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Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Why is the American League superior to the National League ?

Inquiring minds should read David Schoenfield's ESPN article, 'The AL is definitely the better league'.

Deftly dismantling the usual arguments (the DH rule gives the AL a big advantage ; the Yankees and Red Sox give the AL a big advantage, otherwise the leagues are even ; the AL has drafted better ; the AL signs all the big free agents), Schoenfield proposes the following explanations, excerpted below.

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So, the AL is better because …

1. Better players.

OK, that’s obvious. But I think there’s a reason for this. The success of the Yankees and Red Sox pushes the rest of the American League to perform better and make smarter front-office moves. If you go into a season knowing it’s going to take 95 wins just to compete for the wild card, you have to make the right moves...

2. Bad front offices in the “rich” NL teams.

Who has spent the most in the NL in the past six years? The Mets, Cubs and Dodgers (and now the Phillies). Those first three have been three of the worst-run franchises of the decade...

3. Competition breeds talent.

If you play against better players, you tend to get better, correct? This is one issue that I’m not sure the NL can correct except with time and better player development. Playing the Astros and Cubs and Padres 30 games a year isn’t going to prepare you for the Red Sox, Yankees and Rays...

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