PORT CHARLOTTE — Under the right circumstances, the Rays could have the players union as a powerful ally in their efforts to be more consistently competitive, primarily by facing fewer games against the Red Sox and Yankees.
New union boss Michael Weiner said after meeting with Rays players that the union would be open to some limited forms of realignment.
A massive change to the traditional MLB structure might be a bit much, Weiner said, "but a realignment that I think retains the identity of the leagues but tries to address around the edges the competitive balance thing is something I think the players would have to consider."
Weiner, who replaced Don Fehr, also suggested the schedule could be better used to improve competitive balance, such as the way the NFL does by having the better teams face tougher opponents. One option would be for MLB to return to more of a balanced schedule so the Rays don't, as currently arranged, play 22.2 percent of their games (36 of 162) against the Red Sox and Yankees.
Marc Topkin, Times staff writer