FanDuel - WFBC

July 11, 2008

The Decline of the National League.: By just about every measure, the 16 teams in Major League Baseball's National League are inferior to the 14 in the American League. The AL has won 11 of the last 16 World Series, including three of the last four. The annual All-Star Game, to be played Tuesday, has practically become a farce: Not counting a 2002 tie, the AL has won 10 straight.

posted by BoKnows to baseball at 11:31 PM - 10 comments

The annual All-Star Game, to be played Tuesday, has practically become a farce: Not counting a 2002 tie, the AL has won 10 straight. Just more proof that having the All-Star game decide Home Field Advantage in the World Series was a Bad Idea.

posted by freeze_over98 at 01:20 AM on July 12

Since we have inter-league play now (since 1997), why not let the team with best inter-league record have homefield advantage in the World Series? It might take some of the relevance out of the All-Star game, but it would certainly be more fair to the individual teams that play in the Series. And using the All-Star game as a deciding factor for homefield adv. is not any sort of tradition yet (started 2003), so no one should be crying too much.

posted by jdefauw at 12:42 PM on July 12

Yeah even if it were a tradition it sucks. It won't stop sucking if they keep doing it long enough. Your idea sounds pretty good.

posted by wood at 03:26 PM on July 12

Since we have inter-league play now (since 1997), why not let the team with best inter-league record have homefield advantage in the World Series? It might take some of the relevance out of the All-Star game, but it would certainly be more fair to the individual teams that play in the Series. And using the All-Star game as a deciding factor for homefield adv. is not any sort of tradition yet (started 2003), so no one should be crying too much. Taking the Relevance out of the All-Star game would be a good thing. Its too serious now. It's not about fun like it used to be. Remember when Randy Johnson almost hit Larry Walker in the '97 AS Game? Walker turned around to bat right handed, as a joke. You won't see stuff like that anymore, as long as the outcome of the game decides something.

posted by freeze_over98 at 03:30 PM on July 12

I think that what the league was trying to avoid was the mass exodus of players that would occur once they were taken out of the game. Instead of putting the home field advantage aspect on the game, they should hand out the checks at the conclusion of All-Star Weekend with the stipulation that you must be present to collect. But I'm probably wrong.

posted by THX-1138 at 03:44 PM on July 12

I think a small but still measurable effect is the changing of long term ownership on some of the storied National League franchises. Although some these old owners frequently had more money than brains, they were willing to resign veteran superstars in last years of their contracts to prevent defection to the AL. Since the buyout/takeover/sale era began, the dominant teams seem to be remaining dominant (and yes, I have heard of the Marlins - I am speaking in general here) especially in the AL. Whereas teams in the NL seem to have fleeting success annually with rosters that has the media and fans asking who some of these guys are, most notably the pitchers. (ex. St Louis, Florida and Colorado recently). It is just my opinion, but it seems to me that AL teams are more likely to shell out cash recently for pitchers than the NL, especially closers. This could be due to the DH rule protecting these hurlers from plate appearances and allowing for more IP since they don't have to be pinch hit for, but I am pretty sure that one of the years "the Eck" had over 40 saves for the Cardinals, he ended up with under 20 plate appearances, so good managers should be able to work around that. I do believe that great pitching does typically beat great hitting over a series, and if the NL keeps ignoring the Josh Beckett type pitchers, the trend will continue.

posted by knowsalittle at 07:03 PM on July 12

Not counting a 2002 tie, the AL has won 10 straight. From 1960-1985, the NL went 25-3-1 against the AL. Things tend to be cyclical. The NBA's Western Conference, the NFC in the '90s. AFC in the '00s, ec.

posted by yerfatma at 07:14 AM on July 14

The annual who cares game has lost its roots there hasn't been a decent game in 20-30 years. I'll start watching again when you see home plate collisions like Rose & Fossee or Dave Parker throwing to Gary Carter to nail a runner at the plate. The game has turned into a fan favorite with a bunch of overpaid SOB's with the exception of players like Josh Hamilton, but I'm sure he will bring his status up to that level with the way he is playing. I can remember when an all-star bonus meant something to the players & they where excited to go. Now most of them are disgruntled because they don't get their 3 day break with the rest of their team mates.

posted by m8nsman at 08:13 AM on July 14

Things tend to be cyclical. From the article: To be fair, baseball is cyclical. From 1963 to 1982, the NL won 19 of 20 All-Star Games and 12 of 20 World Series titles.

posted by BoKnows at 11:55 AM on July 14

From 1963 to 1982 The DH started in '73. So for 9 of those years the NL was still dominant. I wonder, though, if the field has permanently tilted to the AL, with better batting overall forcing AL teams to go after better pitchers? Though I guess Sabathia going to Milwaukee and (cough) Zito going to the Giants suggests it's still a two-way market.

posted by drumdance at 02:57 PM on July 14

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