Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Commish For A Day #1: Territorial Rights

For the opening Commish For A Day salvos, I bring you a two-barrelled approach. Each of these share a common theme dealing with the elimination of territorial rights in the game. There is some other discussion on other topics, but I put these two together to get us started.

Leading off is the esteemed Keith Law of ESPN/Scouts, Inc. fame. Keith's personal blog, meadowparty, is a stew of baseball, movies and all things culinary. Keith's baseball blog on ESPN can be found here, as you probably already know. Says Keith, the lead-off CFAD:

I'd eliminate the territorial rules, both for TV and relocations. Then I'd open up the process to two expansion franchises once the economy is turning around, and if someone wants to put a team in Brooklyn or New Jersey or in the Inland Empire, by all means, let them.

FWIW, the salary cap/floor thing would require a renegotiation of the CBA. Even if you were named Commissioner for a day, you couldn't push that through unilaterally, whereas I don't believe expansion requires union approval (nor would they say no if asked).
Batting second is Thomas White, aka "Chipmaker", sole proprietor of the blog Chipmaker Coherent. The Chipmaker begins with the territorial rights issue, then attacks the World Series HFA issue:
Team territorial rights are abolished, 8:01 am. If the A's want to move to San Jose, go right ahead. If some team wants to move to northern New Jersey, go right ahead. Damned relic from the early 20th century and well overdue to be cast aside.

If that's a bit esoteric, we modify the World Series homefield method. Three points, two points wins homefield:

  1. All Star Game result.
  2. Seasonal interleague play result.
  3. Aggregate intraleague winning percentage of the four playoff teams per league.

It rewards in-league play as well as interleague play, and doesn't require waiting until Oct. 20 to find out where Game 1 will be played, like it might if winning percentage between the two league champions was the third point.

(The current method really doesn't bother me in the least, and I don't understand why it does get up the noses of so many fans, but I recognize that as a real thing. This method would be more interesting, not too complex, and maintain some suspense until late in the season.)

Thanks to Keith and Thomas for their contributions. I've got a bunch more to roll with this week so barring any crazy "real" baseball news, I'll devote much of this week to you guys and your opinions. Chat it up, guys.


Jay said...

Thomas -

Maybe I'm missing the point (look's at Jason's graphic), but wouldn't you still have to wait until Oct 20th (or whenever the two teams are determined) to know where the game is played?

dinologic (Dean D) said...

I've always thought the territorial rule would solve the salary situation in baseball. The reason the large market teams have more money is simple - they have more fans. Allowing another franchise into, say, the New York area is a natural way to spread the wealth. Let the free market system BE a free market system.

Chipmaker said...

I didn't expect that note to be published verbatim, so it was far from perfect.

All the "ASG winner gets WS HFA" does is determine the league, not the actual sites. Of course that requires both LCS to be decided. But the three-point method, if it requires the third point to decide, still settles only the question of host league, with the possible suspense of dragging it out to the final weekend but NOT deep into October.

I cannot take credit for this. When the WS HFA assignment idea was first floated after the 2002 All-Star tie game, some sportswriter tossed this out, and I dearly wish I could remember who it was so he could get credit for it (though from what I recall, the original third point WAS direct comparison of league champion records, which tells me nothing -- so I modified the third point). This lets interleague play do some lifting, still rewards mastering your own league, and keeps Bud's "ASG decides" concept in there.