Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Interleague Play: Is it Over Yet?

By Keith Antigiovanni

After what seems like a few months of interleague play in major league baseball I'm ready for intraleague play to begin. The two things I have finally concluded about this experiment is:

1) The American League is much better team for team, 22 games better thus far
2) There are two many interleague games (252), over 10% of all major league games.

Fortunately this year the West, Central and East teams were all matched against their interleague counterparts which made it easier to figure out when the games were on since most of the teams were in the same time zones. For anyone who follows minor league baseball all of these regional match-ups bring back memories of AAA baseball which is also regional.

The AL West vs the NL West conjures up images of the old Pacific Coast League when there teams up and down the West Coast teams in the PCL such as the Los Angeles Angels, San Francisco Seals, San Diego Padres, Oakland Oaks and Seattle Rainiers.

The AL Central vs the NL Central also brings back images of the old American Association (1902-1962, 1969-1997) which was the AAA league in the midwest that include the old Denver Bears, Minneapolis Millers, St. Paul Saints, Kansas City Blues, etc.

And finally the AL East vs the NL East brings back memories of the old majors and the eastern AAA league, the International League, when they were based in the east prior to expansion (1961). Of course there were no major league teams in Tampa Bay, Miami or Atlanta then but Toronto, Baltimore and Atlanta spent time as International League cities before they became major league towns.

The first few interleague series were interesting but the novelty has worn off and I'm eagerly awaiting the beginning of intraleague play again next week.

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