Baseball’s Idea Of Inbreeding

Call me old school, but I’m not a fan of interleague play. While it’s cool to see teams that one might not get a chance to peep outside of October, I just have a hard time getting excited about K.C. playing The Rockies or some of the other “geographical rivalries,” that the geniuses in the MLB office have concocted. With the wild-card playoff format, I’d rather see the Mets for instance, play against other out-of-division, NL teams, who they might be contending with for a back-end shot at the playoffs. It just seems to make more sense in the scheme of things, particularly since having to play six games against the Yanks, puts the Mets at a distinct disadvantage, next to The Cubs for instance, who get the call against their cross-town rival or SF, who get Oaktown six times. I understand that there’s some money to be made at the box office by scheduling teams to play against those in the other league that are close in proximity. Would those gate receipts eclipse the take at games against historical rivals, who’s games might have serious consequence to their playoffs hopes?

Division realignment and the unbalanced schedule really took the steam out of the rivalries that I grew up with. Lets breath new life into those, instead of trying to create new rivalries out of thin air. In my early years as a Mets fan, I grew up hearing about the black cat that cursed the Cubbies in ’69 and ultimately helped those Amazin’s go on to their first world championship. It’s one of those classic moments that you’ll see aired over and over on SNY, when they’re talking Mets history. Poor Ron Santo… In 1984, it was the North-siders who got the long end of the stick in the standings, over an upstart Mets team. I was at Shea for some heated games during that season, fans of both stripes verbally abusing one another like Sweet Lou used to do to umps. Of course the St. Louis Cardinals were the Mets true rival during the 80’s, doing battle in some of the greatest regular season duels in my memory. God how we Mets fans hated Whitey and his team of wild running rabbits. Our hatred was only eclipsed by the genuine animosity the two teams felt. Now the two teams only face each other six times a season and I would imagine younger fans might not even be aware that a such a bitter rivalry existed.

Marlins skipper Fredi Gonzalez said exactly what I’m thinking. The novelty has worn off. Experiment time is done. Lets have a return to a more balanced schedule and the real rivalries that older fans long to see.

On that note, I’ll add that this hypocrite will be attending the Mets vs. Yanks game tonight at Citifield. Mike Pelfrey on the mound against Phil Hughes. If I were a betting man (that had money to bet) I’d take Hughes. While the injury hampered Yanks have half of their AAA Scranton lineup out there, they should still beat the Mets, whose bats have just looked awful.

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