With the NFL and NBA pondering changes in their financial structures and labor disruptions possible in both sports next season, it's good to know that we can count on Major League Baseball to stay the same.
Or can we?
Over the weekend, while many of us were focused on the Miami Heat choking in the NBA Finals, word leaked out through ESPN's Buster Olney that MLB is toying with the idea of a radical realignment.
The proposal would even up the mix, 15 teams in both the National and American leagues -- we now have 16 in the NL and 14 in the AL. And instead of the current division format, with three divisions in each league, it would be just 15 teams in each league.
And word is the playoffs would go from eight teams to 10, the best five from each league.
To me, that all sounds good -- even if the expanded playoffs is all about money.
The current setup has inequities, and the most glaring is that the best teams don't always end up in the postseason.
Phil "The Vulture" Regan, a 13-year MLB veteran who pitched for the Tigers, Dodgers, Cubs and White Sox and now serves as pitching coach for the St. Lucie Mets in Florida, knows firsthand what it's like to be a good team on the outside looking in.
"I was with Detroit back in 1961 when there were just eight teams in each league and only one made the playoffs," said Regan, whose best season was 1966 with the Dodgers when he was an amazing 14-1 with a 1.62 ERA and 21 saves in 65 appearances -- all in relief. "We won 101 games in 1961 and the Yankees won 109.
"We had a heckuva team and we ended up going home for the playoffs. So, I would be all for the best teams getting into the playoffs."
As for five from each league, Regan said it sure would keep fans in the stands.
And he's right.
"With a third of the teams in each league making the playoffs, it would keep the interest up in almost all the cities deep into the season," Regan said. "Because you know there will be more than five teams in each league fighting for those spots."
There's not a whole lot to figure out here to make this happen.
One NL team -- rumored to be Arizona or Houston -- would have to move to the AL. Schedule makers would have the toughest job, trying to balance a schedule that would include one NL and AL team facing off virtually every night.
One downside could be that lower-revenue teams -- like the Florida Marlins -- would scramble to finish in the top five against larger-payroll teams.
Then again, the Marlins ($54 million payroll) did beat the Yankees ($164 million payroll) in the 2003 World Series.
I say let's do it.