By Jules Merchant
At its heart, baseball is a regional game, from the old barnstorming days of the Midwest to the classic rivalries of the New York suburbs.
From its inception, however, the Doubleday Baseball League, named after the sports’ founder ironically, has taken a very loose interpretation of the term "region" – something their commissioner doesn’t shy away from.
"Our teams may not be the tightest divisions ever," Commissioner Thomas Highway said. "We don’t choose our franchises based strictly on geography."
Mr. Highway may be a candidate for the understatement of the year award on that one, because if Doubleday chose their teams by geography, someone was holding the map upside down when they did.
Of the eight divisions in Doubleday, only one of them makes any geographical sense – the AL South with franchises in Huntingdon, W.V., Montgomery, Ala., Durham, N.C. and Memphis, Tenn., all within easy driving distance. That has only been true for one season, though, as owner Dubs N. Uf recently moved his El Paso franchise to Memphis.
"We were tired of all the travel," Uf said. "Besides, look at the pitchers Montgomery bought with all the money they saved on travel."
There are a couple of other divisions that aren’t horrendous like the AL West with teams in Oregon, Montana, Colorado and Vegas. That’s pretty close as far as teams in the West go.
They certainly are doing better than the NL West with teams in Arizona, Vancouver, Iowa and Hawaii. Let’s open by asking how the heck Iowa is in the West in the first place? Not to mention Iowa is about 3000 miles from Hawaii.
Sure, British Columbia is in the West, but its pretty North of Scottsdale. Perhaps a division with Seattle would be appropriate.
Of course, Doubleday does have a team in Seattle in a division with a Canadian team, but that team is in AL North, and the Canadian team is in Montreal, clear on the other side of the country behind a language barrier. En route to Montreal, they can stop by Kansas City, also in division, though several hours to the south and halfway in between.
"We don’t need to be in a division with Vancouver to know that we are better than them," Seattle Pilots owner K.C. Denn said. "Besides, we like croissants."
So the question remains, as the economy goes into the toilet, will there be any realignment in Doubleday? Don’t hold your breath on that one.
"Who is it that gave you the ability to post on the blog again?" Highway asked. "And wasn’t this supposed to be a lot funnier."