Jim Lonborg on WEEI: 'Absolutely love' interleague play

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    Jim Lonborg on WEEI: 'Absolutely love' interleague play

    by Sam Dykstra/WEEI

    Red Sox pitching legend Jim Lonborg joined Sports Saturday on WEEI at the Red Sox team store and talked about the hot-button issue that is interleague play in modern baseball. While others talk about their dislike for it, Lonborg said he actually enjoys the AL-NL matchups.

    "I absolutely love it now. I wasn't a big fan of it in the beginning. But I think in terms of getting to know some of the other ballplayers that are playing professionally and have great skills, I think it's a great opportunity for people who love baseball to be able to see the other talent in the other league."

    That being said, Lonborg, who pitched in Boston from 1965-71 before the designated hitter rule came in to effect in 1973, said he's not particularly enthused about the DH's role in the modern game. 

    "I'm not a big fan of the DH," Lonborg said. "Being able to have played in the American League into the early 70's then going to the National League and always have pitchers hit, I just thought there was a lot to think about managing a ballgame, managing players. I think there was lot more for fans to watch and figure out the moves you would make over the course of a game. But it's the way it is. Just try to enjoy the DH."

    Hosts John Ryder and Kirk Minihane also asked the former Cy Young winner to address what is behind the struggles of John Lackey, whose 7.36 ERA is the highest among AL pitchers with at least 50 innings pitched. 

    "Well, I've tried to figure out what's happening with him," Lonborg said. "I know that personally he has a lot going on in his life. I have a feeling that distracts from any professional. I don't think anybody can walk away from a situation like his with a clear head. But I think he's doing the best he can. I just hope he's healthy. I think that when you get the kind of contract that he got and yet he's a pitcher - and pitchers are susceptible to all sorts of injuries - that you make that kind of money and you get an injury, it looks worse than if you weren't making big money and got an injury."

     
  2. You have chosen to ignore posts from ZILLAGOD. Show ZILLAGOD's posts

    Re: Jim Lonborg on WEEI: 'Absolutely love' interleague play

    Well , this is great.

    15 years later, they have finally found a guy who likes interleague play.

    And he happens to be an ex-player.

    Now it will probably fuel the commissioner to extend interleague play.

    Good job, Jim...thanks a lot.
     
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    Re: Jim Lonborg on WEEI: 'Absolutely love' interleague play

      Lonborg talks about seeing the players in the other league play... I see them everyday with espn mlb direct tv etc so his arguement has no basis in fact. This isn't the 60's anymore where you only saw the other league if they were on Saturday baseball.
     
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    Re: Jim Lonborg on WEEI: 'Absolutely love' interleague play

    In Response to Re: Jim Lonborg on WEEI: 'Absolutely love' interleague play:
    [QUOTE]Well , this is great. 15 years later, they have finally found a guy who likes interleague play. And he happens to be an ex-player. Now it will probably fuel the commissioner to extend interleague play. Good job, Jim...thanks a lot.
    Posted by ZILLAGOD[/QUOTE]

    sorry zill

    it's not all about boston

    this might have something to do with it too







    MLB enjoys best weekend attendance since '08

    More than 1.6 million visit ballparks; Sunday best day of year

    By Mark Newman / MLB.com

    "Fans coming out in these remarkable numbers demonstrate the popularity of Interleague Play, especially given that many of our intra-city rivalries did not occur this weekend," Commissioner Bud Selig said. "I remain optimistic that our attendance numbers will continue to climb with summer beginning tomorrow and five of the six divisions separated by 1.5 games or less."

    Sunday was big for fathers and for everyone who went to the ballpark. Those games drew 572,446 for 15 games, the largest attendance day since 577,583 fans attended games on Aug. 14, 2010. There were only two other dates in 2010 that drew more than Sunday: July 17 (582,906 for 16 games) and July 3 (573,215).

    MLB.com sold nearly 400,000 tickets, the largest one-week total online since Opening Week.

    The Cubs welcomed 126,283 fans to Wrigley Field during their three-game set against the Yankees. That broke the Friendly Confines' three-game series record of 124,810 vs. Milwaukee on June 29-July 1, 2007. Also, Saturday's 42,236 was the largest Wrigley attendance since the 1978 home opener.

    The Indians drew 30,023 fans to Progressive Field on Sunday and totaled 100,437 for their three-game series against the Pirates. It marked the first time Cleveland has drawn more than 100,000 for a three-game series since Sept. 19-21, 2008, vs. Detroit.

    The Red Sox sold out all three games last weekend against the Brewers and drew 38,175 fans on Saturday, their largest paid attendance of the season. They have now sold out 666 straight games at Fenway Park.

    The Rockies sold out both Saturday and Sunday against the Tigers, marking the second and third sellouts of 2011, following Opening Day.



    The Mariners drew 115,636 fans, including a sellout of 45,462 fans for Sunday's Father's Day series finale. It was the largest three-game series since May 15-17, 2009, against Boston (118,380).




    In Oakland, the A's sold out each of their three games against the Giants, marking the first time they have sold out each game of a three-game series since May 18-20, 2007, against their Bay Area neighbors.








    I enjoy it the road games most

    a fresh look at NL players, new / rare stadiums

    and often pumped up crowds

     
  5. You have chosen to ignore posts from moonslav59. Show moonslav59's posts

    Re: Jim Lonborg on WEEI: 'Absolutely love' interleague play

    I love it too and by the looks of attendance for those games, I'm not alone.

    I just think it should be balanced. Every team should play the other league 3 games every year (alternate home and away).

    (48 games for AL teams with no reallignment and 42 for NL teams)
     
  6. You have chosen to ignore posts from fourrings. Show fourrings's posts

    Re: Jim Lonborg on WEEI: 'Absolutely love' interleague play

    i hate interleague play, it's stupid, the novelty has worn off and is an unfair advantage to the N.L. teams. also it basically cost chien ming wang his career.
     
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    Re: Jim Lonborg on WEEI: 'Absolutely love' interleague play

    In Response to Re: Jim Lonborg on WEEI: 'Absolutely love' interleague play:
    [QUOTE]i hate interleague play, it's stupid, the novelty has worn off and is an unfair advantage to the N.L. teams. also it basically cost chien ming wang his career.
    Posted by fourrings[/QUOTE]


    the novelty has worn off

    I already posted the attendance boost


    and just how unfair is it to the AL

    NL teams don't have an extra 12 mill dollar bat sitting around for a few IL games

    not sure what happened after 04 but it sure doesn't  help your case



    Wins by League:
    YearALNL
    199797117
    1998114110
    1999116135
    2000136115
    2001132120
    2002123129
    2003115137
    2004126125
    2005136116
    200615498
    2007137115
    2008149103
    2009137114
    2010134118
    20117268



    also it basically cost chien ming wang his career

    it did

    but players get hurt every day
     
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    Re: Jim Lonborg on WEEI: 'Absolutely love' interleague play

    In Response to Re: Jim Lonborg on WEEI: 'Absolutely love' interleague play:
    [QUOTE]i hate interleague play, it's stupid, the novelty has worn off and is an unfair advantage to the N.L. teams. also it basically cost chien ming wang his career.
    Posted by fourrings[/QUOTE]

       Unfair advantage arguement has no basis in fact. The advantage of having players specifically tailored to the DH role is major plus for AL teams and far outweighs the slight edge NL pitchers have when it comes time to hit. Look at the record it's one time that stats don't lie
     
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    Re: Jim Lonborg on WEEI: 'Absolutely love' interleague play

    In Response to Re: Jim Lonborg on WEEI: 'Absolutely love' interleague play:
    [QUOTE]  Lonborg talks about seeing the players in the other league play... I see them everyday with espn mlb direct tv etc so his arguement has no basis in fact. This isn't the 60's anymore where you only saw the other league if they were on Saturday baseball.
    Posted by attic-dan[/QUOTE]

    Dude, maybe he means in person.
     
  10. You have chosen to ignore posts from OhEFFU. Show OhEFFU's posts

    Re: Jim Lonborg on WEEI: 'Absolutely love' interleague play

    In Response to Re: Jim Lonborg on WEEI: 'Absolutely love' interleague play:
    [QUOTE]i hate interleague play, it's stupid, the novelty has worn off and is an unfair advantage to the N.L. teams. also it basically cost chien ming wang his career.
    Posted by fourrings[/QUOTE]

    How is an unfair advantage to NL teams?  If you just mean because their pitchers know how to bat, I don't think that's right.  I mean, they also don't generally carry DH-only guys like Big Papi, so that hurts them in AL ballparks.  And besides, the AL is play like .550 in interleague play.
     
  11. You have chosen to ignore posts from attic-dan. Show attic-dan's posts

    Re: Jim Lonborg on WEEI: 'Absolutely love' interleague play

    In Response to Re: Jim Lonborg on WEEI: 'Absolutely love' interleague play:
    [QUOTE]In Response to Re: Jim Lonborg on WEEI: 'Absolutely love' interleague play : Dude, maybe he means in person.
    Posted by OhEFFU[/QUOTE]

       He says it is a great oppurtunity to see the players in the other league play. I still stand on the fact that I see these players every day there is no mystery as to how these players perform. When I was growing up I would see Willie Mays maybe 6 times a year now I can see Pujols 6 times a week, and being a part of the great unwashed I can't afford to give up a years salary to attend a game in person,and am not comped seats like Lonborg, who by the way I haven't forgiven for getting injured while skiing and effectively ending his Sox career
     
  12. You have chosen to ignore posts from ZILLAGOD. Show ZILLAGOD's posts

    Re: Jim Lonborg on WEEI: 'Absolutely love' interleague play

    In Response to Re: Jim Lonborg on WEEI: 'Absolutely love' interleague play:
    [QUOTE]In Response to Re: Jim Lonborg on WEEI: 'Absolutely love' interleague play : sorry zill it's not all about boston this might have something to do with it too MLB enjoys best weekend attendance since '08 More than 1.6 million visit ballparks; Sunday best day of year By Mark Newman / MLB.com "Fans coming out in these remarkable numbers demonstrate the popularity of Interleague Play, especially given that many of our intra-city rivalries did not occur this weekend," Commissioner Bud Selig said. "I remain optimistic that our attendance numbers will continue to climb with summer beginning tomorrow and five of the six divisions separated by 1.5 games or less." Sunday was big for fathers and for everyone who went to the ballpark. Those games drew 572,446 for 15 games, the largest attendance day since 577,583 fans attended games on Aug. 14, 2010. There were only two other dates in 2010 that drew more than Sunday: July 17 (582,906 for 16 games) and July 3 (573,215). MLB.com sold nearly 400,000 tickets, the largest one-week total online since Opening Week. The Cubs welcomed 126,283 fans to Wrigley Field during their three-game set against the Yankees. That broke the Friendly Confines' three-game series record of 124,810 vs. Milwaukee on June 29-July 1, 2007. Also, Saturday's 42,236 was the largest Wrigley attendance since the 1978 home opener. The Indians drew 30,023 fans to Progressive Field on Sunday and totaled 100,437 for their three-game series against the Pirates. It marked the first time Cleveland has drawn more than 100,000 for a three-game series since Sept. 19-21, 2008, vs. Detroit. The Red Sox sold out all three games last weekend against the Brewers and drew 38,175 fans on Saturday, their largest paid attendance of the season. They have now sold out 666 straight games at Fenway Park. The Rockies sold out both Saturday and Sunday against the Tigers, marking the second and third sellouts of 2011, following Opening Day. The Mariners drew 115,636 fans, including a sellout of 45,462 fans for Sunday's Father's Day series finale. It was the largest three-game series since May 15-17, 2009, against Boston (118,380). In Oakland, the A's sold out each of their three games against the Giants, marking the first time they have sold out each game of a three-game series since May 18-20, 2007, against their Bay Area neighbors. I enjoy it the road games most a fresh look at NL players, new / rare stadiums and often pumped up crowds
    Posted by pinstripezac32[/QUOTE]

    Well zac, thanks for the numbers.

    I don't know how much of the attendance numbers are because of interleague play.

    Who's to say those same fans wouldn't attend games between "rival" clubs in the same league? They have created these "rivalries" but really, who cares who wins the A's/Giants rivalry? Maybe the attendence boost has more to do with the fact that this is a "home" game for both clubs regardless of which park they are in. And also, it's June. Most fans likely would go to games during what is supposed to be a summer month.
     
  13. You have chosen to ignore posts from OhEFFU. Show OhEFFU's posts

    Re: Jim Lonborg on WEEI: 'Absolutely love' interleague play

    In Response to Re: Jim Lonborg on WEEI: 'Absolutely love' interleague play:
    [QUOTE]In Response to Re: Jim Lonborg on WEEI: 'Absolutely love' interleague play :    He says it is a great oppurtunity to see the players in the other league play. I still stand on the fact that I see these players every day there is no mystery as to how these players perform. When I was growing up I would see Willie Mays maybe 6 times a year now I can see Pujols 6 times a week, and being a part of the great unwashed I can't afford to give up a years salary to attend a game in person,and am not comped seats like Lonborg, who by the way I haven't forgiven for getting injured while skiing and effectively ending his Sox career
    Posted by attic-dan[/QUOTE]

    I didn't hear what he said, you're probably right, but I'm just saying a lot of these guys heavily involved go to the ballpark a lot, and maybe would say seeing someone in person is different than seeing them on tv.
     
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    Re: Jim Lonborg on WEEI: 'Absolutely love' interleague play

      wow ZILLAGOD and pinstripezac32 actually having an intelligent give and take,now cut that out, next thing you know all the morons will start having a fact or two to back up their rants.
     
  15. You have chosen to ignore posts from fourrings. Show fourrings's posts

    Re: Jim Lonborg on WEEI: 'Absolutely love' interleague play

    look at the current situation the sox are in, when they go to an N.L. park they lose a major piece of their lineup, what do N.L. teams lose when they come to an A.L. park? as far as the attendance goes, pittsburgh is drawing well this series because of the sox but they would not draw so poorly if they didnt have a crap team for the last 20 years. i also remember as a kid hating the national league and i really felt like the all star game was a big deal, now that we see these other teams regularly i could care less and lastly the teams in your division dont even play the same schedule anymore because  we have to accommodate teams like the skankees and mets etc. thats just stupid

     
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    Re: Jim Lonborg on WEEI: 'Absolutely love' interleague play

    Zill ... you made me laugh with your first post.  It was my initial uncensored reaction, so I thought I'd just share that reality.

    As to the rest, Zac, good post on growing inerest.

    It isn't unfair ... just uncomfortable for the AL to give up the DH.  Purests all around talk about how it's changed the game .... heck, "they" change the game fairly often.  Composition of the baseball has changed, the mound heighth haws changed, night time play was dramatic change, outlawing the spitter ... it is not a game that has remained "as it once was."  I love the DH, but I understand why others don't.  Maybe because we've had one of the best ever in Big Papi makes me enjoy it.  Probably so.

    Big changes ahead with two single division leagues and added wild card ... almosot a sure thing, IMHO.  I don't like it but ....

     
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    Re: Jim Lonborg on WEEI: 'Absolutely love' interleague play

    I like Lonborg's candor and style, even if I disagree with some of his takes. He was the first Red Sox pitcher I knew had to be pitching for the Red Sox to have the best chance to win. Back then, while the money was still relatively good, most players didn't make enough to where they just gave up on any thoughts of a working and a sports life outside of baseball. Lonborg enjoyed skiing, which isn't a risk I would take even if I didn't have a big baseball contract. But it points out how different culture was in a time that had much more good than the much more bad of today.

    Video ratings are the driving force in culture. The intellectual and historical enjoyment of the game has to take a back seat. The DH is the equivalent of teeing the ball up in the fairway, at the U.S. Open, in golf. All for the purpose of getting better looking shots and higher media ratings to increase advertising rates. In baseball, the DH is the equivalent of the tail wagging the dog. Who wants to see baseball played with about the same rules as prior generations played it? Fenway Park, lack of comforts and changes and all, is still attractive because it lacks modern comforts and retains some of the same looks as 1946. The music and video feeds are a permanent distraction that most fans will demand. Minor league baseball is a wonderful part of baseball. It is the perfect place to incorporate the video game and home theatre experience to attract fans to a less attractive competition. But for MLB, the game itself should be the focus. Sky boxes, loud canned music loops and big video boards is akin to deer hunting in an air conditioned sky box. The entertainment is the competition itself, played with rules that connect generations who played the game. 

    Incorporating side shows to attract MLB patronage and viewership from women and people who aren't really baseball fans is not good for the game. That is something fitting for minor league games.

    A good baseball commissioner would incorporate technology for the sole purpose of improving the integrity of the competition, not so that people pay large ticket prices to get a living room experience in a home video arcade. Stadiums should be smaller, not larger, and should be minus the expensive props that simply drive up the ticket price. The standard bleacher cheap seats should be many, and domes and retractable roofs should have no place in MLB. Baseball is an outdoor sport, and weather is an integral part of outdoor sports competition.

    The reality is that ratings seek an immediate monetary boost without and regard for the long term health of the game. The DH is not baseball.

    Interleague is bad because it highlights the incongruence of roller derby rules in one league with baseball in the other league.

    It's also bad because it undermines the integrity of the competition. It's akin to one golfer playing Pebble Beach and the other golfer playing TPC Boston.

    Baseball needs a new commissioner who is a master at persuading public opinion to get behind the following reforms:

    1. Improving the integrity of the competition
    2. Becoming the sports authority leader on PED strictures
    3. Competitive entertainment value ticket prices
    4. Contraction and realignment out of roller derby markets like Tampa and Miami
    5. Removing cultural popular political narrative from the game of baseball

    Baseball is in the bad hands of the tyrant MLBPA and a bad commissioner.  
     
  18. You have chosen to ignore posts from dosul. Show dosul's posts

    Re: Jim Lonborg on WEEI: 'Absolutely love' interleague play

    Dump interleague play unless you get the schedules identical.  Tired off seeing the Rays play the Marlins and get 4 easy wins while the Red Sox play the Phillies.
     
  19. You have chosen to ignore posts from betterredthandead. Show betterredthandead's posts

    Re: Jim Lonborg on WEEI: 'Absolutely love' interleague play

    There is no integrity in the competition when teams don't play the same interleague and interdivision schedules.
     
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    Re: Jim Lonborg on WEEI: 'Absolutely love' interleague play

    In Response to Re: Jim Lonborg on WEEI: 'Absolutely love' interleague play:
    [QUOTE]I like Lonborg's candor and style, even if I disagree with some of his takes. He was the first Red Sox pitcher I knew had to be pitching for the Red Sox to have the best chance to win. Back then, while the money was still relatively good, most players didn't make enough to where they just gave up on any thoughts of a working and a sports life outside of baseball. Lonborg enjoyed skiing, which isn't a risk I would take even if I didn't have a big baseball contract. But it points out how different culture was in a time that had much more good than the much more bad of today. Video ratings are the driving force in culture. The intellectual and historical enjoyment of the game has to take a back seat. The DH is the equivalent of teeing the ball up in the fairway, at the U.S. Open, in golf. All for the purpose of getting better looking shots and higher media ratings to increase advertising rates. In baseball, the DH is the equivalent of the tail wagging the dog. Who wants to see baseball played with about the same rules as prior generations played it? Fenway Park, lack of comforts and changes and all, is still attractive because it lacks modern comforts and retains some of the same looks as 1946. The music and video feeds are a permanent distraction that most fans will demand. Minor league baseball is a wonderful part of baseball. It is the perfect place to incorporate the video game and home theatre experience to attract fans to a less attractive competition. But for MLB, the game itself should be the focus. Sky boxes, loud canned music loops and big video boards is akin to deer hunting in an air conditioned sky box. The entertainment is the competition itself, played with rules that connect generations who played the game.  Incorporating side shows to attract MLB patronage and viewership from women and people who aren't really baseball fans is not good for the game. That is something fitting for minor league games. A good baseball commissioner would incorporate technology for the sole purpose of improving the integrity of the competition, not so that people pay large ticket prices to get a living room experience in a home video arcade. Stadiums should be smaller, not larger, and should be minus the expensive props that simply drive up the ticket price. The standard bleacher cheap seats should be many, and domes and retractable roofs should have no place in MLB. Baseball is an outdoor sport, and weather is an integral part of outdoor sports competition. The reality is that ratings seek an immediate monetary boost without and regard for the long term health of the game. The DH is not baseball. Interleague is bad because it highlights the incongruence of roller derby rules in one league with baseball in the other league. It's also bad because it undermines the integrity of the competition. It's akin to one golfer playing Pebble Beach and the other golfer playing TPC Boston. Baseball needs a new commissioner who is a master at persuading public opinion to get behind the following reforms: 1. Improving the integrity of the competition 2. Becoming the sports authority leader on PED strictures 3. Competitive entertainment value ticket prices 4. Contraction and realignment out of roller derby markets like Tampa and Miami 5. Removing cultural popular political narrative from the game of baseball Baseball is in the bad hands of the tyrant MLBPA and a bad commissioner.  
    Posted by betterredthandead[/QUOTE]

    Nice speech. But you are too hung up on tradition. It rules your very thought process, both religiously and politically. Baseball was dying before that which you detest was deployed. It had to follow suit with other media-hyped diversionary tactics and technological innovations to attract a younger audience who are willing to paythese ridiculous prices. If it catered to tight-wads like yourself, it would rival ping-pong in popularity.
     
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    Re: Jim Lonborg on WEEI: 'Absolutely love' interleague play

    Count me as one who hates interleague play.
     
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    Re: Jim Lonborg on WEEI: 'Absolutely love' interleague play

    I cant stand it..If they are going to have it they should let each league play the game their way..When people say that the Phillies game is a WS preview, I just laugh and say,"With what, Papi at 1st and Gonzo in RF?" Thats not what the Sox REAL team looks like..The advantage goes to NL even though the record shows a different story..It shows just how inferior they are to the AL, thats all..If you want to say you beat the Sox or any other AL team, then let the AL bat the DH..
     
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    Re: Jim Lonborg on WEEI: 'Absolutely love' interleague play

    I think interleague play hurts the Sox more than most teams because the Sox have Ortiz, one of the most productive DH's in the league that has to sit some games during interleague play. 
     
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    Re: Jim Lonborg on WEEI: 'Absolutely love' interleague play

    AL teams budget in a DH, but cant play them for 9 games in a row without having massive defensive deficiencies..The NL can put in a better hitter than the pitcher when they come to the AL and everyone else remains in tact..Just wondering how thats fair..
     
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    Re: Jim Lonborg on WEEI: 'Absolutely love' interleague play

    In Response to Re: Jim Lonborg on WEEI: 'Absolutely love' interleague play:
    [QUOTE]AL teams budget in a DH, but cant play them for 9 games in a row without having massive defensive deficiencies..The NL can put in a better hitter than the pitcher when they come to the AL and everyone else remains in tact..Just wondering how thats fair..
    Posted by southpaw777[/QUOTE]

    It's unfair to the NL when they play in A. L. parks, just as it is for the A.L. in N.L. parks. An N.L. team using a bench/platoon player to hit for the pitcher while the A.L. team deploys a seasoned bat for DH.

    I believe the reason the A.L. has dominated the N.L. in interleague play is the advent of the DH. Along with it came the hitter-friendly parks and the steroid era.
    All the while, The N.L. has their pitcher hitting 3 times a game, which means you can pitch around the #8 hitter. The N.L. style of play hasn't been conducive to how the game evolved.

    On top of that, pitchers in the A.L. are used to facing more potent line-ups. N.L. pitchers coming to the A.L. aren't used to facing Papi or Vlad 4 times a game...and no pitcher. There's little to pitch around.

    Clearly the DH favors the A.L. - as has been shown over the last 15 years.
    Without inter-leagueplay, one can argue that, over the last 15 years, the RedSox made not have made the playoffs in several of them.

    This year, the RedSox don't have the depth to compensate for playing by N.L. rules.
    It's not the rules that are the problem. It's the fact that holes from under-performing players are being exposed. Mainly Drew/CAM.

    With solid pitching, these holes are minimized. But Buch and Lester are throwing 2 MPH less than they were at most intervals last year. Buch is out and Lester is becoming a two-pitch pony.

    The injuries to several arms haven't helped either. Jenks/Wheeler/Dice/Lackey/Hill
    The Bluejays made out by getting Farrell. The A's were wise not re-signing Young.
    And 'coincidently', the RedSox pitching staff has been riddled with injury and under-performance.
     

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