I was thinking this past week that baseball at the Major League level is getting better. It would appear to me the end of the Steroid Era has done something to the talent pool in baseball. My evidence you ask? Simple, look at the records within most of the divisions. Let me explain.
For a number of years it seemed to me that talent in baseball was spread to thin. Of course teams with money such as both New York teams, Boston and the Angels attracted many of the top players. However, since the steroid controversy has come full circle, it would appear there is more equity with talent in Baseball.
The prime examples are the Rays and Rangers. Tampa Bay consistently has been at, or near the top of the American League East this season. Texas had an 11-game win streak and a 4.5 game lead in the AL West going into Friday. Going into today, this is the largest lead in any division in the Majors. The Twins, Braves, and Reds all lead their respective divisions by .5 game. This demonstrates that teams are better up and down their individual rosters.
Since the early 1990s teams depended on an ace pitcher and one or two power hitters. With the revelation these players were doing more than they should have to perform at these levels, it is refreshing to see that teams once again are depending on their farm systems. I cite Stephen Strasburg to support this. Regardless of why the divisions have become more competitive, this is fun to watch for the fans. What is more, while baseball is a business, it is nice to see teams without large payrolls staying in the hunt.
Next week: The pitchers…