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Greg Michaels: Why I Don’t Like Interleague Play

Jared Wickerham, Getty Images

I think it’s time once again for my rant regarding interleague play in Major League Baseball (MLB). I don’t like it now, I didn’t like the idea when it was being tossed around way back in the early to mid 90s and I don’t think I’ll like it in 20 years. There is nothing to be really gained for the way it is set up, except in the few markets where a city has two teams like New York, Chicago, the San Francisco Bay Area and Los Angeles, but even then the Angels aren’t an L.A. team.

My reason number one for why interleague goes against all things right in baseball is that it waters down or dilutes the World Series and All-Star Game. Both the World Series and All-Star Game are the only times I want to see the two leagues clashing. The only exception to regular season interleague play would be if all the National League (NL) teams rotated through with all of the American League (AL) teams.

This leads me to my second reason for disliking interleague play. There is no consistency. MLB likes to pair up what they call, “natural rivals” like for example, the New York Mets v. Yankees, Giants and A’s, and Marlins and Rays. Somehow Toronto has the Braves as rivals? Is that because of Bobby Cox and Jimy Williams? Boston and Philadelphia are rivals, huh? Intertwine the leagues and roll out a schedule  like the NBA and NHL if that’s what you want to do, but don’t cherry pick pairings.

And finally my third reason for disliking interleague play, it’s a gimmick. A baseball game is a baseball game, it doesn’t matter who plays who, people root for their team regardless of who they’re playing. Keep the leagues apart except for when the All-Star game rolls around in July and the World Series happens in October.

With all of my moaning and groaning about inter-league play, the Red Sox have done pretty well against the NL teams since the inception, so I should like it but I don’t.



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