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American League is FAR SUPERIOR
2005-07-02 21:54
by Scott Long

I mentioned this before the playoffs last year and it only seems more evident in 2005. The AL is way better than the NL. If you don't believe me, check out the latest ratings by . 2 through 9 are AL teams and I would aruge the notion that the Cardinals are the best team, considering they get to fatten up on baseball's Olsen twins. (translation-weak sisters) Further evidence, check out the dominant interleague record of the AL in 2005. Or how about the DC Expos being only a game behind the Cards and 5 and half games better than the 3rd best record in the NL? I don't care how many AL rejects thrive for the pitching staff (see Loaiza, Drese, Rauch), the Nationals are still only one year removed from San Juan and Northern France.

Want more, well let me offer up the worst division in the MLB, the NL West, where I suspect only one team will finish above a .530 percentage. There are only 3 NL teams, which could put up a decent challenge in the World Series, and 2 of them, the Marlins and Cubs are struggling to stay above .500. Sure, Roger Clemens has been unbelievable the past year and a half, but if he was still in the AL, I suspect his ERA would jump. I base this on his stats when with the Yankees and the formerly dominant NL hurler, Randy Johnson, struggles in NYC. I know this kind of rationale won't get me a job with Stats, INC., but it's the kind of analysis you get from a half-ass baseball blogger like myself.

Yeah, these things generally go in cycles and sure, there are more high salary rosters in the AL, but it's time to acknowledge how much better the junior circuit is. The White Sox, Red Sox, and Angels are the 3 best overall teams in 2005 and I would argue that the Twins and Yankees are in the Cardinals class. I would take any of these 5 AL teams to win the World Series, as they are currently composed, unless the Marlins put it together.

Sincerely, the Designated Hitter

2005-07-02 23:15:59
1.   Vishal
yeah, you're right. the AL has better teams, and it's been so for a while, much as i hate to admit it. i've never liked the AL at all, beyond oakland and minnesota.

and while it's true that the NL west is the worst division in baseball, in its defense, it has been utterly decimated by injuries to many of its best players. it has looked more like a disability ward than a bonafide major league division for much of the year, and the three best teams on paper (dodgers, padres, giants) have been hit the hardest.

2005-07-04 08:25:30
2.   RickM
You are absolutely correct, and it has been this way for quite a while. Look at the All-Star Teams. The NL has no chance.

But don't put it all on high salary rosters. The AL has an average salary of 75.5M, while the NL has a salary of 71.0M. If you drop out the extremes in each league (NYY and Tampa in the AL, and NYM and Pitt in the NL) the AL averages 68.2 and the NL averages 71.1 (yes … it goes up).

These things swing back and forth over time, but I think that the AL GMs are more creative, as they have to be to offset the huge financial advantage that the Yankees have.

2005-07-06 12:46:37
3.   tommyl
I have to wonder if any of this has to do with NL GMs picking players who are good at "NL style" baseball. I have never understood this myself. Baseball is baseball, and besides the DH there should be no difference, yet there still is. The Red Sox or Yankees without a DH are still a significantly more potent offensive team than the higher spending NL clubs.

Being a Yankees fan, I have seen Tony Womack fail utterly this year at everything except stealing bases, yet some NL teams still seem interested because he's a good NL player. What does this mean exactly?


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