There will be a time in the future where fans of AL teams can’t pick on their National League brethren. Luckily, that time hasn’t come yet:

“We know going in that we need to win 90-something games,” [Tampa Bay Rays owner Stuart] Sternberg said. “Is it 92 or is it 98? Eighty-nine, 88 don’t get it done in our division. It gets in done in a lot of other places. … Eighty-nine [wins] in our division translates into 93 in the Central and 147 in the National League.

I think the use of “lol” would be appropriate here.

(h/t: Jason)

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  1. Carlos said...

    We all must bow to our mighty AL overlords. Why the NL even plays games is beyond me. Lets end the season with the ALCS and call it a day.

    OH wait your the dude who owns the team that lost to an NL team in the WS last year. Nevermind.

  2. Dan Novick said...

    If you’re going to argue that the NL is better than the AL, you won’t have many informed people on your side.

  3. Todd said...

    Yeah, the AL is better than the NL, but mostly because of the DH, and the difference isn’t that large. Do you really think the Tigers would clean up in any of the NL divisions this year? I certainly don’t.

  4. Andrew said...

    Dear Carlos,
    It’s a joke.  You know, something you laugh at.  Yes, there is a gap between the AL and the NL.  No, it’s not entirely due to the DH.  No, wins are not twice as hard to get in the AL as in the NL.  Knee jerk mockrage (mock outrage, I just made it up!) doesn’t add much to any discussion.

  5. Sky Kalkman said...

    “Yeah, the AL is better than the NL, but mostly because of the DH, and the difference isn’t that large.”

    Why the DH?  AL teams have to spend money on a DH, while NL teams don’t.  They should put that money/investment into other pieces that make the team better.

    It’s about five wins over the course of a season.  Call that what you will.

  6. Todd said...

    “Why the DH?”

    An NL team has to configure its roster quite a bit differently in order to deal with not having the DH. AL teams can also do things like play stars at DH who are hurt enough that they can’t play the field, but can still hit. As opposed to, say, having Edgar Renteria instructed to run out to LF every time a ball is hit out there because Pujols has a bum elbow and can’t throw worth crap (ca 2003).

    Look at the trade of Thome to the Dodgers. The Dodgers can’t take as much advantage of his abilities as the White Sox could. AL teams can acquire their DHs more cheaply than they could otherwise because the value of such players to NL teams is lesser. And NL teams aren’t as able as AL teams to carry as large a compliment of quality players, because they can’t utilize as many of them, so they have little choice but to trade those players away, less they be spending their money inefficiently. NL teams also have to do wonkier things with their pitching staffs, such that the distribution of innings pitched in the NL across talent isn’t as optimized as it is in the AL.

  7. M Scott Eiland said...

    It’s not just a matter of efficiency, either.  Imagine an NL team that happened to have enough loose change around to pay one of the five best hitters in baseball—but who was a weak fielder—fair market value for his full normal performance just to pinch hit and play DH in interleague games.  *They still couldn’t do it*, because no hitter that good—or even half that good—is going to be willing to sit on the bench most of the time for one year—let alone several—because it will kill his stats and damage his earning potential.

  8. mravery said...

    I have sympathy for the Rays and Jays and Orioles, but let’s be real. The AL West and AL Central aren’t exactly full of powerhouses. The Cardinals or Phillies would be legit playoff teams coming out of either of those divisions. The AL East is insane, but outside of that? The other divisions are just as mediocre as the NL.

  9. Todd said...

    It certainly does mean something, but I’m wondering how to account for the fact that the NL has 16 teams to the AL’s 14. What would happen to the strength of the leagues if you moved a team like the Astros to the AL West?

    Speaking of which, Sternberg ought to be thankful his team doesn’t play in the NL Central. Sure, right now it’s probably harder to make the playoffs in the AL East, but in the long run, a 1 in 5 shot at winning your division is going to pan out better than a 1 in 6 shot. The size of the divisions is really goofy, unfair, and irksome.

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