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Tuesday November 10, 2009 8:48 pm

The Easts dominate the World Series

New York YankeesSince the MLB Players’ Strike of 1994 and the realignment of divisions to include the new wild card format, there have been thirty teams to compete in the World Series. Thirty teams in baseball; thirty teams in the World Series. A perfect world would have welcomed each team to the Fall Classic once, but we all know that’s not the case. Baseball is not that fair. To say that there has been uneven representation of the divisions throughout the years would be a huge understatement, as the level of parity in baseball is about as high as CC Sabathia’s batting average.

Teams out of the Easts of each league have been in the World Series 18 times – 10 from the American, eight from the National – and have won 11 of them. The NL West and AL Central have each been represented four times, the NL Central three, and the poor AL West has only seen one of their own reach “The Show”; the surprise Anaheim Angels of 2002, who went on to beat the San Francisco Giants in the only West vs West showdown since the Oakland Athletics took on the Cincinnati Reds, who were part of the NL West in 1990.

There have been 17 different teams in the World Series in the last 15 years, including nine unique champions, so there is some weight behind the argument that baseball is at a good level of competitiveness. To see the same champion year in and year out would become repetitive, but there’s also a lot of excitement to be found in watching a dynasty rise and fall. However, at what point does it get ridiculous? There’s no secret that the New York Yankees have competed in 40 World Series, winning 27, and a nine-year-long World Series drought in the Bronx is the equivalent of a lifetime in other markets.

Many people argue that baseball needs to find a better way to “share the wealth,” whether it’s realigning the divisions, adding more playoff teams, balancing the schedule, creating a salary cap, etc. The fact is this: there is no perfect system. There are issues with the current format, and any changes made to it will result in new issues. The AL and NL Easts will continue their domination over the Centrals and Wests for the next few years, but eventually, even the AL West will have to have another entry into the World Series. Just don’t expect it to be the Texas Rangers.

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