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Interleague play starts this weekend, as does the puffery regarding its attendance impact

May 16, 2012, 4:00 PM EDT

Interleague logo

Just got the press release from MLB announcing the beginning of interleague play this weekend. As usual, the league touts the attendance boost it brings:

Interleague Play drew 8,468,620 fans in 2011, averaging 33,606 fans per game.  The average 2011 Interleague attendance was 12.1 percent higher than the season’s final intraleague average of 29,985.  Since its inception in 1997, Interleague Play has drawn an average of 33,285 fans per game, which is 11.8 percent higher than the intraleague average of 29,774 during the same span.

They always leave out the fact that interlegaue play is disproportionately centered (a) on weekends; and (b) in warm weather months.  I’d like to see how a Mariners-Rockies series would draw on a Wednesday in April, but I guess we won’t know how that works until next season.

Oh well. We’re way past complaining about this.  Matchups this upcoming weekend that seem fun, with the home team listed second:  White Sox-Cubs, Orioles-Nationals, Red Sox-Phillies and the Braves-Rays.  Actually, a series I’m most looking forward to this weekend is an intraleague thing: Cardinals-Dodgers.

Play ball.

  1. Jeremiah Graves - May 16, 2012 at 4:03 PM

    Adam Dunn returns to the outfield this weekend.

    Prepare your animated GIFerizering websites accordingly.

    • ezthinking - May 16, 2012 at 4:17 PM

      He’ll probably make two diving catches and throw someone out at the plate because people are so excited for him to fail.

  2. rollinghighwayblues - May 16, 2012 at 4:12 PM

    It’ll be interesting to see how Valentine handles one his most productive bats in Ortiz. Move Gonzalez to the OF and Ortiz at 1B?

  3. rooney24 - May 16, 2012 at 4:13 PM

    In reference to the Cardinals/Dodgers, so the Dodgers have enough guys healthy to make it interesting? I am not up to speed on the Dodgers, but know a few guys (including Kemp) are out. I would think that would hurt their chances.

    • rooney24 - May 16, 2012 at 4:14 PM

      Sorry, should be “do the Dodgers have”, not “so”.

  4. Chris St. John - May 16, 2012 at 4:14 PM

    Just saw Orioles-Nationals excited. WHAT IS HAPPENING

  5. pestiesti - May 16, 2012 at 4:14 PM

    In honor of the 1909 World Series rematch, I will spend the weekend calling Clint Barmes “Krauthead.”

  6. danaking - May 16, 2012 at 4:15 PM

    I can hardly wait for the much anticipated match-up between those two traditional rivals, the Pirates and the Tigers.

  7. kopy - May 16, 2012 at 4:19 PM

    We may not have Mariners-Rockies on a Wednesday in April, but we will have Twins-Pirates on a Wednesday in June.


  8. amhendrick - May 16, 2012 at 4:20 PM

    I will be glad next year when interleague play just happens as part of the regular schedule and not as big ‘blocks’ during the summer. A game is a game.

  9. buffalomafia - May 16, 2012 at 4:20 PM

    Maybe the crappy teams of past like the Pirates, Reds, & Indians can make some noise!

    I like the underdogs!

  10. sdelmonte - May 16, 2012 at 4:21 PM

    We get…Mets-Blue Jays! Not that this doesn’t have the potential for some good pitching matchups. But this isn’t something anyone clamors for. Though Toronto will have the odd situation of hosting both NY teams back to back.

    And in the Bronx, it’s the return of the Reds, in a rematch of the 1939, 1961 and 1976 World Series. And the Reds get to stay in their hotels for five nights since they are here to meet the Mets first.

  11. goawaydog - May 16, 2012 at 4:26 PM

    Next season when interleague games become part of the regular season, you can count it as the beginning of the end of the NL. The DH will become part of both leagues in the coming years (~10 years?) as it will be easier to add the DH to the NL than subtract it from the AL.

  12. WhenMattStairsIsKing - May 16, 2012 at 4:30 PM

    Cubs/Sox games are always entertaining, no matter how good or bad the teams are from season to season.

    • rollinghighwayblues - May 16, 2012 at 4:43 PM

      Every time I see the Sox and Cubs series in the near future, I always look up the Cubs roster in hopes of seeing Michael Barrett on there…another year, another disappointment.

      • WhenMattStairsIsKing - May 16, 2012 at 5:31 PM

        Sorry man, Barrett works at the Arby’s in Toronto now.

  13. explodet - May 16, 2012 at 4:53 PM

    I’m sure Mariners fans would love to see a series played in Colorado. It isn’t often they can look forward to the M’s scoring runs.

  14. dawglb - May 16, 2012 at 7:33 PM

    Great comment (in article) regarding inter league play being heavily on weekends in the warmer months. Astros vs Indians in Cleveland, on a Tuesday Night in April would not get 33,000.

  15. jimw81 - May 16, 2012 at 9:15 PM

    Red Sox vs Phillies the series of underachieving teams

  16. mgflolox - May 16, 2012 at 9:34 PM

    It’s no worse than the hysteria about ruining the tradition of separate leagues, impact on pennant races, fairness of schedule, blah, blah, blah, blah f-ing blah. So Mariners-Rockies isn’t exactly the most compelling match-up. Is it any worse than Twins-Royals? They still play those games and nobody complains.

  17. hojo20 - May 16, 2012 at 10:15 PM

    Interleague play sucks.

  18. callmecynical - May 16, 2012 at 11:04 PM

    You doubters make me laugh,

    Red vs. Yankees, repeat of the 76 sweep. The 2 most storied teams in baseball and someone(s) are unhappy. This might be a preview of the 2012 World Series. Baseball is great when the NYY and Reds are competitive. Stop drinking the KoolAid. This is going to be a great Interleague weekend. Mr. Calcaterra, please give use the real time updates. I will have my Reds hat and Yankees jersey on all weekend.

  19. lapsncaps - May 16, 2012 at 11:42 PM

    O’s – Nats is going to be a great series. Especially with the Sunday matchup of Strasburg vs Chen. Will be there cheering on.

    GO Os!!!

  20. Detroit Michael - May 17, 2012 at 8:22 AM

    In a fake press release, Major League Baseball announced today that beginning effective in 2013, all regular season games will be interleague contests. Teams will no longer play opponents in their same leagues during the regular season. Commissioner Bud Selig said, “We decided to capitalize as much as possible on our statistical findings that interleague games raise attendance by 11.8%. Because nearly all of the additional attendance revenue that we now expect goes directly to the bottom line, this scheduling change should generate over $100 million of additional profits each year for the industry. To assuage baseball traditionalists though, we will keep the wild card, division series and championship series rounds of the playoffs to be intraleague contests, which will become more unique because intraleague contests will be so rare.”

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