Interleague Play Here to Stay

Greg GiardiniContributor IMay 16, 2008

Well, it's that time of year for baseball again...interleague play, and it's not going anywhere.

All the baseball traditionalists can whine and complain all they want, but the bottom line is that every sport has interleague or interconference, and it only makes logical sense to play it.

They may argue that match-ups like the Kansas City Royals and the Pittsburgh Pirates are not intriguing, but neither is the Atlanta Hawks and the Seattle Sonics or the Boston Bruins and the Vancouver Canucks.

Every team in a league should play each other out of fairness for the fans who would never get to see some of the best players in the game otherwise.

The fact that the two leagues, American and National, have different rules is still a reason of concern.

Having American League teams make their pitchers hit in National League parks makes absolutely no sense. It is a lot easier to ask a National League team to come up with a designated hitter than to ask an American League team to make their pitchers, who never hit, to suddenly start in meaningful games.

For the record the designated hitter should be used in all World Series games as well.

The logistics of the schedule and "natural" rival rule also need to be fixed. The fact that some divisions have more teams than others create problems.

For example, this year the Boston Red Sox play four teams from the National League Central, one from the East and one from the West. For interleague to be completely fair there will need to be a realignment so that each division has an equal amount of teams.

The bottom line is that the idea of interleague play is much better than when it started. Originally the games were played in September during the most crucial time of the year.

At least having them in June takes some of the pressure off, but the exhibition feeling these games elicit will probably never go away. The baseball traditionalists will still argue, but it is not going away anytime soon.

Once the logistics are ironed out, interleague play will just be an afterthought and match-ups like the Royals and Pirates will be just like the Hawks and Sonics or the Bruins and Canucks.