What I would do with baseball
I’ve always liked the English soccer leagues. There’s twenty teams in the Premier League, no playoffs, and the best record is the regular season winner. Then you have the FA Cup. Involving practically every English league, more than 600 team are taking part this year. It’s the NCAA basketball tournament if every college, university, two-year school, vo-tech, and a couple of rec leagues played throughout the year culminating in one ultimate champion.
I also like the fact that if a team does poorly, it's bumped down to a lesser league. For example, let’s take MLB and rearrange by current records to create two new leagues. League A will be the top 15 teams and League B will be the bottom 15 teams.
League A:St. Louis Cardinals, Chicago White Sox, New York Yankees, Boston Red Sox, Los Angeles Angels, Cleveland Indians, Atlanta Braves, Houston Astros, Oakland A’s, Philadelphia Phillies, Minnesota Twins, Florida Marlins, New York Mets, San Diego Padres, Washington Nationals
League B:Milwaukee Brewers, Toronto Blue Jays, Texas Rangers, Chicago Cubs, Arizona Diamondbacks, San Francisco Giants, Baltimore Orioles, Cincinnati Reds, Detroit Tigers, Los Angeles Dodgers, Seattle Mariners, Tampa Bay Devil Rays, Pittsburgh Pirates, Colorado Rockies, Kansas City Royals
Let’s assume that League A teams only played League A teams, and same for League B. The Cardinals are the League A champs and the Milwaukee Brewers are the League B champs. Here’s where it gets fun.
For being the worst of League A, the Mets, Padres, and Nationals get bumped to League B. And as a reward for excellence in their league, the Brewers, Blue Jays, and Rangers get promoted to League A. Pittsburgh, Colorado, and Kansas City? Dump them back into a Triple A league.
Yeah, it’s unrealistic and will never happen, but look at the possibilities. Not only do you have a race for the title, but if your team is bad enough you’re showing up at the end of the season to see if they stay in the league! And teams not only have to compete to win, they have to compete not to lose. Have a bad enough season and they'll wind up in a lesser league making less money - there's an incentive to try and field a better team.