Last night’s game between the Red Sox and the Rangers was perfect example of two of the problems MLB has. Not enough parity, and an unbalanced schedule.
Let’s say you’re the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim California. You’re in second place in your division, 4.5 games back, halfway through August. You’re running out of time to make your move. You look at your remaining schedule. You have two more series with Texas, and one with the Yankees. The rest of the games look very winnable. Perfect. Then, you look at the Rangers remaining schedule. They don’t play the Yankees…but they do have a series against Tampa. And, TWO series against the Red Sox. When the Rangers have to play the best team in baseball, you should have a chance to make your move. Other than that, you can’t see a team on their schedule good enough to cause them to lose ground. There are only the two other good teams in the AL after all. Beyond that, it’s hard to expect losses to pile up. And, then, they look at last night’s game. The Sox are missing three all-stars. The Rangers get to use up one of their remaining games against a good team playing the AAA version. Not fair at all.
It’s the biggest problem the lack of a salary cap presents. The distance between the good and the bad makes things a lot more luck-based than they ought to be. It not only affects the big markets themselves, but every other race as well. The Rays are sunk because they have to play in the same division as NY and Boston. But, LAA is in trouble as well, and they play out west.
If there are only as couple decent teams, it makes the whole race a crapshoot. I say it every year. I know the Sox are better than the Yankees. But, there aren’t enough other good teams out there to make enough of a difference. They both should win most of the games they play against other teams. It just comes down to the head-to-head and a little bit of luck. And, that’s really too bad.
The unbalanced schedule certainly doesn’t help matters. The Angels have to concede that the Sox will play the Rangers more this year. But, 70% of those games are in Texas. The Angels are 50-50. How does that work out? So, in the few games the Rangers have to play against a decent team…a schedule fluke gives them most of the games at home? And the Angels still have to compete with them like it’s an even playing field?
Who decided that was a good idea?