Please Explain: The National League (1983 to Present)
by Scott Long
I know this is dangerous ground to be treading here, but the Senior Circuit has been an inferior product for quite a long time now. Since 1983, the AL has had 15 World Champions, while the NL has managed just 7. If the Oakland A's of the late 80's/early 90's hadn't of underperformed so badly during the post-season, this number would be even more skewed towards the AL. According to my rankings, the AL has had MLB's best team 18 of these seasons. And I haven't even mentioned the whole All-Star game or inter-league play disparity...
Now, I should mention 2 things before I go any farther.
I'm an American League fan.
I believe the NL rule difference (no DH) is the way the game should be played.
The disparity between the leagues has gotten even bigger this decade, even though the NL has won 3 of the past 6 World Series. Here is my ranking of the best 10 teams since 2001. Teams with an asterisk won the World Series.
2003 New York Yankees
2005 Chicago White Sox *
2002 Oakland A's
2004 Boston Red Sox *
2004 New York Yankees
2004 St. Louis Cardinals
2002 New York Yankees
2002 Atlanta Braves
2002 Anaheim Angels *
2003 Oakland A's
Last season 6 of the 7 best balanced teams were in the AL, with this year it being pretty close to the same. I know this piece reads like a biased attack on the NL, but I'm just following Please Explain principles. I've read a few theories in the past on this subject, but NL's inferiority has to do with more than the favorite excuse that the Yankees and Red Sox spend more money than everyone else.
The NFL during this stretch has flipped between an AFC dominant period (8-2 in Super Bowls between 1998-07) and a NFC dominant period (14-1 in Super Bowls between 1983-97). In the NBA, since 1983, the Eastern Conference has won 13 world championships, the Western Conference 12. So Please Explain to me your theories on why the disparity between Major League Baseball's two Leagues has continued for so long.