Sunday, July 3, 2011

So Long Interleague Play

I don't want the summer moving by too quickly, but I was looking forward to the end of interleague play. I do like the games with Cleveland, and it doesn't really bother me that some years less-than-marquee teams like the Royals come to town. What stinks is the differences in rules. Once again the American League came out on top in interleague play. I believe the American League has better teams. I also believe Detroit manager Jim Leyland has this thing backwards. Let me say up front, Leyland has more baseball knowledge in his cigarette smoke than I have in my entire body. Leyland claims the National League has the advantage in interleague play because American League pitchers do not normally hit in games. He thinks the hitting and bunting ability of N.L. pitchers outweighs the fact that Amaerican League teams have hired offensive machines known as designated hitters. What kind of a luxury is it to have David Ortiz, Jim Thome, or the Tigers' Victor Martinez? The Tigers can afford to save Martinez the rigors of squatting behind the plate every day because they can still get his bat in the lineup every day as a DH. National League teams can rarely afford to carry one-dimensional players on the roster. How nice would it have been for the Reds to have Yonder Alonso taking hacks as a designated hitter during interleague play? It seems the main reason Alonso isn't around for such duty is because he needs to find a position he can play at the major league level. It may not be a huge advantage for the A.L. teams, but it is a bigger advantage than Bronson Arroyo laying down a sacrifice bunt. I do agree with Leyland that the fairest way to solve this issue is to keep the leagues separate during the regular season.

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