Chron baseball writer Richard Justice has a regular Baseball Notebook column that runs every Sunday during the season. This Sunday's effort talked about the labor issues and was surprisingly fair to the players' union. Still, he couldn't quite overcome his belief in the myth of competitive balance:
Given the current disparities between the rich teams and poor ones, only a handful of clubs have a real chance of contending for a championship. Others, like the A's and Twins and Royals, can only contend if everything goes right, and even then their window of opportunity is limited by salary issues the Yankees, Red Sox and Mets don't have.
As for the Twins, they're middle of the pack in pitching this year. As Rob Neyer notes, Joe Mays and Brad Radke have combined for five wins so far. And yet the Twins are dominating their division, thanks to much-improved hitting and weaker-than-expected competition. (Don't forget to send a thank-you note to Kenny Williams, Twin fans.)
All teams face a certain amount of adversity. Good teams overcome it. When "everything goes right" you get the '84 Tigers, the '98 Yankees, or the '01 Mariners. The Twins are a good team with a good future. The A's have been a good team for several years. It's time they got credit for it.Posted by Charles Kuffner on July 30, 2002 to Baseball