Well, more brutal. It's not as if the AL East, as currently constructed, is a cakewalk for the Yankees. The division's worst roster on paper belongs to the Boston Red Sox, yet we can guarantee the 13 games the Yanks play against their chief rival this season will look no different than they ever have.
Still ... what former MLB GM Jim Bowden posited for The Athletic this week as an example of possible future realignment would be a gauntlet.
Bowden, smelling the not-so-distant future in the wake of the league dropping its schedule boundaries for 2023 and plotting matchups between each and every team, proposed a divisional realignment structure this week that includes two new expansion teams in Charlotte and Nashville.
That would allow MLB to divide its now-32 teams into eight even divisions of four -- and given the new schedule parameters and Universal DH, why would anyone need to pay attention to the American and National Leagues anymore? This isn't 1977 anymore -- as painful as that realization might be for Yankees fans.
Bowden's vision for the Yankees includes a four-team "East" division (so far, so good...) featuring the Red Sox, juggernaut Mets and NL Champion Phillies (YIKES). Where was this realignment during the Wilpon Era, huh, Bowden?!
Yankees could face Mets 13 times per year, plus Red Sox and Phillies, in MLB realignment
In the new post-2023 era of MLB, divisional games will be reduced to 13 per matchup in order to pave the way for previously-rare oddities (like the San Francisco Giants showing up for Opening Day sans-Arson Judge).
That's undoubtedly a good thing, promoting some degree of equality throughout the game -- even though playing 13 games each against the Sox, Rays, Jays and Orioles provides a sigh of relief so quiet it sounds like a mouse stepping on tofu.
That's why we plea to MLB: if you expand MLB, think of the children and allow at least one wimpy team in the Yankees' four-team group. Look at what you did to the Orioles, who, in Bowden's world, would only have to edge out the Pirates, Nationals, and Charlotte's team to make the postseason.
Flip the Phillies and Nats and we'll call it even. You'll still get all the Mets and Sox you could ever dream of, but you'd bake in one breather.
Oh, wait, on second through, put the Sox in Siberia. There. Perfect.