In the words of Sam Cooke, a change is gonna come to the Pacific Coast League.
Minor League Baseball's western Triple-A circuit announced Friday that it will realign its conferences and divisions, starting with the 2014 season. The series of moves was brought on by the Tucson's franchise impending move to El Paso.
The Padres' newest Triple-A affiliate, which does not have an official nickname for the time being, will remain in the Pacific Southern division along with fellow division rival Las Vegas (Mets) while Albuquerque (Dodgers) and Salt Lake (Angels) move in to join them. On the other side of the Pacific conference, Reno (D-backs) and Tacoma (Mariners) maintain their spots in the Northern division and will battle Fresno (Giants) and Sacramento (A's) for supremacy.
On the American side, Iowa (Cubs) and Omaha (Royals) will stay in the Northern half of the conference as Colorado Springs (Rockies) and Oklahoma City (Astros) both enter the division. New Orleans (Marlins) and Round Rock (Rangers) keep their spots in the Southern section, joined by Memphis (Cardinals) and Nashville (Brewers).
Here is an at-a-glance breakdown of the new divisions:
Pacific Northern: Fresno, Reno, Sacramento, Tacoma
Pacific Southern: Albuquerque, El Paso, Las Vegas, Salt Lake
American Northern: Colorado Springs, Iowa, Oklahoma City, Omaha
American Southern: Memphis, Nashville, New Orleans, Round Rock
The PCL's playoff procedures remain the same under the new alignment. Division champions face off against their conference rivals in a best-of-five series with the winners advancing to another best-of-five for the league championship. The PCL champs take on the representatives from the International League in the Triple-A National Championship Game.
Omaha (American Northern), Oklahoma City (American Southern), Salt Lake (Pacific Northern) and Las Vegas/Sacramento (Pacific Southern) currently lead the four divisions with the season set to end Sept. 2.
Sam Dykstra is a contributor to MiLB.com.