PDA

View Full Version : Olney's take on parity btw the leagues



edabbs44
07-01-2006, 02:09 PM
I agree with Buster. It just seems like the AL, as a whole, is more free spending than the NL. The NL has lost so many stars in the last 5-6 years it is tough to bounce back.

AL paid good money for success

The American League won 8 of 14 interleague games Friday -- an off-day for the AL, really, considering its overall domination -- and now has racked up 139 victories and just 85 defeats.

Tommy Lasorda said the other day that this is all cyclical, and that the National League had a similar domination in the '60s and '70s. I don't think it's that simple, or that random, and I don't think the situation is going to change any time soon.


Here's why:


1. Baseball's two financial superpowers, the Red Sox and Yankees, both play in the American League, and their rivalry -- and spending -- forces responses from other AL teams. In almost every offseason in recent years, most of the best free agents sign in the AL.


Look at the salary structure in baseball. The four highest-spending teams are in the AL, and the 14 AL teams have spent a combined total of $1.168 billion in salaries, an average of $83.4 million. The 16 NL teams, on the other hand, have spent $1.158 billion, an average of $72 million. Sure, the AL teams might be overzealous in their competitiveness, and there are deals like the Carl Pavano signing that are basically lost cash. But an average difference of $11 million is steep; the AL pays for talent, as B.J. Ryan and A.J. Burnett will tell you.


2. The low-budget teams in the AL have been more successful than their NL counterparts, generally speaking, raising the overall quality of the league. The Minnesota Twins rank 19th in payroll, overall, but have been a contender in every year in this decade. We all know the track record of Billy Beane and the Oakland Athletics. The Indians are having a bad year, but they have been very competitive the last couple of seasons, despite ranking near the bottom in total payroll.


3. The designated hitter. AL teams field nine-deep lineups -- they pay good money for that extra hitter -- and generally, the design strategy within the league is to wear down opposing starting pitchers. No NL team other than the Mets really does that kind of thing, and some executives believe it really affects the interleague play. "When an AL team plays in a NL park, they're struggling with the tough decision of who to take out of the lineup -- David Ortiz or Kevin Youkilis, for example," said one talent evaluator. "But when an NL team plays in an AL park, they really have to stretch to find that extra hitter. They're not going to spend to get that extra veteran hitter on their roster, just for the sake of a few interleague games."


My own view is that the best three teams in the majors right now are all in the AL -- the Tigers, White Sox and Red Sox -- and then you could make a case for the Mets being fourth. After that, it's the Yankees, the Twins (with the emergence of Francisco Liriano), Toronto, Oakland and Texas. And then St. Louis.


The difference between the leagues is staggering right now, and it's not going to change until the Dodgers, the Cardinals or the Mets start spending very big dollars and forcing the other NL teams to ante up.

KronoRed
07-01-2006, 05:21 PM
If Bud dares use this to suggest the NL start using the DH I will hunt him down :rant:

IslandRed
07-01-2006, 05:52 PM
The difference between the leagues is staggering right now, and it's not going to change until the Dodgers, the Cardinals or the Mets start spending very big dollars and forcing the other NL teams to ante up.

From the look of the standings, the Mets might have already done what Olney's saying.

I'm not sure how correct he is -- removing the outliers of the Yankees and Marlins, there's not a big discrepancy between league average payrolls. But there's definitely been a difference in energy and competence, and he's right when he says that the AL not only has the big spenders but the small-market innovators. The list of NL franchises that have been well run in recent seasons is pretty short.

BrooklynRedz
07-01-2006, 05:56 PM
Cyclical is NOT random.

edabbs44
07-01-2006, 05:58 PM
Cyclical is NOT random.
I don't think he is saying that cyclical is random. He's saying the situation is neither cyclical nor random.

BrooklynRedz
07-01-2006, 07:52 PM
I don't think he is saying that cyclical is random. He's saying the situation is neither cyclical nor random.

"Tommy Lasorda said the other day that this is all cyclical, and that the National League had a similar domination in the '60s and '70s. I don't think it's that simple, or that random"

If he's not equating the two, he's a poor writer. Actually, remove the condition. Olney is a very poor writer.

MWM
07-01-2006, 08:12 PM
Olney is a very poor writer.

You're being way too diplomatic. He's a hack's hack and one of the worst I've read.

Johnny Footstool
07-01-2006, 08:15 PM
3. The designated hitter. AL teams field nine-deep lineups -- they pay good money for that extra hitter -- and generally, the design strategy within the league is to wear down opposing starting pitchers. No NL team other than the Mets really does that kind of thing, and some executives believe it really affects the interleague play. "When an AL team plays in a NL park, they're struggling with the tough decision of who to take out of the lineup -- David Ortiz or Kevin Youkilis, for example," said one talent evaluator. "But when an NL team plays in an AL park, they really have to stretch to find that extra hitter. They're not going to spend to get that extra veteran hitter on their roster, just for the sake of a few interleague games."

The Reds do. When everyone is healthy, the Reds lineup is 10 deep.

Olney's ignorance makes him my least-favorite sports journalist.

KronoRed
07-01-2006, 09:11 PM
You're being way too diplomatic. He's a hack's hack and one of the worst I've read.
Tell us how you really feel ;)

edabbs44
07-01-2006, 11:15 PM
The Reds do. When everyone is healthy, the Reds lineup is 10 deep.

Olney's ignorance makes him my least-favorite sports journalist.
10 deep? You sure about that?

Johnny Footstool
07-02-2006, 12:34 AM
1 Catcher (Larue, Ross, Valentin)
Hatteberg
Phillips
Encarnacion
Lopez
Dunn
Griffey
Kearns
Freel
Aurilia

That's 10 deep.

It's at least as deep as your average AL team.

oregonred
07-02-2006, 03:09 AM
It's gotten even more laughable. 8 teams in the AL are 7-3 or better in their last ten games (including the Royals who are 6-1 against teams not named the Reds).

No teams in the NL are better than 6-4 and those would be the Reds and Rockies who played a stretch against NL teams.

SOmehow the Reds/Cards maintain a 2.5 game WC lead. The Marlins are now in second in the NL East at 7 under .500.

Oh and seven of the NLs top eight teams lost again last night in interleague play (Mets won).

edabbs44
07-02-2006, 05:12 AM
1 Catcher (Larue, Ross, Valentin)
Hatteberg
Phillips
Encarnacion
Lopez
Dunn
Griffey
Kearns
Freel
Aurilia

That's 10 deep.

It's at least as deep as your average AL team.
RA isn't effective vs RHPs and Freel seems to be less effective when he plays everyday. That's why I wouldn't consider them 10 deep. I'm also not a big Hatte fan, but that's been cause for other discussions on the board.

Chip R
07-02-2006, 10:53 AM
The difference between the leagues is staggering right now, and it's not going to change until the Dodgers, the Cardinals or the Mets start spending very big dollars and forcing the other NL teams to ante up.

Ah, yes, the old "Money Buys Winning" theory. Honestly, I have no idea why ESPN pays Olney to write such drivel. As for the NL teams not spending money, the Mets have recently paid very good money for the likes of Tom Glavine, Pedro Martinez, Carlos Beltran and Billy Wagner. The Cards are paying Pujols over $10 a year, maybe more. The Astros brought in Clemens for $20M (prorated) and are paying Berkman, Biggio, Pettit and Bagwell who does not even play anymore a very large amount of money. While the Dodgers have scaled back some from the "salad days" when Fox owned them and paid for Kevin Brown, they still, and always will, have a big payroll. The Chubs just reupped Derrik Lee and are paying him on an elite level. Even the Reds are big spenders with Milton, Jr. and Dunn.

I do agree that the AL is the better league. Stevie Wonder could see that. As much as I hate to agree with Lasorda, it is cyclical. I remember growing up how the media wondered if the AL would ever win another All Star game. Of course an All Star game is not exactly the best way to discern which is the better league but it is a cyclical thing.

I guess it is just too easy to believe the misconception that money buys wins.

IslandRed
07-02-2006, 11:54 AM
RA isn't effective vs RHPs and Freel seems to be less effective when he plays everyday. That's why I wouldn't consider them 10 deep. I'm also not a big Hatte fan, but that's been cause for other discussions on the board.

If you're drawing the line so that Freel, Aurilia and Hatteberg are below it, then the Yankees are the only team in baseball that has maybe nine guys above it, much less ten. I took a look at the current stats -- of the ten Johnny listed (taking Ross for the catcher), everyone's OPS is above .800 except for Lopez, who's at .768. I also looked at the five top-scoring AL teams -- all of them have regulars under .800, some significantly under, all of them start players who don't strike fear in pitchers. Our 7-8-9 would match up well.

And that was what the writer was trying to get at -- NL clubs don't have good bats on their benches and struggle to fill the DH spot in interleague games. But the Reds can put a good ninth bat into the lineup.