Thursday, November 2, 2017

2017 Updated Project, Expansion & Setup (OOTP 18)

Oakland's new digs (Just imagine its in Portland over this San Jose projection).

In my 2017 Updated Rosters Project, I managed the 2017 Detroit Tigers to a 73-89 record. With all the talk of expansion, and my curiosity of how expansion works on Out of the Park 2018, I decided to jump the gun & have 2018 be the season to welcome two new expansion teams. I also decided to relocate two MLB franchises, in much need for a change of scenery.

The Oakland Athletics have been in dire need for a new stadium for some time, with the city of Oakland not wanting to build a new stadium, it was a no-brainer for the franchise to move to a city that has been wanting baseball in the city of Portland, Oregon. The Athletics have made their 3rd move now in franchise history.

  • Philadelphia Athletics (1860-1875, 1901-1954)
  • Kansas City Athletics (1955-1967)
  • Oakland Athletics (1968-2017)
  • Portland Athletics (2018-)
It would be more realistic of the Athletics moving as early as 2020, but I couldn't control myself.

Another relocation will be the Tampa Bay Rays moving to Canada & becoming the 2nd come-around for the Montreal Expos; One play won't even notice that they left, while the other team will welcome it in open arms. 

The two new expansion teams will be the Charlotte Aviators and the Oklahoma City Barons. This made the league a total 32 teams, which I came up with the concept in my two expansion posts a ways back in the following blog pieces...
Part II featured the following set-up that I decided to go with below...

Baltimore Orioles
Boston Red Sox
New York Yankees
Toronto Blue Jays

Nothing really changes, besides the Tampa Bay Rays leaving their tomb in St.Petersburg to become the Montreal Expos in the N.L. East.

Chicago White Sox
Cleveland Indians
Detroit Tigers
Milwaukee Brewers

This was a tough one, I know Milwaukee Brewers fans would start getting a headache (if they haven't had one already) with this move. I grew up on Baseball in the late 70's & 80's, and there was always something special with my Tigers playing these three other Great Lakes located teams... all blue collar cities. I didn't want to move Houston back so soon, and I like the idea of these rivalries to start again.

Houston Astros
Kansas City Royals
Minnesota Twins
Oklahoma City Barons

The Houston Astros and Kansas City Royals would become division rivals which I feel will be exciting especially since its not been that long ago that the two teams played in an exciting 2015 A.L. Divisional Series. Throw in the Minnesota Twins & the new expansion Oklahoma City Barons, and you got a fun division.

Colorado Rockies
Los Angeles Angels
Portland Athletics
Seattle Mariners

I can hear the moans already, but hear me out! I felt that the two Texas teams, plus Oklahoma City all being in one league -- needed more balance with the fan bases, so I separated the two Texas teams, the Texas Rangers move to the National League, while the Colorado Rockies move over to the American League... Also another reason I went with OKC over San Antonio (another city heavy in the expansion talk).

Now over to the National League...

New York Mets
Philadelphia Phillies
Montreal Expos
Washington Nationals

The thought of Montreal & Washington being division rivals is a bit weird, but who can argue against having the Montreal Expos back?! Plus seeing Chris Archer & Evan Longoria wearing Expos jerseys is certainly a treat.

Chicago Cubs
Cincinnati Reds
Pittsburgh Pirates
St. Louis Cardinals

It's the current setup, minus the Milwaukee Brewers.

Atlanta Braves
Charlotte Aviators
Miami Marlins
Texas Rangers

The Atlanta Braves, Charlotte Aviators & Miami Marlins will have a strong southeast deal going on, while the Texas Rangers are just tad further west. 

Arizona Diamondbacks
Los Angeles Dodgers
San Diego Padres
San Francisco Giants

The same old N.L. West without Colorado. The Dodgers' Triple-A team had to relocate to Mesa, Arizona (Mesa Dodgers) from Oklahoma City, as the Barons take over their stadium digs.

Also I decided on All-DH while the league is still inter-league, if more teams join in the future, we may have to do away with inter-league, and revisit the pitchers batting deal.... That's for the owners & players to discuss at their next labor negotiations.

I am doing 6 playoff teams each league, 4 division winners, 2 wild cards, with 2 'byes' per league. The #4 vs #5 ranked and #6 vs #3 teams will play a best-of-three (home-field for last 2 games). I thought 8 teams going to playoffs from a 16-team league seemed too much, but that could change if I find the current playoff race not interesting & in a desperate need of a spark.

I have also decided all playoff games start no later than 6 p.m. Eastern Time... hahahaha, I wish I had the power with that move, just thought I would throw my two cents in with that department.

Coming up soon.... 
The Expansion Teams themselves...

Oh by the way, I stepped down from being the General Manager of the Tigers, and will be running the baseball operations for the Charlotte Aviators!

Woo Hoo! Time to climb from the bottom!

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