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CentralChamps21

The 1972 non-move to the AL East

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Since we seem to have literally run out of worthwhile things to discuss:

From the Wikipedia entry on the 1972 MLB season:

"To make room for the Rangers in the American League West Division, one of the teams already in that division would have to switch to the East Division. Technically, both the Chicago White Sox and the Milwaukee Brewers were the easternmost teams in the West Division, but only one of them could move, although the Minnesota Twins lobbied to keep the Rangers in the East because it wanted both the Brewers and White Sox as division rivals. It was decided that Milwaukee, as the newer franchise, would make the move, even though the Chicago wanted to go to the East since five of the league's original franchises were in that division, and that the Cubs were in the National League East."

Do any of our "more experienced" posters have any more insight on this? It seems that once local TV rights became a bigger deal in the 1980s, being in the West and playing more games in the Pacific Time Zone compared to being in the East and playing more games against the Yankees would have been a huge disadvantage. I wonder how things might have been different if the Sox had switched to the East in 1972.

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The haves and have nots financially weren't that far separated, although Steinbrenner did spend some cash. But you had Oakland, KC in the West who were always good. The Angels and Twins who did have their runs the Sox, Seattle and Texas who tried to be the poor man's version of Steinbrenner. It probably wouldn't have made much of a difference, although I think the Sox had the 2nd best record in the AL in 1990 and would have made the playoffs if they were in the East. When teams really started to distance themselves financially, the 6 divisions were in play.  

Edited by Dick Allen

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I don't believe there would be much of an impact, beyond the White Sox losing more road games before Chicago fans went to bed rather than after. The only current AL teams which have won less division titles are expansion franchises (Houston (though nearly double NL + AL), Seattle and Tampa Bay. The biggest beneficiary of the new watered down format are NL Wild Card teams, claiming five World Series titles since 1995.

MLB Division Titles:

American League: New York 19; Oakland 17; Minnesota 12; Boston & Cleveland 10; Baltimore & Los Angeles 9; Detroit, Kansas City & Texas 7; Toronto 6; Chicago 5; Houston, Seattle and Tampa Bay 3; Milwaukee 1.

National League: Atlanta 20; Los Angeles 19; Saint Louis 14; Philadelphia 11; Cincinnati 10; Pittsburgh 9; Chicago & San Francisco 8; Houston & New York 6; Arizona & San Diego 5; Washington 4; Milwaukee 2; Montreal 1; Colorado & Miami 0 (Yet Two Marlins World Series - Wild Cards are Bullshit, all of it).

MLB World Series Titles by Division Champions:

Pre 1994:

  • AL East 7 (Baltimore, New York & Toronto 2; Detroit 1)
  • AL West 7 (Oakland 4; Minnesota 2; Kansas City 1) 
  • NL East 6 (New York & Pittsburgh 2; Philadelphia & Saint Louis 1)
  • NL West 5 (Cincinnati 3; Los Angeles 2)

Post 1995:

  • AL East 8 (New York 5; Boston 3)
  • National League Wild Cards 5 (1997 & 2003 Florida; 2011 Saint Louis; 2014 San Francisco; 2019 Washington)
  • NL West 4 (San Francisco 2; Arizona & Los Angeles 1)
  • American League Wild Cards 2 (2002 Los Angeles & 2004 Boston)
  • NL East 2 (Atlanta & Philadelphia 1)
  • NL Central 2 (Chicago & Saint Louis 1)
  • AL Central 2 (Chicago & Kansas City 1)
  • AL West 1 (Houston)
Edited by South Side Hit Men
Updated Minnesota's WC Total caught by KnightNI

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On 2/8/2021 at 11:57 AM, WhiteSoxFan1993 said:

Since we seem to have literally run out of worthwhile things to discuss:

From the Wikipedia entry on the 1972 MLB season:

"To make room for the Rangers in the American League West Division, one of the teams already in that division would have to switch to the East Division. Technically, both the Chicago White Sox and the Milwaukee Brewers were the easternmost teams in the West Division, but only one of them could move, although the Minnesota Twins lobbied to keep the Rangers in the East because it wanted both the Brewers and White Sox as division rivals. It was decided that Milwaukee, as the newer franchise, would make the move, even though the Chicago wanted to go to the East since five of the league's original franchises were in that division, and that the Cubs were in the National League East."

Do any of our "more experienced" posters have any more insight on this? It seems that once local TV rights became a bigger deal in the 1980s, being in the West and playing more games in the Pacific Time Zone compared to being in the East and playing more games against the Yankees would have been a huge disadvantage. I wonder how things might have been different if the Sox had switched to the East in 1972.

This problem actually stemmed back a bit further. It started when the two divisional realignment went into a effect in 1969. The White Sox wanted to be in the East with New York, Boston, Cleveland, Detroit. But instead they were placed in the West with a couple of relocated franchises, Oakland who had been in KC and Minnesota who was the original Washington Senators, and two expansion teams, Kansas City and the Seattle Pilots, before they became the Brewers. So all their original rivals were gone, and with Oakland, Seattle and the California Angels, they now would have a ton of late night West coast games, on a weak television network as they stupidly decided to leave WGN all to the Cubs. Didn't help either that the White Sox at this time had a poor club where as the Cubs then had a good exciting club. These were the reasons and how Chicago became a Cubs town. This era and for these reasons. 

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4 minutes ago, Soxsi75 said:

This problem actually stemmed back a bit further. It started when the two divisional realignment went into a effect in 1969. The White Sox wanted to be in the East with New York, Boston, Cleveland, Detroit. But instead they were placed in the West with a couple of relocated franchises, Oakland who had been in KC and Minnesota who was the original Washington Senators, and two expansion teams, Kansas City and the Seattle Pilots, before they became the Brewers. So all their original rivals were gone, and with Oakland, Seattle and the California Angels, they now would have a ton of late night West coast games, on a weak television network as they stupidly decided to leave WGN all to the Cubs. Didn't help either that the White Sox at this time had a poor club where as the Cubs then had a good exciting club. These were the reasons and how Chicago became a Cubs town. This era and for these reasons. 

I understand why they were aligned as they originally were in 1969, it made sense geographically. I'm specifically asking about 1972 when the 2nd Washington Senators moved to Texas and the Brewers were allowed to switch to the East instead of the Sox. I'm wondering if there's more to the story.

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1 hour ago, Soxsi75 said:

This problem actually stemmed back a bit further. It started when the two divisional realignment went into a effect in 1969. The White Sox wanted to be in the East with New York, Boston, Cleveland, Detroit. But instead they were placed in the West with a couple of relocated franchises, Oakland who had been in KC and Minnesota who was the original Washington Senators, and two expansion teams, Kansas City and the Seattle Pilots, before they became the Brewers. So all their original rivals were gone, and with Oakland, Seattle and the California Angels, they now would have a ton of late night West coast games, on a weak television network as they stupidly decided to leave WGN all to the Cubs. Didn't help either that the White Sox at this time had a poor club where as the Cubs then had a good exciting club. These were the reasons and how Chicago became a Cubs town. This era and for these reasons. 

The Cubs were terrible from 72-83 and really didn't draw any better than the SOX.  It may have started in '69 and the few years after, but it really became a Cubs town after the Trib bought the team and started selling "beautiful Wrigley Field", along with the SOX going to Sportsvision.  

Edited by soxfan18

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I've always thought the SOX not being with Cleveland and Detroit, along with Milwaukee, was stupid and why the team really doesn't have any historical rivalries, like the Cubs have with St. Louis.  

And the Brewers maybe never leave the AL if they had a real rivalry with the SOX.  

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3 minutes ago, soxfan18 said:

I've always thought the SOX not being with Cleveland and Detroit, along with Milwaukee, was stupid and why the team really doesn't have any historical rivalries, like the Cubs have with St. Louis.  

And the Brewers maybe never leave the AL if they had a real rivalry with the SOX.  

That’s true, but for whatever reason, they played 4 series against every team in the AL from 1979 to 1993. You played 13 games against the six teams in your division, and 12 games against the seven teams outside your division- a balanced schedule for all intents and purposes. So in 1990, the White Sox had the second best record with a balanced schedule and went home with 94 wins. Not sure why they didn’t play 15 in the division, and 10 outside for 160 but it’s MLB so...

BTW, I love the idea of going back to no divisions and a balanced schedule when they go to 16 teams in each league. Play the 15 teams in your league 11 games...165 games with built in 7- inning doubleheaders to shorten the season. Top 6 teams in each league make the postseason. If the leagues go East/West, fine.

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5 hours ago, soxfan18 said:

I've always thought the SOX not being with Cleveland and Detroit, along with Milwaukee, was stupid and why the team really doesn't have any historical rivalries, like the Cubs have with St. Louis.  

And the Brewers maybe never leave the AL if they had a real rivalry with the SOX.  

The Cards and Cubs are unique based on their close proximity and the large swath of fans in the demarcation zone (Peoria / Bloomington Normal a no man's zone containing mixed allegiances, the Cards (South) and Cubs (North) for most of the rest of the state.

For Sox fans during their finest stretch of solid teams (1950s-mid 1960s), the Yankees were the hated team for Sox fans, primarily for consistently finishing with a few wins more every year but 1959. The Sox sucked after that, and the few fans left were primarily concerned with not moving to Milwaukee, Denver or Tampa Bay. Many fans are currently sadly fixated on the Cubs, but the Sox have developed good rivalries with Minnesota over the past few decades, with Cleveland a worthy rival in terms of competitiveness, and then the cheap shot Old School bullshit slung by the pathetic Royals.

It made perfect sense for Milwaukee to transfer. They were initially an NL city, and they share a similar fan mix of Cubs/Brewers fans along the Wisconsin border. There was typically a small uptick for Brewers White Sox at either park, but the Cubs / Brewers typically sell out with ticket prices raised specifically in Milwaukee. Plus they get to keep the Twins as their Interleague rival. 

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Quite frankly the central should be this: 

AL: Sox, Royals, Astros, Twins, Rangers

NL: Cubs, Cards, Brewers, Tigers, maybe Reds. 

 

Some sort of variation. Of that. 

East Yanks, Boston, Toronto, Cleveland, Tampa Bay, Orioles 

Nl. Pitts, Mets. Phills. Nats, braves, miami

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The west could be Oak, LA, Sea, Colorado

Then Dodgers, Giants, Padres, Dbacks

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There always should have been four divisions, playoffs a best of seven League Championship Series and the best of seven World Series, the lone inter-league games each season.

160 game schedule, 16 Division Games (112), 6 Against Opposite Division (48)

  • AL East: Baltimore, Boston, Cleveland, Detroit, Charlotte, New York, Tampa Bay, Toronto. (8 EDT)
  • AL West: Chicago, Kansas City, Los Angeles, Milwaukee, Minnesota, Oakland, Seattle, Texas. (5 CDT 3 PDT)
  • NL East: Atlanta, Cincinnati, Miami, Montreal, New York, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Washington. (8 EDT)
  • NL West: Arizona, Chicago, Colorado, Houston, Los Angeles, San Diego, San Francisco, Saint Louis. (3 CDT, 1 MDT, 4 PDT)

Unfortunately, they will likely go with eight four team divisions, likely have a 20 + team playof, because greed and avarice. They may as well shift a few of the non league charter expansion teams to make more sense. I'd have a playoff of division winners, an 18 game Division (54) and 9 games against the other 12 league teams (108)

  • AL East: Baltimore, Boston, New York, Toronto.
  • AL Central: Chicago, Cleveland, Detroit, Minnesota.
  • AL South: Houston, Miami, Tampa Bay. Texas.
  • AL West: Colorado, Los Angeles, Oakland, Seattle.
  • NL East: Montreal, New York, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh.
  • NL Central: Chicago, Kansas City, Milwaukee, Saint Louis.
  • NL South: Atlanta, Charlotte, Cincinnati, Washington.
  • NL West: Arizona, Los Angeles, San Diego, San Francisco. 

 

Edited by South Side Hit Men

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14 hours ago, South Side Hit Men said:

The Cards and Cubs are unique based on their close proximity and the large swath of fans in the demarcation zone (Peoria / Bloomington Normal a no man's zone containing mixed allegiances, the Cards (South) and Cubs (North) for most of the rest of the state.

For Sox fans during their finest stretch of solid teams (1950s-mid 1960s), the Yankees were the hated team for Sox fans, primarily for consistently finishing with a few wins more every year but 1959. The Sox sucked after that, and the few fans left were primarily concerned with not moving to Milwaukee, Denver or Tampa Bay. Many fans are currently sadly fixated on the Cubs, but the Sox have developed good rivalries with Minnesota over the past few decades, with Cleveland a worthy rival in terms of competitiveness, and then the cheap shot Old School bullshit slung by the pathetic Royals.

It made perfect sense for Milwaukee to transfer. They were initially an NL city, and they share a similar fan mix of Cubs/Brewers fans along the Wisconsin border. There was typically a small uptick for Brewers White Sox at either park, but the Cubs / Brewers typically sell out with ticket prices raised specifically in Milwaukee. Plus they get to keep the Twins as their Interleague rival. 

Cubs/Cards was just one example.  Maybe Yankees/Red Sox was a better one. 

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Just a few random thoughts:

If the Sox were in the East in 1972 there is a very good chance they make the playoffs.  And they played very evenly against Oakland that year, so they could have possibly won a five game series and made it to the World Series.  That would have had a major effect on popularity and attendance, which could have changed the possible move to Seattle, which may have eliminated the need for Veeck to swoop in, which may have eliminated the sale to Reinsdorf and Einhorn down the line.  Lot's of maybe's here, but an interesting butterfly effect.

The AL had a unbalanced schedule until the Sea/Tor expansion, so lots of Sox road games after 9 pm on a weak UHF channel while the Cubs were playing home day games and lots of road games on the East coast at 6 pm on WGN 9.  The kids from that era became the adults that packed Wrigley starting in the late 80's.

For some reason the '69 expansion completely protected the Cubs.  Not only did they keep the Cardinals rivalry, but both teams were put in the East division , while the Braves and Reds, who play in the Eastern time zone were pushed to the West division for some reason.  Yet the Sox were put in the West in the first place and kept there when the Senators moved west.

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On 2/9/2021 at 1:29 PM, soxfan18 said:

The Cubs were terrible from 72-83 and really didn't draw any better than the SOX.  It may have started in '69 and the few years after, but it really became a Cubs town after the Trib bought the team and started selling "beautiful Wrigley Field", along with the SOX going to Sportsvision.  

Yeah, good point, that continued to cement it. Maybe a better way to put it was 1969 was when it began. You have to admit, the White Sox leaving WGN all to the Cubs certainly started it. 

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On 2/9/2021 at 2:46 PM, flavum said:

That’s true, but for whatever reason, they played 4 series against every team in the AL from 1979 to 1993. You played 13 games against the six teams in your division, and 12 games against the seven teams outside your division- a balanced schedule for all intents and purposes. So in 1990, the White Sox had the second best record with a balanced schedule and went home with 94 wins. Not sure why they didn’t play 15 in the division, and 10 outside for 160 but it’s MLB so...

BTW, I love the idea of going back to no divisions and a balanced schedule when they go to 16 teams in each league. Play the 15 teams in your league 11 games...165 games with built in 7- inning doubleheaders to shorten the season. Top 6 teams in each league make the postseason. If the leagues go East/West, fine.

I like your idea of no divisions and a balanced schedule.  Make it 4 teams in each league with each playoff round being 7 games.  Get back to the best AL team vs best NL team not whoever got lucky in a few shortened series.  A 2 out of 3 series allows for pure luck IMO.  The World Series should really be for determining the best team in baseball that year.

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Arthur Allyn protested the placing of the Sox in the AL West in 1969. They didn't like being in the same division with two expansion teams, and they had three teams on the West Coast.  The Sox had less games against the Tigers, Yankees, and Red Sox, and they already had enough attendance problems as it was. Sadly, in 1969, the Sox finished behind the expansion Royals. Things worsened and they lost 106 games a year later.

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On 2/8/2021 at 5:30 PM, South Side Hit Men said:

I don't believe there would be much of an impact, beyond the White Sox losing more road games before Chicago fans went to bed rather than after. The only current AL teams which have won less division titles are expansion franchises (Houston (though nearly double NL + AL), Seattle and Tampa Bay. The biggest beneficiary of the new watered down format are NL Wild Card teams, claiming five World Series titles since 1995.

MLB Division Titles:

American League: New York 19; Oakland 17; Minnesota 12; Boston & Cleveland 10; Baltimore & Los Angeles 9; Detroit, Kansas City & Texas 7; Toronto 6; Chicago 5; Houston, Seattle and Tampa Bay 3; Milwaukee 1.

National League: Atlanta 20; Los Angeles 19; Saint Louis 14; Philadelphia 11; Cincinnati 10; Pittsburgh 9; Chicago & San Francisco 8; Houston & New York 6; Arizona & San Diego 5; Washington 4; Milwaukee 2; Montreal 1; Colorado & Miami 0 (Yet Two Marlins World Series - Wild Cards are Bullshit, all of it).

MLB World Series Titles by Division Champions:

Pre 1994:

  • AL East 7 (Baltimore, New York & Toronto 2; Detroit 1)
  • AL West 6 (Oakland 4; Kansas City & Minnesota 1) 
  • NL East 6 (New York & Pittsburgh 2; Philadelphia & Saint Louis 1)
  • NL West 5 (Cincinnati 3; Los Angeles 2)

Post 1995:

  • AL East 8 (New York 5; Boston 3)
  • National League Wild Cards 5 (1997 & 2003 Florida; 2011 Saint Louis; 2014 San Francisco; 2019 Washington)
  • NL West 4 (San Francisco 2; Arizona & Los Angeles 1)
  • American League Wild Cards 2 (2002 Los Angeles & 2004 Boston)
  • NL East 2 (Atlanta & Philadelphia 1)
  • NL Central 2 (Chicago & Saint Louis 1)
  • AL Central 2 (Chicago & Kansas City 1)
  • AL West 1 (Houston)

Minnesota has 2 titles in the AL West.

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