Quadruple-A (or, Just How Much Does the NL Suck?)

With the All-Star Game upon us, it seems a reasonable time to ask this question: has the NL become a glorified minor league? The AL has thus far dominated interleague play (take out the Devil Rays and the numbers are really obscene). Last year’s WS was a 4-0 afterthought. Mediocre AL pitchers shift to the NL and become world beaters. World beating NL pitchers move to the AL and struggle. We’d love to see a study of what, if anything, happens to hitters switching leagues. The biggest payrolls are in the AL, and we might naturally expect these to draw the best talent, long term.

A highly simplistic view of things? Absolutely. Embarrassingly so. But we’re a bit lazy this morning, and have other work that must be attended to. So we leave it for you to discuss….

5 comments… add one
  • Mediocre AL pitchers shift to the NL and become world beaters.
    Care to pony up any recent examples? The more recent transfers that I can think of don’t corroborate this at all. And I am sticking to starters, for the time being.
    Pedro? Great in both.
    Lieber? Above average in the AL, maybe, certainly mediocre in the NL.
    Carpenter? Been in the NL for a while now, but perhaps an argument could be made here.
    Suppan? Nope.
    Mulder? Mediocrity in both leagues.
    Hudson? Worse now than before.
    Clemens? All-world in both leagues.
    Jeff Weaver? Nope.
    Derek Lowe? Nope.
    Kip Wells? Uh-uh.
    I’m not at odds with the overall theory about the AL vs. the NL, but certainly this portion of it doesn’t hold up to any kind of scrutiny.

    SF July 7, 2005, 4:01 pm
  • //World beating NL pitchers move to the AL and struggle.//
    Now that wouldn’t be a jab at Randy Johnson, would it?
    Might I remind you of one Mr. Matt Clement: mediocre NL pitcher with the Cubs, once even removed from the starting rotation. Switches to the AL in Boston and (in the absence of Schilling) has turned into the staff ace.
    We’ve all heard about Clement’s lack of run support with the Cubs, but that argument only goes so far. His win-loss record is certainly much improved because he now has run suppport, but his ERA is roughly the same as it was last year at this point. Certainly that indicates that he’s been able to deal with the legitimate #9 batter quite well.
    Clement, of course, may just be an anomoly when it comes to switching leagues. But I think he’s worth noting.

    Sox Fan in VT July 7, 2005, 5:06 pm
  • This is OT, but has anyone else heard this rumor about Schilling coming back as a CLOSER for the Sox? Given the Foulke crater and Schilling maybe not quite ready to go seven innings at this point, it seems feasible. Just wondering if the SFs out there had any thoughts about this.

    Spidey July 7, 2005, 6:51 pm
  • Not a rumor about him relieving. He’s in the pen for the moment, not necessarily the closer, though. It’s at the Globe site, and elsewhere. Check SoSH for many thoughts, both good and bad, on why they are doing this.

    SF July 7, 2005, 8:12 pm
  • For this site, the logical question seems to be: To what extent is the AL’s apparent superiority a product of the Yanks-Sox arms race? My hunch is that that’s one of the main factors….

    Fred Vincy July 13, 2005, 2:09 pm

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