Monday, June 18, 2007

Interleague Play

Originally, I was not a fan of the wild card. I like the tradition of baseball and I liked having only division winners make the playoffs. It gave the regular season more meaning. But now that I see the amount of excitement generated by the wild card races and playoffs with an extra round, I am a supporter of it. On the other hand, I was a fan of interleague play when it was first introduced. I loved the idea of the Mets playing the Yankees and even the Red Sox. There was excitement in those matchups. There were also other matchups that were fun to follow like Angels-Dodgers, Indians-Reds, White Sox-Cubs, KC-St. Louis, Oakland-SF, Texas-Houston, and now Baltimore-Washington. These provide friends that live in the same area with a friendly rivalry. Every year, you could look forward to seeing who would get the bragging rights for the next year. But unlike the excitement of the wild card growing on me, the excitement of interleague play has diminished.

Is there anyone excited about watching the Pirates play the Yankess? Or the Reds play the A's? How about this weeks exciting matchup of the White Sox and the Marlins? The only series that matches it in excitement is the Diamondbacks-Devil Ray matchup. Seriously, who the hell is watching these games other than home team fans and fantasy geeks (I am included in this category).

And I haven't even gotten into what interleague play does to competitive balance. The Mets will become the first team ever to play all playoff teams from the prior year. Outside of the Cardinals, all the teams are pretty good this year. They also have to play the Yankees 6 times, which doesn't mean as much this year as in years past, but you get the point. I would much rather play the geographical rival for one three games series and then play the rest of the same division in the other league. Interleague play in its current form is a classic example of too much of good thing becoming a bad thing.

What do you guys think?

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