Tonight starts the 2nd round of Interleague play and I can’t wait until it’s over. Now, I’m not a true purist. I think that there should be more instant replay and that the DH should be used in both leagues (but that’s for a different post). So why do I dislike Interleague so much?
I like the idea of two teams who came out on top in their leagues to face each other and see who is truly #1. By having Interleague, there is a chance that these two teams would face each other during the regular season and that just takes away the mystic of the World Series. I want to see strategy of the two managers of how to play a team that they’ve never faced before. If they already faced each other during the season, they have first-hand knowledge of their strengths and weaknesses. It is one thing to read about it in a scouting report, but it’s entirely different to execute it in a game. I want to see how Stephen Strasburg attacks David Ortiz for the first time in the World Series, not in game #58 of the regular season.
I understand that in this day and age, there is free agency, trades and coming up next year, a team switching leagues. There’s more opportunity now of players seeing more competition than before and the greater of a chance that they already had faced a certain batter or pitcher before the World Series. But it’s not all about one-on-one matchups. It’s about a team as a whole facing another team as a whole and trying their best to beat them without prior knowledge. It’s like a group of kids arguing against another group of kids that they are better at baseball than them. They aren’t going to ask each other what their weaknesses are; they are just going to play and find out for themselves. Interleague play ruins that in the World Series if these teams had already faced each other before.
Getting to See Players from the Other League
One of the arguments for Interleague play is to see the superstars that you normally wouldn’t be able to see. And that’s a valid argument. But one that only works on ticket sales. Nowadays, there’s the Internet, ESPN, MLB.tv, MLB Network, Extra Innings and probably a few more things that I’m forgetting. There are plenty of opportunities to see all the superstars, more so than say 20 years ago. I’ve already mentioned that this is the day of free agency and trades, so the chances of players switching leagues are greater now than ever before.
Astros in the American League 2013
Next year the Astros are going to move to the American League. Each league will have 15 teams and therefore, Interleague is not going to go away any time soon. It’s one of those things that I’m going to have to get used to in baseball. But just because it is in baseball, doesn’t mean I have to enjoy it.
So how do you feel about Interleague play? Like it, don’t like it? Leave a comment!