Monday, January 14, 2008

A Little Offseason Beisbol

I miss baseball already. Even though I was able to watch most of the playoff games, sitting alone in front of a computer in the middle of the night thousands of miles away from anyone who gives a shit about it just wasn't the same. But we're still a long way away from Spring Training, and its a little early for a preseason preview or anything like that, so I wanted to say something about Johan Santana. Before you stop reading and assume that this is just another opportunity to talk about the Red Sox--its not. Its about the National League, and its not a joke.

I want the Twins to trade the best lefty in the majors to the Mets. Obviously this is my desired outcome because I think it is in the best interest of my team, but its also in the best interest of baseball. It benefits the Red Sox because he does not go to the Yankees, and it allows them to retain and develop all their top prospects, who I believe will turn out to be better than the Yankee's.

But why does it benefit baseball? Look, its no secret that the NL is an inferior league at this point. There are tons of reason's to explain why, but one of them is the Yankees. While they proved that you can't buy championships, you can buy your way into the playoffs. This forced teams in their division to spend more in order to compete (Red Sox were the most successful but the Blue Jays and Orioles did it too). Other teams without the budget had to look to new ways to compete (A's, Beane, Moneyball), while eventually teams learned that combining the spending and that philosophy could lead to much better results (the Angel's have finally wised up with their signings this offseason after continually losing in the playoffs because of their free swinging tendencies).

So how does this relate to the NL? While all of this was happening in the AL, the NL had no real big spenders. The "smart" teams discovered that they could be fairly successful building around some quality players and AL outcasts, especially when it comes to pitching. Many GMs crafted competitive teams that were successful in the NL, but were at a disadvantage against the AL. The AL is 11-4 in the WS since 1992, they are 12-3 against the NL in the All-Star game, and hold a 47 game advantage in interleague play.

If the Mets are to outbid the Red Sox and Yankees for Santana they will be showing a commitment to building a team not only to compete against the NL but one that has a legitimate chance against any AL team. They aren't getting a good AL player and hoping that he will be a dominant NL player--they are getting a dominant AL player that they know will be a dominant NL player. They were already the best team in the NL last year before their historic collapse, but with Santana they would be upping the ante for every other team in the division, and eventually the league. The divide between the two leagues is not good for baseball: Santana to the Mets is.


BigLots said...

I think it would be best for everyone if he went to the White Sox.

Seigler said...

screw the Mets... The one thing they don't really have is good solid pitching and with Glavine now with the Braves, the only thing keeping them from running away with the East every year is not having Santana, I hope he comes to the NL, but just not there...

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