On Interleague Madness

Interleague play in Major League Baseball began this weekend for this season, with all but two teams — the Cubs and the Pirates — playing against teams in the other league.

(The reason why the Cubs and Pirates are playing is that there are two more National League teams than American League teams.)

Am I the only one who thinks that giant interleague-paloozas are stupid?

Interleague play, I have no problem with. But scheduling every interleague game on the same day? Pointless.

Why not spread interleague love throughout the season? Have two or three interleague series every weekend from the first week of May to the last week of August?

Interleague play doesn’t have to be an event. It’s an event enough that the entirety of Major League Baseball doesn’t need to engage in it at the exact same time.

At least, that’s what I would do if I were major league commissioner.

And get rid of the designated hitter.

2 thoughts on “On Interleague Madness

  1. The only reason interleague play exists is because MLB treats it as an event. By MLB’s lights, there’s no point in doing it otherwise. It’s like having a Scotch tasting without the Scotch.

    Me, I think interleague play was a cute gimmick whose time has come and gone. All it does now is fuck up pennant races. It also is spectacularly stupid when combined with the unbalanced schedule. It’s absurd that the Yankees play the Mets as many times as they play the Royals….

  2. Philosophically, Keith, I have no objections to interleague play.

    It’s the application of it that I think is lousy.

    Do the Yankees and Mets need to meet for six games every season? The Cubs and the White Sox? I don’t think so.

    The intent fifteen years ago was that a division would rotate through the divisions in the opposite league on a three year schedule. Only, it didn’t work out that way at first, and then while they are doing the rotation, the creation of an opposite league rival plays havoc with scheduling, and makes what should be a special series — like Yankees/Mets — into something mundane.

    I guess that baseball saw the ratings and the money that a few of these marquee interleague match-ups garnered, and thought that they’d found success, so why mess with it?

    To me, this year’s schedule is fucked to hell anyway, irregardless of my preference to break up the interleague-paloozas. The two-game series in both leagues don’t make any sense, and something like a third of the Cubs’ games so far this season have been against the Pirates. (Not that there’s anything wrong with that — barring yesterday, the Pirates have been easy pickings — but there are other teams in the NL Central the Cubs could be playing.)

    Anyway.

    Eliminate the opposite league rival — especially because, outside of fiver markets, there is no historical or geographic rival in the other league — and return interleague play to the original intention of rotating through the other league’s divisions on a three year schedule, and some of the scheduling problems would be eliminating, and the marquee match-ups would actually become special again.

    At least, that’s how I see it. *shrug*

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