Interleague Fun!

May 21, 2010 | The Pulpit

AH, Interleague play is upon us once again. Yankees Vs. Mets-The Subway Series, Whitesox Vs. Cubs-The Windy City Series, Dodgers Vs. Angels-The Freeway Series, Cardinals Vs. Royals-The 1-70 Series, Rays Vs. Astros-The, ah, er, what, not sure, Rays blow out series vs. the worst team in the National League Series.

There are pluses and minuses to Interleague play, that is for sure, and critics galore on one side saying that the integrity of the game has been tampered with to, boy it’s awesome to be able to see players like Albert Pujols in places like Cleveland and Detroit on the other.

Going into the 14th year of Interleague play I believe that this has been a great innovation to the game. The ability of creating a little more juice for a long 162 game season is OK in my books. For the many years that I as a baseball fan dreamed of seeing now the Montreal Expos fared against the Blue Jays or Yankees finally came to fruition back in 1997.

Watching the Yankees host the Mets at Yankee stadium was one of the greatest thrills in The Sports Rabbi’s career, and the ticket stub from the game is seen above.

Remembering back to that night, Yankee Stadium was filled to capacity with the atmosphere of a Play-off game. The fans were all over the place to welcome (not a red carpet welcome I might add) the Mets to the “House that Ruth Built”.

The game itself for a Yankee fan was a 6-0 dud for the Mets. The hitting star for the Yankees that night was a catcher by the name of Joe Girardi going 3-4 and calling the game for yesterday’s Yankees starter, Andy Pettitte.

No one knew at the time but this would be a prelude to the Subway Series a few years later in 2000 as the two teams battled it out for the World Series Championship. And yes I was at two of those games also.

Added intensity to this year’s series is that fact that it may spell the end of Jerry Manuel as Mets manager, so the storylines are a  little thicker than usual for an Interleague Yankees Vs. Mets matchup in New York this weekend.

Those positives definitely outweigh the negatives of some of the less interesting series and fact that the American League pitchers have to bat at the National League parks which they are unaccustomed too.  The strength of schedule also comes into play just as it does in the NFL for some of the games, and this can be a disadvantage to some teams

For example the Cardinals get to tee off against the Royals for 6 games and some teams in one division won’t play the same opponents as another team in their own division because divisions don’t contain the same amount of teams. (i.e. the NL Central has 6 teams, the AL East has only 5 teams)

My brother, “The Doc” a die hard Montreal Expos fan has seen his fair share of Interleague games beginning with a hot and heavy Montreal Expos Vs. Toronto Blue Jays series. The ‘Spos took 2 out 3 games, including two 2-1 victories at the Sky Dome with Pedro Martinez besting Pat Hentgen followed by a Canada Day special with Jeff Juden taking down Roger Clemens.

The Doc also joined me for the Expos Vs. Yankees game on Sunday July 18, 1999. A game that he wished he wasn’t at. Why you ask? Well how about a 6-0 perfect game by David Cone caught by, you guessed it, Joe Girardi, current manager of the Yankees.

This game caused irreversible damage to The Doc and he could never root for the Yankees again. Though he was at the Yankees Game 4 World Series Clincher that same year against the Braves, wearing a Yankees hat I might add, he could never bring himself to root for them again and switched allegiances to the Red Sox, savoring in their 2 world Championships in the past decade.

That one Interleague game scarred him for life!

All in all the positives of Interleague play outweigh the negatives and in general are enjoyed by all the fans in attendance, er well maybe not all of them.

Thoughts from the Pulpit!

1) The Atlanta Braves are HOT, HOT HOT! 3 straight walk off wins this week including a 7 run 9th inning Vs the Reds, with Conrad Brooks topping it off with a grand slam that was almost caught by Laynce Nix. The win moved the Braves to a game over .500, 21-20 4.5 game behind division leader Philadelphia.

2) The Canadiens are HOT, HOT, HOT! The Habs win at home in front of over 20,000 rabid Montreal fans 5-1 http://sports.espn.go.com/nhl/recap?gameId=300520010 and now trail the Flyers 2-1 in the best of 7 series. Roman Hamrlik played a strong game along with Dominic Moore and Tom Pyatt who each added a goal and an assist. The crowd should be in a frenzy Saturday afternoon for game 4, which me being in Israel can watch Hockey Night in Canada!

3) Can Brett Favre please go away? Please? How will a College World Series game decide his future. This is crazy. Does he feel jealous that The NBA, NHL & MLB have been overshadowing the “Where is Brett Favre Going” story? http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/news/story?id=5205640 Brett really needs to get a life and quick. I can’t believe that he continuously needs to be on the front pages of the sports section. Well I should believe it, because he is Brett Favre.

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