Friday, April 30, 2004

Competitive balance

Rob Neyer shows that the complaints about a lack of competitive balance in baseball are rubbish. Just because one or two teams continue to win doesn't equate to a lack of balance when so many teams have a good chance to win. Neyer compares the six-division era with the four-division era and concludes that the competitive balance has increased by more than 50%. Here are the money 'grafs:

If by "competitive balance" we mean that a significant number of teams have a fighting chance to win the World Series, then we're probably at an all-time high. In any given season since 1994, roughly four out of every 10 teams finished the schedule within five games of either a division title or the wild card, and that's a lot of teams.

And yet, the Commissioner continues to prattle on about "competitive balance" and, even more cloyingly, "hope and faith." Well, he and his fellow owners solved the "problem" 10 years ago when they created two new divisions and four new postseason berths. In the face of the evidence I've presented above, I'm led to one of two conclusions: that the Commissioner won't be happy until 1) MLB is like the NHL and the NBA, with more than half the teams not only having the chance to make the playoffs, but actually making the playoffs, or 2) the Commissioner's own team, which hasn't played a postseason game since 1982, actually makes the playoffs.

No comments: