The Colorado Rockies… American League Champions?

By Editorial Staff

With all the talk of Major League Baseball reorganizing, it’d be an interesting concept to think about the Rockies in the American League.

Editors Note: No news has been broken about a National League team going to the American League. This is pure conjecture and meant for entertainment and discussion. This is pure speculation all in good fun. That said, enjoy!

So how would baseball look if a team was reassigned to the American League? Most experts say that if a team is reassigned, it would most likely be to the AL West in order to make all the divisions equal. Another course is to get rid of the divisions altogether, but that’s another whole article entirely. The two most likely candidates for reassignent are the Houston Astros and the Arizona Diamondbacks, but what if the Rockies went to the American League?

First off, let’s take a look at the Rockies’ Interleague record for the past few years vs. their overall records. The asterisks indicate playoff years.

2010: 9-6 (83-79, 9GB in the NL West)
*2009: 11-4 (92-70, 3GB in the NL West)
2008: 7-8 (74-88, 10GB in the NL West)
*2007: 10-8 (90-73, .5GB in the NL West)
2006: 11-4 (76-86, 12GB in the NL West)

All this to say that the Rockies have played the American League well, even when they might not have played their best overall.

So let’s expand this mathematically. (Don’t freak out – I suck at math, too. We’re going to do this one step at a time).

The Rockies played 77 interleague games over the past five years (not including 2011, though if you’d like to include this year, the Rockies are 2-1), an average of 15 games per year. Now we’re going to make two fractions. On the first one, the numerator is going to be 9 (the number of interleague wins in 2010), and the denominator will be 15 (the average number of interleague games played in a year). The second fraction will be x/162. Next, we’re going to cross-multiply. Basically, your equation comes out to be (9 x 162) divided by 15. 9 x 162 is 1,458, and that divided by 15 is 97.2. Rounded down, that’s 97.

With this, you get the number of wins the Rockies would have had in a full season of American League play. To get the losses, simply subtract 97 from 162, and you get 65.

The Rockies would have had a record of 97-65, which would have beaten out the Rays for best record in the AL in 2010 by one game. For argument’s sake, let’s say the Rockies would have been in the AL West for the past 5 years. Here are their records had they played in the American League, along with position in the division, and overall place in the league

2010: 97-65, 1st in the AL West (Texas: 2nd place, 90-72); 1st in the AL (Tampa Bay: 2nd place, 96-66)
2009: 119-43, 1st in the AL West (LA Angels: 2nd place, 97-65); 1st in the AL (New York: 2nd place, 103-59)
2008: 76-86, 3rd in the AL West (LA Angels: 1st place, 100-62); 10th in the AL
2007: 101-61, 1st in the AL West (LA Angels: 2nd place, 94-68); 1st in the AL (Cleveland: 2nd place, 97-66)
2006: 119-43, 1st in the AL West (Oakland: 2nd place, 93-69); 1st in the AL (New York: 2nd place, 97-65)

These numbers make sense mathematically. However, they don’t make sense logically. Every year, the Rockies play about 5 series against 5 different American League teams – they do not play all 14 American League teams every year, so in your minds, adjust these numbers accordingly. Suffice it to say, even with the adjusted numbers, the Rockies would have done well in the American League.

Hope you had as much fun reading this as I did writing this and pondering what could have happened if the Rockies were in the American League, not the National League. Though we’ll never know, it’s an interesting concept.