Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Interleague Baseball

I know why interleague baseball exists. I know that the MLB put it in motion to hopefully increase profits, and guess what, it was a success. So, I get it. The league makes money off the damn thing, but just because I understand doesn't mean I have to like it. And I don't. I fucking hate interleague baseball.

I can handle the wild card. I know what Mike's going to say about that comment. But I don't mind it so much. I like that because of the wild card there aren't only five or six teams even in the damn race after the all-star break. Some seasons the division winners were pretty much decided before the all-star break. And because of the wild card they changed up the division scheme leaving less teams in a division which is good. It sets up more important games and gives you great rivalries. So, the wild card is a-ok in my book. Hell, add a couple of more wildcards if you want. I have no issue with that; I could watch baseball into November.

But the interleague set-up completely ruins one of the great things about the World Series. I love that besides the players picked for the all-star game; when you get to the World Series these are two teams that have not faced each other in the regular season. While obviously in the past once the playoffs heated up there were scouts sent out to each league, it's still pretty much a crapshoot as to who will win. Not that it was impossible to pick a lot of the winners each year, but it was still kind of fun to have the leagues not face each other until the World Series. It built up a lot of mystery and excitement that interleague play craps all over.

Another reason is that for every cool series (Cubs/Redsox, Mets/Yankees, Angels/Dodgers) there are way too many series that have no bearing or meaning on anything (Devil Rays/Pirates, Brewers/Yankees, Braves/Angels), whoopee!!! To try to create excitement in last night's series opener between the Dodgers and the Tigers, they touted that it was Kirk Gibson's return to L.A. If Gibson was actually playing, maybe that would be exciting, but he's a freaking coach for the Tigers. Who the hell cares?

So, yeah, I'm glad that the MLB gets a lot more revenue because of this. But they started making a lot more money before this was even institutionalized. It's stupid, stupid, stupid. It feels like you're watching Spring Training all over again. Give the Cubs six more games with the Cardinals if you want some more money; give the Redsox six more games with the Yankees, or whatever, but keep the damn leagues seperated until the World Series.


At 6/07/2005 05:52:00 PM, Blogger PORTSIDER said...

I completely agree that interleague play devalues the World Series, but it's here to stay. Even the so-called throw away games like the Brewers vs. Yankees are successful on some level. As a Brewers fan, I noticed the stands were jammed with people last night because it was an opportunity to see players that otherwise would never come to town.

In the end, it's always about money. Sure the wild card games add a ton of excitement to the game, but do you think if it didn't add revenue that they'd still keep it?

At 6/07/2005 06:00:00 PM, Blogger Chris said...

The issue of interleague has always been a tough one for me. I hate, hate that teams who played in the regular season could find themselves playing in the World Series.

But since it's here to stay, and we do have to deal with it because most people like it, especially when you have a Red Sox/Cards or Mets/Yankees or whatever your primo matchup is, we're going to have to sit through some crap. But the NL and AL INTRAleague games have terrible matchups as well, and this isn't anything new I'm bringing up. Bring on Rockies/Pirates, woo-hoo!

Overall, I enjoy it, but it's like having a Christmas present opened too early. Mets/Yankees World Series in 2000 would have been much more compelling had they not played each other for 4 years in a row prior to that, and well, if the Mets had been a better matchup, too.

At 6/07/2005 06:32:00 PM, Blogger Kennelworthy said...

Man, I hope I'm not taking too big a risk walking this line...but I just don't have a problem with it.

Granted, I'm not into baseball as much as some of you guys are...but I'm definitely a fan.

I've watched tons of baseball in my life.

I just don't get it. I see your arguments for why you think it's bad...and I don't find anything wrong with them, really. But I don't feel nearly as strongly about it.

I like what Chris says about potential World Series opponents meeting in the regular season...and I can see that. But even that doesn't get my goat.

There seem to be two sets of fans, and this issue brings the differences between them to the front. There are the regular, average, every day fans. That's probably me. Then there's the hardcore, purist fans.

And I don't think either group is wrong...just different.

It certainly seems to me that, aside from you guys, the only people I ever hear complaining about interleague play are the radio hosts and newspaper columnists--guys who by nature of their job fall into the purist category.

The average fans, ignorant as they may be, really do seem to dig interleague play a whole lot. Wait, I take that back. The fans of teams with strong interleague rivalries or two teams in one city seem to enjoy the hell out of it. I'm not sure it does much for Detroit fans to have the Dodgers come to town. But in NY, when the Mets and Yanks play...it appears to have the atmosphere of some of the biggest games ever.

And the wildcards keep winning the Series lately too. That may be bad in your opinion...perhaps you see them taking spots away from teams that deserved it more for their play all year. But Boston was one exciting team last year, nationwide, and they wouldn't have been there if there were no wildcards.

Right or wrong I'm not here to say. I just love the Orioles--and it's a good year to do that. But I really don't find myself all that passionate about interleague play at all. I'm kind of "Eh" about the whole thing.

At 6/07/2005 08:53:00 PM, Blogger Jonathan said...

No, the wild card teams are perfectly fine as I stated in my post. And, KW, why is it not a good year to love the Orioles?

As for Postrider's comment; I think he was basically just restating what I said. But, I do agree that money rules, and there is probably no point in arguing about the whole thing. I was just saying that I don't like it, but I do understand why it is going nowhere.

At 6/08/2005 08:56:00 AM, Blogger Kennelworthy said...

No, I was saying it is a good year to like the Orioles. Maybe I came off as sarcastic. But they're playing great! Hope they keep it up long enough to go get some pitching at the break.


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