You know what I don’t get? Why is it that when a National League player gets traded to an American League team, or visa versa, he starts from scratch (statistically speaking)?

For example, Julio Lugo was traded at last year’s deadline from the Devil Rays to the Dodgers, and his stats on read like this:

TBD AL  73  289   17  1  12   27  18  4  27  47  .308  .373  .498
LAD NL  49  146    5  1   0   10   6  5  12  29  .219  .278  .267

I understand why, prior to interleague play, we kept a player’s National League and American League stats separate. The two leagues were very different beasts. But why have we kept doing it?

Some of the hits Lugo got as a Devil Ray last year came against National League teams. And some of the (very few) hits he got as a Dodger came against American League teams. So why not just combine his 2006 stats? Does that make too much sense?

4 Responses to “I don’t get it.”

  1. Maybe cause they play by different rules?

  2. Paul Moro says:

    I’m not saying it’s a valid argument to claim this, but I do think that year-end awards have something to do with it. Can you call someone an AL homerun king if they hit half their home runs in the NL prior to a deadline trade?

    Primarily, I do agree that it’s outdated. It goes back to a time when the NL and AL were still thought of as different entities and not just under the main umbrella of MLB.

  3. Coley Ward says:

    No! That can’t be it. B/c now, thanks to interleague play, NL players play in games where the DH is used. And AL players play in games where pitchers hit.

    And as far as I’m aware, that’s the only rule that is different between the NL and AL. Right?

  4. Sarah Green says:

    Actually, ESPN splits up all of a player’s stats when he gets traded mid-season, whether he changes leagues or not. This is to see how many games he had with each team and how he performed on each team, which is actually a very useful metric. Coley, you know I love you, but I think this rant is all a lot of strutting and fretting, signifying nothing. Sorry.

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