Back in the day, circa 1996, the idea of having interleague play in baseball was exciting. All people could imagine was seeing rare matchups between city rivals and great World Series rematches. The White Sox heading to the north suburb to play the Cubs in Wrigley. You had the subway series with the Yankees and Mets, the Bay series with the A’s and Giants among many others. I was 15 years of age when MLB added the interleague play to the regular season in 1997, and I’ll be honest—I was excited at the time. It was thrilling to watch these teams that never played each other before battle it out during the season.

But things have changed. Baseball took a unique idea and went too far with it. Maybe it’s my new wisdom that you acquire as you get older, but I don’t like interleague play anymore. I find myself to be more old school lately. I think interleague play has worn out its welcome.

The thing that makes interleague play special is the rarity of the matchups you get from it. The problem with the current form of interleague play is you see the same four-five matchups every year and even twice a year! The Yankees and Mets have played every year since interleague began in ’97. How is that special anymore? It was a real event to see the Yankees and Mets meet up for the first time, but how about the 60th something game in 10 years? Not so much. I don’t know about you but I’m tired of seeing the Yankees-Mets. Same thing with the Cubs-White Sox. It’s not a story to see them play every year anymore. If you keep the games within your own league then it makes the World Series that much more special.

Another problem of many on the list of interleague play is that while the Yankees and Mets are having fun playing each other 50 times a year, you get those great Washington-Seattle, Kansas City-Arizona series. Nothing screams great historic rivalry like that Colorado-Tampa Bay matchup. Throw the records out when those two teams get together.

Look, I know the reasoning behind adding interleague play in the mid-90s, and I agreed with it. MLB needed help bringing excitement and ratings back into the sport after the ’94 strike. It worked—it doesn’t deserve all the credit since the historic McGwire/Sosa home run chase helped, but interleague played a big part in boosting the ratings after a low time in baseball. I don’t have a problem with that. But it doesn’t mean they can’t change it up now that the sport is popular as ever again.

How about adding some balance to the schedule? Why not go to a NFL-like schedule where teams will play one division from the other league one year and then switch to another division the next year? They need some kind of balance with no importance placed on certain teams or certain matchups. Or  just go old school and scrap the whole thing altogether.

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