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Let's take a short break from interleague play

May 21, 2010, 10:41 AM EDT

Interleague_Logo.pngInterleague play begins again tonight. Feel the excitement?

Nah, me neither.  Don’t get me wrong: I was against interleague play when it was first proposed because I am a scared old man who fears change, but  after it got started I got used to it rather quickly. I even began to enjoy some aspects of it. I’m not gonna lie to you: Mets-Yankees is kinda neat, as is the Cubs-White Sox, Angels-Dodgers and other geographic rivalries.  I’ve even gotten into the Indians-Reds thing (though I wish they’d split the difference in travel time and play the games here in Columbus).

But like so many people — players included — I really wish they’d find a way to stick to those rivalry games and spare us series of the Rays-Astros variety, which outweigh those attendance-driving marquee matchups.  I’d rather see more games between teams competing for playoff spots in their own leagues, thank you very much.  The unbalanced schedule already means that some teams fighting for the postseason face a harder road than others. Interleague play exacerbates that. And leads to dumb two-game series. And makes people focus too much on league inequality and do a bunch of other things that, again, because I am old and fear change, I don’t particularly like.

But it’s not going anywhere. It has proven to be financially successful and does draw some people into the game who wouldn’t otherwise watch it (baseball isn’t dumb; they know people like me aren’t going anywhere).  We all like to pretend that baseball is a public trust or something, with its mission being to make us all warm and happy, but it’s a business just like any other business, and interleague play makes good business sense.

Still, interleague play doesn’t start until tonight, and I’m already tired of it.  So how about this one, tiny suggestion:  give it a two-year break so as to restore some of the novelty of it.  Take those two years and see whether we’re scheduling out interleague play optimally or to see how else we can improve it.  I can’t help but think that there’s a better way to do this whole thing. 

A way that doesn’t make the whole affair both unfair and yawn-inducing.

  1. guest - May 21, 2010 at 4:29 PM

    who cares about the unbalanced schedule. id rather see the royals vs the reds than the boring pirates again and again. sure id rather see them play the phillies or rockies or dodgers more but you cant play them all the time or it becomes like the pirates series to me.

  2. Eternal Optimist - May 21, 2010 at 4:41 PM

    Amen to that!

  3. Bronx HS - May 21, 2010 at 4:51 PM

    Baseball is no longer relevant. Over priced players; drug abusers and other less than stellar personal habits. Wake up to the over-hype of the media unless, perhaps, the Matrix is real and this is all a horrible dream

  4. BehrFacts - May 21, 2010 at 5:00 PM

    Inter “league” doesn’t work for the “league.”
    It works in some specific instances, either for cross town rivals or a few choice neighboring city matchups.
    As someone who hasn’t really come back to being a full time MLB fan since the days of play stopping labor disputes…I wait til the world series for the only meaningful interleague play that I care about.

  5. Mr. Z - May 21, 2010 at 5:05 PM

    If it were not for the DH interleague play would be the worst idea ever visited on MLB

  6. JJMN - May 21, 2010 at 5:21 PM

    Ah, the Rockies are playing IN Minnesota…

  7. Jack Meoffer - May 21, 2010 at 5:21 PM

    I love interleague play. Nothing excites me more ever few years when the Florida Marlins and Seattle Mariners match up in a clash against titans. I get a warm feeling all over my body.

  8. Jangocat - May 21, 2010 at 5:40 PM

    No way man, I don’t know about other towns but the Phillies have awesome inter league games. Playing the Red Sox tonight. It doesn’t get any better then to play some of the powerhouse AL teams like the Sox and the Yankees. They play the Sox 2 series and the Yankee’s 1. I could do without the Twins series on their schedule but it will still be interesting enough seeing some different players.

  9. scatterbrian - May 21, 2010 at 5:45 PM

    You might as well give up on all sports and forms of entertainment with that criteria.

  10. Mikey - May 21, 2010 at 5:53 PM

    Shut up and leave inter league play alone…There are some better games in these series than there are in ‘normal’ play. what difference does it make anyway??? These are not just exhibition games, they count…. Want to change something??? AL teams should be allowed to use DL in all games… It’s to damn bad that the NL doesn’t use it..

  11. zitiz64 - May 21, 2010 at 6:05 PM

    Lets get the designated hitter uniform one way or the other then and only then does Interleague make sense.

  12. Big Al - May 21, 2010 at 7:10 PM

    Make it go away. Then maybe the Cardinals and Cubs could play each other more than three times before the middle of August. Go Cards.

  13. Cello Tune - May 31, 2010 at 12:15 PM

    I like interleague play. The variety is great. The geographic “rivalries” playing every year may be a bit much (like Mets-Yankees, Angels-Dodgers, etc.). What if the leagues were even with the same amount of teams? There would be one interleague series everyday. Now which should switch leagues?
    I think the schedules could be more balanced in each league. I hate to see a team play its own divisional teams 18 or 19 times. Reduce those games in favor of some intra-divisional rivalries and put them on a rotational basis. For instance, instead of the Atlanta Braves playing 18 or 19 games against their divisional opponents, reduce those and have them play an extra series against the Cubs, Cardinals, Astros, Dodgers, and Giants one year and the next, the Pirates, Brewers, Reds, Padres, and Diamondbacks. The home-away of those series would rotate. Within the division, there would be one less series and the home-away rotation would also take affect annually.

  14. Cello Tune - May 31, 2010 at 12:21 PM

    Use the DH for all inter-league games on the even-numbered years only. Don’t use the DH on the odd-numbered years for all inter-league games.
    Ever considered a home-opener inter-league game? I guess so if both leagues were balanced and there was an inter-league series every day of the season.

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