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Interleague play: still fresh after 13 years

Sixty Feet, Six Inches Correspondent IMay 24, 2009

Every year, before the first interleague game of the year, the same discussion happens; a debate over whether or not the games are still interesting, and whether they should still be happening.

I've always come down on the Selig side of things—I've liked interleague play since its inception, and these games are some of my favorites of the year.

Tonight, the Red Sox and the Mets proved me right, at least for one game.

I watch a lot of baseball, but for a lot of reasons I feel like this was the best game I've seen in a long, long time.

I'll admit that one of the main reasons is that it was played by my two favorite teams, but that's part of the beauty of interleague play. Before it was instituted, the Mets and Red Sox had played seven games against each other in 1986, and that was it. I wasn't born, so I didn't get to experience that.

It's a special event for me whenever they do get to play, and interleague play gives me that opportunity.

It's not just me, either—plenty of people follow AL teams and NL teams like I do, and unlike other sports there's a separation in baseball that allows that, but that same separation requires interleague play to give us games between those teams.

Besides that, there was something else about this game.

It felt like a playoff game.

When two good teams get together in interleague games, that's a fairly common occurrence. These games are all previews of possible World Series matchups, and it has to be pretty easy for players to get focused with that in mind. That tends to breed better games, of course, Ramon Martinez's performance last night is the exception that proves the rule.

I know that not all of the games are rivalry games—the Diamondbacks and A's don't really grab the imagination—but the ones that are trump that.

The novelty's worn off a bit, and interleague play isn't nearly what it was when it started, but it's still interesting, it still produces good games, and it's worth having.

Especially when the Mets win.


Sixty Feet, Six Inches is an Indianapolis based sports blog covering a wide range of sports. If you like what you read here, check out our home page for more. Sixty Feet, Six Inches

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