In 1881 the future National League wanted to upgrade its image and target a more upscale fan base by doubling ticket prices, banning gambling, and outlawing alcohol sales. Several team owners who happened to be brewers refused to accept the new rules and banded together to form what would eventually become the American League. The National League attempted to discredit the new league by dubbing it the Beer and Whiskey League. This, of course only made the new league more popular. Duh!

Tuesday, March 09, 2004

Here's a quick scan of AL-related baseball news:

Vote for Lou offers a detailed analysis on Angels hitters have been able to do against the Mariner's pitchers. Most of the numbers are rather meaningless, in my humble opinion, as they reflect spring training stats as well as regular season stats and the sample size for some players is rather small. However, if you keep scrolling down, there are some great numbers for Angels starters from last year -- larger sample size in regular season games. I only wish Vote for Lou had included league-wide averages so that, for example, we could see how Tim Salmon's performance against the Mariners compared to his performance against the league as a whole. But, maybe that's just my being lazy since finding out a general stat like that is only a few clicks away.

In related news, the Seattle-PI has a story on how Ben Davis -- also known as Henry Rollins's kid brother -- is going to get chewed out for calling back-to-back changeups that resulted in back to back homeruns against the Angels (Guerrero and Guillen). While Davis's pitch calls may be questionable it seems awfully silly to bring this up as being some terrible fault. Davis had to deal with a young pitching prospect going against two very good hitters (well, one very good hitter and another who had a very good year last year thanks in no small part to the wonders of the hitter friendly confines of Cincinnati's Great America Ballpark.

Mr. Gammons over on ESPN.COM has a story on the rookie phenom, Joe Mauer, who by mostprojections may turn out to be the best all-around catcher (defensively and offensively) since Pudge. Gammons's story is interesting but if you want some real information on "The Phenom" I suggest you check out Aaron Gleeman's web page. As a Twins fan (although his page is not a Twins blog) he's obviously been following Mauer's career a lot more closely than most folks. Also, you should read him in general because he's a pretty good writer when he isn't going on about his various fantasy women.

The always entertaining Rob Neyer, also from ESPN.COM, has an article about the Twins and the Red Sox. While the article is certainly interesting in its own right, the link to the article from ESPN.COM's main baseball page is the primary reason I bring this up. If you look under the Rob Neyer menu on the right side of the page you will see the headline: Twins, Sox have questions. It struck me then that outside of the greater Chicagoland area, if you ever mention "The Sox" people are almost always going to assume you mean the Boston Red Sox and not the Chicago White Sox. As someone who is from Washington (the state, goddammit), I'm all too aware of how annoying that can be. That's got to be reason number 543 on why life as a White Sox fan is so incredibly painful.