Posted at 9:51 AM on June 9, 2005
by Bob Collins
I have access to just about every Major League Baseball game on TV every night, but I usually don't watch games other than those I have a vested interest in. That is: a team I regularly follow or a matchup of players I own in fantasy baseball.
So interleague play, as it's developed, is not negated -- at least to me -- by familiarity. This point was brought home while watching the Padres play Cleveland last night.
I knew Khalil Greene was a heck of a player; mostly because it seemed a lot of guys wanted to draft him in an APBA league I used to run and I'd never heard of him. That was three years ago. But I never actually watched him play until the last two nights.
This was not the first spectacular play I've seen Greene turn this week. In the same game last night, he ranged behind third, in left field and still threw a guy out by several steps.
That's what interleague play should do. Now, I posited that theory today on a bulletin board and a colleague said, "but it reduces interleague play to an exhibition."
Baseball, by its very definition is an exhibition because it's an entertainment medium. All you have to do is look at the road attendance of teams relative to their winning percentage to see that the fans have said that.
Posted at 10:56 AM on June 9, 2005
by David Zingler
I am going to piggy back on Mr. Collins' latest entry. He hit the nail on the head. Sure, a Padres/Indians series hardly captures your imagination, but it does (as Bob pointed out) expose fans of each team to a new group of players. And thatís a good thing.
It's a shame fans in Minnesota have never gotten to see Barry Bonds and other National League stars of the past. Growing up, the archaic system didnít allow me the chance to watch many of the stars of the 1980s -- Pete Rose, Mike Schmidt, Dwight Gooden, Darryl Strawberry, Eric Davis, Andre Dawson, etc. -- in person. While Mr. Collins' generation missed out on Willie Mays, Hank Aaron, Roberto Clemente, etc.
Why? Well, I have yet to hear a good reason.
The Interleague bashing types or ďpuristsĒ need to get over themselves Ė post-haste. The Dodgers arenít in Brooklyn, hotdogs donít cost a quarter and a road trip out west doesnít mean a series in Kansas City anymore. The DH, I can see. Personally, I like it (probably because I grew up with it), but you can make a rational argument against it.
Their anti-Interleague stance however, is based on a romanticized, nostalgic view of their childhoods and the past in general. Being sentimental is nice, but I need logic.