OAKLAND -- The subject of the 2012 schedule, released on Wednesday by Major League Baseball, led Angels manager Mike Scioscia into a discourse on the need for creating a more balanced schedule and six five-team divisions.
"We need schedule reform, which coincides with realignment and a more balanced test for every team within the division," Scioscia said. "This is how the whole [162-game] championship season is set up, based on division rivalries.
"We're going to Baltimore and Toronto [for seven games starting on Friday], and playing half of our remaining games in a pennant race against teams that are not a divisional [opponent]. I know there's an argument that we're a four-team division, and that's true. But it should not be this patchwork.
"Hopefully, there will be divisional reform to give us a more standard test. You don't play some teams the same amount of times."
Scioscia feels it's imperative that MLB balance the two leagues, making the American League West and National League Central five-team divisions like the other four. Houston has been mentioned as a candidate to move from the NL Central to the AL West, but there are other geographical plans that would also make a lot of sense in Scioscia's mind. Arizona, Colorado, Kansas City and even Minnesota could be candidates to move west, with Texas joining Houston in the Central.
"A fifth team [in the AL West] has to happen," Scioscia said. "There has to be realignment, along with schedule reform that makes sense -- not just for the championship season but for travel. I know the schedule is extremely complicated for a number of reasons, but we need reform and realignment."