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View Full Version : Is the American League now what the National League was in the '70s and '80s?


PKalltheway
12-13-2005, 02:30 PM
Sorry if this is an old question since I am still relatively new to this site, but is the American League now what the National League was in the '70s and '80s? There seemed like there was a stretch between 1965-1985 when the National League just had better players than the A.L. Just thought I would like to hear your opinions on this. My opinion: yes.

maurice
12-13-2005, 02:46 PM
I don't know, but the devastating results of the last two WS don't exactly flatter the NL.

Frater Perdurabo
12-13-2005, 02:53 PM
I've had essentially the same argument with a Cubs fan friend of mine. (He's one of the few intelligent Cubs fans overall, but obviously wrong on this issue.)

The AL owned the NL in interleague play this year (136-116). The AL has swept two consecutive World Series. The AL had five teams who won more than 90 games. The NL had but two (one of which - the Braves - won exactly 90), and they have two more teams!

The AL Wild Card runner-up, the Indians, would have won the NL West or NL East or NL Wild Card by a comfortable margin. The AL Wild Card second runner up - the A's - would have won the NL West by six games and would have finished two games back of the NL East winning Braves and one game back of the NL Wild Card winning Astros.

The "bottom feeders" in the AL - the Royals and Devil Rays - each played at least one-third of their schedule against teams who won more than 90 games (and so did Toronto, Detroit, Baltimore and Minnesota). Meanwhile, the best team in the NL - the Cardinals - played 60% of their division games against the bottom three teams - all sub-.500 - in the NL Central (Reds, Pirates, Cubs), and also got to beat up on the despicable NL West and mediocre NL East.

There were only three "strong" teams in the NL - Cards, Braves and Astros - none of which would have had as good a record if they played in the AL. But if the White Sox, Red Sox, Yankees, Indians, Angels or even the A's played in the NL, it's likely that each of them could reach 100 wins. The White Sox probably would have won 115 games if they were in the NL.

Bottom line is that the best players and best teams right now play in the American League.

Banix12
12-13-2005, 03:25 PM
I think the best teams right now are in the American League. Best players I think it depends on what position on the field you are talking about.

One major difference I think I see is there appears to be a greater depth of talent in the American League. Particularly when it comes to the pitching staffs and bullpen. I think most of the absolute best pitchers have been in the NL recently but the dropoff from that talent to the average pitching talent in the NL is much, much steeper. The AL pitching staffs appear to be much more well rounded with better pitchers filling out the back end of rotations on most of the teams, at least the good ones.

The NL is better at a few positions. Probably 1b being the most glaring one.

PKalltheway
12-13-2005, 03:45 PM
I think the best teams right now are in the American League. Best players I think it depends on what position on the field you are talking about.

One major difference I think I see is there appears to be a greater depth of talent in the American League. Particularly when it comes to the pitching staffs and bullpen. I think most of the absolute best pitchers have been in the NL recently but the dropoff from that talent to the average pitching talent in the NL is much, much steeper. The AL pitching staffs appear to be much more well rounded with better pitchers filling out the back end of rotations on most of the teams, at least the good ones.

The NL is better at a few positions. Probably 1b being the most glaring one.

I guess if you want to look at the argument for best players, overall I think it is the A.L. Just look at the All-Star Game results. The N.L. hasn't won since 1996. For better teams, I guess you could look at the World Series results. In this decade so far, the A.L. has won four out of the six World Series (2000, 2002, 2004, 2005). I just wonder if the A.L.'s dominance in the All Star Game is running along the same parallels as the N.L.'s dominant period. Between 1962 and 1985, the A.L. won the All Star Game just three times!:o:

Banix12
12-13-2005, 07:59 PM
I guess if you want to look at the argument for best players, overall I think it is the A.L. Just look at the All-Star Game results. The N.L. hasn't won since 1996. For better teams, I guess you could look at the World Series results. In this decade so far, the A.L. has won four out of the six World Series (2000, 2002, 2004, 2005). I just wonder if the A.L.'s dominance in the All Star Game is running along the same parallels as the N.L.'s dominant period. Between 1962 and 1985, the A.L. won the All Star Game just three times!:o:

I'm really not one to trust one game per season as to which one has the best players. Partially because it is a game where team play is secondary to individual prowess and often better players are left off the team due to favoritisim by somebody, fans or coaches. A pitcher could have just been having a bad night that night or something to that effect. Or Esteban Loaiza makes the squad in a year when he is the third best pitcher on the white sox because Torre was scouting him. It's an unreliable game to be making big judgements upon.

At certain positions I think the NL is dominant and at others I think the AL is dominant. Right now I think the AL is dominant when it comes to pitching, in particular in the AL Central, and I think that allows them a serious advantage. I would also say that right now I think the AL is probably dominant at more positions than the NL. In the AL I would say there is a shortage of really good 2nd basemen and 1b but they are really dominant at SS and Catcher.

However hands down the best teams right now are in the AL. I think you could have put the Blue jays last year in a couple of those divisions and they would have cleaned up.

NWSox
12-13-2005, 10:52 PM
I made this argument before the WS. The AL is definitely better than the NL. One of my main arguments is the performance of pitchers like Clemens and Pettite, who were past their primes in the AL and dominated the NL last year. But there are many more arguments to be made. The AL has been signficantly better than the NL in interleague play over the past few years. Plus, you take Bonds out of the equation, and most of the best hitters in the league are in the AL. Pujols is the only NL hitter I would rank in the top 5, and I would make the case that his effectiveness would drop in the AL.

I'm dying for the Red Sox to pick up Clemens so that the AL can smack him around again like it did in 2003. Remember how long it took him to get to win 300? People forget how inconsistent he was in his last years in the AL.

Fenway
12-13-2005, 10:56 PM
One of my main arguments is the performance of pitchers like Clemens and Pettite, who were past their primes in the AL and dominated the NL last year

Clemens has said it is huge not having to face 9 hitters in the lineup in the NL

batmanZoSo
12-13-2005, 11:09 PM
I've had essentially the same argument with a Cubs fan friend of mine. (He's one of the few intelligent Cubs fans overall, but obviously wrong on this issue.)

The AL owned the NL in interleague play this year (136-116). The AL has swept two consecutive World Series. The AL had five teams who won more than 90 games. The NL had but two (one of which - the Braves - won exactly 90), and they have two more teams!

The AL Wild Card runner-up, the Indians, would have won the NL West or NL East or NL Wild Card by a comfortable margin. The AL Wild Card second runner up - the A's - would have won the NL West by six games and would have finished two games back of the NL East winning Braves and one game back of the NL Wild Card winning Astros.

The "bottom feeders" in the AL - the Royals and Devil Rays - each played at least one-third of their schedule against teams who won more than 90 games (and so did Toronto, Detroit, Baltimore and Minnesota). Meanwhile, the best team in the NL - the Cardinals - played 60% of their division games against the bottom three teams - all sub-.500 - in the NL Central (Reds, Pirates, Cubs), and also got to beat up on the despicable NL West and mediocre NL East.

There were only three "strong" teams in the NL - Cards, Braves and Astros - none of which would have had as good a record if they played in the AL. But if the White Sox, Red Sox, Yankees, Indians, Angels or even the A's played in the NL, it's likely that each of them could reach 100 wins. The White Sox probably would have won 115 games if they were in the NL.

Bottom line is that the best players and best teams right now play in the American League.

Perfectly put. Oh, man, I'd love the Sox to be in the NL Central right about now.

It's pathetic how much better the AL is than the NL. Of course, the AL's been dominant ever since I've been watching (post 1990). Now, though, it's on another level. I think one of those teams has to come over here to spread out the talent more evenly. Move the Marlins to Vegas and put them in the AL West. Then you move Pittsburgh to the NL East and you have 6 divisions of 5 teams each.

The hitting is superior and so is the pitching in the AL. I always thought the DH gave AL pitchers and advantage in crunch time, because they're tough from facing nothing but good hitters every batter, every time out. The standard assumption is to add .5 to an NL pitcher's ERA to account for pitching to pitchers, but I'd say it's closer to .75 or pushing 1.0. Did you see those Astros pitchers' obscene ERAs? None of them could shut the White Sox--merely an above average hitting team overall, at best. Neither Pettite, nor Clemens, nor Oswalt could've put up nearly those kinds of numbers in the AL in '05. Don't get me wrong, they're all three excellent pitchers, but get real with the 2.0 and less stuff. That's not happening in the man's league.

bobowhite
12-14-2005, 10:36 AM
I really think this is as much about economics as anything else.

The AL has three big market teams (NYY, BOS, ANA), eight mid market teams (CWS TEX DET CLE SEA OAK BAL TOR) and three small market teams (MIN, KC, TAM). The NL has three big market teams (NYM DOG CHC) eight mid-market teams (ATL PHI WAS HOU ARZ SF COL STL) and five small market teams (CIN SD FLO PIT MIL).

Even if you want to disagree and move ATL into the big-market, it still means there are fewer small market teams in the AL. I think the White Sox should be more big market than most analysts list them. Star players go where the money is and the average team money is greater in the AL than in the NL.

TheVulture
12-14-2005, 05:07 PM
I really think this is as much about economics as anything else.

The AL has three big market teams (NYY, BOS, ANA), eight mid market teams (CWS TEX DET CLE SEA OAK BAL TOR) and three small market teams (MIN, KC, TAM). The NL has three big market teams (NYM DOG CHC) eight mid-market teams (ATL PHI WAS HOU ARZ SF COL STL) and five small market teams (CIN SD FLO PIT MIL).



Except Florida and San Diego aren't really small market, and cleveland is a small market.

DumpJerry
12-14-2005, 05:41 PM
I really think this is as much about economics as anything else.

The AL has three big market teams (NYY, BOS, ANA), eight mid market teams (CWS TEX DET CLE SEA OAK BAL TOR) and three small market teams (MIN, KC, TAM). The NL has three big market teams (NYM DOG CHC) eight mid-market teams (ATL PHI WAS HOU ARZ SF COL STL) and five small market teams (CIN SD FLO PIT MIL).

Even if you want to disagree and move ATL into the big-market, it still means there are fewer small market teams in the AL. I think the White Sox should be more big market than most analysts list them. Star players go where the money is and the average team money is greater in the AL than in the NL.
The White Sox are mid market and the Cubs big market? That kind of talk can get one banned from WSI and The Cell.....

The NL is vastly superior because the play real baseball unlike the AL which does not play real baseball. The AL uses the designated hitter which means the only decision a manager has to make during the game is where to order his post game pizza from.

:puking:

Ok, got that holier than thou Cub fan stuff out of my system. The only real strategic difference the DH makes is late in the game if your team is rallying to overcome a deficit and your pitcher is coming up. I've been the "real baseball" junk from Flub fans more and more these days as they to minimize the impact of their beloved team becoming an insignificant ant on the beach which the Sox are now the lifeguard captain on that beach.:D:

bobowhite
12-14-2005, 08:48 PM
Except Florida and San Diego aren't really small market, and cleveland is a small market.

Like I said, you can argue . . .

bobowhite
12-14-2005, 08:50 PM
The White Sox are mid market and the Cubs big market? That kind of talk can get one banned from WSI and The Cell.....

It's what they draw and act like. Heaven knows the Cub$ throw money around like 6 year old kids in a pinwheel factory. They get pretty much that much value to.

PKalltheway
12-14-2005, 10:59 PM
Pujols is the only NL hitter I would rank in the top 5, and I would make the case that his effectiveness would drop in the AL.

Yeah instead of hitting forty homers per year, he'll hit 39!:redneck

StockdaleForVeep
12-14-2005, 11:10 PM
NL develops the power pitchers and Homerun outfielders

AL develops power infielders

batmanZoSo
12-15-2005, 02:41 AM
Except Florida and San Diego aren't really small market, and cleveland is a small market.

As it applies to his point, Florida is a small market team because there just isn't any interest, they don't draw for ****. And with two World Series titles. San Diego I'd say mid-market. That town has never been gripped with baseball fever but it is California. Cleveland, yeah, small market probably, but a hell of a fan base. You might consider them mid for that reason because they've never had much trouble fielding talented teams and retaining them for a long period of time.

TheOldRoman
12-15-2005, 03:24 AM
Perfectly put. Oh, man, I'd love the Sox to be in the NL Central right about now.

It's pathetic how much better the AL is than the NL. Of course, the AL's been dominant ever since I've been watching (post 1990). Now, though, it's on another level. I think one of those teams has to come over here to spread out the talent more evenly. Move the Marlins to Vegas and put them in the AL West. Then you move Pittsburgh to the NL East and you have 6 divisions of 5 teams each.

The hitting is superior and so is the pitching in the AL. I always thought the DH gave AL pitchers and advantage in crunch time, because they're tough from facing nothing but good hitters every batter, every time out. The standard assumption is to add .5 to an NL pitcher's ERA to account for pitching to pitchers, but I'd say it's closer to .75 or pushing 1.0. Did you see those Astros pitchers' obscene ERAs? None of them could shut the White Sox--merely an above average hitting team overall, at best. Neither Pettite, nor Clemens, nor Oswalt could've put up nearly those kinds of numbers in the AL in '05. Don't get me wrong, they're all three excellent pitchers, but get real with the 2.0 and less stuff. That's not happening in the man's league.
It won't work. You can't have an odd number of teams in either league. If there are 15 teams, 7 teams will play 7 others, and one team will always have a bye series. Baseball is not a game of regularly scheduled three day rests. This is why expansion is always done in even numbers. In order for the leagues to have an odd number of teams, there would need to be constant interleague play. That isn't going to happen any time soon.

Frater Perdurabo
12-15-2005, 09:01 AM
I really think this is as much about economics as anything else.

The AL has three big market teams (NYY, BOS, ANA), eight mid market teams (CWS TEX DET CLE SEA OAK BAL TOR) and three small market teams (MIN, KC, TAM). The NL has three big market teams (NYM DOG CHC) eight mid-market teams (ATL PHI WAS HOU ARZ SF COL STL) and five small market teams (CIN SD FLO PIT MIL).

Even if you want to disagree and move ATL into the big-market, it still means there are fewer small market teams in the AL. I think the White Sox should be more big market than most analysts list them. Star players go where the money is and the average team money is greater in the AL than in the NL.

I respectfully quibble with some of your characterizations. Oakland may be in a "mid market," but they operate as a "small market" team under the current ownership and Beane. (Of course, you can make the opposite argument with Texas, who plays with a mid-range payroll - even though they pay a lot of money to players who no longer play for them - but are in the #4 market in the country.)

Also, the NL has two more teams. The fact that both operate as small-market franchises only serves to "bring down the mean" payroll among the 16 NL teams.

Still, for the most part I agree - both the NL and AL have three "big spenders" and eight "mid-market" franchises. Because they have two more weak "small market" teams to play, though, all NL teams play more games against weaker opponents. Three of them are in the NL Central.

No wonder Houston won 89 games and the Cards won 100. Each of them played three-fifths of the their divisional games against weak teams (PIT, MIL, CIN) and another fifth against the pathetic Cubs.

bobowhite
12-15-2005, 09:08 AM
. . .Still, for the most part I agree - both the NL and AL have three "big spenders" and eight "mid-market" franchises. Because they have two more weak "small market" teams to play, though, all NL teams play more games against weaker opponents. . . .

My central thesis, (or is that Central thesis?)

Frater Perdurabo
12-15-2005, 11:05 AM
My central thesis, (or is that Central thesis?)

please, no more punishment! :tongue:

PatK
12-15-2005, 04:03 PM
The NL is where AL pitchers go to die.

Hangar18
12-16-2005, 09:40 AM
I dont necessarily agree with your premise. YES, the NL dominated the AL in the All-Star game for years 60's thru 70's, but early 80's, THE American League came back big time. Just seemed that AL teams were drafting and producing excellent baseball players. The American League is the PREMIER league. When the SOX fought the Angels hard, to me that was the "WS" so to speak, because I knew we'd simply SWEEP the Astros. Why do you think when the Mets and Cardinals are Shopping for Players, they dont Shop in the Thrift Stores that are the National League. Hell no, they Shop at the Neiman-Marcus like American League.

Watching bogus teams like the Pirates, Mets, Reds, Brewers, makes me Ill.

peeonwrigley
12-16-2005, 10:35 AM
I know they're in a bit of financial crunch now with the stadium financing issues; but the Cardinals have spent and acquired name players like any of the other "big market" teams over the past decade. They've just been more intelligent about it than most.