Thursday, June 16, 2005
Off To New York
Finally, the Cubs get to play at Yankee Stadium for the first time since 1938. Given that we fans have had interleague play for, what, 9 seasons now? Let me ask this:
What the hell took so long?
Interleague play is a very cool, and proper, addition to Major League Baseball. It was the only major sport that sequestered 50% of its players from appearing in front of all of the fans of the sport. It used to be, if you lived in Pittsburgh and wanted to see Kirby Puckett play, you had to drive to Baltimore or New York or wait for the All Star Game.
Today, if you live in Colorado, you at least get to see your team play a few teams in the other league every year.
The problem with Interleague play is simple: There isn't enough of it, and what there is, is done wrong.
First and foremost, schedules between division rivals should be identical. There's no reason the Cardinals should get the Royals every year while the Cubs get the White Sox.
Second, given the number of games in a season, there's no reason that Interleague games can't include a home and home series in a year. The Bulls host the Kings and the Kings host the Bulls. Why can't the Nationals host the Angels and vice versa later in the season? Given the events of this week, wouldn't such a matchup be provocative?
As part of this, can the annual regional rivalries. They are unfair and diminish the rivalry. Cubs-Sox has become far less interesting that even Cubs-Brewers. Make those games part of the regular divisional rotation and the luster will return.
Third. Interleague schedules should rotate divisions on a set three-year schedule just like the NFL. NL-Central vs. AL-East this year, fine. AL-Central next year and AL-West the following. Stick to this. Right now, the schedule seems to be dictated by FOX TV.
Now, to make this all work, some drastic changes need to be made. We’ll get to that later.
Bottom line is the: Cubs and Yankees should play every three years, 3 times in Wrigley, 3 times in Yankee. There’s no reason that it should have taken nine years to see this event take place.
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