Found August 04, 2012 on Comedic Prose:

Making the playoffs just got that much harder.

That is, if your team plays in the American League.

The MLB non-waiver trade deadline continued the wave of talent heading out to the land where the pitchers do not pick up a bat and Adam Dunn can still hit bombs. Prince Fielder and Albert Pujols flocked to the superior league in the winter but the happenings over the past few days have, to put it simply, made things ridiculous.

The real losers of the 2012 trade deadline? Every American League team.

The better league got even better.

It is unquestionable that the American League is the superior league. Despite winning only 4 out of the past 7 World Series, year-in and year-out the AL features higher quality overall talent. The interleague records reflect that as the American League once again dominated the National League in 2012, finishing with 142 wins and 110 losses. In fact, since 2004, the AL has won 55% of its games in interleague play.

That doesn’t look to be changing anytime soon.

The Miami Marlins fire sale allowed the Detroit Tigers to pick up Anibal Sanchez and Omar Infante. Ryan Dempster’s and Zack Greinke’s expiring contracts were dealt to the Texas Rangers and Los Angeles Angels respectively.

While the National League dealt numerous significant players over to the other side at this year’s trade deadline, Travis Snider and Jonathan Broxton were the only notable Major League player to make the move from the AL to the NL.

Due to the addition of the silly one-game wild-card play-in game, the American League race is tighter than a hipsters skinny jeans. 8 teams are within 6 games of a playoff spot in the AL as opposed to only 4 in the National League. Even if the previous playoff system was in effect, there would still be 5 teams within 3.5 games of a wild-card berth in the American League.

Mix in the AL Central and West division races that just got even closer due to the acquisitions of Infante, Sanchez, Dempster and Greinke, and you see that we’re in for a photo finish to the season. The amplification of the close race at the deadline was to be expected by AL teams but the increasing competition not be what anyone wanted.

As the National League becomes more top heavy, the American league gets more stacked than 1992 dream team…well maybe not that stacked but you get the picture.

From a fans perspective, it is bordering on devastating to have your team play in the American League. The MLB has had more parity in the last decade but to win the AL takes more than your average playoff team. For most teams, it takes more than just money. It takes more than a good farm system.

Easy games are, of course, more difficult to come by.

It is no longer just the AL East. The AL East has long been the poster child for stacked divisions across all sports and that hasn’t changed with the bottom feeding Toronto Blue Jays sitting 1 game below .500. However, the AL Central and, especially the West both have 3 very quality teams in their division.

No division in the American League is a 2-horse race as the amount of gimme intra-division games are diminishing.

In order to compete in the AL, more teams have to be willing to make bold, daring and present focused moves. That has been reflected in this past off-season as well as the trade deadline. Numerous teams were able to improve their rosters but, by doing so, are only maintaining the status quo.

Such is life as a franchise in the American League.

 

Chris Ross

Chris is a writer on Comedic Prose, and he also is the editor of Painting the Black.

You can follow Chris on twitter @paintstheblack or e-mail him at cross_can15@hotmail.com

THE BACKYARD
BEST OF MAXIM
RELATED ARTICLES

Halo Headlines: Trout is AL Player and Rookie of the Month, Richards demoted, Pujols is all the way back (maybe)

The August 3rd, 2012 edition of daily news for the Los Angeles ...

Albert Pujols gets angry after fan prevents him from catching foul ball (Video)

Los Angeles Angels first baseman Albert Pujols was pretty angry Saturday night after a Chicago White Sox fan in the second row of the stands prevented him from catching a foul ball. It happened in the first inning on a foul popup by White Sox batter A.J. Pierzynski. Pujols reached into the front row of the stands to catch the ball and would have caught it, had it not been...

Angels encourage Wilson to go for quicker outs

C.J. Wilson arrived with the Los Angeles Angels this season with a reputation as a free thinker with varied interests off the field -- and a tendency to overthink it on the field, leading to high pitch counts and high-stress innings at times. The Angels have seen some of that in his seven starts since the end of June, and they've taken steps to refine Wilson's approach...

Dateline: Fullerton, CA - On Location at the Trinity Bat Company

  By Christian Ilten - AngelsWin.com Journalist Founded in 2005, Trinity Bat Company was founded, is owned, and operated by the McKee Family, in Fullerton California. Growing up in Santa Ana, Jeff McKee went to many California, Anaheim, and now Los Angeles Angels games. When starting up Trinity Bat Company, their goal was to get their product into Major League Baseball. Just...

Scioscia protests 1st inning call in Angels' loss

Mike Scioscia contends that a first-inning call by the umpires changed the course of the Los Angeles Angels' extra-inning loss to the Chicago White Sox. Alex Rios hit his second homer of the game, connecting for a two-run shot in the 10th inning that lifted the White Sox over the Angels 8-6 on Friday night. Rios also hit a solo homer as the White Sox won their third in a row...

Angels can still salvage their road trip

There was an unsatisfying four-game split in Texas and a series loss in Chicago, but the Angels can still salvage something useful before they return home later this week. If they can win two of three games in Oakland beginning Monday night, there will be a measure of triumph at the end of an exhausting road trip. Right now, there's nothing worthy of praise. Everything good...

Angels 6, White Sox 5(10)

Albert Pujols homered again and Howie Kendrick hit a go-ahead single in the 10th inning Saturday night that sent the Los Angeles Angels over the Chicago White Sox 6-5. Alberto Callaspo doubled with two outs in the 10th off Matt Thornton (4-7) and scored on Kendrick's single. The Angels ended their three-game losing streak. Kevin Youkilis homered twice for the White Sox. A.J...

Angels playing game under protest

CHICAGO (AP) -- The Los Angeles Angels are playing their Friday night game against the Chicago White under protest. Paul Konerko of the White Sox hit a grounder to third base with the bases loaded and no outs in the bottom of the first inning. After getting the out at home, catcher Chris Iannetta fired wide to first, pulling Albert Pujols off the bag. Angels manager Mike Scioscia...

The Angels really need a reliever, so why not Marmol?

Everybody knows the Angels need bullpen help if they want to get to the postseason, and the last two games against the Rangers have been the “Exhibit A” of why they need bullpen help. On Wednesday, the Angels blew a six runs lead (five earned runs allowed by the bullpen) and lost 11-10 in ten innings, and yesterday, the bullpen worked hard again, allowing six more earned runs...

Angels tumble to ChiSox

CHICAGO (AP) -- Pinch-hitter A.J. Pierzynski tied a White Sox record by homering in his fifth consecutive game, a go-ahead, two-run drive in the seventh inning off Jason Isringhausen that led Chicago over the Los Angeles Angels 4-2 Sunday. With the Angels ahead 2-1, Isringhausen (3-2) relieved Dan Haren and allowed a leadoff single to Dayan Viciedo. Pierzynski hit for Tyler Flowers...

Fielder leads offensive surge in 10-2 win

DETROIT -- No matter the sport, good teams are supposed to fatten up their record against weak and struggling opponents. For once, the Tigers remembered to do that. Facing an Indians team in the middle of a horrific road trip, the Tigers put 22 runners on base and cruised to an easy 10-2 victory Friday night. "This is a nice way to start the homestand everybody doing something...

Indians battered by Tigers, lose 7th straight

DETROIT (AP) -- Prince Fielder homered and drove in four runs, helping Anibal Sanchez win for the first time with the Tigers in Detroit's 10-2 rout of the Cleveland Indians on Friday night. Fielder also hit a two-run double. Sanchez (1-1) allowed one earned run in six-plus innings. The right-hander was acquired in a July 23 trade with the Miami Marlins. The Indians, who designated...

Q&A: Jeff Manto, White Sox Hitting Coach

Jeff Manto stresses approach over mechanics and believes in letting a hitter be himself. The philosophy is paying dividends for the first-year Chicago White Sox hitting coach, as his team currently ranks sixth in MLB in runs scored and fifth in home runs. A big part of that success has been the reemergence of Adam Dunn and Alex Rios, who have flourished under his watch. Manto shared...
MLB News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.