The AL Has Been Dominating The NL During Interleague For Over A Decade Now
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The American League holds a decisive ALL – Time Record on the National League in Interleague play – and perhaps that is why a lot of traditional fans hate the concept even more.
Heading into play in 2014, the AL has won the last decade straight of seasonal play (10 years), and now possess an overall yearly record of 13 – 4 over the Senior Circuit.
It wasn’t always this dominant for the Junior Circuit. 4 of the 1st 7 campaigns were taken by the NL, however ever since the start of 2004, the American League has routinely speedbagged their opposition league.
In my opinion a lot of different factors for that help the cause.
For starters, there have been a lot more perennial high budgeted teams like New York, Boston, Los Angeles Angels, and recently the Tigers and Rangers have joined the fray as free wheeling spenders.
In the NL, only the LA Dodgers, San Francisco Giants and Philadelphia Phillies have been routinely heavyweights when it comes to throwing down money.
The Giants and Dodgers are more of the last 2 – 3 years, after the Guggenheim consortium took over and raised player spending by 250% from the McCourt regime.
The San Francisco franchise has had no choice but to enter that stratosphere, and even with that are almost a $100 MIL behind Los Angeles for player salaries.
Washington has crept up north of $100 MIL because of their talented young players all acquiring raises over the last few years.
The New York Mets have brutal ownership, as they should be hovering around the top 5 for payroll based on their earning potential.
Anyways, this is only one factor.
As last year’s offseason proved, Robinson Cano signed with Seattle, Masahiro Tanaka and Jacoby Ellsbury signed with New York, Shin-Soo Choo inked a contract with Texas, while no player came close to that signing ilk in the NL.
The DH position has afforded the players the option of switching to a purely offensive role once they reach their mid 30’s.
The National League also has a tough time implementing a DH for Interleague play – while the pitchers never hit that well for the AL squad.
Routinely, the pitchers will bat about 2.5 AB for every game in either league when the chucker is eligible for cuts in a contest during Interleague or NL play.
Meanwhile, the NL has to have a player adapt to a role they are not used in the Designated Hitter role.
The players the National League have on their bench are not generally paid for the kind of production one would surmise in the American League.
Each year, this makes up a massive difference in the play between the two leagues.
As previously stated in a lot of my articles, there is no way the Interleague yearly contest could be used to decide who is to have World Series home advantage for this very reason.
In addition, as a fan who loves Interleague play as a combat versus team fatigue in one year, this lopsided annual competition will probably prevent further expansion of more than the 300 games the MLB currently tries to schedule for each team.
For those people not familiar with the phrase ‘team fatigue’. It was first brought to the forefront by my friend Doug Miller a few years back.
Going through a list of why MLB teams struggle for attendance, he cited the weighted divisional schedule as a main factor in casual fans ‘decision to buy a game’ or not.
It is the simple version of ‘law of diminishing returns’. The more you experience one thing, the less you will enjoy it as time continues.
Take the Seattle Mariners, who play the Houston Astros for 9 or 10 home games a year at Safeco Field (or 3 series).
If you are a casual fan, are you really going to attend 3 different series with that team? Hardcore fans would be hard pressed to do that.
This is all for another topic with a more balanced schedule across the board for all teams in both leagues.
With 2 Wild Card Playoff spots in both leagues, they should really even it out.
My contention is also that each team should play one Interleague series versus the other league – and a total of 50 games in a year, but it will never happen.
It would be a great way to promote the sport across the nation with the best players in the game spreading out across the whole circuit.
Until then, we are left with 18 – 20 games each per club right now – as collectively bargained with the MLB and MLBPA through the 2016 CBA.
1997: NL won 117 – 97 (.547) NL up yearly series 1 – 0
1998: AL won 114 – 110 (.509) Yearly series tied 1- 1
1999: NL won 135 – 116 (.538) NL up yearly series 2 – 1
2000: AL won 136 – 115 (.542) Yearly series tied 1- 1
2001: AL won 132 – 120 (.524) AL up yearly series 3 – 2
2002: NL won 129 – 123 ( .512) Yearly series tied 3 – 3
2003: NL won 137 – 115 (.544) NL up yearly series 4 – 3
2004: AL won 127 – 125 (.504) Yearly series tied 4 – 4
2005: AL won 136 – 116 (.540) AL up yearly series 5 – 4
2006: AL won 154 – 98 (.611) AL up yearly series 6 – 4
2007: AL won 137 – 115 (.544) AL up yearly series 7 – 4
2008: AL won 149 – 103 (.591) AL up yearly series 8 – 4
2009: AL won 154 – 98 (.611) AL up yearly series 9 – 4
2010: AL won 138 – 114 (.548) AL up yearly series 10 – 4
2011: AL won 134 – 118 (.532) AL up yearly series 11 – 4
2012: AL won 142 – 110 (.611) AL up yearly series 12 – 4
2013: AL won 154 – 146 (.513) AL up yearly series 13 – 4
2014: AL UP currently 80 – 71 (.530)
ALL Time: AL leads the NL 2270 – 2259 (.524)
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Posted on June 23, 2014, in MLB Interleague and tagged 2014 MLB interleague, 2016 CBA, al, al central, AL East, AL West, All 30 MLB Teams, American league, arizona diamondbacks, Atlanta Braves, baltimore orioles, boston red sox, chicago cubs, chicago white sox, cincinnati reds, cleveland indians, colorado rockies, detroit tigers, houston astros, interleague all time records year by year, jacoby ellsbury, junior circuit, kansas city royals, la angels, la dodgers, masahiro tanaka, miami marlins, milwaukee brewers, minnesota twins, mlb, MLB Interleague, mlb salaries, mlbpa, national league, new york mets, new york yankees, nl, NL Central, NL east, nl west, oakland athletics, philadelphia phillies, pittsburgh pirates, robinson cano, san diego padres, san francisco giants, seattle mariners, senior circuit, shin-soo choo, st louis cardinals, tampa bay rays, texas rangers, toronto blue jays, washington nationals. Bookmark the permalink. Comments Off on The AL Has Been Dominating The NL During Interleague For Over A Decade Now.