OK, so the Mets have been relegated and now they are the front-runners for the Federal League East division title in 2010. They'll make the playoffs if they finish ahead of the other also-rans, and they'll earn themselves a trip back to the National League in the process. First things first - who are they going to be playing this season?
As it turns out, the schedule for teams in the American League, the National League and the Federal League would all be the same. Get ready for multiple visits from Baltimore, Pittsburgh, Cleveland and Washington - you'll be seeing a lot of them at Citi Field this season. Teams would play 16 games against the teams in their own division (64 games) and 6 games against teams from the other division in their league (30 games).
Interleague play has become a staple of the modern game, so we are going to have to keep it on our schedule. The Mets will play 6 games against the National League East this year, and round out the schedule with 6 games against the American League West. The sad sacks in the Federal League West will play a reverse schedule, with 6 against the AL East and 6 against the NL West. The divisions will swap back and forth each year, ensuring that the Mets will play every team in baseball on at least a bi-annual basis.
16 games against Federal League East: 64 games
6 games against Federal League West: 30 games
6 games against National League East: 30 games
6 games against American League West: 30 games = 154 games
Yes, we're going back to the 154-game schedule, to make room for three full playoff series. (More on that next time.) The owners will have to give up four home dates and that silly rivalry series that unbalances the schedule each year. The payback will be in the modified revenue sharing plan that will keep the lion's share of money between the teams in the American and National League. The teams in the two top flights will stay richer and won't be sharing as much money with the weak sisters of the Federal League.
On October 4, 2010, eight teams will be left standing. These teams - three from the American League, three from the National League and two from the Federal League - will compete for the right to go to the World Series.