Interleague baseball is getting ready to start up in Major League Baseball, and I could care less.
Interleague play is when the American League teams and the National League teams play each other during the regular season. It wasn’t always this way, but after the 1994 players strike, MLB had to think of a way to generate interest in the sport again.
The first interleague game took place in 1997 when the Texas Rangers played the San Francisco Giants. Since then there have been modifications to the rules of interleague play, but they have kept with the idea ever since.
There are some good components to interleague play. When the Mets play the Yankees or the White Sox play the Cubs, there’s a regional rivalry. But not every interleague game has an intense rivalry attached to it. Most of them are pretty boring and they really have no connections historically or geographically.
In addition, by playing these interleague games that have no rivalry connections, you’re taking away from the intra-league games that are interesting.
Interleague play also reminds us of how each league has different rules. Nothing annoys me more in baseball than the DH rule. The rule itself is fine, but if you’re going to have it put it in both leagues and not just one. This holds especially true when there’s interleague play because American League pitchers have to take batting practice because they need to bat when they play a team in the National League.
There’s also an inequality of the schedule, since the National League has more teams (16) than the American League (14). Luckily this is going to be fixed next year when the Houston Astros switch from the National League Central to the American League West.
Most importantly, interleague play takes away the excitement from two teams facing each other for the first time in the World Series. It was unlike anything else in sports when the American League and National League teams would play each other for the first time all year in the World Series.
Now, MLB is trying to become like the NFL, and it’s just not going to work. They should try to be unique and keep things the way they were.
While I rant on about this, obviously nothing is going to change. Interleague play seems to be a big success in baseball so they aren’t going to get rid of it. Interleague play is here to stay – to our dismay.