I feel like I’m living in a broken record. Only a month or so ago, I was fretting about Jake Peavy’s return from the DL. Well, what am I doing now?
Today, Peavy will make his first start since a slightly-shorter stint on the DL, this time due a groin injury. I know this injury wasn’t major, but I still hold my breath every time Peavy steps on the mound. It’s like he’s made of porcelain or something. Hopefully, he’ll be able to make it through tonight without more than a bug bite, and lead the Sox to their 16th straight interleague series win. SIXTEENTH STRAIGHT. I think that’s worth noting. If only we could just move to the National League full time.
As I’ve mentioned before, one of the reasons that I love Mark Buehrle so much is because of all of the strange distinctions he holds. He’s the first pitcher in World Series history to start and save consecutive games. He is one of only two pitchers in history who allowed seven runs in the first inning yet went on to win the game. (The other was Jack Powell in 1900.) And now, for the record books, Mark Buehrle has become the all-time winningest interleague pitcher, with 24 wins acquired during interleague play.
I know, I know, I am clearly on the record as a hater of interleague play. But this distinction is yet another quirky facet to Buehrle’s already unusual resume. Now I can tell my kids that as a teenager, my favorite player was not Albert Pujols or Derek Jeter, no way. Nope, it was Mark Buehrle, who topped the likes of Jamie Moyer and Freddy Garcia to become the winningest pitcher in a stupid period of baseball history known as interleague play.
Has a lovely ring to it, don’t you think?
Oh, and I finally decided to take advantage of this WordPress conversion by replacing the MLBlogs theme with one of the WordPress themes. What do you think of my new look? Tell me in the comments; I look forward to hearing your thoughts.
This weekend, interleague play kicks off, pitting the NL versus the AL. Recently, Rays manager Joe Maddon has argued against interleague play, saying, “I don’t know that it’s interesting anymore.” Jim Leyland has also spoken out, telling the Grand Rapids Press that “It certainly was a brilliant idea to start with—it was a tremendous idea—but it has run its course.”
When it comes to this matter, I’m on their side.
Interleague play is good in three cities: New York, Chicago, and Los Angeles. In those two-team towns, it is fun to see one play the other. There is a tinge of rivalry. Neighbors can joke with each other. It creates a bit of excitement within the local media–and for once, it’s excitement for a positive reason. But for the rest of the twenty-four teams in the major leagues, it’s more of a stupid novelty act. There is no rivalry between the Rays and the Marlins. Neighbors aren’t going to start friendly banter over the White Sox and the Dodgers.
I would probably be more in favor of interleague play under one scenario: if pitchers batted in both leagues. With the DH, the American League and the National League are simply playing two different games. One values power and offense, the other emphasizes strategy and a strong defense. It is simply bizarre to ask a team mid-season, while some are still working out the rough patches, to alter its plans for a couple of weeks so that the three Red Sox fans in Houston get to see their team play in person.
I read this comment regarding an MLB.com article that was discussing interleague play: “There should not be interleague play. If you want to play the other league, get to the World Series.” Perfectly said. Now let’s ship Maddon, Leyland, and Anonymous Commenter out to Selig’s offices and get him to do something right before his tenure is over.
What’s that, Bud? Oh, you’re largely incompetent and typically don’t make good decisions? Well, we all knew that. But why don’t you try, just this one time.