Could the Phillies and Orioles ever be division rivals?

Philadelphia and Baltimore as division rivals?
Tuesday night will mark just the third time in the last decade the Phillies will have visited Baltimore's Camden Yards. For such a beautiful ballpark so close to Philadelphia, it's a shame the two clubs don't face each other more often.

But, what if?

What if Major League Baseball executed on a recent idea that's been floating around and expanded from 30 to 32 teams while realigning the current divisions?

Famed baseball writer Tracy Ringolsby wrote about this very issue last year, penning a column for Baseball America where he suggested a division including the Phillies, Orioles, Braves, Reds, Marlins, Pirates, Rays, and Nationals.

Meh.

Camden Yards is nice but is it worth having the Phillies face the Rays 17 times a season? Probably not.

Veering from Ringolsby's suggestion, what if the Phillies and Orioles joined the Yankees, Red Sox, Mets, Pirates, Nationals, and Blue Jays to form a division? That's a recipe for drama, perhaps in the stands even more than on the field.

The realignment idea bubbled to the surface again late last year as Major League Baseball continues to look for ways to limit cross-country travel for teams while enhancing or producing natural rivalries.

It's plausible for the Phillies and Orioles to be rivals, particularly if you're old enough to remember the 1983 World Series, but picture if the Phillies somehow land superstar Manny Machado? What's now a ho-hum series between two clubs separated by a little more than 100 miles suddenly has some juice.

It's fun to think about.
_____________________________________________
Follow Patrick on Twitter: @PGordonPBR

BY PATRICK GORDON
Managing Editor
pgordon@philadelphiabaseballreview.com

No comments: