Elmhurst Pub Roundtable

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Monday, May 22, 2006

Interleague Play

It's time for the fad to stop. I have some reasons for my opinion here, but overall I'm just tired of the whole idea. It's always best to begin at the beginning, so we'll start there.

This weekend, all the hype was on the natural rivalries - White Sox v. Cubs, Mets v. Yankees, San Fran v. Oakland, LA vs. LAA, etc. This is fine, but then they come up with the other natural rivalries - Philly v. Boston, Toronto v. Colorado, San Diego v. Seattle, and a host of others that make little to no sense. You can't create hostilities between two teams. Just impossible. You can't have teams like Toronto and Colorado, who are relatively new franchises in the grand scheme of things, fight it out and expect fans to get into it like they would for a division game. And we see 6 of these games, as each team hosts a three game set. And for the most part even the teams involved in the good rivalries are getting sick of it. These games aren't special like they were when the idea was first introduced. If the Mets and Yankees play every year, it's not as special as if it were to happen every 3 years or so. Granted, there was tremendous intensity between the White Sox and Cubs this weekend, but that wasn't the case in all these matchups. I mean, I didn't see that kind of fight in the Tampa v. Florida games or St. Louis v. Kansas City. These might have seemed like a good idea at the time, but hasn't exactly worked out in many cases.

Additionally, each team within a division might not necessarily play the same teams. This is especially important in divisions with tight races. The Yankees have to play a really good Mets team 6 times this year. The Red Sox get a bad Phillies squad. The Blue Jays, looking to compete this year, get a worse Colorado team. Another problem is that this was put into place so fans could get to see more teams and different teams. At this rate, it will take some ballparks 30 years to see every team. Took that straight from Joe Buck. As much as I hate the guy, it was an interesting fact to throw out there. And in all these games, the National League has a slight advantage. If the game is played in the NL, then their pitchers usually hit. If it's played in the AL park, then they get to add another bat to the lineup. It hurts teams like Boston and Cleveland even more, as players like Ortiz and Hafner, who don't normally play the field are relegated to a position they don't play well or to the bench, with their team losing out on some potent offense.

So it's a lot of things for me and I'm ready to see this either revisited so that teams play every team and not these stupid natural rivals or to see them get rid of the thing entirely. It was fun for a while, but all fads need to come to an end sometime.

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