Baseball Ink

Baseball The Way It Was Meant To Be

Introducing Promotion and Relegation to Professional Baseball

January 20, 2010 by SamM

Now that Bud Selig is broadening his horizons by putting the "world" into World Series, then perhaps he might want to consider another difference in the way sports are conducted elsewhere: instituting a system of promotion and relegation. That is, to have the bottom teams from each league – from the majors to Class A – move down and the top teams from each league move up. This is how it is done in the European soccer league, for example. And the result seems to be a more loyal following for a given team.

The chances are that folks in top Triple A towns such as Akron, Louisville and Sacramento would like to have an MLB team in their towns as much as fans in Baltimore, Kansas City and Washington. Perhaps even more so given that the teams in each of the former towns were top of their respective divisions last season, while the three major league towns hugged the bottom of theirs.

It's hard to imagine that one would be too enthused attending an Orioles, Royals or Senators game knowing that your team is well out of contention. However, my guess is it would be a lot more exciting if they were trying to save themselves from falling out of the MLB. Likewise, having your team move up to "the show" would be like winning the World Series to some teams.