May 7, 2010, 9:20 AM EDT
That’s what Matthew Futterman at the Wall Street Journal suggests after noting just how imbalanced the American and National Leagues have become:
The American League is clearly the stronger of the two, based on
interleague records and the differences in performance of players who
jump from one league to the other. Since interleague play began in 1997,
AL teams have won eight of 13 World Series and 12 All-Star Games (there
was a tie in 2002). They have compiled a .566 winning percentage
against NL clubs over the past five years. Now that Mr. Selig has
blurred the line between the two leagues–he’s abolished their separate
league offices and umpiring crews–the time may be ripe to go all the
Such a system would certainly breed fairness. And structurally it would be no big trick. It would basically be a matter of scheduling and changing signs and graphics and stuff. And given that I’m a strong supporter of “unalignment” there is no intellectual reason why I should be opposed to such a beast, because really, it’s just the logically conclusion of unalignment.
But . . . no. I have no real sound, objective basis for saying it would be a bad thing. All I have is aesthetics, my hatred of the DH (which would obviously be adopted league-wide), history and my own emotional reactions, but . . . no.
OK, I’ll try to muster a real argument. The article notes that a unified league would function like the English Premier League in which everyone is all lumped together. It’s probably worth noting that only three clubs have won the Premier League title in the past 14 seasons: Manchester United
(nine times), Arsenal (three times) and Chelsea
(twice). Now ask yourself: what’s a bigger problem in baseball: the disparities between the leagues or the dominance of the Yankees and Red Sox?
And no matter what you think of the one big league idea let’s be realistic: it ain’t gonna happen. The biggest reason? Going to such a system — premised as it is on fairness — would demand a balanced schedule. And if it’s one big league, we’re talking a real balanced schedule in which each team plays the others only five or six times a year. Ask yourself this: are the Yankees really going to sacrifice a dozen games against the Red Sox in order to ensure a schedule where they spend 25 or 30 games playing Houston, Pittsburgh, Colorado, Arizona and Florida? Not bloody likely.
But don’t hold that against Futterman’s article because, however unworkable the idea it espouses may be, the observations of the disparities between the American and National Leagues are quite illuminating.
- Royals might actually know what they are doing 13
- Curt Schilling reveals that he was diagnosed with mouth cancer, blames smokeless tobacco 64
- Clown shoes in Chicago: the Cubs grounds crew couldn’t get the tarp on the field 56
- And That Happened: Tuesday’s scores and highlights 69
- Tony La Russa denies that Kirk Gibson’s job is safe 22
- Pirates activate Andrew McCutchen from the disabled list 2
- HBT Daily: They’ve dropped six straight, but the Pirates may be the Wild Card favorites 2
- The Diamondbacks plan to bring back Kirk Gibson for some reason 31
- Mike Matheny addresses turmoil in Ferguson: “It’s a sad situation. It’s a tough situation for our city” (125)
- Jayson Werth clocked at 105 m.p.h. in a 55 zone, is charged with reckless driving (88)
- Here’s today’s dose of barfy Derek Jeter sentiment (82)
- Baseball is dying, you guys (78)
- A vote for Tom Werner for commissioner is a vote to return to the dark ages (78)