Thursday, May 17, 2007

Interleague Played Out

Hazel May said, about the upcoming interleague games, that "baseball purists were horrified" when the idea became a reality a decade ago. Of course, she was implying that those people were cra-a-a-a-zy, and now ev-v-v-erybody knows how wonderful interleague play is, and it's just another part of daily life, like the sun coming up or George Bush saying thing that make no sense.

Call me what you will, HazMay, but I still think teams from leagues which play by different rules shouldn't play in the middle of the season. In fact, I'd go so far as to say it's ridiculous. It messes everybody up. Suddenly, you're taking a guy out of your lineup so a pitcher can be an automatic out in your lineup. When this started, the AL should've said to the NL, "Yeah, we'll do that...if you wanna play by our rules."

But we all know interleague play isn't done because the fans love it so (I'm convinced MLB's market research people are asking fans "Do you think interleague play is totally rad or intensely extreme?" and then going back to HQ: "Looks like everybody loves it, boss..."), or to spice things up, or to let the Mariners play their "natural rivals," the, uh, what's that other team in the Pacific Northwest? No, this has always been done for one reason. I'd spell it out for you, but I don't know how to spell "$." I think it's just spelled "$."

Where does this money come from? Okay, there's a little extra revenue from people going to interleague games in general--it is something a little different. Like how I don't necessarily want to root for Barry Bonds, yet I made sure to get tickets for when the Giants come to Fenway. But where they're really trying to cash in with this idea is New York.

Yankees-Mets is the reason this exists. I hate that they make the rest of the teams go through this charade, when it's all done for New York. And that brings me to my next point: Once again, the Yankees are in an early-season slump. And once again, who comes knockin' on their door? The Mets. The one team that the Yanks always know they can beat. The team that's so deathly afraid of the Yanks, it will almost inevitably turn to schoolchildren at the sight of pinstripes. The team whose own network stays neutral, as not to alienate the fans of their crosstown rival. The team who has such a complex about being New York's "other" team, they don't know if they should imitate the Yanks' every move, or run screaming in the other direction. Mets fans, it's not your fault. I hope and pray every day your team takes over that city once and for all, but they never seem to come close.

And even if the Yanks go back to their losing ways, they need not worry, there'll always be that second Mets series to pump them up again.

Meanwhile, we're stuck playing the Braves, often twice, while the Yanks always get to face the team they own twice. There are a few other areas with two teams, that get a chance to get all amped up for a series, but most of us are stuck playing "just another game."

So, Mets, for the millionth consecutive season, it seems, I ask you, please, bring your A-effin'-game. Do not let any of the following people near the park this weekend: Bobby Valentine. Billy Wagner. Timo Perez. And take a look at the newspapers before the series starts, eh? Don't assume certain guys just "always" beat you. While you're cowering at the sight of Bobby Abreu, we're all sitting at home going, "He's hitting .236, blow it by him!"

So it'll be the same old thing: Sterling will say, "Suzyn, you can't say this series is a must-win, I mean, there's a lotta season left. But this is as close as it gets." Usually when he says that crap, the Yanks will win by some ridiculous error or catcher's interference or a bloop hit or a single to where the fielder was until he went to cover the bag, and they stay alive just enough to stay in the race. This time, how about the Mets just sweep 'em? And we go up by double digits? We're gonna do our part. Mets, do yours. We'll see you in October.

Mets records v NYY:

2006: 3-3
2005: 3-3
2004: 4-2
Regardless of the actual merits of interleague play you would have a hard time showing that it hurts the Sox more than the Yankees. In the past 3 years Boston has gone 37-17 (last year it was 16-2), and NY was 31-23. Dunbar's record was closer to their overall record and ours was usually much better. Plus, in the cross-town NY match-up, the yanks went 3-3, 3-3, and 2-4.

MLB might be standing behind the interleague because the NY intracity thing is a money-maker (as are those in other cities), but it hasn't been as good to the Yanks as it seems.
There are so many reasons to hate interleague. Not least of which: I miss the AL Central!

Does Bud Selig ever get anything right? No. He does not.
In 10 seasons, the Mets have had a winning record against the Yanks one time. You both conveniently stopped at '04--in '03, the Mets went 0-6 against them. The point is the Yanks have two extra series' that they're automatically "up" for, and look at their overall record against that team: 22-32, plus 1-4 in that Timo World Series. The Mets have kept even with them in these last three years, but even when things go well, they seem to blow it, like the Billy Wagner game last year. Or the year before, the Mets win the first two, and blow a three run lead, giving up the final two in the ninth, all thanks to walks and balks galore, keeping the Yanks alive by the skin of their teeth in the division at the time.

I didn't just make this up to get a rise out of people.

The Sox have done well in interleague play lately, doesn't mean I like it any more--and note how we did better when we were finally not made to play the Braves so much!

So we're 20 games over .500 in the last three years, making us 11 over all-time, which shows how bad we were doing before that, in other words, back when we'd play the Braves twice a year. The Braves went 16-8 against us in years we had to play them twice.
I stopped when I did because if I went back any further, you'd find at most a small handful of roster carryover.

So, claiming the Yankees own the Mets by pointing to anything much before that is sort of like when people would say a Red Sox team was destined to blow a game/ season because the guys in 78 and 86 did.

I don't think you made it up, I just think you have a complex about the Yankees.

I don't like interleague play because it cheapens the World Series. That said, it's not too many games and it's fun to see the odd matchups.
I was glad Don and Jerry basically said what I said about this issue during tonight's game, after Selig was safely out of the booth.
The difference is, I always trust the Red Sox are gonna give their all against the Yanks, whereas the Mets, always being a little brother, have yet to show they can be trusted.

Since they don't play in the same division, you have to compare them head-to-head, and they've beaten them over a season once. The Sox beat the Yanks in head to head and division races plenty of times during the, you know, bad years.

Besides, Jeter's been on the Yanks for all these series, and other dudes have been playing for them for a lot more than three years. And Torre.

Again, I still say the Yanks have 6 extra "up" games. The Mets' division opponents can complain about them getting those games, too. Except the Mets lose them most of the time!
So you're saying maybe the Yanks were our big brother, and so we needed a little brother, so that's the Mets. Or maybe I'M the shepard, the Mets are the weak, and the Yanks are the tyranny of evil men. Or something. I'm tryin' real hard, Ringo....
So was it you or Mighty Quinn that was looking on the other one's paper? You guys wrote verrrry similar posts about was creepy reading them in succession. I was like, "Hey, that's Jere. Again. But wait, this isn't Jere's house...weird."
I wanted to say a quick hi to BS Mem. Miss your blog!
First off, I just want to say how great it is to see BSM posting here again. Now we just need to get him back to writing his blog instead of hanging out all day in the 'Your Favorite Band Sucks' forum on SoSH...not that I don't enjoy your posts in the 'Lost' thread.

Second...I really hate interleague play, primarily for the reason BSM cites: It really cheapens the World Series when the two teams are often familiar with each other. I said this to Peter Ueberroth back in the late-'80s when he spoke at my school, but obviously MLB doesn't care about what folks like me think. And L-Girl cites the other big problem: anybody notice that we barely seem to play the AL Central and West anymore?!? Cut back on the intra-division games a little...we really don't need to play everybody in the East 18 or 19 times....and get rid of Interleague.

I do agree with Jere that Interleague still exists largely because of Mets/Yanks, and to a much lesser degree Cubs/ChiSox, Dodger/Angels and Giants/A's. But that's it...the rest of the matchups are ridiculous, and it's really dumb that we have to play the Braves EVERY year for the 12 people left who remember when they were in Boston.

But I disagree w/Jere that the Yankee players automatically get 'up' for the Mets series. I think that normally they really don't care much, and I think that this year in particular, already stuck in a 9.5 game hole and having to play the Sox and Angels next, that they really want no part of what they know is a very good Met team...I think they'd vastly prefer to be playing the Royals this weekend.

But yeah, one of the frustrations of the late '90's/early '00's was how the Yanks would get 6 games w/the Mets while we got stuck with the Braves...and then Steinbrenner would go and whine about how interleague was unfair to them! But I think times have changed a lot, Ringo...
Billy Wagner Faltering on a Saturday, was the "Brain(Dead)child" of Rick Peterson & his need to experiment:

He often experimented with leaving in a Sore-Armed Aaron Heilman;

Really F------ Brilliant!
This will NOT be the Yankees Year, because it'll be 1965 to them, as they're playing like that year, as I remember them.
If MLB is going to keep playing inter-league play. The only fair thing to do would be to have both teams (no matter where they are playing, NL park/Al park) use the DH. It's the only fair thing. The NL is so weak because of the more tradional way they play with the pitcher batting. All the NL teams would benefit from having the DH.

Who the hell wants to watch the pitcher get up to bat, swing 3 times and sit down? Accept for Bronson!
Matty, re Quinn: GMTA.

re BSM: I wouldn't say he's "comenting here again," more like "waiting for Jere to say something stupid and calling him out on it." I'd like to see the more affable '05-ish BSM start commenting here again. But he's kind of like Vincent from the video store--you can't attempt to go get him, he may shut you out. It's best to leave the booze and the cigs at his door let him come to you. Like a kitty cat.

All these are valid reasons why interleague is dumb. So it's agreed. We all hate it. Yet, "fans" "love" it.

I was thinking how when your boy/girlfriend says something, and you think, Wow, we males and females really see the world completely different. And I thought how dating/marriage is like the "interleague play" of life, since we play by different rules. But then I thought, Well, that's not really fair to gay people. And THEN I thought, What a great euphemism that is for homosexuality that is:

"Hey, would your friend Bill be interested in going out with my friend Suzy?"

"Bill? Actually, he's gay."

"Oh. Not a fan of interleague play, eh?"

So, by not liking interleague play, we're supporting the gay community, which is good.
AJM- what's your handle on SoSH?
One thing about the SNY:

@ least they can be OBJECTIVE;

YES treats fans as if they are mere FOOLS & have to have PROPAGANDA spoon-fed to them.
Just for the record, I started back at one of the restaurants in my old company yesterday, checked your blog today mid-afternoon, then met one of the servers at said restaurant tonight who I hadn't met yesterday. He had a ring on his left ring finger, so I asked him how long he'd been married, and he said, "Married? I'm not married, I'm gay. I just like this ring..." And I, of course, said, "Oh...Not a fan of interleague play. eh?" And he said, "What?" Because, you know, gay guys hate sports...

Or, as Faracito says, "I'm jus' keeding!" That story never happened. But I hope it does, because that would be a great story. Ok, I'm gonna go to bed now.

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