Tuesday, June 16, 2009


Hopes are that this goes into this week's edition of the New York Beacon as part of the Yankee column, but it's just an excerpt from the Yankee-focused column.

Personally, I'm all for interleague, but I understand that it feels a little forced to the players and the purists in the masses. As anyone else with a forum, I have a few thoughts on how it can be improved for all parties, however, since there so many words devoted to that very topic (search on, my friends), I'll keep this relatively short and sweet.

Besides, this isn't the only post you will see today.

The merits of interleague play will continue to be debated as those who are for and against it will fight for baseball’s soul each mid-June for eternity. Yet, the biggest qualm for those who accept that interleague play isn’t going away any time soon is that not all schedules are created equal.

Major League Baseball could probably take a page from the NFL in regards to properly scheduling out-of-conference games. After a few seasons of mixing up opponents in bringing greater ticket sales in various markets, MLB returned to the original format of rotating divisions while adding the geographic rival of the opposite league. Taking on the geographic rival is vital as you want nearby fan bases jawing at each other for a few games. However, other opponents should be determined by how teams finished in the previous season, regardless of division.

Players understand that interleague games are a unique experience, even if the majority would prefer to return to the way things were. Yet, as opposed to griping about how one team’s interleague schedule is more challenging than their division rivals, a record-based slate could start to quell those complaints while keeping the games more entertaining. The Yanks aren’t going to have much of a problem against a Washington Nationals team with the worst pitching staff in all of baseball, but neither fan base is particularly excited these games. Yet, if the Yanks traveled to St. Louis a team with a nearly identical record in 2008, then intrigue would grow beyond the historical factor of baseball’s most successful franchises going head-to-head.

Then again, it’s not as if bottom feeding doesn’t happen within your own league.

Maybe it’ll be a different tune if the Yanks would have won at least one game at Fenway Park last week as they have yet to beat the Boston Red Sox this season. The highs and lows – certainly lows this year – of facing the longtime rival take a lot of even the best team in the game, but to be followed by what seems to be a few sets against unnatural opponents seems a bit odd.

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