SodoMojo Looks Ahead To The Next 30 Years of MLB
Editor’s Note: We here at SodoMojo like to have fun now and then. It’s not always “business as usual”. What you are about to read is just a fun bit. I have no feasible way to travel significantly forward or backwards in time. I do not have a time machine. If you choose to place bets based on this article, you do so at your own risk. Enjoy!
In 1989, Robert Zemeckis brought us the highly-anticipated sequel to the 1985 hit “Back To The Future”. In the sequel, Marty McFly and Doc Brown head to the year 2015 (from 1985) and we get a glimpse at what the “future” may look like.
Well, it is NOW 2015, and we don’t have flying cars or fully functional hoverboards – though a version of both do exist – but one declaration has had baseball fans buzzing – specifically Cubs fans – for almost 3 decades.
Not only that, but the movie depicted a sweep in the World Series over a team known as Miami, with an alligator as a mascot.
Now, in 1989, not only was there no MLB team in Miami, the team that ended up there called themselves the “Florida” Marlins until just recently changing to Miami.
However, both teams are National League teams so they can’t face off in the World Series. It would be intriguing though if the Cubs beat the Marlins in the NLCS to GO to the World Series. But I digress.
I thought it would be fun to look ahead to the next 30 years. MLB has a new commissioner, a newer head of the Player’s Union, some new rules and some new excitement.
I was never a big fan of Bud Selig being the Commissioner. He was an owner and should have never been allowed to be the commish.
But 30 years ago, baseball had 26 teams – 14 in the American League and 12 in the National League. The top team from each division went to the LCS. Minnesota was in the American League West, the Atlanta Braves were in the National League West.
Thirty years ago, there wasn’t a single MLB team in the state of Florida, there were two in Canada and the All-Star Game was just an exhibition with nothing on the line. Thirty years ago, the only way the Seattle Mariners and the San Diego Padres would have ever played each other was if they made it to the World Series in the same season.
So what changes are in store for the next 30 years? Let’s take a look. Change may already be in the near future.
Oct. 2016: The Seattle Mariners win their first ever World Series title with a 6-game victory over the Washington Nationals. (Yes, I think this team is still one year away though I know they will be an improved club in 2015).
Dec. 1, 2016: This is the expiration date of the current Collective Bargaining Agreement. With labor peace in baseball since 1995, there is pressure to keep the peace. However, there is a lot to talk about. Qualifying offers, signing bonuses for draft picks, the ever-taboo salary cap. It will be interesting to see these sides work out some serious issues.
Dec. 8, 2016: After granting an additional week to negotiate some final particulars, the two sides agree on a new five-year CBA. The most drastic change to the game was the National League adopting the designated hitter beginning in the 2018 season.
Salary caps were discussed and quickly tossed aside once again. However, the penalty for going over the luxury tax was increased.
Mar 29, 2014; Montreal, Quebec, CAN; Fans with banners supporting the return of the Montreal Expos during the game between the New York Mets and the Toronto Blue Jays at Olympic Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Eric Bolte-USA TODAY Sports
Jan. 17, 2017: MLB along with the Tampa Bay Rays organization announce plans to move the team to Montreal for the 2018 season. The team will remain in the American League East division and will be called the Expos.
Apr. 3, 2018: The first games with designated hitters in both leagues take place while the city Montreal celebrates a baseball game for the first time in 14 years.
Jul. 9, 2018: During the All-Star festivities, Commissioner Rob Manfred announces that MLB will expand to 32 teams for the 2020 season. The two new franchises will be in Portland, Oregon and Charlotte, North Carolina.
As part of the expansion, the divisions will be divided up and realigned once again. There will be four divisions in each league with four teams in each division. The winner of each division goes to the playoffs with two wild-card positions. If it sounds like the NFL structure, don’t say that to the commissioner, but it most certainly is.
East: Yankees, Red Sox, Orioles, Nationals
Central: Royals, Astros, Indians, Rangers
North: Twins, Tigers, Blue Jays, White Sox
West: Athletics, Angels, Mariners, Portland franchise
East: Mets, Pirates, Expos, Phillies
Central: Cubs, Reds, Brewers, Rockies
South: Braves, Marlins, Cardinals, NC franchise
West: Dodgers, Giants, Padres, Diamondbacks
After rounds and rounds of negotiations between the Orioles and Nationals ownerships, they agreed to be in the same division and exploit their rivalry on a larger stage.
Dec. 1, 2021: With television ratings and attendance at all-time highs, MLB and the Player’s Union agree to a new 7-year contract, with no major changes taking place.
Oct. 2025: Just five years after starting play, the Portland Beavers won their first World Series, defeating the Chicago Cubs in five games. The Cubs World Series drought now stands at 117 years.
May 2030: All-time hit King Pete Rose passes away at the age of 89. Commissioner Rob Manfred lifts the League’s lifetime ban on Rose saying, “he’s no longer alive, I can’t ban him anymore.” Rose’s name is added to the Hall of Fame ballot for 2031.
Jan. 5, 2031: Pete Rose is voted into the Hall of Fame in his first year of eligibility, but just barely, receiving 75.4% of the votes needed for induction.
Said one writer who didn’t vote for Rose, “I knew others would vote for him, I didn’t want to waste one of my spaces for him. There are more than 10 worthy candidates on the ballot.”
Oct. 29, 2035: In a sure sign of parity, there have now been 20 different World Series winners in the 21st century as the North Carolina Mudcats defeated the Minnesota Twins to claim their first World Title. Only a dozen teams haven’t won a World Series in this century, the Cubs are one of them.
Feb. 7, 2045: Major League Baseball prepares for another season. With minor league affiliates in Mexico City, the Dominican Republic and Australia, the game has never been more global.
The talk of Spring Training has to be that of the Chicago Cubs, who finally won the World Series in the 2044 season, erasing a 136 year drought. The Cubs beat the Seattle Mariners in a thrilling 7-game series and the two teams are the favorites to return to the Fall Classic in 2045.
Well, at least I didn’t end this little look forward with the Cubs having still NOT won. As for the Mariners? Time will tell, but the team certainly has the bones to be a solid team for the better part of this next decade. What will happen in the 30 years?
You’ll need a DeLorean to figure that out.