A West Coast Post-Season

With roughly a month remaining in the baseball season, it is clear that, at least for 2014, there has been a geographical shift in the game's balance of power. If the season were to end today, four California teams would be assured of one of baseball's ten post-season spots, while another west coast team still has a chance for the second wild card in the AL. Equally significantly, no team from Boston, New York or Philadelphia would make the post-season. The last time none of those three northeastern cities all missed the post-season was 1992. That was also the last year that only four teams made the playoffs.

What if the Dodgers Don't Win the Pennant This Year

The Dodgers are a good team that narrowly missed the World Series last year and has a good chance to get at least that far again, but there are no guarantees and much that could go wrong for the team between now and October. They have become a contender through strong international signings, a farm system that has developed one of the very best players in the game, but most significantly an ability to take on contracts like those of Carl Crawford and Adrian Gonzalez that other teams do not want, and by signing free agents as needed. This is the model that the Yankees began to use after their 1996-2000 run, with mixed results. The Dodgers are employing that same strategy in a much more difficult context. They could get a few breaks and win it all as the Yankees did in 2009, but those eight years from 2001-2008, when the Yankees missed every year and kept spending more money on free agents could well be a more likely scenario for the Dodgers.