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Friday, May 20, 2005

THE MOST HORRIBLE TIME OF THE YEAR
I have grown to really hate interleague play. The novelty was kind of fun at first, but I've turned against it in recent years. To what degree? To the degree that if you told me the only way to get rid of interleague play was to forego my boycott of the apocryphal Star Wars III, I would gladly plop down my $10 to see George Lucas spend two hours spitting on my childhood.

My objections to interleague play are severalfold, so I'll just start somewhere and see where I end up.

For one, it makes a mockery of the schedule. I grew up with the two-division leagues, and it was good. Still, I understand the desire for three more geographically correct divisions. And if you have three divisions, you have to have a wild card team, since you want to assure that the best two teams make the playoffs, and also because it would be awkward to give a team a bye week.

But once you introduce the unbalanced schedule into the equation, the validity of the wild card is called into question, since not all teams are on equal footing; some teams will have easier schedules than others.

But I guess you can forgive this on the grounds that each division is its own entity, and so the wild card just comes out of those different entities. Okay. But that grants that each team in a division would have the same schedule -- which, with interleague and the stupid consistent rivalries and rotations, we lack in spades.

This just strikes me as poppycock.

Furthermore, I think interleague play diminishes the worth of the All Star Game (which was never all that much, anyway, to me), and to a small degree the World Series. The Red Sox and Cubs will play each other in interleague play this year. What?! Maybe I'm just being overtraditionalist, but I think the only time we should see such an apocalyptic match-up is in October.

Also, interleague play introduces silly nonexistent "rivalries." I'm sorry, but the Angels and the D-----s are not a rivalry. The Mariners and the Rockies are not a rivalry. And I'm sure the Mets are ecstatic that they have to play the Yankees every year, while their divisional rivals in Florida get to play the Devil Rays. What is this nonsense?

But I'm clearly in the minority, and as a result the Lads go into Los Angeles of Chavez Ravine tonight, where we will try to gain ground on our divisional opponents by beating a team that none of them will play this year. Oh well.

The pressing question: will Scott Erickson cure the Angel bats? And while I think DePo is a pretty sharp guy ... Scott Erickson? What? How is this man employed as a major league pitcher?

What scares me is that the Angel bats have spent this year acting as cures for journeyman pitchers. It's time to turn that around.

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