Big League Gimmick?

May 23, 2011

Major League Baseball’s interleague has become a gimmick. Worse, it could be harmful to the game. 

I reached this conclusion after the Brewers had finished sweeping the visiting Colorado Rockies. The Crew has won 10 of 12. The Cards and Reds are in sight.  

That was little interest to my brother. He had taken my young nephew, Cam, to NYC for the Yankees-Mets Interleague series. It was a great idea. I told Kathleen we should take the kids on a similar trip. My I idea is Philly to DC – a little national history, a lot of baseball. This was a good opportunity for Bill to take Cam because he had changed jobs. The next vacation might be 12 months away. 

And, sure, the Subway Series is cool for those of us who grew up in Jersey. But I consider it more an exhibition.  

What interleague does do is disrupt and alter an MLB season. Interleague produces imbalanced competition. Consider the following.

Commissioner Selig had sought realignment since there had been 30 teams but 15 in each League. Adopting a plan for 16 (NL) and 14 (Al), clubs could be moved based upon regions, rivalries and other reasons business or competition.

After months of analysis, comment and debate only the Brewers moved. That was “realignment” baseball style. Instead we get unbalanced schedules and competition. Consider the following.

Yes, fans have seen the glamor series – Yanks-Mets, Sox-Cubs, Giants-A’s, Cards-Royals and Reds-Indians. But for every one of those match-ups MLB gave us White Sox-Dodgers, D-backs-Twins, Houston-Toronto, and Pirates-Tigers.

Yes, interleague play has teams like the Yanks, Red Sox and Giants coming to “foreign” markets, but this isn’t the NBA schedule when each city gets to see Kobi and LaBron. It’s more like seeing the Dead or the Stones.

And what about those glamor tours? Well, the Red Sox play interleague series against the Cubs, Brewer, Padres, Astros and Pirates. The Yankees play Mets, Cubs, Reds, Rockies and Brewers. The Rays get the Marlins and the NL Central clubs – Brewers, Astros, Reds and Cardinals. What?!

Its exhibition baseball or worse.

Too bad my brother went to the exhibition. He could have flown in from Denver and spent the weekend with us. I would have bought all the ticks to watch his Rockies get swept in a meaningful series.