Interleague play used to be great.
Now it’s just… there.
Disagree? Well, let’s try an experiment.
Who won the Reds-Yankees series last week?
If you answered “Reds” or “Yankees,” you got it wrong.
It was neither. They split two games at Great American Ball Park.
Yes, it was a two-game series. Did you know two-game series are a thing? Well, they generally weren’t until MLB had to start messing with the schedule to keep alive interleague play, a once-novel idea that has run its course.
Also, did you know the Reds-Yankees series was not last week? It was actually two weeks ago.
I know this because I looked it up.
That I couldn’t quite remember should tell you all you need to know about the current state of interleague play.
Hence why it’s not hard to conclude interleague play is not worth keeping around.
Was it worth trading in that second trip the Dodger Stadium in a year? Seeing Coors Field more than once a year?
How will Cincinnati media ever figure out what is going on in the outfield at the Marlins’ stadium (whatever it’s called) if they only get to spend three or four days in Miami?
These are burning questions left unanswered by the current state of affairs, one that comes to our attention as the Reds get ready to host the Cleveland Indians for a two-game series. Then the teams will head up I-71 and play two more times in Cleveland.
Yes, two more ridiculous two-game series.
What is the point of that, again? To make the intrastate series as unremarkable and hard to attend as possible?
As a friend of mine pointed out, Reds-Indians used to be a fun weekend in one city or the other. Some years, they played in both.
As a practical matter, it’s easier to travel between the cities (or from somewhere else various fans of either team might live) to take in what should be a big event on the weekends.
Aside from that, big series are meant for the weekend.
Which begs the question, is this no longer an important series?
And if it’s not, why is it being played?
If the geographical rivalries aren’t important… there’s really no point to keeping them alive.
And geographical rivalries are pretty much the only good thing going for interleague play as it enters its second decade.
By now, every club has been to every major-league city. All the classic World Series have been replayed a couple of times or more.
With the novelty of Reds-Yankees and Reds-As having worn off, I’d rather see NL West and NL East teams more.
Whatever Cincinnati gained from seeing the Indians every year, it lost in the old rivalry with the Dodgers, who still seem to instill more animosity in people from my dad’s generation than the Indians do in mine if that’s any indication of where things have gone.
I hear complaints about breaking up the monotony of the schedule — who wants to see the Brewers AGAIN??? — and I get that, but I’m not proposing more divisional games. I think the number of those played now is fine, but I also know familiarity breeds contempt.
Right now, there aren’t enough games against the teams from the other five divisions to be remarkable one way or another.
Let’s put interleague play back on the shelf.
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