sam's notes

notes on government, sports and popular culture

Saturday, June 11, 2005

I was watching the Braves-A's game last night when Chip Carey and Joe Simpson began a broader discussion of interleague play. True, there were some intriguing matchups this weekend, including Cubs- Red Sox, meeting for the first time since 1918, and Giants-Indians, meeting for the first time since1954. But other matchups such as Marlins-Rangers and Rockies-Tigers were a little flat.

The other major issue is the unbalanced schedule. The most glaring inequity is in late June, when the Braves and Marlins play a crucial home-and-home series. But sandwiched between that series is the last round of interleague play where geographic rivals square off. The Marlins get Tampa Bay (20-41) while the Braves play Baltimore (36-24). Who has an advantage there? Then again, who could predict the Orioles would be so strong this season?

Carey's solution: Balance the schedule so that everybody plays everybody, period. Two home-and-home series against division rivals, one home-and-home against league rivals and then a single series against teams in the other league. The Braves go to Boston one season and the Red Sox come to Atlanta the next season, for example. If you're going to do interleague play, then do it, Carey reasons.

I like it, because interleague play is just a reality we pruists have to accept. It will also make crucial games between division rivals a hotter ticket, so to speak.


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