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Thursday, May 17, 2007

Interleague Play Draws Near: Command?

Good clean 8-1 win with Jorge Sosa pitching wonderfully nets the Mets the best record in the National League for the time being. The game started at roughly 10:10 and finished at just before 1am. Certainly sounds like a typical west coast start time for the Mets, but it was a home game delayed by rain instead.

Interleague play, Love it or hate it, seems like it's here to stay. There is a lot of debate about it's pluses and minuses, discussions about how unfair the scheduling is and about how it's an abomination. Another draw back was made apparent in tonight's Mets/Cubs game, one that actually affects the fans. With the extra 15-18 baseball games thrown in against the opposing league the Mets see teams like the Cubs and Cardinals who have long been rivals of the Mets, less. If the Cubs were returning to Shea, waiting out a 3-hour rain delay would've been less necessary and the game may have been canceled early and a make up scheduled. However that's not the case; the Cubs play their last game at Shea for the year(although I did pick the Mets over the Cubs in the NLCS, so they could still come back, just not in the regular season) later today and then fly back to Chicago. So the fans sit through a rain delay, the players sit through a rain delay, and the game is played late. The Mets did award anyone with tickets to yesterdays game a free ticket to the Minnesota series, which is nice but besides the point.

While I both like the idea of seeing the different teams, especially in cities where there aren't two teams like in New York, I personally think it might be a bit much. It ruins a certain flavor of the World Series match-ups too. The World Series is about the best team from each league, going head to head to see which is the best in the 'World'.(If Bobby Valentine got his way, they'd then go on to play the best team from Japan) Four times in the 10 year history of interleague play has the World Series featured two teams who played each other in the regular season; 1998, 1999, 2000, and 2006. It wasn't so much two teams pitted against each other as a rematch of a regular season series. The fans didn't get to ooo and ahhh at the opposing teams stars, as they'd already seen them.

That being said, I'll still enjoy this weekends games against the Yankees. I'll be at all three games, screaming at the Yankees and their fans. I've even got 6 extra tickets that I need to get rid of at cost for Sunday night's game. Hopefully I can find someone to take them and not be out that money. If you're interested, let me know.

One final thought; A lot was made about the American League's dominance over the National league in Interleague play and over Trevor Hoffman in the All-Star game. I would argue that the Cardinals came through when it mattered, and that's how you truly determine who's better. What else is the World Series for right? I think the Interleague games will be more split this year, and I predict the National League will finally win the All-Star game and home field, hopefully at Shea Stadium.

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