosi 1970 California Angels SS $6,353,221
Jim Edmonds 1995 California Angels OF $7,508,625
Darin Erstad 2000 Anaheim Angels OF $9,252,582
Gary Pettis 1983 California Angels OF $885,611
Tim Salmon 1995 California Angels OF $8,069,840
Mike Trout 2013 Anaheim Angels OF $8,978,013
Active Roster Total Salary: $130,789,542

Astros

Larry Dierker 1969 Houston Astros SP $9,983,220
Pete Harnisch 1993 Houston Astros SP $6,142,786
Darryl Kile 1997 Houston Astros SP $7,281,734
J.R. Richard 1979 Houston Astros SP $10,016,577
Mike Scott 1986 Houston Astros SP $11,044,208
Bill Dawley 1983 Houston Astros RP $2,616,591
Octavio Dotel 2002 Houston Astros RP $4,197,121
Jeff Heathcock 1985 Houston Astros RP $1,060,642
Brad Lidge 2004 Houston Astros RP $4,037,047
Joe Sambito 1980 Houston Astros RP $3,270,083
Dave Smith 1981 Houston Astros RP $3,925,440
Billy Wagner 1999 Houston Astros RP $4,314,571
Paul Bako 1999 Houston Astros C $1,878,195
Joe Ferguson 1977 Houston Astros C $4,319,060
Jeff Bagwell 1994 Houston Astros 1B $10,661,304
Glenn Davis 1989 Houston Astros 1B $4,779,311
Craig Biggio 1997 Houston Astros 2B $7,990,984
Morgan Ensberg 2005 Houston Astros 3B $5,954,183
Ricky Gutierrez 1995 Houston Astros SS $826,912
Dickie Thon 1983 Houston Astros SS $6,464,422
Lance Berkman 2001 Houston Astros OF $7,561,148
Cesar Cedeno 1972 Houston Astros OF $7,324,378
Richard Hidalgo 2000 Houston Astros OF $6,799,894
Jerry Mumphrey 1983 Houston Astros OF $1,864,301
Tony Walker 1986 Houston Astros OF $548,333
Active Roster Total Salary: $134,862,445

Athletics

Dick Bosman 1975 Oakland Athletics SP $2,968,424
Lefty Grove 1931 Philadelphia Athletics SP $10,423,246
Ken Holtzman 1972 Oakland Athletics SP $7,036,082
Catfish Hunter 1972 Oakland Athletics SP $11,071,529
Alex Kellner 1956 Kansas City Athletics SP $1,457,186
Eddie Plank 1906 Philadelphia Athletics SP $6,966,324
Dave Stewart 1990 Oakland Athletics SP $7,391,132
Andrew Bailey 2009 Oakland Athletics RP $3,904,495
Dennis Eckersley 1990 Oakland Athletics RP $4,293,010
Rick Honeycutt 1995 Oakland Athletics RP $1,338,107
Steve Ontiveros 1985 Oakland Athletics RP $3,021,308
Jack Urban 1957 Kansas City Athletics RP $3,512,678
Mickey Cochrane 1929 Philadelphia Athletics C $5,516,847
Hal Wagner 1940 Philadelphia Athletics C $867,397
Jimmie Foxx 1932 Philadelphia Athletics 1B $12,879,098
Jason Giambi 2000 Oakland Athletics 1B $8,781,317
Max Bishop 1931 Philadelphia Athletics 2B $5,720,748
Sal Bando 1969 Oakland Athletics 3B $6,603,982
Kurt Abbott 1998 Oakland Athletics SS $594,848
Miguel Tejada 2002 Oakland Athletics SS $6,547,352
Tommy Harper 1975 Oakland Athletics DH $515,782
Jose Canseco 1988 Oakland Athletics OF $6,711,391
Reggie Jackson 1969 Oakland Athletics OF $6,604,309
Patrick Lennon 1997 Oakland Athletics OF $620,238
Al Simmons 1930 Philadelphia Athletics OF $9,413,190
Active Roster Total Salary: $134,760,020

Blue Jays

Roger Clemens 1997 Toronto Blue Jays SP $10,538,044
Juan Guzman 1992 Toronto Blue Jays SP $6,049,993
Roy Halladay 2008 Toronto Blue Jays SP $7,465,978
Jimmy Key 1987 Toronto Blue Jays SP $8,134,198
Ricky Romero 2011 Toronto Blue Jays SP $5,754,512
Dave Stieb 1983 Toronto Blue Jays SP $7,832,520
John Cerutti 1988 Toronto Blue Jays RP $2,540,684
Mark Eichhorn 1986 Toronto Blue Jays RP $6,436,331
Tom Henke 1987 Toronto Blue Jays RP $3,789,313
Casey Janssen 2013 Toronto Blue Jays RP $1,777,434
B.J. Ryan 2006 Toronto Blue Jays RP $3,666,375
Duane Ward 1993 Toronto Blue Jays RP $2,684,206
Alan Ashby 1978 Toronto Blue Jays C $2,660,860
Ernie Whitt 1987 Toronto Blue Jays C $3,776,724
Carlos Delgado 2000 Toronto Blue Jays 1B $8,376,771
John Olerud 1993 Toronto Blue Jays 1B $7,771,942
Roberto Alomar 1993 Toronto Blue Jays 2B $6,015,467
Frank Menechino 2004 Toronto Blue Jays 2B $2,056,170
Tony Fernandez 1987 Toronto Blue Jays SS $6,492,399
Juan Beniquez 1987 Toronto Blue Jays DH $505,976
Jesse Barfield 1986 Toronto Blue Jays OF $6,720,984
Jose Bautista 2011 Toronto Blue Jays OF $9,275,427
Shawn Green 1999 Toronto Blue Jays OF $6,940,390
Lloyd Moseby 1983 Toronto Blue Jays OF $6,132,736
Shannon Stewart 1997 Toronto Blue Jays OF $1,539,150
Active Roster Total Salary: $134,934,584

Braves

Tom Glavine 1991 Atlanta Braves SP $7,493,935
Greg Maddux 1995 Atlanta Braves SP $10,842,285
Art Nehf 1917 Boston Braves SP $7,262,423
Jake Northrop 1918 Boston Braves SP $2,234,464
Warren Spahn 1953 Milwaukee Braves SP $9,942,486
Steve Bedrosian 1993 Atlanta Braves RP $1,620,358
Rick Camp 1985 Atlanta Braves RP $2,349,678
Gene Garber 1978 Atlanta Braves RP $2,302,471
Tom L. Hughes 1915 Boston Braves RP $9,457,658
Craig Kimbrel 2013 Atlanta Braves RP $2,790,498
Kris Medlen 2012 Atlanta Braves RP $5,235,211
Rafael Soriano 2007 Atlanta Braves RP $2,594,690
David Ross 2010 Atlanta Braves C $1,503,438
Joe Torre 1964 Milwaukee Braves C $6,909,669
Felipe Alou 1966 Atlanta Braves 1B $6,858,485
Bill Sweeney 1912 Boston Braves 2B $7,311,252
Chipper Jones 1999 Atlanta Braves 3B $7,153,735
Eddie Mathews 1953 Milwaukee Braves 3B $7,171,974
Martin Prado 2008 Atlanta Braves 3B $1,803,255
Johnny Logan 1955 Milwaukee Braves SS $5,910,260
Hank Aaron 1962 Milwaukee Braves OF $8,115,494
Josh Anderson 2008 Atlanta Braves OF $922,208
Tommy Holmes 1945 Boston Braves OF $8,454,933
Les Mann 1925 Boston Braves OF $1,719,404
Dale Murphy 1983 Atlanta Braves OF $6,854,668
Active Roster Total Salary: $134,814,932

Brewers

Mike Caldwell 1978 Milwaukee Brewers SP $8,646,506
Cal Eldred 1992 Milwaukee Brewers SP $3,471,891
Marco Estrada 2013 Milwaukee Brewers SP $3,088,715
Moose Haas 1983 Milwaukee Brewers SP $4,430,636
Teddy Higuera 1988 Milwaukee Brewers SP $7,719,161
Marty Pattin 1971 Milwaukee Brewers SP $6,446,942
Ben Sheets 2004 Milwaukee Brewers SP $8,039,855
Lary Sorensen 1978 Milwaukee Brewers SP $7,013,343
Rollie Fingers 1981 Milwaukee Brewers RP $4,635,067
Doug Jones 1997 Milwaukee Brewers RP $3,346,987
Pete Ladd 1983 Milwaukee Brewers RP $1,902,517
Ken Sanders 1970 Milwaukee Brewers RP $3,767,415
Jonathan Lucroy 2012 Milwaukee Brewers C $2,731,768
Dave Nilsson 1999 Milwaukee Brewers C $3,275,158
Cecil Cooper 1980 Milwaukee Brewers 1B $7,367,919
Prince Fielder 2007 Milwaukee Brewers 1B $5,687,664
Fernando Vina 1998 Milwaukee Brewers 2B $7,159,275
Jeff Cirillo 1998 Milwaukee Brewers 3B $7,328,601
Ed Romero 1983 Milwaukee Brewers SS $811,385
Robin Yount 1982 Milwaukee Brewers SS $7,734,247
Paul Molitor 1987 Milwaukee Brewers DH $5,313,696
Ryan Braun 2012 Milwaukee Brewers OF $6,443,980
Chuck Carr 1996 Milwaukee Brewers OF $1,059,615
Marc Newfield 1996 Milwaukee Brewers OF $1,195,649
Ben Oglivie 1980 Milwaukee Brewers OF $6,272,604
Active Roster Total Salary: $124,890,596

Cardinals

Joaquin Andujar 1984 St. Louis Cardinals SP $7,133,181
Chris Carpenter 2005 St. Louis Cardinals SP $7,208,377
John Fulgham 1979 St. Louis Cardinals SP $4,219,139
Bob Gibson 1968 St. Louis Cardinals SP $12,216,556
Stu Miller 1952 St. Louis Cardinals SP $3,288,320
John Tudor 1985 St. Louis Cardinals SP $9,583,232
Adam Wainwright 2010 St. Louis Cardinals SP $7,511,979
Ernie White 1942 St. Louis Cardinals SP $3,028,959
Tom Bruno 1978 St. Louis Cardinals RP $1,322,377
Jason Motte 2012 St. Louis Cardinals RP $2,438,969
Bobby Shantz 1963 St. Louis Cardinals RP $2,761,144
Brad Thompson 2007 St. Louis Cardinals RP $1,789,822
Joe Garagiola 1950 St. Louis Cardinals C $1,216,421
Ted Simmons 1977 St. Louis Cardinals C $6,313,741
Mark McGwire 1998 St. Louis Cardinals 1B $10,345,015
Eduardo Perez 2000 St. Louis Cardinals 1B $473,901
Albert Pujols 2008 St. Louis Cardinals 1B $9,850,107
Frankie Frisch 1930 St. Louis Cardinals 2B $5,931,329
Ken Oberkfell 1984 St. Louis Cardinals 3B $1,129,597
Fernando Tatis 1999 St. Louis Cardinals 3B $5,908,279
Ozzie Smith 1987 St. Louis Cardinals SS $6,872,047
Steve Braun 1983 St. Louis Cardinals OF $644,624
George Hendrick 1980 St. Louis Cardinals OF $5,259,077
Willie McGee 1985 St. Louis Cardinals OF $7,137,439
Stan Musial 1948 St. Louis Cardinals OF $11,389,378
Active Roster Total Salary: $134,973,010

Cubs

Pete Alexander 1919 Chicago Cubs SP $9,560,842
Mordecai Brown 1906 Chicago Cubs SP $10,805,151
Dick Ellsworth 1963 Chicago Cubs SP $9,295,793
Larry French 1940 Chicago Cubs SP $6,347,662
Mark Prior 2003 Chicago Cubs SP $7,161,943
Rick Sutcliffe 1984 Chicago Cubs SP $4,884,679
Paul Carter 1920 Chicago Cubs RP $1,494,080
Les Lancaster 1989 Chicago Cubs RP $2,313,622
Bob Patterson 1997 Chicago Cubs RP $1,741,161
Lee Smith 1983 Chicago Cubs RP $3,548,369
Bruce Sutter 1977 Chicago Cubs RP $4,889,247
Carlos Villanueva 2013 Chicago Cubs RP $2,754,226
Gabby Hartnett 1930 Chicago Cubs C $6,374,845
Rick Wrona 1989 Chicago Cubs C $671,550
Mark Grace 1998 Chicago Cubs 1B $5,346,034
Ryne Sandberg 1984 Chicago Cubs 2B $7,982,765
Ryan Theriot 2006 Chicago Cubs 2B $1,335,915
Stan Hack 1940 Chicago Cubs 3B $6,827,532
Ernie Banks 1959 Chicago Cubs SS $8,800,238
Dave Kingman 1979 Chicago Cubs OF $4,701,934
Matt Mieske 1998 Chicago Cubs OF $579,487
Sammy Sosa 2001 Chicago Cubs OF $10,165,763
Chico Walker 1986 Chicago Cubs OF $672,794
Billy Williams 1970 Chicago Cubs OF $6,768,553
Hack Wilson 1930 Chicago Cubs OF $9,544,047
Active Roster Total Salary: $134,568,232

Diamondbacks

Josh Collmenter 2011 Arizona Diamondbacks SP $3,902,852
Patrick Corbin 2013 Arizona Diamondbacks SP $5,124,983
Omar Daal 1999 Arizona Diamondbacks SP $5,875,895
Danny Haren 2009 Arizona Diamondbacks SP $7,722,470
Daniel Hudson 2010 Arizona Diamondbacks SP $3,034,037
Ian Kennedy 2011 Arizona Diamondbacks SP $6,326,440
Wade Miley 2012 Arizona Diamondbacks SP $4,999,232
Curt Schilling 2002 Arizona Diamondbacks SP $8,782,040
Brandon Webb 2003 Arizona Diamondbacks SP $5,516,043
Byung-hyun Kim 2001 Arizona Diamondbacks RP $3,250,075
Tony Pena 2007 Arizona Diamondbacks RP $2,448,874
Jose Valverde 2003 Arizona Diamondbacks RP $2,112,268
Miguel Montero 2012 Arizona Diamondbacks C $5,135,599
Wil Nieves 2013 Arizona Diamondbacks C $1,285,314
Paul Goldschmidt 2013 Arizona Diamondbacks 1B $8,018,020
Jay Bell 1999 Arizona Diamondbacks 2B $5,283,046
Craig Counsell 2000 Arizona Diamondbacks 2B $1,070,020
Aaron Hill 2012 Arizona Diamondbacks 2B $7,240,949
Alex Cintron 2003 Arizona Diamondbacks SS $3,796,139
Stephen Drew 2010 Arizona Diamondbacks SS $4,878,282
Eric Byrnes 2007 Arizona Diamondbacks OF $5,143,472
Dave Dellucci 1999 Arizona Diamondbacks OF $1,295,663
Steve Finley 2000 Arizona Diamondbacks OF $5,850,889
Luis Gonzalez 2001 Arizona Diamondbacks OF $9,038,746
Justin Upton 2011 Arizona Diamondbacks OF $5,229,055
Active Roster Total Salary: $122,360,403

Dodgers

Stephen Fife 2013 Los Angeles Dodgers SP $748,214
Orel Hershiser 1985 Los Angeles Dodgers SP $8,471,149
Tommy John 1973 Los Angeles Dodgers SP $5,665,785
Clayton Kershaw 2013 Los Angeles Dodgers SP $9,605,300
Sandy Koufax 1963 Los Angeles Dodgers SP $12,224,296
Johnny Podres 1965 Los Angeles Dodgers SP $2,659,924
Don Sutton 1972 Los Angeles Dodgers SP $10,970,609
Joe Black 1952 Brooklyn Dodgers RP $4,921,689
Jim Brewer 1971 Los Angeles Dodgers RP $2,896,240
Eric Gagne 2003 Los Angeles Dodgers RP $5,463,221
Jay Howell 1991 Los Angeles Dodgers RP $1,594,683
Tom Niedenfuer 1983 Los Angeles Dodgers RP $3,827,513
Roy Campanella 1953 Brooklyn Dodgers C $6,391,721
Johnny Gooch 1928 Brooklyn Robins C $904,598
Steve Garvey 1977 Los Angeles Dodgers 1B $6,085,471
Ted Martinez 1977 Los Angeles Dodgers 2B $847,737
Jackie Robinson 1949 Brooklyn Dodgers 2B $8,399,681
Ron Cey 1975 Los Angeles Dodgers 3B $5,296,817
Pedro Guerrero 1983 Los Angeles Dodgers 3B $5,416,438
Pee Wee Reese 1949 Brooklyn Dodgers SS $6,728,020
Willie Davis 1960 Los Angeles Dodgers OF $982,602
Matt Kemp 2011 Los Angeles Dodgers OF $7,963,636
Lefty O’Doul 1932 Brooklyn Dodgers OF $7,315,302
Duke Snider 1954 Brooklyn Dodgers OF $9,209,918
Dick Williams 1952 Brooklyn Dodgers OF $407,586
Active Roster Total Salary: $134,998,150

Giants

Johnny Antonelli 1955 New York Giants SP $6,558,040
Matt Cain 2011 San Francisco Giants SP $7,370,271
Mike Krukow 1986 San Francisco Giants SP $6,989,320
Juan Marichal 1965 San Francisco Giants SP $10,168,531
Christy Mathewson 1909 New York Giants SP $11,872,286
Jerome Williams 2003 San Francisco Giants SP $3,157,998
Jim Willoughby 1972 San Francisco Giants SP $2,559,665
Rod Beck 1992 San Francisco Giants RP $3,715,460
Clint Hartung 1950 New York Giants RP $661,093
Robb Nen 2000 San Francisco Giants RP $3,306,797
Sergio Romo 2012 San Francisco Giants RP $2,096,344
Ferdie Schupp 1916 New York Giants RP $6,048,685
Fran Healy 1971 San Francisco Giants C $547,712
Buster Posey 2012 San Francisco Giants C $6,647,059
Will Clark 1989 San Francisco Giants 1B $7,487,541
Bobby Hofman 1952 New York Giants 2B $463,188
Jeff Kent 2000 San Francisco Giants 2B $6,856,260
Matt Williams 1994 San Francisco Giants 3B $6,988,022
Rich Aurilia 2001 San Francisco Giants SS $7,519,455
Barry Bonds 1993 San Francisco Giants OF $9,249,743
George Burns 1912 New York Giants OF $427,079
Willie Mays 1965 San Francisco Giants OF $8,703,775
Kevin Mitchell 1989 San Francisco Giants OF $6,891,911
Don Mueller 1948 New York Giants OF $628,775
Mel Ott 1929 New York Giants OF $8,026,939
Active Roster Total Salary: $134,941,949

Indians

Mike Garcia 1954 Cleveland Indians SP $8,842,569
Steve Hargan 1970 Cleveland Indians SP $3,927,164
Addie Joss 1906 Cleveland Naps SP $9,428,265
C.C. Sabathia 2007 Cleveland Indians SP $6,409,863
Sonny Siebert 1968 Cleveland Indians SP $5,816,857
Luis Tiant 1968 Cleveland Indians SP $9,944,786
Rafael Betancourt 2007 Cleveland Indians RP $3,844,956
Al Gould 1917 Cleveland Indians RP $1,413,898
Bob Howry 2005 Cleveland Indians RP $3,212,714
Mike Jackson 1998 Cleveland Indians RP $2,471,157
Rafael Perez 2007 Cleveland Indians RP $2,394,531
David Riske 2003 Cleveland Indians RP $2,526,049
Andy Allanson 1987 Cleveland Indians C $943,970
Victor Martinez 2007 Cleveland Indians C $5,559,978
Lew Fonseca 1929 Cleveland Indians 1B $7,743,543
Chris Gomez 2007 Cleveland Indians 1B $200,000
Jim Thome 2002 Cleveland Indians 1B $6,640,125
Bobby Avila 1954 Cleveland Indians 2B $6,868,076
Al Rosen 1953 Cleveland Indians 3B $10,150,298
Lou Boudreau 1948 Cleveland Indians SS $10,295,613
Albert Belle 1994 Cleveland Indians OF $9,010,838
Miguel Dilone 1983 Cleveland Indians OF $443,310
Kenny Lofton 1994 Cleveland Indians OF $9,171,310
Bake McBride 1982 Cleveland Indians OF $746,347
Manny Ramirez 1999 Cleveland Indians OF $6,858,399
Active Roster Total Salary: $134,864,616

Mariners

Scott Bankhead 1988 Seattle Mariners SP $3,997,033
Freddy Garcia 2001 Seattle Mariners SP $7,366,599
Felix Hernandez 2010 Seattle Mariners SP $8,071,913
Hisashi Iwakuma 2013 Seattle Mariners SP $6,597,116
Randy Johnson 1995 Seattle Mariners SP $9,610,808
Mark Langston 1987 Seattle Mariners SP $6,667,974
Michael Pineda 2011 Seattle Mariners SP $4,921,619
Jarrod Washburn 2009 Seattle Mariners SP $3,997,826
Norm Charlton 1995 Seattle Mariners RP $2,858,396
J.J. Putz 2007 Seattle Mariners RP $3,666,818
Arthur Rhodes 2001 Seattle Mariners RP $2,902,573
Kazuhiro Sasaki 2001 Seattle Mariners RP $2,502,034
Scott Bradley 1986 Seattle Mariners C $1,647,885
Dan Wilson 1997 Seattle Mariners C $4,187,232
Alvin Davis 1984 Seattle Mariners 1B $4,795,511
Willie Bloomquist 2005 Seattle Mariners 2B $1,367,214
Bret Boone 2001 Seattle Mariners 2B $7,479,062
Kyle Seager 2013 Seattle Mariners 3B $4,607,999
Alex Rodriguez 2000 Seattle Mariners SS $8,267,616
Rey Sanchez 2003 Seattle Mariners SS $1,038,079
Reggie Jefferson 1994 Seattle Mariners DH $1,845,778
Edgar Martinez 1995 Seattle Mariners DH $7,718,896
Ken Griffey Jr. 1994 Seattle Mariners OF $8,352,298
Ruppert Jones 1979 Seattle Mariners OF $6,540,428
Ichiro Suzuki 2004 Seattle Mariners OF $8,895,935
Active Roster Total Salary: $129,904,642

Marlins

Josh Beckett 2005 Florida Marlins SP $5,069,611
Kevin Brown 1996 Florida Marlins SP $8,668,105
A.J. Burnett 2002 Florida Marlins SP $6,300,987
Jose Fernandez 2013 Miami Marlins SP $6,830,574
Josh Johnson 2009 Florida Marlins SP $6,450,207
Al Leiter 1996 Florida Marlins SP $6,069,260
Ricky Nolasco 2008 Florida Marlins SP $5,811,394
Dontrelle Willis 2005 Florida Marlins SP $7,888,459
Armando Benitez 2004 Florida Marlins RP $3,180,693
Bryan Harvey 1993 Florida Marlins RP $2,986,398
Todd Jones 2005 Florida Marlins RP $2,532,970
Matt Mantei 1998 Florida Marlins RP $1,985,604
Charles Johnson 1997 Florida Marlins C $4,061,293
Mike Redmond 2002 Florida Marlins C $2,904,643
Dave Berg 1998 Florida Marlins 2B $1,346,672
Luis Castillo 2000 Florida Marlins 2B $5,231,487
Miguel Cabrera 2006 Florida Marlins 3B $6,585,135
Mike Lowell 2003 Florida Marlins 3B $4,435,545
Hanley Ramirez 2008 Florida Marlins SS $6,865,549
Jeff Conine 1994 Florida Marlins OF $4,957,049
Cliff Floyd 2001 Florida Marlins OF $5,538,160
Cody Ross 2007 Florida Marlins OF $2,057,078
Gary Sheffield 1996 Florida Marlins OF $6,972,755
Giancarlo Stanton 2012 Miami Marlins OF $4,717,744
Christian Yelich 2013 Miami Marlins OF $1,915,766
Active Roster Total Salary: $121,363,138

Mets

R.A. Dickey 2012 New York Mets SP $6,669,405
Sid Fernandez 1993 New York Mets SP $3,519,203
Dwight Gooden 1985 New York Mets SP $10,603,310
Matt Harvey 2013 New York Mets SP $6,828,561
Jerry Koosman 1969 New York Mets SP $7,427,100
Jon Matlack 1974 New York Mets SP $8,423,609
Bob Ojeda 1988 New York Mets SP $6,303,059
Tom Seaver 1971 New York Mets SP $10,411,385
Skip Lockwood 1976 New York Mets RP $3,259,450
Randy Myers 1988 New York Mets RP $2,324,970
Jesse Orosco 1984 New York Mets RP $2,781,129
Jon Rauch 2012 New York Mets RP $1,665,563
Chris Cannizzaro 1964 New York Mets C $2,334,003
Mike Piazza 2000 New York Mets C $5,138,781
Keith Hernandez 1986 New York Mets 1B $5,468,851
Edgardo Alfonzo 2000 New York Mets 2B $6,557,498
Bob Johnson 1967 New York Mets 2B $2,005,537
David Wright 2007 New York Mets 3B $7,331,547
Jose Reyes 2007 New York Mets SS $6,218,011
Carlos Beltran 2006 New York Mets OF $7,641,262
Darryl Hamilton 1999 New York Mets OF $2,003,370
Pat Howell 1992 New York Mets OF $438,065
Lance Johnson 1996 New York Mets OF $6,256,698
Lee Mazzilli 1979 New York Mets OF $7,289,060
Darryl Strawberry 1987 New York Mets OF $5,542,306
Active Roster Total Salary: $134,441,733

Nationals

Bill Gullickson 1981 Montreal Expos SP $7,390,948
Dennis Martinez 1992 Montreal Expos SP $7,080,069
Pedro Martinez 1997 Montreal Expos SP $10,165,541
Pascual Perez 1988 Montreal Expos SP $6,088,503
Bryn Smith 1985 Montreal Expos SP $6,861,578
Stephen Strasburg 2013 Washington Nationals SP $5,326,519
Jordan Zimmermann 2013 Washington Nationals SP $5,591,971
Tim Burke 1987 Montreal Expos RP $3,910,779
Tyler Clippard 2011 Washington Nationals RP $3,510,246
Chad Cordero 2005 Washington Nationals RP $2,683,846
Jeff Reardon 1981 Montreal Expos RP $2,681,784
Mel Rojas 1996 Montreal Expos RP $2,928,203
Gary Carter 1982 Montreal Expos C $6,365,135
Darrin Fletcher 1997 Montreal Expos C $2,024,492
Jose Vidro 2002 Montreal Expos 2B $6,295,437
Ryan Zimmerman 2009 Washington Nationals 3B $6,388,056
Wil Cordero 1994 Montreal Expos SS $4,802,667
Tom Foley 1987 Montreal Expos SS $1,749,136
Moises Alou 1994 Montreal Expos OF $6,642,346
Andre Dawson 1981 Montreal Expos OF $7,322,670
Alex Escobar 2006 Washington Nationals OF $1,259,534
Lou Frazier 1994 Montreal Expos OF $1,199,629
Vladimir Guerrero 2000 Montreal Expos OF $6,909,841
Tim Raines 1984 Montreal Expos OF $7,782,950
Rusty Staub 1969 Montreal Expos OF $5,689,297
Active Roster Total Salary: $128,651,177

Orioles

Jeff Ballard 1987 Baltimore Orioles SP $619,263
Mike Cuellar 1969 Baltimore Orioles SP $9,705,053
Dave McNally 1968 Baltimore Orioles SP $9,703,299
Jim Palmer 1978 Baltimore Orioles SP $7,981,356
Barney Pelty 1906 St. Louis Browns SP $9,152,131
Allen Sothoron 1918 St. Louis Browns SP $8,479,035
Carl Weilman 1912 St. Louis Browns SP $1,854,154
Rasty Wright 1918 St. Louis Browns SP $3,821,819
Moe Drabowsky 1967 Baltimore Orioles RP $3,096,493
Todd Frohwirth 1991 Baltimore Orioles RP $4,113,440
Dick Hall 1964 Baltimore Orioles RP $3,178,908
Grant Jackson 1973 Baltimore Orioles RP $2,732,856
Chris Hoiles 1993 Baltimore Orioles C $5,968,015
Charlie Lau 1965 Baltimore Orioles C $989,062
Jim Gentile 1961 Baltimore Orioles 1B $6,513,666
George Sisler 1920 St. Louis Browns 1B $9,973,308
Brian Roberts 2007 Baltimore Orioles 2B $6,168,208
Brooks Robinson 1964 Baltimore Orioles 3B $6,847,345
Luis Hernandez 2007 Baltimore Orioles SS $345,249
Cal Ripken Jr. 1991 Baltimore Orioles SS $8,257,326
Brady Anderson 1996 Baltimore Orioles OF $8,208,009
Jeff Fiorentino 2009 Baltimore Orioles OF $316,225
Tim Raines Jr. 2004 Baltimore Orioles OF $494,872
Frank Robinson 1966 Baltimore Orioles OF $7,772,469
Ken Williams 1922 St. Louis Browns OF $8,530,307
Active Roster Total Salary: $134,821,868

Padres

Andy Benes 1991 San Diego Padres SP $5,509,701
Randy Jones 1975 San Diego Padres SP $8,356,717
Clay Kirby 1971 San Diego Padres SP $7,327,997
Mat Latos 2010 San Diego Padres SP $5,685,221
Jake Peavy 2007 San Diego Padres SP $8,415,570
Ed Whitson 1989 San Diego Padres SP $5,729,403
Chris Young 2007 San Diego Padres SP $6,046,350
Heath Bell 2007 San Diego Padres RP $4,100,988
Luis Deleon 1982 San Diego Padres RP $3,234,711
Luke Gregerson 2010 San Diego Padres RP $3,252,699
Trevor Hoffman 1998 San Diego Padres RP $3,637,960
Cla Meredith 2006 San Diego Padres RP $2,432,483
Josh Bard 2006 San Diego Padres C $2,141,800
Terry Kennedy 1983 San Diego Padres C $4,618,270
Adrian Gonzalez 2009 San Diego Padres 1B $6,015,649
Broderick Perkins 1980 San Diego Padres 1B $1,079,839
Mark Loretta 2004 San Diego Padres 2B $6,960,781
Ken Caminiti 1996 San Diego Padres 3B $7,846,734
Phil Nevin 2001 San Diego Padres 3B $5,292,343
Khalil Greene 2004 San Diego Padres SS $3,526,702
Luis Rodriguez 2008 San Diego Padres SS $1,153,810
Tony Gwynn 1987 San Diego Padres OF $7,616,251
Greg Vaughn 1998 San Diego Padres OF $5,699,341
Alan Wiggins 1982 San Diego Padres OF $1,439,940
Dave Winfield 1979 San Diego Padres OF $6,904,660
Active Roster Total Salary: $124,025,920

Phillies

Steve Carlton 1980 Philadelphia Phillies SP $9,710,599
John Denny 1984 Philadelphia Phillies SP $4,769,301
Cole Hamels 2011 Philadelphia Phillies SP $6,983,041
Cliff Lee 2011 Philadelphia Phillies SP $7,394,365
George McQuillan 1909 Philadelphia Phillies SP $6,936,277
Tully Sparks 1906 Philadelphia Phillies SP $10,391,818
Antonio Bastardo 2011 Philadelphia Phillies RP $2,241,078
Rheal Cormier 2003 Philadelphia Phillies RP $3,477,414
Aaron Fultz 2005 Philadelphia Phillies RP $2,539,476
Reggie Grabowski 1934 Philadelphia Phillies RP $499,087
Tug McGraw 1980 Philadelphia Phillies RP $3,587,105
Ron Reed 1976 Philadelphia Phillies RP $4,544,004
Darren Daulton 1993 Philadelphia Phillies C $5,231,281
Jimmie Wilson 1937 Philadelphia Phillies C $729,310
Ryan Howard 2006 Philadelphia Phillies 1B $7,362,479
Cookie Rojas 1963 Philadelphia Phillies 2B $400,918
Chase Utley 2007 Philadelphia Phillies 2B $7,231,251
Mike Schmidt 1981 Philadelphia Phillies 3B $9,077,150
Wally Kimmick 1925 Philadelphia Phillies SS $948,347
Jimmy Rollins 2007 Philadelphia Phillies SS $7,382,007
Bobby Abreu 1999 Philadelphia Phillies OF $6,403,337
Richie Ashburn 1958 Philadelphia Phillies OF $9,081,835
Lenny Dykstra 1993 Philadelphia Phillies OF $7,900,041
Chuck Klein 1930 Philadelphia Phillies OF $9,489,106
Curt Walker 1921 Philadelphia Phillies OF $616,733
Active Roster Total Salary: $134,927,360

Pirates

Babe Adams 1919 Pittsburgh Pirates SP $11,925,673
Gerrit Cole 2013 Pittsburgh Pirates SP $2,833,064
Doug Drabek 1992 Pittsburgh Pirates SP $7,244,546
Vern Law 1959 Pittsburgh Pirates SP $7,436,728
Nick Maddox 1908 Pittsburgh Pirates SP $7,277,096
Zane Smith 1990 Pittsburgh Pirates SP $2,818,778
Jesse Tannehill 1902 Pittsburgh Pirates SP $10,168,470
Jason Grilli 2013 Pittsburgh Pirates RP $1,451,594
Mark Melancon 2013 Pittsburgh Pirates RP $2,751,553
Deacon Phillippe 1910 Pittsburgh Pirates RP $3,437,541
Jim Rooker 1973 Pittsburgh Pirates RP $4,655,361
Tony Watson 2013 Pittsburgh Pirates RP $2,435,203
Jason Kendall 2000 Pittsburgh Pirates C $5,791,492
Earl Smith 1924 Pittsburgh Pirates C $2,160,453
Johnny Ray 1986 Pittsburgh Pirates 2B $5,346,620
Ken Macha 1977 Pittsburgh Pirates 3B $377,439
Freddy Sanchez 2006 Pittsburgh Pirates 3B $6,948,266
Shawon Dunston 1997 Pittsburgh Pirates SS $1,272,792
Honus Wagner 1901 Pittsburgh Pirates SS $8,646,743
Roberto Clemente 1967 Pittsburgh Pirates OF $6,448,637
Brian Giles 1999 Pittsburgh Pirates OF $7,083,945
Ralph Kiner 1947 Pittsburgh Pirates OF $8,432,904
Andrew McCutchen 2012 Pittsburgh Pirates OF $8,398,412
Willie Stargell 1973 Pittsburgh Pirates OF $6,175,725
Possum Whitted 1919 Pittsburgh Pirates OF $2,412,209
Active Roster Total Salary: $133,931,244

Rangers

Bert Blyleven 1977 Texas Rangers SP $7,094,866
Yu Darvish 2013 Texas Rangers SP $6,311,832
Charlie Hough 1985 Texas Rangers SP $7,014,714
Fergie Jenkins 1974 Texas Rangers SP $9,717,762
Alexi Ogando 2011 Texas Rangers SP $4,324,871
Nolan Ryan 1990 Texas Rangers SP $6,903,304
Neftali Feliz 2010 Texas Rangers RP $2,707,700
Greg Harris 1985 Texas Rangers RP $4,006,994
Jim Kern 1979 Texas Rangers RP $5,217,510
Craig McMurtry 1988 Texas Rangers RP $1,927,596
Jeff Russell 1989 Texas Rangers RP $2,723,052
Jeff Zimmerman 1999 Texas Rangers RP $3,973,291
Geno Petralli 1987 Texas Rangers C $2,252,057
Ivan Rodriguez 1999 Texas Rangers C $7,092,698
Mark Teixeira 2005 Texas Rangers 1B $6,580,095
Julio Franco 1991 Texas Rangers 2B $5,751,543
Adrian Beltre 2012 Texas Rangers 3B $5,954,520
Scott Fletcher 1986 Texas Rangers SS $3,798,052
Michael Young 2006 Texas Rangers SS $7,148,174
Rafael Palmeiro 1999 Texas Rangers DH $7,560,127
Juan Gonzalez 1998 Texas Rangers OF $5,919,170
Josh Hamilton 2010 Texas Rangers OF $7,048,971
Frank Howard 1969 Washington Senators OF $5,871,198
David Hulse 1994 Texas Rangers OF $2,638,478
Gary Ward 1986 Texas Rangers OF $3,643,861
Active Roster Total Salary: $133,182,436

Rays

Chris Archer 2013 Tampa Bay Rays SP $3,154,081
Rolando Arrojo 1998 Tampa Bay Devil Rays SP $4,512,123
Alex Cobb 2013 Tampa Bay Rays SP $3,765,841
Matt Garza 2008 Tampa Bay Rays SP $4,406,340
Jeremy Hellickson 2011 Tampa Bay Rays SP $4,976,850
Scott Kazmir 2006 Tampa Bay Devil Rays SP $3,830,515
David Price 2012 Tampa Bay Rays SP $6,112,630
James Shields 2011 Tampa Bay Rays SP $7,259,100
Grant Balfour 2008 Tampa Bay Rays RP $2,836,397
Joaquin Benoit 2010 Tampa Bay Rays RP $3,049,550
Fernando Rodney 2012 Tampa Bay Rays RP $3,784,806
Dan Wheeler 2008 Tampa Bay Rays RP $2,113,359
John Flaherty 1999 Tampa Bay Devil Rays C $3,459,726
Dioner Navarro 2008 Tampa Bay Rays C $3,739,083
Fred McGriff 2000 Tampa Bay Devil Rays 1B $4,938,098
Carlos Pena 2007 Tampa Bay Devil Rays 1B $5,242,590
Jeff Keppinger 2012 Tampa Bay Rays 3B $2,770,453
Evan Longoria 2009 Tampa Bay Rays 3B $6,054,063
Jason Bartlett 2009 Tampa Bay Rays SS $4,503,721
Aaron Ledesma 1998 Tampa Bay Devil Rays SS $2,894,869
Carl Crawford 2009 Tampa Bay Rays OF $5,272,005
Desmond Jennings 2011 Tampa Bay Rays OF $2,270,001
B.J. Upton 2007 Tampa Bay Devil Rays OF $5,621,311
Randy Winn 2002 Tampa Bay Devil Rays OF $6,946,562
Ben Zobrist 2012 Tampa Bay Rays OF $5,672,902
Active Roster Total Salary: $109,186,976

Red Sox
Wes Ferrell 1937 Boston Red Sox SP $733,455
Dutch Leonard 1914 Boston Red Sox SP $8,905,191
Jim Lonborg 1967 Boston Red Sox SP $6,810,621
Ernie Shore 1915 Boston Red Sox SP $7,189,818
Elmer Steele 1908 Boston Red Sox SP $3,799,703
George Winter 1907 Boston Americans SP $8,377,059
Cy Young 1908 Boston Red Sox SP $11,249,542
Scott Atchison 2012 Boston Red Sox RP $1,722,477
Hideki Okajima 2007 Boston Red Sox RP $2,447,883
Jonathan Papelbon 2006 Boston Red Sox RP $3,731,155
Koji Uehara 2013 Boston Red Sox RP $4,701,441
Murray Wall 1958 Boston Red Sox RP $2,431,095
Carlton Fisk 1977 Boston Red Sox C $6,701,919
Ryan Lavarnway 2013 Boston Red Sox C $389,615
Mike Marshall 1990 Boston Red Sox 1B $573,520
Lou Merloni 1998 Boston Red Sox 2B $439,346
Wade Boggs 1987 Boston Red Sox 3B $7,888,650
Rico Petrocelli 1969 Boston Red Sox SS $8,115,933
John Valentin 1995 Boston Red Sox SS $7,208,139
David Ortiz 2007 Boston Red Sox DH $6,355,421
Fred Lynn 1979 Boston Red Sox OF $8,379,183
Jim Rice 1978 Boston Red Sox OF $7,375,569
Ted Williams 1949 Boston Red Sox OF $10,425,475
Tom Wright 1950 Boston Red Sox OF $597,409
Carl Yastrzemski 1967 Boston Red Sox OF $8,421,979
Active Roster Total Salary: $134,971,598

Reds

Art Fromme 1909 Cincinnati Reds SP $9,336,214
Danny Jackson 1988 Cincinnati Reds SP $7,798,469
Jim Maloney 1963 Cincinnati Reds SP $7,631,300
Gary Nolan 1968 Cincinnati Reds SP $4,309,861
Jose Rijo 1993 Cincinnati Reds SP $8,461,765
Mario Soto 1983 Cincinnati Reds SP $7,803,340
Aroldis Chapman 2012 Cincinnati Reds RP $3,576,364
Rob Dibble 1990 Cincinnati Reds RP $4,158,540
Bill Henry 1964 Cincinnati Reds RP $2,079,695
Joe Nuxhall 1965 Cincinnati Reds RP $3,129,709
Jack Ogden 1932 Cincinnati Reds RP $744,646
Jeff Shaw 1997 Cincinnati Reds RP $3,124,504
Johnny Bench 1972 Cincinnati Reds C $8,841,246
Joe Oliver 1989 Cincinnati Reds C $987,369
Ted Kluszewski 1954 Cincinnati Reds 1B $6,925,056
Joey Votto 2011 Cincinnati Reds 1B $7,607,208
Bill Doran 1990 Cincinnati Reds 2B $977,405
Joe Morgan 1975 Cincinnati Reds 2B $8,554,511
Tony Perez 1970 Cincinnati Reds 3B $6,216,858
Rick Auerbach 1978 Cincinnati Reds SS $594,224
Barry Larkin 1996 Cincinnati Reds SS $6,755,602
Shin-Soo Choo 2013 Cincinnati Reds OF $7,472,041
George Foster 1977 Cincinnati Reds OF $8,346,867
Tracy Jones 1986 Cincinnati Reds OF $947,152
Pete Rose 1969 Cincinnati Reds OF $8,588,956
Active Roster Total Salary: $134,968,902

Pedro Astacio 1999 Colorado Rockies SP $4,606,782
Jhoulys Chacin 2011 Colorado Rockies SP $4,418,705
Jorge De La Rosa 2009 Colorado Rockies SP $4,032,999
Jeff Francis 2006 Colorado Rockies SP $4,925,492
Marvin Freeman 1994 Colorado Rockies SP $3,636,977
Jason Jennings 2006 Colorado Rockies SP $4,834,526
Ubaldo Jimenez 2010 Colorado Rockies SP $6,998,104
Joe Kennedy 2004 Colorado Rockies SP $3,296,576
John Thomson 2001 Colorado Rockies SP $2,194,644
Manuel Corpas 2007 Colorado Rockies RP $2,279,908
Steve Reed 1995 Colorado Rockies RP $3,183,885
Gabe White 2000 Colorado Rockies RP $3,369,955
Jeff Reed 1997 Colorado Rockies C $3,167,401
Wilin Rosario 2012 Colorado Rockies C $3,598,223
Andres Galarraga 1996 Colorado Rockies 1B $6,662,822
Todd Helton 2000 Colorado Rockies 1B $10,186,482
Terry Shumpert 1999 Colorado Rockies 2B $3,188,558
Eric Young 1996 Colorado Rockies 2B $6,483,174
Vinny Castilla 1998 Colorado Rockies 3B $6,994,791
Troy Tulowitzki 2011 Colorado Rockies SS $7,599,305
Ellis Burks 1996 Colorado Rockies OF $7,659,863
Alex Cole 1993 Colorado Rockies OF $2,394,353
Matt Holliday 2007 Colorado Rockies OF $7,401,229
Mike Kingery 1994 Colorado Rockies OF $4,232,579
Larry Walker 1997 Colorado Rockies OF $9,369,991
Active Roster Total Salary: $126,717,324

Royals

Kevin Appier 1993 Kansas City Royals SP $8,498,123
David Cone 1994 Kansas City Royals SP $7,970,317
Zack Greinke 2009 Kansas City Royals SP $7,969,016
Dennis Leonard 1977 Kansas City Royals SP $8,852,596
Roger Nelson 1972 Kansas City Royals SP $6,203,352
Bret Saberhagen 1989 Kansas City Royals SP $9,322,352
Tom Gordon 1989 Kansas City Royals RP $4,400,263
Luke Hochevar 2013 Kansas City Royals RP $2,808,360
Greg Holland 2013 Kansas City Royals RP $3,129,203
Jeff Montgomery 1989 Kansas City Royals RP $3,548,966
Dan Quisenberry 1983 Kansas City Royals RP $4,811,864
Joakim Soria 2008 Kansas City Royals RP $2,753,211
Hector Ortiz 2000 Kansas City Royals C $1,310,620
Darrell Porter 1979 Kansas City Royals C $6,654,946
John Mayberry 1975 Kansas City Royals 1B $6,026,047
Ryan Shealy 2008 Kansas City Royals 1B $591,090
Mike Sweeney 2000 Kansas City Royals 1B $6,041,801
Esteban German 2006 Kansas City Royals 2B $2,286,337
Jose Offerman 1998 Kansas City Royals 2B $5,440,786
George Brett 1985 Kansas City Royals 3B $8,186,749
Angel Berroa 2003 Kansas City Royals SS $5,068,007
Johnny Damon 2000 Kansas City Royals OF $7,026,298
Clint Hurdle 1981 Kansas City Royals OF $1,568,322
Amos Otis 1973 Kansas City Royals OF $5,867,932
Willie Wilson 1980 Kansas City Royals OF $7,505,350
Active Roster Total Salary: $133,841,908

Tigers

Juan Berenguer 1983 Detroit Tigers SP $4,323,774
Jim Bunning 1957 Detroit Tigers SP $8,076,506
Mark Fidrych 1976 Detroit Tigers SP $6,880,307
Doug Fister 2011 Detroit Tigers SP $2,722,399
Denny McLain 1968 Detroit Tigers SP $10,804,461
Jack Morris 1981 Detroit Tigers SP $7,807,498
Justin Verlander 2011 Detroit Tigers SP $9,216,382
Terry Fox 1961 Detroit Tigers RP $1,646,001
Willie Hernandez 1985 Detroit Tigers RP $3,622,578
Aurelio Lopez 1981 Detroit Tigers RP $2,672,754
Kevin Saucier 1981 Detroit Tigers RP $2,805,435
Joe Sparma 1966 Detroit Tigers RP $1,124,313
Bill Freehan 1968 Detroit Tigers C $6,126,788
Jim Price 1967 Detroit Tigers C $331,029
Norm Cash 1961 Detroit Tigers 1B $9,425,961
Dick Gernert 1960 Detroit Tigers 1B $248,866
Hank Greenberg 1938 Detroit Tigers 1B $8,442,480
Charlie Gehringer 1937 Detroit Tigers 2B $8,621,358
George Kell 1950 Detroit Tigers 3B $6,634,694
Damion Easley 1996 Detroit Tigers SS $477,738
Alan Trammell 1987 Detroit Tigers SS $6,864,564
Kimera Bartee 1999 Detroit Tigers OF $416,230
Ty Cobb 1917 Detroit Tigers OF $11,008,991
Rocky Colavito 1961 Detroit Tigers OF $6,714,766
Al Kaline 1959 Detroit Tigers OF $7,772,042
Active Roster Total Salary: $134,787,915

Twins

LaTroy Hawkins 1997 Minnesota Twins SP $1,260,060
Walter Johnson 1908 Washington Senators SP $9,880,878
Jim Kaat 1966 Minnesota Twins SP $8,309,272
Francisco Liriano 2006 Minnesota Twins SP $4,414,576
Johnny Niggeling 1943 Washington Senators SP $2,456,323
Johan Santana 2004 Minnesota Twins SP $8,818,377
John Smiley 1992 Minnesota Twins SP $6,607,180
Frank Viola 1988 Minnesota Twins SP $6,681,713
Rick Aguilera 1991 Minnesota Twins RP $2,478,759
Bill Dailey 1963 Minnesota Twins RP $3,658,534
Tom Hall 1970 Minnesota Twins RP $5,712,453
Joe Nathan 2006 Minnesota Twins RP $3,906,519
Joe Mauer 2006 Minnesota Twins C $6,584,624
Josmil Pinto 2013 Minnesota Twins C $1,867,382
Rod Carew 1977 Minnesota Twins 1B $9,873,748
Chuck Knoblauch 1996 Minnesota Twins 2B $6,949,218
Augie Ojeda 2004 Minnesota Twins 2B $508,248
Harmon Killebrew 1969 Minnesota Twins 3B $6,323,509
Joe Cronin 1930 Washington Senators SS $8,139,901
Roy Smalley 1979 Minnesota Twins SS $6,045,273
Goose Goslin 1926 Washington Senators OF $7,412,947
Willie Norwood 1977 Minnesota Twins OF $449,881
Tony Oliva 1964 Minnesota Twins OF $7,275,967
Roberto Ortiz 1941 Washington Senators OF $497,302
Kirby Puckett 1988 Minnesota Twins OF $8,807,559
Active Roster Total Salary: $134,920,203

White Sox

Dylan Axelrod 2013 Chicago White Sox SP $1,566,227
La Marr Hoyt 1983 Chicago White Sox SP $7,354,479
Frank Owen 1904 Chicago White Sox SP $10,735,433
Roy Patterson 1906 Chicago White Sox SP $4,210,692
Jack Quinn 1918 Chicago White Sox SP $2,477,299
Ed Walsh 1909 Chicago White Sox SP $9,470,098
Doc White 1906 Chicago White Sox SP $7,901,159
Eddie Fisher 1964 Chicago White Sox RP $4,021,118
Keith Foulke 1999 Chicago White Sox RP $4,616,924
Barry Latman 1958 Chicago White Sox RP $2,165,361
Reb Russell 1916 Chicago White Sox RP $9,607,110
Hoyt Wilhelm 1966 Chicago White Sox RP $3,091,422
Brook Fordyce 2000 Chicago White Sox C $715,531
Sherm Lollar 1959 Chicago White Sox C $4,905,805
Dick Allen 1972 Chicago White Sox 1B $7,073,772
Frank Thomas 1994 Chicago White Sox 1B $10,309,137
Eddie Collins 1920 Chicago White Sox 2B $8,641,201
Omar Vizquel 2011 Chicago White Sox 3B $645,574
Luke Appling 1936 Chicago White Sox SS $8,221,956
Bucky Dent 1973 Chicago White Sox SS $711,386
Jermaine Dye 2006 Chicago White Sox OF $5,851,721
Bibb Falk 1927 Chicago White Sox OF $5,883,040
Joe Jackson 1920 Chicago White Sox OF $8,181,392
Magglio Ordonez 2002 Chicago White Sox OF $6,055,901
Leo Sutherland 1980 Chicago White Sox OF $409,886
Active Roster Total Salary: $134,823,624

Yankees

Ray Caldwell 1914 New York Yankees SP $7,045,043
John Candelaria 1988 New York Yankees SP $3,955,651
Spud Chandler 1943 New York Yankees SP $9,957,090
Ron Guidry 1978 New York Yankees SP $10,616,274
Clay Parker 1989 New York Yankees SP $2,407,876
Fritz Peterson 1970 New York Yankees SP $7,093,101
Bob Turley 1958 New York Yankees SP $6,459,713
Rich Gossage 1981 New York Yankees RP $3,396,773
Lindy McDaniel 1968 New York Yankees RP $1,790,146
Mariano Rivera 2008 New York Yankees RP $3,784,493
Spec Shea 1951 New York Yankees RP $1,329,029
John Wetteland 1995 New York Yankees RP $2,891,946
Jorge Posada 2000 New York Yankees C $5,801,045
Chris Widger 2002 New York Yankees C $337,409
Lou Gehrig 1934 New York Yankees 1B $10,105,322
Homer Bush 1998 New York Yankees 2B $709,912
Robinson Cano 2009 New York Yankees 2B $6,229,724
Scott Brosius 1998 New York Yankees 3B $4,639,883
Derek Jeter 2005 New York Yankees SS $7,159,592
Clayton Bellinger 2001 New York Yankees OF $386,068
Joe Dimaggio 1941 New York Yankees OF $9,693,715
Mickey Mantle 1961 New York Yankees OF $9,968,443
Roger Maris 1961 New York Yankees OF $5,893,954
Lou Piniella 1984 New York Yankees OF $481,726
Babe Ruth 1927 New York Yankees OF $12,685,460
Active Roster Total Salary: $134,819,388

The Case for a New Round of Expansion in Major League Baseball, to 36 Teams

From 1901 to 1960, 16 teams called Major League Baseball home. Between 1961 and 1977, a period covering 17 seasons, 10 franchises were added. It would be 16 more seasons until the Rockies and Marlins joined in 1993, followed by the Diamondbacks and what were then known as the Devil Rays five years later in 1998. While the Devil may be out of the Rays, there is no doubt that the devil is always in the details, or in this instance, those details that are not yet known as to baseball’s future expansion potential. But whereas it seemed possible in 2002 that contraction would occur, there are clearly no arguments in my view that support future contraction and yet several arguments that support future expansion.

Every time expansion takes place, there are those who say that the talent is watered down further in the Major Leagues, but can anyone genuinely say that our baseball of 2013 is more watered down than it was during the golden age? During the golden age, blacks were just beginning to be allowed to play in our highest level of pro ball and the concept of international players, much less international scouting and the draft were ideas that only the brightest outside the box thinking types could have conceived. Now look at where our game is today, the Great American Pastime has become the great global game and all signs are that it will only continue to grow all over the world. Sure there have always been the baseball hot beds like Venezuela and the Dominican, but look at what developments have taken place in nations like the Netherlands, Canada, Australia, Mexico, South Korea, all who have contributed a great deal of talent to our top level of baseball. I have not even mentioned Japan, which had 0 MLB players in 1994, now you are likely to find a player from Japan on every single organizational roster and more than just one in some cases. Then there are the many Cuban players who have defected and come to the US to play. If and when relations are ever more open between the two bitter rival governments, there will be a flood of talented players coming across the Florida straits seeking big league money and big league exposure.

Then there is Europe, which many baseball experts who follow the international game believe is the future growth spurt of an even deeper international talent pool. It would not be surprising at all to see nations like Italy, Germany, France, and Spain get to where the Dutch are today and that can only mean one thing, even more big league capable players seeking work.

What does this mean for the future of MLB? It simply means that the game which is expanding globally will eventually have to expand to meet fan and player demands if our professional baseball circuit is to maintain its clear status as the world premier league of top notch professional competition. Now, I present my big and bold expansion proposal.

The expansion would be a record for MLB, six teams at one time. Some of you are now taking a big gulp and catching your breath, really, six teams? But let’s put this in some perspective. IN 1969 when four teams joined, they increased the size of the league from 20 to 24 teams, or an increase of 20% in size. Each team took 30 players in the expansion draft, meaning each of the 20 existing organizations lost six players to the new kids on the block. IN the 1977 expansion that added just two teams in the AL, they too took 30 players each. Since they only drafted from AL rosters, the impact was similar for those 12 existing AL teams, losing five players each. The impact on existing teams was much less in the 1993 and 1998 expansions because for one thing, more existing teams were available to be picked from. So in 1992, the Rockies and Marlins each added 36 players, six more than in prior expansions, but the impact was just three players from each NL organization, three players from eight AL organizations, and 2 players from the remaining six AL members. The 1997 expansion saw the Rays and Diamondbacks each take 35 players, this time as before, some organizations lost three players and others lost just two. Given the fact that we now have 30 teams plus all of the affiliated minor league clubs that are part of the farm systems, expanding by six teams and letting each team take 25 players would not be asking all that much. If each new team took 25 players, that would mean a loss of 5 players from each existing organization, which would be no more impactful than what we saw in the 1969 expansion. Furthermore, increasing from 30 to 36 teams is mathematically exactly the same as increasing from 20 to 24 teams, in that you expand the size of MLB by 20%.

Where to put these six teams? Now there are several approaches that one can take when thinking of where and how to expand. Fans and critics will take note and offer their own ideas and responses, but when reading this. in my view, what follows is a sound judgment in terms of my philosophy of expansion.

I’ve read a couple articles recently that said if baseball expands, Brooklyn should be considered and I agree, given the history of baseball in that location. But the one thing I would say that would counter this view, is the fact that baseball is in more dual markets than any other sport. The NBA has two teams each in Los Angeles and New York, assuming the Kings stay in Sacramento, they are not too far from Oakland which is home of the Warriors, though Sacramento is not considered part of the Bay Area market like San Jose and thus the reason San Jose is much favored over Sacramento to land the Athletics assuming they do eventually move from Oakland. The NFL has three dual markets, Oakland/San Francisco, Washington/Baltimore, and New York. The NHL has a dual market with Los Angeles/Anaheim and a tri market with New jersey and the two New York teams. Baseball has five dual markets, Los Angeles/Anaheim, San Francisco/Oakland, New York, Washington/Baltimore, and Chicago. Add to that fact that Philadelphia is right between DC and New York, San Diego is not that far from Anaheim, and Milwaukee is not far from Chicago, and you quickly see that 15 teams or one half of all of MLB is concentrated in five geographic regions, more than any other sports league. Those facts which are very strait forward doom the Brooklyn idea.

So where does MLB go? Go west was a phrase heard during the mass expansion of the United States and North America in general, I apply that in part to baseball, which has cities in Portland and Vancouver that both seem ready to support the great game. Vancouver was a candidate for the 1998 teams but was quickly passed over for the Florida Sun Coast and Desert southwest. Portland has also been mentioned for years as a future expansion or relocation site and it is time that baseball put steaks down in a city that has proven it will support a team that tries to put a good product out there for the fans, see the Portland Trail Blazers for that example from pro hoops.

City number three, San Antonio. The Rangers and Padres series at the end of spring training drew 35 thousand on the same night the Spurs were playing at home, then 40 thousand for a 1PM start the next day, at a place that can only be described as the most temporary baseball setting imaginable, the Alamodome, which was never built or intended for baseball of any kind, period! This would provide a third team in Texas and it is crazy that the Lone Star State, home to a population only smaller than California does not have a third team. The Dallas Fort Worth metro is after all much larger in population than Washington/Baltimore and one could genuinely argue that a second team could also go to DFW, though I don’t propose such a move.

My other three teams go in the eastern region of the continent, one back to Montreal which MLB never gave a fair chance and as we now see in Miami, the marlins owner cares nothing about the fans and he was the nail in the coffin for the Expos in 2001 when his ownership forced the clock to strike midnight in Montreal. Remember that there were several times back in the period of the 1970’s and early 1980’s that the Expos were on par with or outdrew their counterparts in new York, both the Mets and Yankees, so history tells us with no doubt that Montreal was and is a baseball town. They should revisit the plans for Labatt Park, because the Big Owe will only serve as a temporary home.

Finally, the fifth and sixth franchises go to the southeast US, no not to Florida which has sadly been baseball’s worst experiment for the simple fact that unlike Phoenix, Denver, and other cities mentioned here, Florida cities are full of transplants who could give a damn about a local team because they root for their team from back home. While one of these two slots could instead go to Brooklyn, I have instead chosen Charlotte and Nashville. Both have had success with new franchises and only ownership issues caused concern for Nashville’s NHL franchise and ruined fan interest in Charlotte’s first NBA team. Both cities are solid distances from the nearest markets of St. Louis, Atlanta, Cincinnati, and Washington, certainly further away than San Diego is from Orange County and further than Milwaukee is from Chicago.

So now to the question of alignment, how will this all work? My proposal calls for Charlotte to join the existing teams in the AL East and for Nashville to join the AL Central. Portland and San Antonio would both go to the AL West, while Houston would transfer back to the NL Central. Vancouver would join the NL West and Montreal the NL East, plus Pittsburgh and Atlanta would flip divisions, Atlanta to the NL Central and Pittsburgh to the NL East. Now that I’ve made everyone grab for their maps, here is the easy to digest version of alignment.

AL East, Toronto, Boston, NY Yankees, Baltimore, Charlotte, Tampa.

AL Central, Kansas City, Minnesota, Chicago Sox, Nashville, Cleveland, Detroit.

AL West, San Antonio, Texas, LA Angels, Oakland, Portland, Seattle.

NL East, Miami, Washington, NY Mets, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Montreal.

NL Central, Houston, St. Louis, Chicago Cubs, Milwaukee, Cincinnati, Atlanta.

NL West, Colorado, Arizona, San Diego, LA Dodgers, San Francisco, Vancouver.

Time table for expansion, award franchises in 2015, franchises can begin participating in the amateur draft and international free agency process in 2016, new MLB teams take the field opening day, April 2, 2018.