Big League Clu weighs in on the new interleague rules.
After taking a few weeks off to absorb that painful loss suffered by Syracuse at the hands of Michigan in the Final Four, I thought long and hard about some new post ideas for you guys. I wanted my posts to be creative and informative, yet funny. I also wanted the freedom to take shots at and offend whoever I wanted. It then dawned on me to that I should bring to light certain things that have really been peeving me in the sports world as of late. Anyway, here’s what’s been on my mind. I hope you like it.
What’s With Interleague Play All Season Long?
Yes really, what is with it? I know I’ve shared my opinions on interleague play before (in fact, you can read about it here), but things are different now. With the 2013 MLB season officially under way, Commissioner Selig made a big change to this season’s scheduling process. Interleague play is to be played throughout the season instead of during two blocks that usually start in Late May and go into the end of June. Why?? Was it necessary to do such things? Bud Selig believed so. For one, this change modifies the dynamic of Interleague play (a little bit). It brings in some teams that usually fans do not get to see, and you even get to see household pitching names from the American League try and hack at pitches and often times look silly. It maybe even makes the games a little more competitive. Heck, bring the kids, It’s fun for the whole family!
That maybe so commish, but right now, I am a disgruntled sports fan with something to say. Was it really necessary to change something that was already good? I mean yeah, I enjoy interleague play, especially when it takes place at a normal time of year… like in June! I am not a fan of the new format for Interleague play, and here is why: The Mets and Yankees used to play a six game subway series against one another. This season, that was changed to a four game series; two games at each ballpark. What’s more insulting, is that the series will take place during the middle of a week, and not over the course of a weekend. Now sure, maybe the Subway Series has lost its luster in the past few seasons due to the mediocre teams that the NY Mets have put together, but they are making strides. Hopefully in a few years, it will be competitive again. The fact that this rivalry now only sees two games at a time makes it into more of an NBA thing, with a home and home.
I also noticed that they are doing this with a few other teams too, like the White Sox and the Cubs in the Windy City Series. Now, I am not saying that this is better because not everybody cares, but these are some of the bigger cross town rivalries in baseball. Why should they have their series penalized, and then we all have to suffer through watching that all important Miami vs Minnesota series. If it’s about bragging rights for an entire city, the games should be taking place over a course of a weekend, when fans will flock to see them play. This will also help generate a ton of money for the teams, and baseball as a whole.
Now, If you haven’t noticed already, baseball games in the early part of the year typically do not sell out (with the exception for opening day and the first weekend series). That’s because its only April! The weather is still not ideal for baseball, and there is still a plethora of other sports taking place (i.e. NBA Playoffs, the NHL, and for those diehard NFL’ers, they have the NFL draft). I mean, just this past week, the Mets were playing the Rockies out in Denver, and they had to deal with snow storms and 20 degree weather. Would you want to go see a baseball game in those conditions, even if it was the Yankees or someone rare coming to town? Probably not.
Overall, I do not think that this move was smart on the part of Major League Baseball, and they will realize that quickly when overall ticket sales and revenue drop. Maybe I could be wrong. Maybe it will be a huge success, and Bud Selig can add that to his resume as commissioner. I do not believe so, however.
Thankfully, I might have the solution. Perhaps, they could split it up between May and August instead of the way it is currently set up. They could break interleague play up into two parts (15 games on the road, and 15 games at home?). In the first half, the NL plays in AL parks, and in the second half, they switch. Just some food for thought. I just don’t want them to get rid of pitchers having to bat in the National League. That, along with other key differences between the two leagues, is still one of the great things about interleague play, for me. That tradition should continue for the rest of baseball.
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