By: Kurt Snyder
When Major League baseball began allowing both leagues the opportunity to play each other during the regular season, I didn’t mind the idea.
It was a good break from the monotony of the unbalanced schedule (which I hated, by the way). For a couple weeks during the season, it was a nice change of pace to play someone different, see your team in a ballpark you were not used to seeing them play in, against teams you maybe didn’t know much about from the National League.
But they started something in 2013 that made interleague baseball more of an interference. It was fine when the Tigers would play, say for instance, the Pirates, in June. But they started sprinkling these series throughout the entire schedule, which really started to interfere with pennant races.
I had a reader comment on my 5 things that I would do to improve Major League Baseball if I were Commissioner for a day. He made me realize I should have had 6. So here is number 6:
6 – Open interleague play in May, finish it by July. Or get rid of it altogether.
If we can’t get interleague play done within the first 4 months of the season, then do away with it. I agree with the reader. Major League Baseball used to be unique in relation to the rest of the major sports as league schedules (American & National) stayed separate until 2 teams, who hadn’t met each other all season, met in the World Series. It was something unique, it was uniquely baseball.
In 2013, we started seeing AL pitchers, in the middle of pennant races having to worry about batting again and running bases again, when what they really needed was to just focus on pitching.
So Mr. Commissioner, if you are still listening, interleague play was supposed to spice up the schedule, not screw up the races. Fix it. Because someday, the Tigers playing the Miami Marlins the last series of the year may become more impactful than you had hoped.