5 Reasons To Get Rid of Interleague Play in MLB
Why Should Interleague Play Go Away?
It has been another interesting week of interleague play around MLB. We have seen each team play their rival for a series of four games, and it has led to some very different results than expected. We have reached a point where interleague play may have run its course and needs to be eliminated, though. I have five reasons why it is time to get rid of interleague action.
The novelty of it has worn out as it nears 20 years of age. I’m sure you will hear from Bud Selig about how great it has been for the game, and there is some truth to that, but there is always the fact that we are seeing declining attendance for these games and that’s not a good thing.
I know that we will be stuck with this until there is an even number of teams in each league because 15 teams in each league don’t work unless one team is off. I have a way to fix that as well. I’m sure, just like myself, that you are on the fence about certain aspects of interleague play. We have enjoyed it for a long time but there are just certain reasons to have it end after this season is over. Here are my five reasons why it is time to get rid of interleague play.
5. Balanced Schedule
The schedule is a point of conversation with a ton of people, and interleague play makes it even more unbalanced. MLB has done a nice job of making each team play the same division in interleague play, but the rivalry games could be against a different division and a team that is much better or worse than their opponents. It may be best to just get rid of interleague play entirely and go to a balanced schedule inside one’s own league. There would need to be two teams added or two subtracted to get an even number. How about a 150-game schedule with 10 games against each team's other 15 league members?
4. Causes Too Many Travel Headaches
This one is almost too obvious and would apply to one team in particular who gets the short end of the stick in the Seattle Mariners. When a team plays a lot of interleague games, they are forced fly all over the place, and a place like Seattle isn’t a 30-minute drive from another city. There is a road trip coming up for the Cubs after this weekend where they fly to Los Angeles for a two-game series with the Angels and then fly home again. What is the point of not having them stay out there for more games?
3. Fans Have Grown Tired of It
There are some cities where interleague play does work like in Chicago, New York and Los Angeles because they have two teams in the same city. The problem is that there are so many other matchups that have no value at all to most fans. I have seen a lot of empty seats around MLB during this “rivalry” week of interleague play. It looks to me that the fans don’t want to pay to see a team that they have no interest in seeing anymore. There should be quite a bit of discussion about this when the 2014 schedule is discussed.
2. Ruins World Series
The World Series used to be a sacred thing between two teams that didn’t see each other in the regular season. That aspect of the game has been ruined by interleague play because you can end up with your World Series matchup being during the regular season. It will never be the same while interleague play is around and that was one of the reasons why baseball was so special. You might as well just play every team in the other league each season.
1. No More Changing Rules
There is a certain point where the constant flip-flopping of the rules in the game has to stop. Baseball should either have everyone play with the designated hitter or have pitchers hit in both leagues. The game can’t have it both ways anymore. You see teams that have a dedicated player who is important to their lineup as the DH in the AL and when the team goes to one of the NL parks, that player is stuck on the bench. It is a real pain and must stop one way or another.