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Friday afternoon, the Pacific Coast League announced that with the Tucson Padres heading to El Paso, the League will realign for the 2014 season.

The Mets AAA affiliate, at least for one more year, through the 2014 season, will be the Las Vegas 51s.

Here are the new four-team divisions.

Pacific Northern (Blue): Fresno, Reno, Sacramento, Tacoma

Pacific Southern (Green): Albuquerque, El Paso, Las Vegas, Salt Lake

American Northern (Baby Blue): Colorado Springs, Iowa, Oklahoma City, Omaha

American Southern (Yellow): Memphis, Nashville, New Orleans, Round Rock

Here, lets put this on a map for everyone.

And what do you notice? This makes sense. The PCL created four divisions that work. That's right, I can draw them with non-overlapping shapes. This works.

Oh, sure, you can quibble. For example, one might argue that the two Tennessee teams, Memphis and Nashville, should be in a division with Iowa (in Des Moines) and Omaha to make the PCL American East. And then New Oleans, Round Rock, Oklahoma City and Colorado Springs would form the American Conference West. That would work too. However, in that scenario, there would be larger distances within a division. New Orleans would be farther from division-mate Colorado Springs than any of their 2014 actual division rivals.

Often sports leagues and franchise make decisions that are hard to understand. (Hi, MLB's unnecessarily complicated replay system.) This is not one of them. This was simple. This was rational. A bunch of people looked at a map, and put tother conferences and divisions that work to minimize travel times and costs in a sprawling league with way too much time spent on buses, planes and airports.

Good job PCL.

Tags: Business of Baseball, Analysis , Toby Hyde
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