Is this good or bad for baseball and the Mariners?
So that now we've completely changed baseball (hopefully for the better), how does this affect the Seattle Mariners?
When it comes to expansion, I'd expect the Mariners ownership group to fight like hell to keep Portland or Vancouver from getting a franchise. Any franchise in the Northwest is a direct threat to the Mariners market and fanbase. At the end of the day, it makes too much sense not to bring another team to the region.
A Portland franchise being eventually decent or good may make Mariners ownership uncomfortable, but it could be the competitive fire that needs to be lit in order to keep Seattle from being second fiddle in their own region.
The realignment of divisions is an absolutely incredible opportunity for the Mariners to hang a few more banners at T-Mobile Park. As the Mariners enter into a special era of baseball behind the potential greatness of Julio Rodriguez and Luis Castillo, they'd be equipped to dominate a division with essentially two expansion teams and the Diamondbacks. Also, did I forget to mention we got the Astros out of the AL West? You're welcome.
With a division that should be Seattle's for the taking over the next few years, the expanded postseason should become a consistent home for the Mariners. An expanded postseason will have some variances. Some years the M's may get farther than they should and some years disappoint, but they should get more bites out of the apple than ever before. This would be an incredible opportunity for fans of the Seattle Mariners as well as fans of all baseball teams that are sick of seeing the same 4-5 teams dominate.
Expansion is coming, that is certain. If done the right way, baseball can make this incredible game a national (and international) game again that can reignite a passion and intrigue that the sport hasn't seen in forever.