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BASEBALL / DAILY REPORT : AROUND THE MAJOR LEAGUES : Pirates Leave East in New Alignment

September 16, 1993|Associated Press

The National League's new three-division alignment fell into place Wednesday when the Pittsburgh Pirates, the East's most successful team since division play began in 1969, moved to the new Central Division.

The alignment was left undecided during the major league owners' meetings at Boston last week after Pittsburgh and Atlanta sought to be in the East.

But, swayed by a balanced schedule that gives them as many games against traditional rivals Philadelphia and New York as their new divisional opponents, the Pirates averted a possible confrontation by moving.

The new alignment, which takes effect next season:

--National League East: Atlanta, Florida, Montreal, New York, Philadelphia.

--NL Central: Chicago, Cincinnati, Houston, Pittsburgh, St. Louis.

--NL West: Colorado, Dodgers, San Diego, San Francisco.

The Pirates were initially adamant about not leaving the East, but Pirate President Mark Sauer dropped his opposition when American League owners won a continuation of the current balanced schedule through 1997.

Currently, National League teams play 13 games against each division opponent and 12 each against the other division. How the balanced schedule will continue hasn't been decided.

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