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The Campaign Continues

Dejan Kovacevic continues his quest to move the Pirates back to the NL East:

Maybe, if the Pirates never get back into the correct division, they can simply rename the existing one.

Oh, and yet another geography major -- couple of them, actually -- pointed out that Miami also is west of Pittsburgh, along with Atlanta.

"The correct division"? That's really presumptuous, I think, since at least a fair number of people (including me) don't agree with him at all. And I know he's half-joking in pointing out that Miami is west of Pittsburgh, but that's still pretty silly -- which of the two cities has more to do with the "central" part of the country? Miami, which has no meaningful geographical or cultural connection to the Midwest, or Pittsburgh, which is right on its border?

My main reason for being annoyed with this, though -- other than the fact that it seems to be an artificial controversy that's being generated by one person alone -- is that it would hurt the Pirates' chances of winning. As I pointed out before, in the last five years it has taken three more wins, on average, to finish first in the NL East than it has in the NL Central. The non-Pirates NL Central teams now have higher average salaries than NL East teams, but that's meaningless, since those numbers are skewed by the fact that the Marlins' extremely low payroll. Meanwhile, in the NL East, the Bucs would have to compete against a team in the New York market, along with an increasingly intelligently-run Phillies team and a proven franchise in Atlanta.

Leaving aside even the money for a second, take the Worst GM Competition. Obviously, it's mostly for fun and it's not scientific. But the only NL East GM among the twelve seeded was Omar Minaya, and he lost his first round matchup to the NL Central's Jim Hendry. There were two other NL Central GMs in there too, and one of them, Ed Wade, made it all the way to the championship.

Now, again, this isn't scientific. But given the choice, wouldn't you rather be in competition with teams like the Astros (who are going nowhere fast and have little in their farm system) and Reds (whose manager's approach to young talent is like a caffeinated nine-year-old's approach to a game of Whack-a-Mole)? Why would you want to insert yourself into a competition with the Mets, who currently have the third-highest payroll in baseball? Moving the Bucs to the NL East doesn't make much sense geographically, but it makes even less sense as a baseball move.