Here's the deal. I'm a Cincinnati Reds fan, and a fan of the National League in general. I like that they don't just abandon their tradition and take up a Designated Hitter like the American League presses them to do, and I think that it's good that pitchers have to try to hit. Some feel that pitchers should concentrate on pitching only, (and Hank Steinbrenner apparently thinks the National League needs to "grow up" and adopt the DH after his star pitcher got hurt running the bases) but I just feel that playing baseball consists of throwing, fielding and hitting for all players. So, the National League is more for me.
Here's the thing, though. The National League has this little thing where they just can't seem to compete against the American League. They lose the All-Star game every year, and even though a National League team wins the World Series somtimes, it's been mostly American League as of late. Then there's the big thorn for the NL...Interleague. I don't know for sure, but I don't think the NL has ever beat the AL in the Interleague season series. I do know that the AL usually wins by a hefty margin, and it leaves everyone talking about how the younger league with its modern DH and higher priced stars is just a whole lot better than the Senior Circuit.
This year, though, people thought things might change. The National League picked up some talent from the AL in the offseason, and at the start of the year, it had better statistics than its counterpart in nearly every category. The Cubs and Diamondbacks were rising to the top as possible Goliaths to take down the AL dominance, and the stars just seemed to be aligned for the NL to have a big year.
Then...Interleague season started. The American League beat up on the NL at a rate that is becoming common. The AL won the season series 149-102, for a .594 winning percentage. Even more alarming is that only THREE NL teams finished with a winning record against the AL, while the other THIRTEEN NL teams had losing records. Even worse for the NL is that the three teams that did have success against the American League really aren't having a lot of success otherwise. They are the 45-44 Mets, who are just now trying to get something going after taking 3 of 4 at Philly, the 42-48 Braves, who can't win on the road or in one run games. (Stats of the day...the Braves are an NL worst 12-30 on the road and, get this...5-21 in one-run games.) Then there are my 43-47 Reds, sitting fourth in the NL Central and praying for a shortstop who won't get injured and a 5th starter who isn't terrible, not to mention an answer as to what's going to happen with Adam Dunn and Ken Griffey, Jr.
Those three teams completed 9-6, 8-7, and 9-6 slates, respectively, against the AL, but they just aren't doing much in their own league. Meanwhile, the three division leaders, the Phillies, Cubs, and Diamondbacks, were pitiful against the AL, going 4-11, 6-9, and 6-9. And the Wild Card leading Cardinals were a not as bad 7-8.
Overall, though, it was a pathetic display for a League trying to prove it was closing the gap on it's younger counterparts. I guess they're planning on showing up the AL in the All-Star game for the first time in more than a decade, or just winning the World Series?? Stay tuned. We'll find out.