Thursday, May 24, 2007

INTERLEAGUE RIVALS

Last weekend was the first weekend of interleague play in Major League Baseball. Each team gets a "rival" in the other league, and plays that tea, six times. There are other interleague games, but this weekend is rival weekend. The rivalries are:

St. Louis Cardinals v. Detroit Tigers

Cincinnati Reds v. Cleveland Indians

Baltimore Orioles v. Washington Nationals

Toronto Blue Jays v. Philadelphia Phillies

Florida Marlins v. Tampa Bay Devil Rays

Minnesota Twins v. Milwaukee Brewers

Texas Rangers v. Houston Astros

Atlanta Braves v. Boston Red Sox

Chicago White Sox v. Chicago Cubs

Kansas City Royals v. Colorado Rockies

Los Angeles Dodgers v. Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim

San Diego Padres v. Seattle Mariners

San Francisco Giants v. Oakland A's

New York Yankees v. New York Mets

Oh, and the National League has two more teams than the American, so the Arizona Diamondbacks play the Pittsburgh Pirates.

What is the sense of these rivalries? Well, some of them are rivalries between two teams in one metro area. This covers Baltimore/Washington, Chicago/Chicago, Los Angeles/Anaheim, San Francisco/Oakland, and New York/New York. Some are two teams in one state. This covers Cincinnati/Cleveland, Florida/Tampa Bay, and Texas/Houston. Let's accept that these are all strong rivalries that make some sense.

That leaves St. Louis/Detroit, Toronto/Philadelphia, Minnesota/Milwaukee, Atlanta/Boston, Kansas City/Colorado, San Diego/Seattle, and Arizona/Pittsburgh. Can we make them better? I think that we can make some better, but we will always be left with some oddballs. Here we go:

Let's leave Atlanta/Boston. This one makes some sense because the Atlanta Braves were once the National League team in Boston. Then they moved to Milwaukee, then Atlanta. That is hardcore history. I'll accept that. Of course, using that sort of history, the Cardinals could claim Baltimore (the old St. Louis Browns) as a rival, and the Phillies could claim Oakland (the old Philadelphia A's) as their rival. However, since the Orioles and A's are both in "good" rivalries, we need better rivals for the Cardinals and Phillies.

Using the same rationale as Atlanta/Boston, let's move the Brewers rival to the Seattle Mariners. I know that Minnesota and Milwaukee were decent rivals when they were both in the American League, and they are in neighboring states, but frankly, it is hard to believe that this rivalry is particularly intense. On the other hand, the Brewers began their lives as the Seattle Pilots, so having them play the Mariners is old school. Besides, I am not sure that Seattle/San Diego has anything going for it either.

Also, using the same state theory (almost), how about the Cardinals versus the Royals? Does anyone really think that St. Louis and Detroit are natural rivals? Colorado and Kansas City? Who cares about either of those? The I-70 series could actually be worth something.

That leaves the Phillies, Rockies, Padres, Dbacks, and Pirates in the National League and the Tigers, Blue Jays, and Twins in the American League. The Phillies and Pirates are at least both in Pennsylvania, and two National Leaue teams need to play each other, so why not these two? That's a better rivalry than the Blue Jays and Phillies, with the Pirates playing Arizona. Of the remaining six teams, none of the matchups are particularly compelling, so match them up however you want. That being said, it is still better than the old system. Now there are three pointless matchups instead of eight.

Proposed new rivals:

Cincinnati Reds v. Cleveland Indians

Baltimore Orioles v. Washington Nationals

Florida Marlins v. Tampa Bay Devil Rays

Texas Rangers v. Houston Astros

Atlanta Braves v. Boston Red Sox

Chicago White Sox v. Chicago Cubs

Los Angeles Dodgers v. Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim

San Francisco Giants v. Oakland A's

New York Yankees v. New York Mets

Kansas City Royals v. St. Louis Cardinals

Seattle Matiners v. Milwaukee Brewers

Philadelphia Phillies v. Pittsburgh Pirates

any combination of Colorado, San Diego, and Arizona with Detroit, Toronto, and Minnesota.

1 Comments:

Anonymous motown slacker said...

Now...if you were an NHL wizard, you might have picked Detroit vs. Toronto since they are both Original 6 teams...?! Love the pic of U.....

10:30 PM  

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