Realignment [UPDATED]Published 8:51pm Monday, June 20, 2011 Updated 8:58pm Monday, June 20, 2011
There has been a lot of talk again about realignment in the Major Leagues. It’s a topic that comes up every once in awhile but nothing ever seems to get done by it.
It doesn’t get done because it isn’t as easy to do as a person may think. Right now the National League has 16 teams and the American League has 14 so there is thought of sending Houston of the National League over to the American League to even things out.
The National League Central is the only division in baseball with 6 teams and the American League West has only 4 teams so it looks easy enough.
I few things have to be decided first before they can go on with the realignment though. First of all if you have two leagues of 15 teams there would be one team not playing a series unless you continued inter-league play. In this case there would always be a National League team playing an American League team not just stretches as they do now.
I haven’t always been sure how I feel about inter-league play but I do find myself wanting to watch the Twins when they do play a National League team, so I think it will keep going especially after the ratings going up on games this weekend.
They have also thought about eliminating the various divisions and having two 15 team leagues with the first 6 teams making the playoffs. But again with the uneven teams they would still have inter-league play. Would the league consider contracting two teams to even it up?
If they continue to have inter-league play baseball is going to have to figure out a couple of other things. One is to figure out how to even up the schedule so it is as fair as possible for all teams. For example a National League team could get stuck playing the Yankees and Red Sox when their competition in the division may play the Royals or the Orioles. Then the DH becomes a factor. The American League is at a little disadvantage because they play with a DH all year until they play a National League team in the National League Park.
I still feel if they are going to realign they may as well go all the way and throw all the teams in a hat and pick new divisions. Then eliminate the DH or keep it one or the other. Hopefully then they can make a fair schedule after that.
-We have heard the Twins coaching staff talk about “pitching to contact”. A friend of mine sent me another bloggers opinion of what the phrase “pitching to contact” is.
Here it is “Don’t walk people. Throw strikes. Hit spots in the strike zone. Make batters swing the bat. That’s it. Nothing more, nothing less.”
If this is the coach’s definition then why don’t they just say, “Throw strikes”? I suppose the “pitching to contact” is a fancy way of saying “throw strikes”. Kinda like everyone saying “surreal” instead of just saying the old word “weird”.
Coaches have been telling their pitchers for decades to throw strikes and they have been doing that at every level. I think it means a little more than that. I think throwing strikes is a big part of it as nobody wants to walk anybody. But I think to the Twins it means becoming a pitcher like Brad Radke who has to rely on his control to win games and to out think the hitter to win. With pitchers with the type of arm as Radke that is what you do, like Carl Pavano. But to make a Radke type pitcher out of a Liriano is not the thing to do.
All Liriano needed is some work on his mechanics to become more consistent and then the biggest thing he needed was confidence enough to throw all of his pitches. Of course we all want him and all our pitchers to throw strikes and if the hitter does hit the ball we hope it is right at somebody.
With Liriano you just get him to throw strikes and with his stuff there will be little contact.