We fans of Interleague play should really like the 2013 Major League Baseball schedule. Because of the Houston Astros’ move to the American League, Major League Baseball will have six divisions of five teams each. This means that each league will have 15 teams and, therefore, we will see at least one Interleague series throughout the entire season.
The Astros have moved to the A.L. West to even out all six Major League divisions at five teams each. This move makes perfect sense. It made no sense to have four divisions of five teams, one of six, and one of four. I thought this balance should have occurred when the Rays and Diamondbacks joined the leagues, forcing the Tigers to move to the A.L. Central and the Brewers to change leagues and land in the six-team N.L. Central just one year after Interleague play began.
The holdup was that MLB would have to have Interleague play all season long rather than as a special deal in May and June. I see nothing wrong with that. The other major sports do it. NFL teams do not even play every team in the same conference, yet they play four Inter-conference games. NBA teams play every team in the other conference twice. I have never heard anyone complain about these schedules – maybe because that is how the other sports always did it whereas baseball’s Interleague schedule is relatively new.
I can understand and agree with opponents’ claims that teams should play much more within their own division at the end of the season when the division titles are on the line the most. We will still have that mainly. For example, the Yankees will play most of their September schedule (18 of 27 games) against the Orioles, Red Sox, Blue Jays, and Rays. They do play the N.L. West San Francisco Giants from September 20-22, but that is the only Interleague series they will have in September. The Cubs will still have 20 of their 27 September games against their own division and no Interleague games. Even the new American League West Astros will play 14 of 27 September games within their new division.
I especially do not like hearing the players complain about Interleague play. With the salaries they make, they should willingly play any schedule thrown at them without complaint.
I like Interleague play. It gives us chances to see matchups that we do get to see very often. I am glad to see the sensible change. So what if it is more of a business decision. Baseball is a business and needs to find ways to make money just as any other business does. After a while, we will hardly recognize it much anyway.
Major League Baseball; Yankees, Cubs, and Astros 2013 schedules (Linked Above) from official team sites.
Raymond became a baseball fan at a very young age. He played baseball through high school and soon after became a varsity coach. Raymond previously produced radio sports talk shows and hosted a weekly MLB radio call-in show. His favorite teams are the Chicago Cubs and New York Yankees. Follow Raymond on Twitter @RayBureau