In stating her case for Crawford she states the following:
Crawford has the speed, the quickness and the instincts. He's also is in a league that doesn't emphasize the stolen base as much as the NL, which certainly helps put his totals below that of players like Reyes and Pierre
That is something you will hear broadcaster and other journalist comment on time to time; the big difference between AL style ball verses NL style ball. I tend to think this is way overblown. Granted, the difference may have been more pronounced several decades ago, but now with free agency players very often switch leagues. Also managers switch a lot and they would bring their styles of play with them right?
I haven't done a ton of research on this and apparently Amy Nelson hasn't either. I don't quite know what she means by the "emphasize the stolen base" but I would nearly guarantee that she didn't know the the average AL team in 2007 had 97 stolen bases with a 73% success rate. The average NL team stole 98 bases with a 74% success rate (an average AL team has had more stolen bases in a season than the average NL team in four of the last eight seasons). Just maybe Amy thought that 1 base and 1 % difference last season was enough of a factor to limit Crawford stolen base output. Or maybe this is how baseball myths get passed around ?
PS:I know the whole DH and pitcher thing is a obvious and very real difference. But what about the general hyperbole you will hear that the AL is the power hitting league and the NL is the base stealing league. This is something I have heard old retired ball players ramble on about during broadcast. While only twice in the last eight seasons has the average NL team out homered the average AL team (including 169 to 161 last season) the differences are often explained simply by the DH. You will hear some exaggerate as if the NL style is more pure and wholesome baseball while the AL is the lazy, wait for the three run homer league. Not exactly true. Little things like this annoy me way more than the average person probably ......