Breaking down the 2013 interleague schedule for all 30 teams. What teams are forced to deviate from their regular roster/lineup construction for the longest stretch of the year?
With the Astros finally moved into the American League, we have a very different interleague schedule this year. Not only does it mean that there is now at least one interleague series happening each day of the season, from April to October, it also means that the "rivalry weekends" that were the highlights of the interleague schedule fifteen years ago have been re-shaped. Additionally, the newly balanced divisions mean that, outside of the rivalry games, all teams in a given division can play the exact same teams as their divisional opponents. No longer do the schedule makers have to worry about a six-team division matching up with a four-team division.
So how did the schedule makers do? Did the schedule turn out as balanced as can be? Were they able to ensure that teams from any one division would have the same opponents as their division-mates? Were all clubs given the same number of interleague matches or did some lucky squad or two end up a series short? One thing to remember here is that, with interleague games happening all year long instead of on two or three specific weekends, clubs are now on unequal footing when it comes to setting their rosters for the change in league rules. If one team, for example, only ever has to worry about forcing their pitchers to hit one weekend a month, they are probably in a better situation than the club forced to suddenly remove their all-star DH for nine straight games. National League clubs playing in American League ballparks will have similar problems in trying to add a DH for extended periods of time.
An email about the Baseball Prospectus event in Kansas City inspires the Professor to plan an encounter with a legend.
A few weeks ago, I received an email from Joe Hamrahi, our beloved leader and spiritual advisor at Baseball Prospectus, in which he outlined the details of the All-Star event in Kansas City that I was scheduled to attend. As usual, I read the email like a hyperactive kid who had just snorted a baby arm of FunDip, which is to say I opened it and recognized a few words and immediately started dreaming of a better life, when I happened upon the name of Willie Mays and the word “brunch.” Apparently, the Baseball Prospectus gathering would be taking place at the theater across the street from the Negro Leagues museum, which had scheduled an event involving all seven living Negro League players who had become major-league all-stars. A private brunch was to be held that morning with the distinguished guests. At the top of the guest list was Willie Howard Mays, Jr.
Instead of spending quality time with the email and forming a relationship with the proper context, I drifted off into a romantic fantasy in which my Sunday morning would be spent with Willie Mays, sharing stories and slamming mimosas. We would fast become tethered by an unbreakable bond; our friendship dance would be aesthetically pleasing to the blind. The Futures Game had previously occupied the role of apple of my eye, but I no longer cared about minor-league baseball or the participants in such an event. Two weeks ago, my heart belonged to Willie Mays and the brunch we would consume in a shared space. As per normal, I scripted the event to the letter and the line, and I felt comforted by the familiarity of the teleprompter I placed a few feet from my scene. I entered my own head and started spelunking for the memories I would no doubt come to appreciate after they matured into adulthood. It all started with an iPhone alarm puffing out its chest at 8:02 AM on Sunday, July 7th.
Baseball might be an unfair game, but not just for the reasons the movie would have you believe.
Believe it or not, most of our writers didn't enter the world sporting an @baseballprospectus.com address; with a few exceptions, they started out somewhere else. In an effort to up your reading pleasure while tipping our caps to some of the most illuminating work being done elsewhere on the internet, we'll be yielding the stage once a week to the best and brightest baseball writers, researchers and thinkers from outside of the BP umbrella. If you'd like to nominate a guest contributor (including yourself), please drop us a line.
Kevin Baker is a novelist and historian who is currently at work on a social history of New York City baseball, to be published by Pantheon.
The Royals have a working bullpen for once, and, unlike their high-pedigree prospects, it's full of pitchers with strange backgrounds
Slowly but surely, the youth movement in Kansas City is starting to take hold, as Royals fans are just beginning to see the first glimpses of the long-awaited prospect pool we’ve all heard so much about. The recent promotions of Eric Hosmer and Danny Duffy are merely the first, with players like Mike Moustakas, John Lamb, Wil Myers, Mike Montgomery and many more not far behind.
Even though the team has gotten off to a surprising .500 start, 2011 is still seen as a transition year, with some sightings now but with the bulk of the youngsters expected to arrive in 2012-13. That is why this year’s team is still stocked with placeholder types like Jeff Francis, Bruce Chen, Melky Cabrera, and Chris Getz, there mainly to fulfill the team’s obligation to play games in 2011 and possibly serve as trade chips at the deadline.
Revisiting Nate's attempt to quantify the trade-off in scheduling cold-weather games.
While looking toward the future with our comprehensive slate of current content, we'd also like to recognize our rich past by drawing upon our extensive online archive of work dating back to 1997. In an effort to highlight the best of what's gone before, we'll be bringing you a weekly blast from BP's past, introducing or re-introducing you to some of the most informative and entertaining authors who have passed through our virtual halls. If you have fond recollections of a BP piece that you'd like to nominate for re-exposure to a wider audience, send us your suggestion.
As we welcome another stretch of cold-weather baseball and its attendant scheduling concerns, here's another look at Nate Silver's statistical take on the subject in a "Lies, Damned Lies" column from April 13, 2007.
The tax rates in various major-league cities can have a significant impact on player salaries.
A couple of weeks ago I discussed “the jock tax” in this space, which is the nickname given to the tax liability incurred by non-residents on income earned away from their home state. The moniker is derived from the simple fact that athletes are much more vulnerable to this tax due to their big salaries and schedules being in the open.
The White Sox' utility man, one of the players in the Moneyball draft, discusses entering pro ball, life as a pro player and his playing style.
Mark Teahen has gone from Moneyball to mainstay to moveable part. One of the players taken in Oakland general manager Billy Beane’s famous 2002 draft, Teahen is now a part-time infielder/outfielder in Chicago after spending five seasons as an everyday player in Kansas City. Teahen, who has hit .268/.330/.416 in six big-league seasons, talked about his career path when the White Sox visited Fenway Park in early September.
A historian looks at Willard Brown, the first African-American to play in a big-league game at Fenway Park.
Chris Wertz is a freelance baseball writer and historian living in New York City. He is a contributing author to the recently-released Pumpsie & Progress: The Red Sox, Race, and Redemption, by Bill Nowlin, which was published by Rounder Books.