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MikeThierry
06-22-2011, 01:17 AM
I saw this article on ESPN today and I just cannot agree with the writers assessment on the issue:

http://espn.go.com/blog/SweetSpot/post/_/id/12644/the-al-is-definitely-the-better-league

For years, I think it is fair to say, that many of us have gone back and forth on different blogs and forums with fans from AL teams on which league is better. Many AL fans point out to All Star Game wins (which I have always maintained is silly) and inter league record. Now it is true that the inter league record between the AL and NL is glaring. The AL for years have won the season series against the NL. Does this mean though that the AL is a superior league?

One huge, but simple, factor that often gets overlooked in my opinion is the issue of the NL having sixteen teams compared to the AL's fourteen teams. AL teams will not always see the best NL teams all the time due to two NL teams slugging it out while the rest of the NL plays AL teams. The perfect example of this is the series between the Cardinals and the Phillies this week. Both teams are top teams in the NL yet the AL will not see them at all this week. Furthermore, there are a total of six series each AL team plays against the NL. However, twelve NL teams face an inter league opponent five different times. I think this issue is one of the big reasons why the AL has seemed to be more dominant than NL teams. Any thoughts?

Reds/Flyers Fan
06-22-2011, 01:56 AM
I don't think there is any doubt the AL is better than the NL, and it's really not close. Since interleague started, how many times has the NL won the season's series? I'm not sure but my guess would be zero. And the NL isn't going to win this year either, with no small thanks going to the Reds and Padres, who are a combined 2-13 against the AL. Even the Phillies, the premiere NL team, are only 3-3 vs. the AL and lost two of three to a mediocre AL team in Seattle.

This column from yesterday does a good job of breaking down some of the reasons why this annual domination never changes:

http://espn.go.com/blog/sweetspot/post/_/id/12644/the-al-is-definitely-the-better-league

jojo
06-22-2011, 04:44 PM
I don't think there is any doubt the AL is better than the NL, and it's really not close.

Pretty much.

Edskin
06-22-2011, 05:03 PM
I was just about to star a Reds specific thread on this, but this is a fine place to put my thoughts. Ask me two questions:

1. Can the Reds still make the post season this year?

My answer: Yes

2. Are the Reds one of the 15 best teams in MLB?

My answer: No

And that should more or less answer the question posed in te thread title. Put us in te AL East for 162 games and we are battling the O's for last place-- I think Toronto is equal to or better than we are.

Oakland, Kansas City, and Minnesota are the only AL teams that I think we are comfortably superior to. There are others like the Angels, Orioles, and White Sox that we might beat out as well, but either way I'd put us in the bottom half of the AL.

And Wr know we are inferior to the top tier NL teams.... So while I'm glad to play where we play and content with te fact that we generally beat teams we should beat, there is little doubt in my mind that overall, the Reds may actually be a below average team when judged from MLB as a whole.

Reds/Flyers Fan
06-22-2011, 05:33 PM
I was just about to star a Reds specific thread on this, but this is a fine place to put my thoughts. Ask me two questions:

1. Can the Reds still make the post season this year?

My answer: Yes

2. Are the Reds one of the 15 best teams in MLB?

My answer: No

And that should more or less answer the question posed in te thread title. Put us in te AL East for 162 games and we are battling the O's for last place-- I think Toronto is equal to or better than we are.

Oakland, Kansas City, and Minnesota are the only AL teams that I think we are comfortably superior to. There are others like the Angels, Orioles, and White Sox that we might beat out as well, but either way I'd put us in the bottom half of the AL.

And Wr know we are inferior to the top tier NL teams.... So while I'm glad to play where we play and content with te fact that we generally beat teams we should beat, there is little doubt in my mind that overall, the Reds may actually be a below average team when judged from MLB as a whole.

I'm not so sure about being better than the Twins at all, particularly when they're healthy. They're really starting to turn it around after a brutal start. It wouldn't surprise me at all if they force themselves into post-season consideration.

At this point, I'd take the Twins over the Reds.

dfs
06-22-2011, 05:34 PM
I believe the other way to look at this is that players who move from the NL to the AL usually appear to get worse while players that move the other way often have career years.

As much of a reds homer as I am, I don't think there is any question the AL is the better league.

Reds/Flyers Fan
06-22-2011, 05:53 PM
I'm not sure this is a cyclical thing that's going to change either. Until the NL has a pair of mega-franchises that spend the money and get the national media attention like the Yankees and Red Sox, and until the DH is either adopted in both leagues or done away with entirely, I don't see the NL catching up anytime soon.

The NL will still win its share of World Series, but the across-the-board comparison will never match the AL.

MikeThierry
06-23-2011, 12:36 AM
I just cannot accept that the AL is a superior league than the NL. There are too many variables involved in why the AL has seemed to play better ball than the NL since inter league began. I will be interested to see what happens with realignment. If that takes place, both leagues will have the same number of teams and follow the same rules. Then I think we can really truely get a more accurate picture of this issue.