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.
Jim looks at how the most dominant team in the NL will deal with an offensively talented foe.
While the difference between the Mets and Dodgers isn't all that great, the gap between the Mets and Cardinals is--unless Los Angeles feared the possibility of seeing Chris Carpenter twice in a short week. Probably, there's no conspiracy here, and the Dodgers simply wanted to give their regulars a day off after they had clinched a postseason berth the day before. Still, with their number one starter shelved for the duration, the Mets do not appear to be as intimidating as a team that ran off with its division in June should be.
With the two LA franchises seemingly moving in opposite directions, Jon Weisman wonders just how divergent those directions are.
This new version of The Odd Couple isn't really going to air (though similarly strange things happen every day), but the narration taps into a common feeling concerning the direction of Los Angeles' two major league baseball teams.
The Dodgers are the Felix Ungers--well-pedigreed, stylish if you don't mind the occasional ascot, but increasingly oblivious of their own flaws. The Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, as they have come to be known with growing acceptance, were the Oscar Madisons--until they somewhat startlingly cleaned the mustard off their plaid sport coats and became winners.
The Dodgers and Giants start bringing in some reinforcements, while the Twins work to keep what they already have.
'04 VORP Age Contract
J.D. Drew 78.7 29 5 yr/$55
Derek Lowe -11.5 32 4 yr/$36
Eric Gagne 28.4 29 2 yr/$19
Cesar Izturis 29.7 25 3 yr/$9.9
Odalis Perez 49.7 28 3 yr/$24
Like the moves of other sabermetrically-inclined GMs (Billy Beane, Theo Epstein, J.P. Ricciardi), DePodesta's decisions have been scrutinized more than most, with traditional media, casual fans and even statheads ridiculing, scratching their heads, or just plain struggling to keep up. A quick look at some of these signings:
What's the thinking behind the Angels' name change? And will anyone actually use the new name?
Swirl that around in your mouth a few times. Now spit.
As p.r. moves go...well, let's just say that Arte Moreno should be
hoping that there's truth in the old canard about "there's no such thing
as bad publicity," because that's the only kind he's getting right now.
Though you'd think Angels fans would be inured to name changes by now (as
one friend of mine remarked, "Don't they just buy blank caps and a
dry-erase pen, anyway?"), the response from much of Angel fandom is as if
Moreno had disemboweled the Rally Monkey and posted its head on a pike
atop the Big A. The most popular sentiment on ESPN.com's Angels message
board is, and I quote, "this is retarded"--though a few Halo rooters are
apparently holding out hope that a doofy name will be worth it if it
provides the cash to land, say, Carlos Beltran.