The Need For an Interleage Rivalry in Beantown

Mike RCorrespondent IJune 20, 2008

Seemingly every team has one, that team in the "other" league that, when you wake up every morning, you scour the papers to make sure they lost the night before.

For the White Sox's fans, it's the Cubs. For the Angels' fans, it's the Dodgers. For the Yankees' fans, it's the Mets. Heck, even the perennial cellar-dwelling Tampa Bay Rays (who aren't as good as everybody believes them to be right now, by the way) have the in-state, interleague rivalry with the Florida Marlins.

There is, however, a notable team that is left out of the fold when teams match up for interleague-rivalry games, the Boston Red Sox.

Now, granted, the biggest rivalry in baseball, and arguably sports, is between the Red Sox and Yankees. But what happens in the other 140 games played through the year? 22 high-octane games aren't enough for me, and they shouldn't be enough for you either.

I propose to make some team the new interleague rival of the Red Sox.

Who could it be?

One could argue that Philadelphia would be a logical choice. But let's use logic and think about this for a moment: The losingest team in baseball versus the AL East's second-largest payroll? I don't like that matchup, and I'm guessing ticket-buyers wouldn't flock consistently to see that game.

Another argument might be to bring Milwaukee into town. But again, money comes into play, not to mention distance.

The rivalry that I would love to see build, perhaps because I live so close to Wrigley, is one that would pit the Cubs against the Red Sox, year-in and year-out.

It would give me another reason to hate the Cubs, besides the reasons for which I already loathe them: They are broadcast on roughly four different channels in my area, and if that isn't enough, ESPN broadcasts them live seemingly two to three nights a week, thus rendering any yearning for real baseball broadcasts useless.

Their ownership has no intention to make them a winning franchise since ticket sales are through the roof every year for reasons completely beyond my understanding. Various curses and scapegoats have been created by the Cubs' fans in order to explain this hankering for a pathetic existence as the laughing stock of baseball, and, as Sonny would say, "the beat goes on."

But this is not an anti-Cubs rant, although it seems to be taking on that tone.

This article is designed to highlight how great it would be for the Red Sox to have an interleague rival, specifically the Cubs. Think about the matchups this year alone:

Kosuke Fukudome vs. Daisuke Matsuzaka
Ramirez vs. Ramirez
Zambrano vs. Beckett

And, if that isn't enough to whet your appetite, try this one on: Wood vs. Papelbon!

I think the Red Sox would clean up against the Cubs. Unfortunately, we won't know this year, and probably not any time soon. When the Giants came to Fenway last year, I believe there was only one active team left in the major leagues to never play a game at Fenway, the Chicago Cubs.