Promotion/Relegation

In my imaginary new system, MLB would combine the National League and American League into one Baseball Premier League (BPL) comprising the current 30 major league teams.

The top eight BPL teams would have a playoff consisting of three rounds of seven-game series. Seedings would be based on overall record (using run differential as a tie-breaker, if needed). 1 vs 8, 2 vs 7, etc., — higher seed hosting — culminating in a World Series. This would be the same number of rounds in the current MLB playoffs.

The Triple-A Pacific Coast League and International League would combine to form a Baseball League 2 (BL2). No longer would this tier be affiliated with major league (BPL) clubs.

The bottom three BPL teams would be relegated to the BL2. The top two BL2 teams would automatically get promoted to the BPL.

The next four teams in the BL2 standings would play a two-round series of seven games each, seeded by overall record, home field advantage going to the team with the better record. Winner of this BL2 promotion playoff would move up to the BPL.

The Double-A Southern, Eastern, and Texas Leagues would combine to form a Baseball League 3 (BL3). As with BL2, clubs from this level would not be affiliated with the BPL.

The bottom three BL2 teams would be relegated to the BL3. The top two BL3 teams would automatically get promoted to the BL2.

As with the BL2, the next four teams in the BL3 standings would play a two-round series of seven games each, seeded by overall record, home field advantage going to the team with the better record. Winner of this BL3 promotion playoff would move up to the BL2.

The Single-A structure could still be used by the upper three leagues as a farm system.

As Sam says, the prospect of relegation keeps fans of poor performing teams interested (albeit not happily!) while allowing for a “natural order” of the better teams rising to the higher leagues (and more money) and worse teams being demoted due to lack of performance.

Lots of current baseball tradition would have to be sacrificed, and stadium rules and scheduling would be a challenge, but the competition could be as intriguing as the Barclays English Premier League!

2013 Baseball Standings
BPL Team W L RD
AL-E ***Boston 97 65 197
NL-C **St. Louis 97 65 187
AL-W *Oakland 96 66 142
NL-E *Atlanta 96 66 140
NL-C *Pittsburgh 94 68 57
AL-C *Detroit 93 69 172
AL-C *Cleveland 92 70 83
NL-W *Los Angeles 92 70 67
AL-E *Tampa Bay 92 71 54
AL-W Texas 91 72 94
NL-C *Cincinnati 90 72 109
AL-C Kansas City 86 76 47
NL-E Washington 86 76 30
AL-E Baltimore 85 77 36
AL-E New York 85 77 -21
NL-W Arizona 81 81 -10
AL-W Los Angeles 78 84 -4
NL-W San Francisco 76 86 -62
NL-W San Diego 76 86 -82
AL-E Toronto 74 88 -44
NL-C Milwaukee 74 88 -47
NL-W Colorado 74 88 -54
NL-E New York 74 88 -65
NL-E Philadelphia 73 89 -139
AL-W Seattle 71 91 -130
NL-C Chicago 66 96 -87
AL-C Minnesota 66 96 -174
AL-C Chicago 63 99 -125
NL-E Miami 62 100 -133
AL-W Houston 51 111 -238
*** = 2013 World Series winner
** = 2013 World Series loser
* = in 2013 MLB playoffs
BL2 Team W L
INTL Durham 87 57
PCL Oklahoma City 82 62
PCL Las Vegas 81 63
INTL Pawtucket 80 63
INTL Indianapolis 80 64
PCL Sacramento 79 65
PCL Salt Lake 78 66
INTL Rochester 77 67
INTL Norfolk 77 67
PCL Tucson 77 67
PCL Albuquerque 76 68
PCL Tacoma 76 68
INTL Buffalo 74 70
PCL Round Rock 73 71
INTL Lehigh Valley 72 72
PCL New Orleans 72 72
INTL Columbus 71 73
PCL Omaha 70 74
INTL Louisville 69 75
PCL Memphis 69 75
PCL Fresno 68 75
INTL Scranton/Wilkes-Barre 68 76
PCL Colorado Springs 67 76
INTL Syracuse 66 78
PCL Iowa 66 78
INTL Charlotte 65 78
INTL Toledo 61 83
INTL Gwinnett 60 84
PCL Reno 60 84
PCL Nashville 57 87
BL3 Team W L
EAST Binghamton 86 55
TEX Corpus Christi 83 57
SOU Mobile 79 60
TEX San Antonio 78 61
SOU Birmingham 77 63
EAST Harrisburg 77 65
SOU Tennessee 76 62
SOU Mississippi 76 63
EAST Erie 76 66
EAST Trenton 74 67
SOU Jacksonville 73 63
TEX Arkansas 73 66
SOU Montgomery 71 69
EAST Bowie 71 71
TEX Frisco 70 70
EAST Richmond 70 72
TEX Tulsa 68 70
EAST New Hampshire 68 72
EAST Portland 68 73
EAST Akron 68 73
EAST New Britain 66 76
TEX Springfield 64 74
EAST Altoona 63 79
SOU Jackson 62 73
TEX Midland 62 78
EAST Reading 62 80
SOU Huntsville 59 79
SOU Pensacola 59 79
SOU Chattanooga 59 80
TEX Northwest Arkansas 59 81

The 2013 BPL first-round matchups:

  • (1) Boston Red Sox vs (8) Los Angeles Dodgers
  • (4) Atlanta Braves vs (5) Pittsburgh Pirates
  • (3) Oakland Athletics vs (6) Detroit Tigers
  • (2) St. Louis Cardinals vs (7) Cleveland Indians

 

2012 Baseball Standings
BPL Team W L RD
NL-E *Washington 98 64 137
NL-C *Cincinnati 97 65 81
AL-E *New York 95 67 136
NL-E *Atlanta 94 68 100
AL-W *Oakland 94 68 99
NL-W ***San Francisco 94 68 69
AL-W *Texas 93 69 101
AL-E *Baltimore 93 69 7
AL-E Tampa Bay 90 72 120
AL-W Los Angeles 89 73 68
NL-C *St Louis 88 74 117
AL-C **Detroit 88 74 56
NL-W Los Angeles 86 76 40
AL-C Chicago 85 88 72
NL-C Milwaukee 83 79 43
NL-W Arizona 81 81 46
NL-E Philadelphia 81 81 4
NL-C Pittsburgh 79 83 -23
NL-W San Diego 76 86 -59
AL-W Seattle 75 87 -32
NL-E New York 74 88 -59
AL-E Toronto 73 89 -68
AL-C Kansas City 72 90 -70
AL-E Boston 69 93 -72
NL-E Miami 69 93 -115
AL-C Cleveland 68 94 -178
AL-C Minnesota 66 96 -131
NL-W Colorado 64 98 -132
NL-C Chicago 61 101 -146
NL-C Houston 55 107 -211
*** = 2012 World Series winner
** = 2012 World Series loser
* = in 2012 MLB playoffs
BL2 Team W L
INTL Indianapolis 89 55
PCL Sacramento 86 58
INTL Scranton/WB 84 60
INTL Charlotte 83 61
PCL Omaha 83 61
PCL Reno 81 63
PCL Albuquerque 80 64
PCL Las Vegas 79 64
INTL Pawtucket 79 65
PCL Oklahoma City 78 65
INTL Lehigh Valley 75 68
PCL Colorado Springs 75 69
INTL Columbus 75 69
PCL Fresno 74 70
INTL Norfolk 74 70
PCL New Orleans 73 67
PCL Salt Lake 73 71
INTL Rochester 72 72
INTL Syracuse 70 74
PCL Round Rock 69 75
INTL Buffalo 67 76
PCL Nashville 67 77
INTL Durham 66 78
PCL Tacoma 63 81
INTL Gwinnett 62 82
INTL Toledo 60 84
PCL Memphis 57 87
PCL Tucson 56 88
PCL Iowa 53 87
INTL Louisville 51 93
BL3 Team W L
EAST Akron 82 59
TEX Corpus Christi 81 59
TEX Frisco 80 60
SOU Jackson 79 61
EAST Trenton 79 63
EAST Bowie 78 64
TEX Springfield 77 61
EAST Reading 76 66
TEX Tulsa 75 64
EAST New Britain 75 67
SOU Montgomery 74 63
SOU Chattanooga 73 65
SOU Tennessee 72 68
EAST Altoona 72 70
SOU Jacksonville 70 70
EAST Richmond 70 71
SOU Mobile 69 71
SOU Pensacola 68 70
EAST Portland 68 73
EAST Binghamton 68 74
SOU Huntsville 65 74
TEX Midland 64 74
EAST Harrisburg 64 78
SOU Birmingham 63 76
SOU Mississippi 62 77
TEX Arkansas 62 78
EAST New Hampshire 61 81
TEX San Antonio 60 80
TEX NW Arkansas 58 81
EAST Erie 57 84

The 2012 BPL first-round matchups:

  • (1) Washington Senators vs (8) Baltimore Orioles
  • (4) Atlanta Braves vs (5) Oakland Athletics
  • (3) New York Yankees vs (6) San Francisco Giants
  • (2) Cincinnati Reds vs (7) Texas Rangers

 

2011 Baseball Standings
BPL Team W L RD
NL-E *Philadelphia 102 60 184
AL-E *New York 97 65 210
NL-C *Milwaukee 96 66 83
AL-W **Texas 96 66 178
AL-C *Detroit 95 67 76
NL-W *Arizona 94 68 69
AL-E *Tampa Bay 91 71 93
AL-E Boston 90 72 138
NL-C ***St Louis 90 72 70
NL-E Atlanta 89 73 36
AL-W Los Angeles 86 76 34
NL-W San Francisco 86 76 -8
NL-W Los Angeles 82 79 32
AL-E Toronto 81 81 -18
NL-E Washington 80 81 -19
AL-C Cleveland 80 82 -56
AL-C Chicago 79 83 -52
NL-C Cincinnati 79 83 15
NL-E New York 77 85 -24
AL-W Oakland 74 88 -34
NL-W Colorado 73 89 -39
NL-E Florida 72 90 -77
NL-C Pittsburgh 72 90 -102
NL-C Chicago 71 91 -102
AL-C Kansas City 71 91 -32
NL-W San Diego 71 91 -18
AL-E Baltimore 69 93 -152
AL-W Seattle 67 95 -119
AL-C Minnesota 63 99 -185
NL-C Houston 56 106 -181
*** = 2011 World Series winner
** = 2011 World Series loser
* = in 2011 MLB playoffs
BL2 Team W L
INTL Columbus 88 56
PCL Sacramento 88 56
PCL Round Rock 87 57
INTL Pawtucket 81 61
INTL Durham 80 62
INTL Lehigh Valley 80 64
PCL Omaha 79 63
INTL Gwinnett 78 65
PCL Memphis 77 66
PCL Reno 77 67
INTL Indianapolis 76 68
INTL Scranton/WB 73 69
INTL Louisville 73 71
PCL Las Vegas 71 73
PCL Nashville 71 73
PCL Albuquerque 70 74
PCL Tacoma 70 74
INTL Charlotte 69 74
PCL New Orleans 69 74
PCL Oklahoma City 68 75
INTL Toledo 67 77
INTL Syracuse 66 74
PCL Iowa 66 77
PCL Fresno 65 79
PCL Tuscon 65 79
PCL Colorado Springs 64 80
PCL Salt Lake 62 82
INTL Buffalo 61 82
INTL Norfolk 56 87
INTL Rochester 53 91
BL3 Team W L
TEX San Antonio 94 46
SOU Mobile 84 54
SOU Tennessee 83 57
EAST Harrisburg 80 62
TEX Frisco 79 61
SOU Chattanooga 77 62
EAST New Hampshire 77 65
EAST Richmond 76 66
EAST Bowie 75 66
EAST Reading 74 68
TEX NW Arkansas 73 64
EAST Akron 73 69
EAST New Britain 72 70
SOU Birmingham 71 69
SOU Jacksonville 70 70
TEX Arkansas 68 69
SOU Jackson 68 72
TEX Tulsa 68 72
EAST Trenton 68 73
EAST Erie 67 75
SOU Montgomery 65 74
EAST Binghamton 65 76
SOU Huntsville 64 73
EAST Altoona 64 77
TEX Midland 63 77
TEX Springfield 62 78
SOU Mississippi 61 79
EAST Portland 59 83
SOU Carolina 53 86
TEX Corpus Christi 50 90

The 2011 BPL first-round matchups:

  • (1) Philadelphia Phillies vs (8) Boston Red Sox
  • (4) Texas Rangers vs (5) Detroit Tigers
  • (3) Milwaukee Brewers vs (6) Arizona Diamondbacks
  • (2) New York Yankees vs (7) Tampa Bay Rays

 

2010 Baseball Standings
BPL Team W L
NL-E *Philadelphia 97 65
AL-E *Tampa Bay 96 66
AL-E *New York 95 67
AL-C *Minnesota 94 68
NL-W ***San Francisco 92 70
NL-E *Atlanta 91 71
NL-C *Cincinnati 91 71
AL-W **Texas 90 72
NL-W San Diego 90 72
AL-E Boston 89 73
AL-C Chicago 88 74
NL-C St Louis 86 76
AL-E Toronto 85 77
NL-W Colorado 83 79
AL-C Detroit 81 81
AL-W Oakland 81 81
NL-E Florida 80 82
AL-W Los Angeles 80 82
NL-W Los Angeles 80 82
NL-E New York 79 83
NL-C Milwaukee 77 85
NL-C Houston 76 86
NL-C Chicago 75 87
AL-C Cleveland 69 93
NL-E Washington 69 93
AL-C Kansas City 67 95
AL-E Baltimore 66 96
NL-W Arizona 65 97
AL-W Seattle 61 101
NL-C Pittsburgh 57 105
*** = 2010 World Series winner
** = 2010 World Series loser
* = in 2010 MLB playoffs
BL2 Team W L
INTL Durham 88 55
INTL Scranton/WB 87 56
PCL Iowa 82 62
PCL Memphis 82 62
PCL Omaha 81 63
INTL Louisville 79 64
INTL Columbus 79 65
PCL Sacramento 79 65
PCL Nashville 77 67
INTL Syracuse 76 67
INTL Buffalo 76 68
PCL Fresno 75 69
PCL Tacoma 74 69
PCL Okla City 73 70
PCL Salt Lake 73 71
PCL Albuquerque 72 71
INTL Gwinnett 72 71
INTL Indianapolis 71 73
INTL Toledo 70 73
PCL Reno 69 74
INTL Charlotte 67 77
INTL Norfolk 67 77
PCL New Orleans 66 77
PCL Las Vegas 66 78
INTL Pawtucket 66 78
PCL Colorado Springs 64 79
PCL Portland 59 85
INTL Lehigh Valley 58 86
PCL Round Rock 57 87
INTL Rochester 49 95
BL3 Team W L
SOU Tennessee 86 53
TEX NW Arkansas 86 54
EAST Trenton 83 59
EAST Altoona 82 60
SOU Jacksonville 81 59
EAST New Hampshire 79 62
EAST Harrisburg 77 65
TEX Springfield 76 64
SOU Mobile 75 62
EAST Bowie 75 67
SOU West Tenn 73 66
SOU Montgomery 72 66
TEX Frisco 72 67
EAST Akron 71 71
TEX Midland 70 70
EAST Portland 70 71
TEX Tulsa 69 70
EAST Reading 69 72
TEX San Antonio 68 72
EAST Richmond 68 73
SOU Huntsville 67 73
EAST Binghamton 66 76
EAST Erie 66 76
SOU Chattanooga 65 74
SOU Mississippi 63 74
TEX Corpus Christi 63 77
SOU Carolina 58 79
TEX Arkansas 55 85
SOU Birmingham 53 87
EAST New Britain 44 98

The 2010 BPL first-round matchups:

  • (1) Philadelphia Phillies vs (8) Texas Rangers
  • (4) Minnesota Twins vs (5) San Francisco Giants
  • (3) New York Yankees vs (6) Atlanta Braves
  • (2) Tampa Bay Rays vs (7) Cincinnati Reds

 

2009 Baseball Standings
BPL Team W L
AL-E ***New York 103 59
AL-W *Los Angeles 97 65
NL-W *Los Angeles 95 67
AL-E Boston 95 67
NL-E **Philadelphia 93 69
NL-W Colorado 92 70
NL-C *St. Louis 91 71
NL-W San Francisco 88 74
NL-E Florida 87 75
AL-W Texas 87 75
AL-C *Minnesota 87 76
NL-E Atlanta 86 76
AL-C Detroit 86 77
AL-W Seattle 85 77
AL-E Tampa Bay 84 78
NL-C Chicago 83 78
NL-C Milwaukee 80 82
AL-C Chicago 79 83
NL-C Cincinnati 78 84
AL-W Oakland 75 87
NL-W San Diego 75 87
AL-E Toronto 75 87
NL-C Houston 74 88
NL-W Arizona 70 92
NL-E New York 70 92
AL-C Cleveland 65 97
AL-C Kansas City 65 97
AL-E Baltimore 64 98
NL-C Pittsburgh 62 99
NL-E Washington 59 103
*** = 2009 World Series winner
** = 2009 World Series loser
* = in 2009 MLB playoffs
BL2 Team W L
PCL Sacramento 86 57
INTL Louisville 84 58
INTL Durham 83 61
INTL Scranton/WB 81 60
INTL Gwinnett 81 63
PCL Albuquerque 80 64
PCL Reno 79 64
PCL Memphis 77 67
INTL Syracuse 76 68
PCL Nashville 75 69
PCL Tacoma 74 70
PCL Colorado Springs 73 69
INTL Toledo 73 70
PCL Salt Lake 72 71
PCL Iowa 72 72
INTL Norfolk 71 71
PCL Fresno 71 73
PCL Las Vegas 71 73
INTL Lehigh Valley 71 73
INTL Indianapolis 70 73
INTL Rochester 70 74
PCL Oklahoma City 69 75
INTL Charlotte 67 76
PCL Omaha 64 80
PCL New Orleans 63 80
PCL Round Rock 63 81
INTL Pawtucket 61 82
PCL Portland 60 84
INTL Columbus 57 85
INTL Buffalo 56 87
BL3 Team W L
SOU Birmingham 92 47
EAST Akron 89 53
EAST Connecticut 83 59
SOU Jacksonville 82 58
TEX Midland 78 62
EAST Reading 75 67
TEX Tulsa 74 66
TEX NW Arkansas 73 67
EAST Bowie 73 69
TEX Frisco 72 68
EAST New Britain 72 69
TEX Springfield 71 69
SOU Tennessee 71 69
EAST Erie 71 70
TEX San Antonio 70 70
EAST Harrisburg 70 72
EAST Trenton 69 72
EAST Portland 67 74
SOU Mobile 66 74
SOU Mississippi 65 73
SOU Carolina 65 74
SOU Chattanooga 65 74
SOU Montgomery 65 74
EAST New Hampshire 64 78
SOU Huntsville 63 75
SOU West Tennessee 62 78
EAST Altoona 62 80
TEX Arkansas 61 79
TEX Corpus Christi 61 79
EAST Binghamton 54 86

The 2009 BPL first-round matchups:

  • (1) New York Yankees vs (8) San Francisco Giants
  • (4) Boston Red Sox vs (5) Philadelphia Phillies
  • (3) Los Angeles Dodgers vs (6) Colorado Rockies
  • (2) Los Angeles Angels vs (7) St. Louis Cardinals
* * * * * * * * *
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