During the no doubt too-long interim between Season 3 and Season 4, everything does not cease. No, indeed! I've been starting to run qualification leagues (for lack of a better term) to try and objectively (sort of) determine which teams get to represent the franchises. The expansion teams have already been figured out, as seen in an earlier post. The first of the currently-in franchises to go through a QL are the Milwaukee Braves.
The Braves were a good team through most of their sojourn in Milwaukee, and an excellent team for much of the time. In their 14 or so years between Boston and Atlanta, they won two pennants and one World Series, and tied for first place one more time (losing in a playoff), never finishing under .500. I picked 6 teams for this league, the pennant winners ('57 and '58) and near miss team ('59), and a set of second-place teams ('53, '56, and '60).
And to my surprise, it was the 1953 team that won it. I ran the league twice through 140-game seasons, with them winning once running away and once in a squeaker. In real life they finished a poor second to a juggernaut Brooklyn team, but with 92 wins. Their Pythagorean record was slightly better (93-61), even with the 1957 and 1958 pennant winners.
But in some kind of reverse Ewing Theory, the 1953 team is the only one without Hank Aaron. They did have big seasons from Eddie Mathews and Warren Spahn, however.
The Kansas City Royals qualification league is now underway. My breath is somewhat bated.