So let's break down that NBA Draft for you.
Russell Westbrook went a little early, Jason Thompson a lot early, and Pat Riley is, as always, not to be trusted. Everyone else, pretty much the same.
Well, that was easy, and predictably so. Kind of makes the hours of pre-draft blather look a little foolish, eh kids?
|Interleague play jump-started the Twins, who have won 11 of their past 12 -- all vs. the NL. (Getty Images)|
This weekend marks the end of yet another season of Bud's Big Idea (as opposed to Bud's Other Big Idea, which was making World Series home-field advantage contingent on winning the All-Star Game), and what we've learned yet again is that the American League is a lot better than the National League.
Which, of course, we already knew. What we're waiting to see is whether The Selig has a big idea to change that.
True, 208 games (out of 2,430, give or take) isn't exactly a huge sample size, but by Monday, barring some sort of collapse, this will be the second most lopsided interleague season ever. The AL is 124-84 and outscoring the NL by 205 runs (the worst year was 2006, when the AL went 154-98, but managed somehow to lose the World Series).
What is more, some of the bloom is off the interleague rose in this year of a grumpy economy and drifting attendance. So we propose a modest-yet-goofy idea to see a) just how bad the misalignment between the two leagues actually is, and b) allow Bud the definitive study on what to do about it.
Next year, make it a full interleague year. American League teams would see only National League teams, and the NL would have its usual bizarre schedule in which two NL teams would always play each other and you'd end up with (if my math is right) four teams playing three more non-interleague games than everyone else.
Yeah, like that would matter.
Now maybe we'd find out that a full season of the AL playing the NL would simply bear out the sample-size fact that the AL is simply 16 percent better (over the last four seasons, including this one). Or maybe we'd find out something else -- that the AL would, over the course of an entire season, be even better than that, and that the two leagues were exhibiting some form of continental drift that the All-Star Game was actually proving rather than merely hinting at.
In other words, instead of 252 interleague games, we'd have 2,268, and we'd get a much fuller idea of what's happened to the two leagues in the last four years, and maybe even further back than that. And knowing Bud's love for the NL show, he might want to do something about it. Extra draft choices, maybe, or making an NL run worth 1.15 runs to the AL's 1.00 -- you know, to appeal to the Bill James in all of us.
Is this an answer worth having? Well, we're not sure about that, to be honest. Maybe the good people who thought up and perfected VORP and BABIP and the other post-modern acronyms would rather make it a theoretical experiment rather than actual lab work. And maybe the traditionalist in us all would overcome such a radical one-time experiment.