Results tagged ‘ Interleague ’

Boring and Tame, Just Not the Same

Change and I don’t get along too well.  I remember when the Cardinals introduced the Sunday home game alternate cap — the navy blue one with the red bill and the profiled bird.  I couldn’t sleep for weeks.

WHY?!?!  WHY ARE THEY DOING THIS!?!?  WHAT IS WRONG WITH THE REGULAR CAP!?!?!

Things are better now; but living in Chicago, I became quite used to the kind of daily drama inherent in a city where Ozzie Guillen is employed.  Now, with him gone, life is just… boring?  I mean, Adam Dunn is hitting.  Jake Peavy is pitching.  The Cell hasn’t caught on fire.

What fun is that?

I miss the good old days — the days when the city stopped for the Crosstown Rivalry, the Windy City Classic.  I miss seeing Sweet Lou bump bellies with umpires, AJ Pierzynski gettin’ cold cocked by Michael Barrett, listening to drunk frat boys explain the infield fly rule to washed out bimbos while double-fisting $7 Old Styles.

Is nothing sacred anymore?!?!

Until I see Dale Sveum and Robin Ventura do a rap song about bad contracts, I’m gonna have to think not.

Happy Friday!

Jeff

The RSBS Podcast, Episode 23: Buster’s Broken Body… and Other Stuff

Click ME to Listen!!!

And so in this Podcast brought to you by Lifestyles

Jeff and Johanna join forces in what is secretly designed as an intervention for Allen and his anachronistic memory.  The three of them then launch into some raunchy debates over this young MLB season, including but not limited to double headers, home plate collisions, “offensive” t-shirts and much, much more… all to make you smile for berry berry long time!

Holla!

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Subscribe to the RSBS Podcast by clicking *HERE*

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*Special thanks to our PodMaster Keith Carmack. Make sure you take some time to check out Keith and his crew’s laugh-riot podcast. Follow him on Twitter to get the latest updates.  They’re doing some fantastic work!  You can find out more at Undercard Films.

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Recorded Saturday, May 28, 2011

The Filibuster

Do you agree with Jim Leyland that interleague play has run its course?

Daren
Somerville, NJ 

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LEYLAND_card Jim Leyland is a smart guy. He’s been in baseball since back when dinosaurs roamed the earth and he’s not afraid to speak his mind. So when Jim Leyland says “I think it’s had its purpose, and it’s probably, in some case, served its purpose. But it’s run its course,” me, I take notice.

And Leyland has a point. Interleague has gone beyond its original intent and occasionally constitutes more than 10% of a team’s schedule. This means that a team might end up playing 18 games against interleague opponents to the detriment of of the divisional schedule. Sure, this might be nice for the occasional fan who only comes out once or twice a year but it’s bad for the teams and for the division.

I don’t necessarily think that baseball should abolish interleague play but I do think they need to rethink how it is scheduled. Most importantly, it should be limited to a home and home series every year. It’s worth seeing the Mets and Yankees play. It’s fun putting the Cubs and White Sox up against each other. San Francisco and Oakland deserve the chance to earn bragging rights each year. But beyond that, enough is enough.

This presents a separate problem because the NL and AL don’t have the same number of teams. To that I propose two possible solutions. First, rotate two NL teams who won’t play interleague in a season. Or second, move an NL team to the AL. It’s been done before and wouldn’t be so bad.

Interleague play has helped revitalize baseball and there’s no denying that the parks are packed for rivalry series like the Cubs and White Sox. But in all the focus on Leyland’s interleague comments, a more important point may have been missed. Leyland also said, “at some point, we have to get baseball back to the same set of rules, and I don’t know why more people don’t talk about it. … I don’t care what they do. I just think that they should synchronize it. Whichever way they decide to go is fine with me.”

Here Leyland is specifically referring to the DH and the problems it creates during interleague play. And again, the man has a point.  For an AL team playing two consecutive road series against an NL team, the regular DH is either going to sit for a week or be forced to platoon with one of the regular starters to get some at-bats. Either way, it’s not an ideal situation and baseball needs to address it. Granted, limiting interleague play to one home and one away series a year would help solve the problem but it would be nice to see some consistency between the two leagues.

I can’t say that I agree one hundred percent with Leyland but I do think there’s merit to what he says and it bears consideration. As entertaining as interleague may be, when it affects divisional matchups and a team’s ability to compete, some reconsideration may be in order. Has interleague play run its course? Not necessarily. Does it need to be reconsidered? Definitely.

-A

Une Complainte Familiers

It’s interleague weekend, y’all.  According to King Bud, this is when I’m supposed to get excited about made-up rivalries with catchy names like the I-70 Series, the Ohio Cup and the Battle of the Beltway.

Um… no?

Battle of the Beltway?!?!?  STOP IT!  JUST STOP IT!

Don’t you know that every time you hark on some fantasy-driven nostaliga concerning the Washington Nationals, my Expos-missin’ heart suffers more unquantifiable pain?!?

That damn Molière was right: “You only die once, and it’s for such a long time.”

But let us not forget, dear readers.  Instead, let us continue to pour out our liquor, to writhe in sweet Youppi memories, to saver Denny Martinez pitching a perfect game in baby blue pajamas.

Hate me ‘cuz I don’t like change, just don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.

Peace,

Jeff

The Dog Days of June

interleague_logo.pngJune means two things: the heart of the blockbuster season in the nation’s movie theaters and interleague play in baseball. The big studios unleash their franchise players on a ravenous public while the American and National Leagues battle for supremacy. But, despite obvious cosmetic differences, the two things are not all that different.

By the time interleague play ends and the All-Star break rolls around, a lot of teams have already fallen out of contention. Does anyone really think that Cleveland is going to make a serious run at the pennant or that the Nationals are suddenly going to put it together and ride Stephen Strasburg into the World Series? Maybe they can play spoiler towards the end of the season but after you’ve passed interleague play, there’s not really much reason to watch them.

It’s kind of like the big blockbuster movies. Transformers II might not have much of a plot. Or a script. Or real acting. But it sure looks good on the big screen. Once it’s time has passed in the local cineplex, though, is there really any point to watching it? It’s not going to hang around for long. It’s there to make some money and get out.

And really that’s where we see the greatest similarity between the two. The money. Interleague play is a huge revenue generator for Major League Baseball. Mets and Yankees. Cubs and White Sox. Kansas City and…..well, maybe not KC. But there’s no doubt that MLB and the clubs are raking in the dough as a result of these matchups.

Just like the movie studios absolutely rake in the dough with their summer blockbusters. Sure, it costs a lot of money to make a new Spiderman movie but when it makes back twice as much as was spent, you can bet your *** they’re going to keep going back to the well on that one.

However, there’s one aspect of this whole thing that gives me some hope. Despite all the focus on the fanfare and hoopla surrounding the big releases and the marquee matchups, there are little things that slip through the cracks but go on to make all the difference. It can be a “My Big, Fat, Greek Wedding” that maneuvers around between the big boys and not only plays for awhile but also manages to make a lot of money and happily surprise people. Or it can be a so-so series that ends up having a much bigger impact later in the season. Do you really think that if the Yankees were to miss the playoffs by a game or two they won’t look back at that series with the Nationals and wonder what went wrong?

I guess that’s just one more reason why I love both baseball and movies. No matter how cynical I might become or how much I agonize over the state of the game or the state of the industry, there are always the little things that keep me coming back. Especially when it involves the Tigers.

-A

A Shameless Jab at My Loser Colleague

loser.jpgIt has been four long days since the Cardinals beat the Tigers in interleague play.  My uppity yet miraculously still a bit tolerable colleague, Mr. Krause, lost the bet he initiated and all the while we have yet to see this loser uphold his end of the deal.

We [me, dear readers galore and the RSBS interns] demand to see Al donning some variation of the birds on the bat very, very soon.

Let it be known…

…and don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.

Peace,

Jeff

Bedlam! Yay!

chicago theatre.jpgGet ready world, the Second City is about to take second stage (duh, the Cardinals and Tigers are playing) as Ozzie Guillen and his White Sox make their annual vomit inducing trip to that sacred dump on the Northside, Wrigley Field.  Emergency rooms from East Chicago to Oak Park, all the way up to Waukegan are expecting a full flow of the black and blued.

The only bad thing about this series is that it’s simply too short — and, for whatever lame reason (to curb unwanted drunken injuries perhaps?) the schedule puts chapter one of the 2009 Crosstown Classic on a Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday rather than stage the regular weekend raucous which often leads to… well, death.  Insatiable bloodsuckers like myself will have to find another way…

Still, this will be a memorable occasion.  Think Bob Probert with fangs versus Chris Chelios with brass knuckles, both of them drunk enough to do Phyllis Diller in a well lit room.  To celebrate the awesome combination of equally bitter/mediocre clubs sharing this fine city, we would like to continue what has become an RSBS tradition, with the sacred presentation of the worst rap song ever made:



“Black and blue, daz wha you gonna be!”

“Oh, yeah? It’s the Crosstown Ri-val-ry!”

No ball game — no matter how poorly played or mismanaged or lackadaisical — could be more embarrassing than that.

Don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.

Peace,

Jeff

*Remember, starting tonight, the Cardinals try to put an end to the blasphemy spewed by my Tiger-lovin’ colleague, Mr. Krause, and his incessant yet feeble attempts at revisionist history.  You had your Denny McLain, Mr. Krause.  We had our Wainwright.  Get over it. 

**Special shout-out to Tom Walsh from Rocky Mountain Way for taking the time to meet with me on Monday. Good times.  Post to come.

***Oh, and a special thank you to Sammy Sosa for making this Crosstown Classic buzz with juicy revelations!
 

The Filibuster

“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?”

– Jeff
                                                                                        

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.

 

-A

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