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 Post subject: A league of their own
PostPosted: Sun Jun 25, 2006 5:38 pm 

Joined: Thu Jul 15, 2004 12:01 am
Posts: 968
Location: Champaign, Ill.
WordyGurdy wrote:
Niko, what's going on with the Redbirds? The White Sox hang a 33-spot on them over the first two games of their series, then beat them 1-0 in the third game. Then the Tigers hang a 17-spot on them over two games, winning both.

Make that three in a row. No thanks, of course, to Isringhausen's blown save in the bottom of the ninth last night, or not having Pujols available for the first two Sox games (he was 0-4 in his return in the third game of the series) or Jim Edmonds for the first two games of the Tigers series (he went 0-3 today). It's also going to be an uphill battle when you play the two best teams in baseball in back-to-back road series. On top of that, Mark Mulder, who started the 20-6 Sox shellacking and gave up 11 runs in the third, was put on the 15-day DL with a shoulder strain and rotator cuff inflammation. Methinks this had something to do with his past few performances.

This is just another indicator to me of the difference between the leagues. In the past two World Series, the National League team has been effectively silenced by its American League counterpart, and both ended in a sweep. This might be because those two National League teams had just emerged from hard-fought seven- and six-game Championship Series, respectively, against each other, before facing teams that rode in with a lot more to prove and more momentum. In 2004, the Cardinals were trying to win their first World Series in 22 years. The Red Sox' drought was a bit longer. In 2005, the Astros were trying just to reach the World Series for the first time in club history, and it took recovery from a major meltdown by their closer to do it. Once they hit the big stage, it seemed they were no match for another team trying to erase a curse.

Maybe the momentum involved had something to do with it. Maybe the National League teams just stopped playing. One thing has been clear, though, the past two years: Being crowned the American League Champion pretty much punched the ticket to World Series Champion. So I'm wondering: Is American League baseball really that much better? Is that league attracting better players? How does the DH rule come into play? Why has the National League not been able to so much as put up a fight, especially on the sport's biggest stage?

Sorry. 0-6 road trips tend to get you thinking.

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PostPosted: Sun Jun 25, 2006 8:29 pm 

Joined: Sat Nov 01, 2003 1:01 am
Posts: 741
Location: The Empire State
It is odd how far the pendulum has swung in favor of AL dominance, especially with all the flow between leagues of players owing to free agency. You would think the leagues would be on a par with each other, but I guess the DH is a big factor.

Still, it's been pitching in the past two World Series that has dominated. Hard to explain that difference between the leagues, except that NL pitchers are facing a DH in the World Series, and thus a deeper lineup, for however many home games the AL team has.

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