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How the 1998 AAA realignment could also have been done

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  • How the 1998 AAA realignment could also have been done

    In 1998, the American Association was dissolved, with its teams split between the IL and PCL. Though seemingly done for travel cost reasons, it actually greatly increased such costs for some teams. Here's how things could have been done instead:

    Buffalo from AA to IL
    Columbus and Toledo from IL to AA
    Memphis established in AA

    IL North:
    Buffalo
    Ottawa
    Pawtucket
    Rochester
    Syracuse

    IL South:
    Charlotte
    Durham (expansion)
    Norfolk
    Richmond
    Scranton/Wilkes-Barre

    AA North:
    Columbus
    Indianapolis
    Iowa
    Omaha
    Toledo

    AA South:
    Louisville
    Memphis (expansion)
    Nashville
    New Orleans
    Oklahoma City

    As it is now the three-league structure can easily be revived. The American Conference teams in the PCL, all now in the Central Time Zone, can combine with the West Division teams in the IL to form a new league. As the name American Association has been taken by an indie league since 2005, I proposed that the new league be named Heartland League. I would expect this to occur when MLB expands to 32 teams and 2 more teams are needed in each level of minor league baseball. I'd add two teams to the South Division of the IL, by promoting the Bowie BaySox from the AA Eastern League and the Winston-Salem Dash from the High A Carolina League. The PCL would go to a single division structure, have each team play the others 20 times each, and adopt a Shaugnessy Playoff. The IL and HL would have the top three teams in each division make the playoffs. (HL would have the Midwestern teams in the North and the Southern teams in the South.)
    Last edited by PF#9; 03-18-2020, 03:18 PM.
    The playoffs should expand eventually, but only if MLB itself expands.

    See my blog for more info.

  • #2
    Looks like a great idea.
    "No matter how great you were once upon a time — the years go by, and men forget,” - W. A. Phelon in Baseball Magazine in 1915. “Ross Barnes, forty years ago, was as great as Cobb or Wagner ever dared to be. Had scores been kept then as now, he would have seemed incomparably marvelous.”

    Comment


    • #3
      Yeah, there absolutely should be a Midwestern AAA league.

      I suspect MLB expansion is on the horizon fairly soon -- at that time I believe there will be complete reorganization of the minors top to bottom.

      My guess is that each team will have three (3) farm teams, Classes A, AA and AAA. Each team will have roughly 100 players under contract in the minors.

      Comment

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