“As interleague play begins, what made-up rivalry do you find the most interesting? The I-5 series? The I-70 series? The ‘I-don’t-really-care’ series?”
You know, as crazy as it seems, the best interleague series this year and the one that everyone should (yet no one will) pay attention to, is the so-called “Sunshine Series.” Granted, this one isn’t happening this weekend and might not be relevant by the time it rolls around. A lot could change by June. But, if everything holds relatively constant, will there be a better interleague series than Florida-Tampa Bay? On top of that, the two teams have to be a couple of the best stories in baseball this year.
However, for this weekend and the opening of interleague play, the decision is a little harder. Detroit – Arizona? The Yankees and Mets playing for the heart and soul of NYC? The Dodgers and Angels pretending that LA actually has a soul to play for? I mean, I hate to have to say it, but the Cards and Rays might actually be the best matchup of this weekend. At least both teams are actually playing well.
I mean, I guess if you ask which rivalries I find most interesting, I’d have to say any of the intra-city series. There, the fans of the teams live in such close proximity and intermingle frequently that it adds a nice tension to the matchup. Even though the Yankees and Mets are sucking this season, the Subway Series is still going to be a huge draw. And with the payrolls that the teams boast, it’s almost like an All-Star game in and of itself.
The best discussion I’ve read so far of interleague play comes from Jeff Passan at Yahoo! Sports. And honestly, I can’t really say anything here that he hasn’t already said better. So, I guess that’s what I’ve got for you for right now. Interleague play is such a weird hybrid to begin with that it’s hard to make straight up value judgement on what series are best. First, you have to get past any personal issues you might have with the idea in and of itself and then you can go from there. And that’s what I have to say about that.