Phillies news: Taking a look at MLB’s Realigned Division Proposal

Zack Wheeler, Philadelphia Phillies (Photo by Julio Aguilar/Getty Images)
Zack Wheeler, Philadelphia Phillies (Photo by Julio Aguilar/Getty Images) /

Here’s the latest Phillies news involving the return of baseball

With a global pandemic going on, all major sports leagues are considering multiple options to try to get started again while keeping players and families safe. One option that has been discussed is the realignment of divisions that would eliminate the American League and National League. Instead, the leagues would be broken up into the Grapefruit League and Cactus League.

Per Bob Nightengale of USA Today, every team would return to their spring training location and play games in Florida and Arizona to limit the travel of players and personnel. With this proposal, players would have three weeks of a second spring training and move on to compete against a brand new division with the universal DH most likely being implemented throughout the MLB.

Here is what the realigned divisions would look like:

Grapefruit League

  • North: Philadelphia Phillies, New York Yankees, Toronto Blue Jays, Pittsburgh Pirates, Detroit Tigers.
  • East: New York Mets, Washington Nationals, Miami Marlins, Houston Astros, St. Louis Cardinals.
  • South: Boston Red Sox, Tampa Bay Rays, Baltimore Orioles, Atlanta Braves, Minnesota Twins.

Cactus League

  • Northeast: San Fransisco Giants, Chicago Cubs, Arizona Diamondbacks, Oakland A’s, Colorado Rockies.
  • West: Los Angeles Angels, Chicago White Sox, Cincinnati Reds, Cleveland Indians, Los Angeles Dodgers.
  • Northwest: Milwaukee Brewers, San Diego Padres, Seattle Mariners, Kansas City Royals, Texas Rangers.

Looking at the new proposed division the Phillies could have an easier time competing in the GL North than they would in the NL East. Besides the Yankees, Philadelphia is more talented than every team in the North on paper.

Having a full season of a completely different landscape for MLB could be an intriguing thing for fans and even people who don’t watch the sport. It seems as if Rob Manfred and all of the higher ups of Major League Baseball would love to be the first sports back in action. If they are successful in that plan all eyes will be on baseball for the time being and could be a huge boost for gaining fans who don’t normally watch.

While the idea seems to be doable there are a lot of other things to consider. A stadium with no fans will still have to have two full rosters of players, coaches, umpires, medical staff, camera crews and possibly front office personnel in attendance for any given game. The safety of all involved in the MLB and the general public is the number one concern.

If a player is to test positive for COVID-19 after this plan takes place, then what? Will the season be suspended again? If that is the case MLB would be back to square one. There are a lot of things that the league has to take into consideration.

Of course, players being away from their families is another issue, especially for guys like Zack Wheeler.

NBC Sports Philadelphia’s own John Clark talked to Wheeler last week about the possibility of this proposal and what it means for him and his pregnant wife Dominique.

"I’m not going to miss the birth of first child, I don’t care what it is. I’m gonna be there for her and be there for the birth of our child, that’s a fact,” Wheeler went on to say, “whether I have to come back here and be with her during that time and miss two more weeks because I have to quarantine myself to be able to play again, so be it. We’ll figure that out when the time comes.”"

Many players have been openly skeptical about this plan but others have the mindset of ‘whatever gets us on the field fastest’.

We have heard over a dozen proposals and ideas from all sports to try to start-up leagues again, and we are going to hear more as time goes on. At this point in the pandemic, there is no reason for league officials not to put out every idea that comes to their head even if some sound very unlikely. They must consider all options.

Everything is unpredictable at the time, but the best thing we can all do is stay inside and stay safe. A lot of readers of this article use sports to get through everyday life, it brings happiness to all of us. If we want normalcy back in our lives along with sports as soon as possible, the best thing we can do to help is to follow all precautionary measures to flatten the curve and slow down this virus.