By Adam Lawson, WSOE Sports
Ah, June. Summer is here, and interleague play is in full bloom, for at least a few more days anyway. You know what that means, right? Time for fans of National League teams (and the Yankees) to pull their hair out. While the numbers suggest that the two leagues are closer this year than in recent annals in terms of interleague record, the fact still remains clear that the Senior Circuit has a lot of work to do to catch up to the AL. Call me crazy, but as a fan of an NL team (Tomahawk chop, baby!), I love interleague play.
Aside from the fact that fans who have relocated in years past to cities where the only baseball team around plays in the opposite league can actually get to see their team play on occasion, Interleague play provides teams with a chance to prove themselves. If you’re an AL team, you better prove that you can win, because everybody else will, and if you don’t you will lose ground. Ok, I admit it, it may not be that fun for AL teams. But cry me a river. Because on the NL side, teams get a chance to gain ground on a near-nightly basis, simply because the rest of the league is losing. Look at the last weekend for example. My Braves, I won’t attack the umps here, managed to gain ground on the Phillies by taking 1 of 3 at Fenway. The Mets lost 2 of 3 to the O’s and moved a game closer to the NL East leader as well, because the Fightin’ Phils (sorry, Andy) lost all three at home to the Toronto Blue Jays. Meanwhile, the Marlins are making the rest of the division fear for their lives because they took 2 of 3 from the Yankees, who lost a series to the Nationals as well recently (that’s right the Nats!). But then again, the Yankees are the exception to the rule. They won 2 of 3 against the Mets only because Luis Castillo can’t catch. They lost the two series mentioned above, and they got shut out by a rookie last night as Tommy Hanson had all sorts of trouble but managed to pitch 5.1 scoreless innings.
As Interleague play comes to its conclusion this weekend, it will be time to go back to the norm, where you have to win series to game ground in the National League (Imagine that). But, for the next five days, we get to enjoy a slice of baseball heaven.