Monday, May 23, 2005

Interleague

I loved this for the first couple of years, and I understand why it boosts the box office. But I've come around 180 degrees to the other side. It is fun. However...

- The division vs division play creates a huge set of problems, mostly in terms of scheduling. Since we play 19 games within the AL East, interleague games come at the expense of games against the AL Central and West. Now I don't consider myself a baseball purist... But with the Sox, for example, I feel like we are short-changing important, long-standing rivalries with the Tigers and Indians, Rangers and Twins, Angels and A's, etc.
- The head-to-head rivalries are just downright unfair. Every year the Marlins get 6 with the D-Rays, while the Mets and Braves have to wrestle 6 times with the Yankees and Sox. This has gotta go.
- Did anyone notice that Detroit was stuck playing Arizona? No one bothered to pair them up. So we are stuck with the tense rivalry between the Desert and the Great Lakes. And I guess Washington-Toronto is a rivalry the same way Boston-Atlanta is. Kinda sorta. And Seattle-San Diego? Hmm. And even worse - or better, depending on your bias - Pittsburgh was having an internal NL-fest against Colorado. SUP WID DAT?
- Basically the whole month of June is devoted to interleague. That's going to get a little ridiculous, and have much too big an impact on the pennant races.
- The whole thing needs to be re-thunk. Even the starting number of 19 within each division is wrong. A) It's too many and B) Someone gets an extra home game and C) It leaves you with 9 against the other divisions, which results in 6Home 3Away types of imbalances.

The absurdity hit me again on Saturday as the Sox and Braves played the last 6 innings in a driving rain. There were infield errors on standard grounders, passed balls, and outfielders sliding all over the place. Why? Because if the game was rained out, there was no later Atlanta@Boston date for which to reschedule.

So instead, we risked killing the players.

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