Friday, May 13, 2011

Sort of Defending Interleague Play

I came across this piece over at the Yahoo Tiger page. It’s written by a Tiger fan that doesn’t like interleague games because the Tigers lack an interleague rival. Now I know that many folks, mainly the so-called “purists”, don’t like AL/NL matchups during the regular season for many reasons I don’t necessarily agree with, but I can understand. It cheapens the playoffs. It’s an unbalanced, unfair schedule for some teams. AL pitchers, not used to hitting, may get hurt. That’s fine. But not liking it because you don’t think your team has an out-of-league rival? That’s just silly to me.

Before I get into this, personally I really don’t mind interleague. I could really care less one way or another if we play NL teams during the year or not. I guess I like it since we get the chance to see teams/ballparks/players that we’re not used to seeing play the Tigers. But I’m not going to get all uppity about the idea one way or another.

I’m not Bob Costas. Or this guy…

Personally, I find myself one of the many baseball fans who think interleague play is a relatively useless commodity.

Many? In every article I’ve read on the subject, attendance is generally up over average in ballparks during interleague play. People seem to enjoy it.

Season after season, we sit through meaningless games,

Holy shit, the games don’t count? Does Bud Selig know this?

just to allow the National League an opportunity to use the Designated Hitter.

Yeah that’s why they do it. Or how about these reasons?

-It allows for a rematch from the previous year’s World Series. That’s fun and baseball has done this in nine of the fourteen years of interleague play. Hopefully, they make this a given yearly activity.

-It creates matchups that no one has seen in decades. In ’04 the Giants and Red Sox played for the first time since the 1912 World Series. During the same year, the Yankees and Dodgers played each other for the first time since the 1981 Fall Classic. Hate to use them again, but in ’05 the Sawx played in Wrigley Field for the first time ever. There’s all sorts of interesting possibilities.

-Fans might get a once in a lifetime chance to see superstars from outside the league that under the old rules wouldn’t be playing in their park. For us, that might be a guy like Albert Pujols, who everyone should get to see play at least once.

-Fans might get to have a reunion with a popular player or coach that has moved on. Say if we played Washington and got to see Pudge again. Or a better example, this year, when Arizona comes and we get to see Armando Galarraga, Kirk Gibson, and Alan Trammell.

-The bump in attendance that I mentioned.

But no. Go with your silly attempt at humor with the DH thing. Sigh.

It ranks at about the same level as taking the homely girl to prom just to avoid going stag.

I didn’t like the movie “Showgirls”. Watching that was like watching a squirrel being hit by a car.

That didn’t make sense did it? Yeah, neither did comparing interleague to asking out a fat chick.

For the Detroit Tigers, interleague play becomes even more ridiculous, as there is not a true interleague rival.

What is so important about having a rival? Does it matter at all? It certainly doesn’t in the standings.

I blame this shit on ESPN and their ridiculous overblown coverage of the stupid Yankees and Red Sox every year. No one gives a fuck outside of the Bronx or New England about Bucky Dent, Aaron Boone, or their nauseating yearly “our fanbase is more annoying than your fanbase” pissing contest. And those people are mouth-breathing piles of dog waste anyway.

Rivalries are about divisions. Not leagues. And those shoved-down-your-throat Yanks/Sawx games count just as much as Yanks/Blue Jays or Sawx/Rays do.

Some say St. Louis and Chicago are close, but their

“They’re”, not “their”. No editing at Yahoo, I see. (Sorry, the proper usage of "there", "their", and "they're" is a big pet peeve of mine.  I would end a marriage over it.)

only considered because of the World Series history the

“They”, not “the”. Work with me, dude.

share. Locally, there isn't a team close enough, without already having a rival of their own.

Why does a team have to be close to be a rival? I don’t get that.

“I love my team. But those pricks an hour up the road? BASTARDS! Godless bastards, I tell you!”

Makes no sense. For the record, we get the Rockies every year as our rival because of the Red Wings/Avalanche stuff from a decade or so ago. They can’t all be winners, I guess.

For me, it would be St. Louis, if I had my choice. I think the World Series history is the ONLY good way to decide an interleague rival, if you insist on doing so. I’m sure there’s plenty of bitter old farts in Missouri still pissed about 1968. I know that after 2006, every time I see David Eckstein, Jeff Weaver, or Tony LaRussa, I pray to my dark lord Satan that one of them gets a messed up disease. Like shingles.

BTW…thanks, Satan. Your Party Host loves you.

Chicago vs. Chicago is a given, as is New York vs. New York.

Same city…BOOOOOOOOOOOO! Dumb.

Cleveland has Cincinnati. Kansas City and St. Louis are locked.

Same state…BOOOOOOOOOOOO! Dumber. Do Indian fans really hate Red fans? I live in Toledo and have never heard of this. You’d think I would have being surrounded by brain dead Tribe fans half the time.

That only leaves Pittsburgh and Philly in the mix and, honestly, there has, and never will be, a rivalry with either of them.

Milwaukee’s closer to Detroit than Philly, right? Not that it matters. And neither does interleague having to be about a stupid rivalry. We have to play the Angels every year. Is there any kind of rivalry there to get all worked up about other than them being pissed for taking Fernando Rodney off our hands as a free agent?

Looking at the 2011 interleague schedule, Detroit begins with a three-game set at Pittsburgh in May. This is followed by a two-week run in June against the Rockies, Dodgers, Diamondbacks and Mets. None of these teams offer anything close to a rivalry, except that Detroit and Arizona have a tendency to continuously swap players (i.e. Max Scherzer, Edwin Jackson, Dontrelle Willis).

Let the rivalry argument go, junior. There are no major interleague rivalries for 90% of the teams. That’s not what it’s about. And the Arizona series has Galarraga looking for redemption after Dave Dombrowski showed no faith in him. It has Gibby and Trammell coming home to see Sparky’s number retired. Geez, for that alone, I think it’s the most intriguing regular season series of the year.

Thank you, interleague!

I’m going to skip past random Tiger interleague stats he goes into here, some of which have to do with long-gone players like Ivan Rodriguez and Dean Palmer, for no reason. They have nothing to do with the rest of this article except for this last one.

The Tigers posted an interleague best 13-2 record in 2006, including sweeps of the Cubs, Cardinals and Astros.

Oh. Really. So these “meaningless” games, as you called them, are one of the biggest reasons we made the playoffs in ’06 and got to go to the World Series?

Thank you, interleague!

As a diehard Tigers fan, I love watching the games. I also hate the fact that, as far as interleague goes, they're meaningless.

They count just as much as games against the fucking Mariners and A’s do, you twat.

I would much rather watch an extra four games against the division rivals, which mean something.

Yeah. God knows we don’t have to sit through enough games against the fucking Royals the way it is.

For now, we're stuck with interleague play. Until it changes, we'll keep on rooting for Detroit, through good and bad plays, outstanding performances and championships to come.

If only Lansing had a team, interleague would rule! Or maybe BATTLE CREEK!

I hate everyone on the internet other than me…


Andre in Chi said...

This guy must be a die-hard fan.

Tigers Interleague record (reg season in para):

2006: 15-3 (95-67)

2007: 14-4 (88-74)

2008: 13-5 (74-88)

2009: 10-8 (86-77)

2010: 11-7 (81-81)

That makes for an interleague win% of .70 vs reg season win% of .52. So, like I said, this dude must follow the Tigers religiously. I bet he loves Don Kelly.

Jay Hathaway said...

I agree 100% about the Cardinals and all players from that 2006 team. Little known fact here, but I noticed that a very short time after the '06 series, the FBI released its "Most Dangerous Cities" list, a ranking in which Detroit was the defending champ. But who comes along and unseats us from being King Shit of Murder Mountain? St. fucking Louis. I get mad every time I see an ACTUAL cardinal tweeting (the sound, not the social networking) around some tree, which is ironic, as I also lived in Toledo (downtown!), within the state of Ohio, which claims the cardinal as its state bird.

Paul said...


How could you??? You said, "could care less", when the actual expression is "couldn't care less"!!! One more grammatical guffaw like this and you'll have to stay after class and look at photos of Don Kelly!!

That being said, I agree with your take on the whole inter-league play deal. That clown from Yahoo needs to have his computer taken away.

Keep up the terrific work - We still need to get you a network deal!!