National League West

The National League West is one of the 3 Branches of the National League of Major League Baseball in North America (including Canada).

This Section has been formed for the 1969 season when the National League expanded to 12 teams by incorporating the San Diego Padres and the Montreal Expos. For purpose of maintaining a regular-season of all 162 matches, half of the groups were put to the new East Division and half into the brand new West Division. Within each division, the teams played 18 games each against their five branch mates (90 matches ), along with 12 games against the teams in the opposite division (72 games), totaling 162 games.
Despite the geography, the owners of the Chicago Cubs insisted their team be placed into the East Division along with the teams at New York , Philadelphia, and Pittsburgh. Also, the owners of the St. Louis Cardinals desired that group to maintain precisely the exact same branch with their natural rivals of the Cubs. The league could have insisted on a geographical orientation like the American League did. But the owners were concerned about what they believed would be a massive imbalance in the strength of the divisions. In the past two seasons prior to realignment, Cubs, and the Cardinals, Giants finished 1-2-3 at the National League standings. The owners were worried about putting those groups in the same branch, thereby producing one very powerful division (West) and one weak one (East). Given all of this, the owners of the Atlanta Braves and the Cincinnati Reds consented to being put in the West Division, even though Atlanta and Cincinnati are both in the Eastern Time Zone. Consequently the West Division had clubs spread all the way from the East to the Pacific Coast, and sprinkled over four time zones. The East Division was distributed across the Eastern Time Zone and the Central Time Zone – despite the fact that the National League had six teams in the Eastern Time Zone and six teams spread between the Central Time Zone and the Pacific Time Zone.
All of this increased the traveling distances and times for each the teams, and it also made radio broadcasting and TV broadcasts of the games more difficult to schedule. The Braves and the Reds had to travel all of the way to California three times throughout each baseball season, along with the 3 groups in California had to travel to Atlanta, Cincinnati, and Houston three occasions too. Sometimes, the trouble could be relieved for them by playing some games in Chicago, St. Louis, or Pittsburgh on the exact same long road trips. The 1994 inclusion of the Central Division would completely fix these issues, Once the Reds and Braves moved into the NL Central and NL East respectively.

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