Interleaguin’ It Up

There is just way too much interleague play. If the NL & AL were supposed to play each other this much, there wouldn’t be two leagues in the first place.

In a 1997 marketing move, MLB introduced interleague play. Now that interleague baseball turns 13 and has its Bar Mitzvah, focus is on how delightfully awkward and/or pubescently annoying  these games can be.

PROS – YAY/HOORAY

  • Attendance is up, which is why MLB does this.
  • Match-ups that are rarely seen are created. Players/teams/fans are introduced to players/teams/venues they haven’t seen. One big happy family reunion.
  • It’s funny to watch AL pitchers try to hit.
  • It’s fun to see how happy some NL players are with the DH.
  • Sweet geographic rivalries! (more on this later)
  • Creates a possible World Series preview.

CONS – BOO/HISS

  • Creates a possible World Series preview.
  • Scheduling inequalities are created, puncturing fairness in a big way. Divisions are  not facing the same level of difficulties in their opponents, which is seriously uncool since at least one division a year is decided by two games or fewer* (this stat is not official, but a genuine educated guess).
  • The competition can not be even since there are not even number of teams in each league.
  • It’s sad to see how pathetically these AL pitchers attempt to bunt.
  • It’s a bit odd to see the NL teams so psyched for the DH opportunity.
  • Lame geographic leftovers! (more on this later, really)
  • Too loose… why not have Minor League/Major League games. Baltimore would lose to the prospects.

This year’s schedule had each team playing about 18 games of interleague. This is about a dozen more than needed, considering that anything beyond covering geographic rivals is uninteresting to me personally, and MLB needs to be designing their schedules around my preference.

I will, however, admit that the Subway Series is probably the best of all interleague rivals… making my point of view as biased as most New Yorkers point of views on, well, everything.

Obviously, some match-ups are more natural than others.

When Leagues Collide

LEVEL ONE – Legit Rivals

  • Subway Series – New York Yankees / New York Mets
  • Freeway Series – Los Angeles Angels of the Anaheim Area / Los Angeles Dodgers
  • Crosstown Classic – Chicago White Sox / Chicago Cubs
  • Battle of the Bay – Oakland A’s / San Francisco Giants
  • Lone Star Series – Texas Rangers / Houston Astros
  • Surpass Spring Training – Tampa Bay Rays / Florida Marlins
  • Ohio Cup – Cleveland Indians / Cincinnati Reds
  • Show-Me Series – Kansas City Royals / St. Louis Cardinals
  • Beltway Series – Baltimore Orioles / Washington Nationals

LEVEL TWO – Regional Throwdown

  • NE Obnoxious Fan War – Boston Red Sox / Philadelphia Phillies
  • Midwest Bonanza – Minnesota Twins / Milwaukee Brewers
  • West Coast Why Not – Seattle Mariners / San Diego Padres

LEVEL THREE – Leftovers

  • Detroit Tigers – These midwesterns are left alone, jobless and poor. So sad.
  • Arizona Diamondbacks – The retirement community has no nearby team… although Colorado is available…
  • Colorado Rockies – If there is no other sky/stoner team to pair them against, they aren’t too far from Arizona.
  • Toronto B-Jays – Since Montreal left, these Canadians are all alone up there.
  • Atlanta Braves – Sort of a Boston rival, but also loners in the South.
  • Pittsburgh Pirates – Since Philly is also in the NL, these Western Quaker/Amish have no one to special to lose to in interleague play.

To improve this situation, MLB needs to pair up the leftover geographic rivals, cut back to fewer games, and even out the schedule so that same divisions are playing similar competitors. Although, the most similar competitors are in their own league.

Also posted on National Lampoon’s Splog, and on Player Press

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One Response to Interleaguin’ It Up

  1. sister says:

    The midwesterners love the Twins/Brewers series. It has to do with a long term Minnesota/Wisconsin (‘sconie) rivalry. It is in Level 1 territory.

    The Minnesota vs. Wisconsin thing is a little like NY and Boston, except that no one else knows,or cares, but them.

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