In the brief look we received at interleague play this weekend, the National League came out on top–barely–with a 22-20 record over the junior circuit. The fun won’ t pick up again until mid-June, but it will be intriguing to see if the NL actually wins one of these overall for the year considering their horrible track record in interleague play.

Two teams (Pirates and Braves) were vacant from the party due to the NL’s 16 teams to the AL’s 14 teams, but the Pirates missing out on interleague play is a good thing for the NL’s reputation.

Surprisingly, there was only one sweep this weekend as the A’s shut down the Giants in the rematch of the Bay Series. The Giants scored a total of one run in three games against Oakland. We knew the Giants offense wasn’t great, but where in the world did their production go? Only the Pirates and Astros have scored fewer runs than the Giants 175 runs, but they’ve scored just nine runs during their five-game losing streak with seven runs coming in one game. Everyone knows the Giants have the pitching to compete with anyone, but the bats will eventually be their downfall in competing all year.


While the rest of the league began interleague play last night, the Pirates and Braves are the only two teams not involved in the fun this weekend. That’s just fine with me because I’m not a fan of interleague these days.  Speaking of which, is it me or did interleague start early this year? Anyway ,I attended the only innerleague game last night to see Jason Heyward continue his assault on the league, more specifically the Pirates last night. I’m heading over to PNC Park for tonight’s game as well, but wanted to get a quick links post up first. So here we go…

Anytime interleague play gets going, sooner or later you start hearing the argument of “oh my god, why are pitchers hitting and getting injured!” Javier Vazquez was injured bunting, Brad Penny lands on the DL a night after ripping a grand slam, etc. Big deal, this game was meant to have pitchers hit. Get over it, American League. Big League Stew breaks down the recent argument today.

Astros pitcher Roy Oswalt has asked to be traded, and long time A’s third baseman Eric Chavez may retired after being put on the 60-day DL with back spasms. As MLB Trade Rumors points out, Oswalt’s big salary will most likely be tough to deal with teams looking for younger players these days, plus it’s no secret that Oswalt has had injury questions in recent years. Just because he said he would waive his no-trade clause doesn’t mean it’s a guarantee he would be traded. And Chavez is one of my favorite players last decade, mostly because he was a stud in fantasy baseball for me over the years, but a retirement is looking like the right call. He’s been injured on and off recently and just isn’t the same productive player he once was.

Yahoo Sports ran a ridiculous article yesterday on if the 2010 Rays can reach the 1998 Yankees record of 125 wins. Look, the Rays are obviously out to a great start at 30-12, but considering the notion that they could win 125 wins is insanity right now. It’s May 22 and we aren’t 50 games into the season. The Rays are good and will be battling for the division title all year, but they will cool off and not keep up their pace all year.

Is 2010 the year of the walk-off? There have been 61 walk-offs as of May 20 this year, which would put the league on pace for the most walk-offs in the past four years. The Braves have especially found some magic this year, leading the lead with six walk-off victories. put together a nice article on all the walk-off talk.

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.