The National League is one of the two leagues in Major League Baseball (MLB), the other being the American League. The leagues are divided into three divisions, the East, the Central, and the East.
The National League was the first league, starting in 1876, as opposed to the American League, which started in 1901. The National League is 25 years older than the American League. One distinctive difference between the two leagues is that the the National League has the pitcher hit, whereas in the American League, their is a designated hitter (DH) who hits, an offensive player but a player who does not take the field for defense. The National League's nickname is the Senior Circuit.
The National League East consists of 5 teams. The teams are the:
Of these 5, the New York Mets is the last team to compete in the World Series (as of this writing during the 2002 season), but losing against in-state rival, the New York Yankees. The Atlanta Braves have won the division an impressive 10 straight years, and are on pace to have it 11 straight in 2002. The Marlins, after winning the '97 World Series and their fire sale of '98, have had a losing team since. And the Phillies are a mediocre team, but their best player, Scott Rolen, was traded away in the summer of 2002.
The National League Central contains 5 teams. The teams are the:
Unfortunately, the Chicago Cubs have not been to the World Series since 1945, unwillingly hold the record for most seasons of not winning the World Series. Pittsburgh has had a losing season for 10 straight years (1992-2002). And Milwaukee and Chicago are equally crap. Cincinnati is a mediocre team with some young talent which will blossom in the years to come.
The National League West contains 5 teams. The teams are the:
The Giants is the team that the current home-run record leader, Barry Bonds (he hit 73 in 2001), plays for. The Arizona Diamondbacks won the World Series in 2001, beating the defending champions, the New York Yankees. The LA Dodgers are an excellent team with great pitching and batting. The Dodgers, Diamondbacks and Giants are all capable of winning the division. The Rockies, despite having the best batting average in the majors (because they play at Coors Field, have a horrible pitching staff, and as a result, are the worst team in this division.