Opinion of Kingman's Performance

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

An Outrageous Proposal, But Something to Think About

About a month ago, Howard Cole over at the Dodger Blog at the O.C. Register wrote about the pending Astros move to the A.L. West and then he proposed that the Rockies would be a better fit in that division.   Now as the owners meetings start to get tuned up in Milwaukee, there is talk of that Houston move again and how some A.L. West clubs, (i.e. the Anaheim Angels and Oakland A’s), are not too happy with a second Texas team in the division.
Now let me throw something sacrilegious out there.  I don’t propose this, and I don’t ever see this happening, so please refrain from showing up at my doorstep with lit torches and pitchforks in hand.  But what if the Dodgers moved to the American League West?  I know it is blasphemy to even mention it, but just give it some thought for a minute.  If you as a Dodger fan knew that the Dodgers would win a World Series within the next three years if they moved to the American League, would you change your tune and support such a move?  I sure would.
What would result from the Dodger franchise moving to the Junior Circuit?  Would the end result be a positive one?  Is tradition so deep in baseball history that the move simply couldn’t be made?  Let me throw this out there.  The Dodgers and Giants moving west was about as drastic a change as possible to the game, and in the end, it was a positive step to advance the sport as a whole.  
Also, a league switch-er-roo isn’t unprecedented, as Milwaukee did so in 1998.  Granted, I’m aware that the Brewers don’t carry the tradition and prestige that the Dodgers do, but still, their league switch didn’t ruin the game.   Major League Baseball has made such drastic changes as realigning and setting up divisions, producing the League Championship Series’ and then the League Divison Series'.  Changing post season matchups to night time and advancing the game monetarily in the process.  Also Allowing Free Agency, creating the arbitration process, introducing the D.H.  
What I’m trying to say is that MLB, as much as it is stooped in tradition and what appears to be a reluctance to change, has been quite innovative and made drastic alterations over the past 40 years.  A move of the Dodgers to the American League would not be a change that would destroy the game.  In fact, there are those that would probably be for it and would say it’s a positive step.   Here are some of the pros and cons of such a crazy move that I came up with:
  1. It would definitely be interesting.  I believe that in the initial years following the change, the appeal to seeing the Dodgers in the new league would raise attendance in both the opposing parks and at home.  The lure of seeing our storied franchise facing A.L. opponents night after night could be quite appealing to many fans.  And the Dodgers always draw on the road.  Even in down years.  I recall attending the first inter-league game in Oakland between the Dodgers in A's.  I couldn't help be hear their conversation of the A's season ticket holders sitting next to me as they were absolutely giddy over the Dodgers being in town.
  2. Free Agent appeal.  There are always the solid free agents at the mid points of their careers that may want to move to a warm weather, popular franchise that would grant them the option to slide into the DH role as their career winds down.  A Dodger team in the American League would open up the Dodgers to some more free agents that today would never consider playing for them.
  3. The rivalry with the Anaheim club will reach more intense levels.  Can you imagine a pennant race in which the Dodgers and Angels are battling it out into the last week of the season and perhaps even facing off in a final 3 game series with the Division Title on the line?  That would be quite intense and Dodger move to the AL West would make the Dodgers-Angels to be the closest geographical divisional rivalry in baseball.
  4. Yankees, Red Sox, Tigers, Rays, Twins, Rangers would all be coming to town at least once a year.  Thats a lot of good baseball.  Trips to Yankee Stadium each year.  Heck, we still haven’t gone to the Bronx since inter-league play began.  As an A.L. team,we’ll be there and Fenway, Camden Yards, Detroit, every year.
  5. We’d get to stick it to the Giants because they’d lose their best natural rival.  As a current Bay Area resident that has watched Giant fans celebrate due to the ownership fiasco with McCourt.  I’d actually get pleasure in watching them miss us.  Especially after O’Malley played such a huge role in keeping the Gnats from moving to St. Petersburg in 1992.  Their unappreciative stance would be aptly rewarded with the Dodgers skipping over to the Junior Circuit.  No loss for me in seeing the Dodgers come to town, as I’ll just go to Oakland and see them play here for three series each season.  Let’s see the Gnats try to develop a natural rivalry with the Rocks or DBacks.
  6. As a Dodger fan, the AL West may be an easier division to win than the NL West.  No more trips to Colorado.  No more facing such pitching as Lincecum, Cain, Kennedy, Bumgarner, Latos, Cook, Bell, Chacin, Harang.  No more hitting in offensive graveyards like Petco or AT&T Parks. 
  7. A move of the Dodgers to the American League would be intriguing and possibly, very successful.  The McCourt fiasco has not endeared the L.A. franchise to the rest of the owners in the game.  A gesture for the Dodgers to voluntarily switch is complete “out of the box” thinking that could be possibly a popular move in the ownership circle, because it would solve the dilemma of the unbalanced leagues and in the end would increase revenues. Much more so than a Houston Astros move.
  1. The DH.  There's not much more to be said.  The rule stinks and I just don’t like the game as much when the rule is emplyed.
  2. American League baseball loses a lot of it’s strategic appeal due to...the DH.  In my opinion, its a much less interesting game.  (Yeah I know, that was #1, but it is such a strong point that it deserves mention twice).
  3. We lose the traditional rivalries that have built up over the years against the Giants, Padres, Cardinals, Phillies, Cubs, Mets, Reds and more.  Even teams like the Pirates and Astros I would miss.  I think over the course of my life, I can think about crucial games or series against every club in the league at some time or other.  Those links would be gone.
  4. History.  The Dodgers are the National League.  Could the N.L. lose its identity with such a drastic change?  Jackie, Alston, Campy, Pee Wee, Newk, Lasorda, Sandy, Don, Maury, Garv, Fernando, Orel, Penguin.  Those names are key National League figures.  It is sacrilegious to move that franchise over to the other side.
  5. The Dodgers have performed awfully against the American League in inter-league play.  The make up of the team may be forced to change into one that is less pitching centralized and more powerhitting/OBP based.
  6. As much as it would be interesting to face some of the AL powerhouses each year, they could dominate us and send the franchise spiraling into the second division.  Also, facing such inter-division teams as the A’s, Mariners and Rangers for six series each year doesn’t sound as appealing as facing the Pads, Giants, Rockies and DBacks each year.
Okay, a crazy idea.  I know that, but what a story it would be if the league considered moving our franchise to the other league.

No comments:

Post a Comment