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AL East: Cheated
There are all kinds of ways of feeling cheated. Some you just have to live with, like when you go to the Caribbean on vacation and have to fork over $10 for a tube of toothpaste at a local pharmacy, or like when you pay top dollar too see a Broadway play only to find out that the lead is being played by an understudy. Then there is the kind that is seemingly more personal, like when baseball fans are robbed of the pleasure of rooting for the all-time home run record to be broken because of Barry Bonds' link to performance-enhancing drugs.* A sucker is born every minute, and yet nobody likes being conned, as millions of viewers were last night with the final episode of The Sopranos.
Another way of feeling cheated -- albeit in a less acute fashion -- is having to watch interleague play rob us of natural league rivalries. The Yankees only play the defending AL champion Tigers twice this year, but New York plays both Pittsburgh and Colorado. Stop the presses. Look, I understand why interleague games are profitable and why they are here to stay, but this is ridiculous. Divisions aren't even lined up specifically to play each other -- now it's just a hodge-podge of random match-ups (Blue Jays vs. Dodgers, Orioles vs. Rockies) -- and all at the expense of league games. The only reason why there isn't more of an uproar about it is because fans have been knocked unconscious by all the excitement.
Barring a sudden midseason surge, Mike Flanagan and Jim Duquette are going to be right back where they were last July, when several teams made offers for Tejada. This time, however, they may be able to make the case to owner Peter Angelos that the club will be in a better position to make good on the Tejada timetable without Tejada.
* I recently wrote a column about which players are the most -- and least -- fun to watch. I got a lot of mail about the piece. The biggest complaint was that I didn't include Ryan Freel on the list of players who are fun to watch. The second biggest knock was that I put Junior Griffey on the list of players who are the least fun to watch. My reasoning was not because Griffey isn't appealing but because he's been injured so often since he's been with the Reds, and that it's hard to watch a great player so diminished. But upon further review, I have to say that I was wrong about Griffey, especially in light of Bonds breaking Aaron's record and Sammy Sosa hitting his 600th home run. Junior is 37-years-old and has 578 home runs. He has never been linked to performance-enhancing drugs. There is every to reason to believe that he'll reach 600, and more. His swing is still as sweet as ever. I was wrong; Junior's FORP is just fine.
Labels: AL East
posted by SI.com | View comments |
Alex, PLEASE stop crying about interleague play. "Whaaaa! I feel cheated, like when the Sheriff let Paris go home, like when my Mom had her sister stand-in for her as my prom date. Whaaaa, I want my Mom!"
There is nothing bad about seeing the Angels beat the crap out of the Dodgers a couple of times a year. We get to see classic matchups like Yankees/Mets, A's/Giants and Reds/Indians. There are a few teams with no natural, geographical rivals, but they need to play somebody too, so off to Montreal you go.
Just because you and your trailer are in an area where you get stuck with Colorado/Baltimore doesn't make interleague play a bad thing. It just makes you aware of who you really are. So, yes, I guess that IS a bad thing.
I agree. Even worse is the "forced" rivalries where none exist, i.e. SF Giants vs. Oakland A's. A lot of Bay Area fans support both teams, so its a lose-lose proposition when the teams meet.
"The only reason why there isn't more of an uproar about it is because fans have been knocked unconscious by all the excitement. "
So the games are really really exciting? And that's bad? The excitement is distracting us from how dull it is? I'm confused. It's not unreasonable to take the traditionalist viewpoint against interleague play, but a coherent argument would go a long way. I somehow do not feel cheated. *shrugs*
Interleague play is great. The chance to see teams you never could before; new regional rivalries; the idea of 'seeing how the other half lives'... it's fun. Quit living in the past - it ain't coming back.
I love interleage! I love seeing baseball players I never get to see. I am sick of watching my Reds play a million games a year against the Cardinals, Brewers, Pirates, Astros, and Cubs. I want to see them play the Indians, Angels, Yankess, and even the Devil Rays or Royals. The Reds still play too many division games. I think Interleague should be explaned to play a 3 game series against every team of the other leage.
You say fans are "knocked unconscious" by the excitement! Isn't that what we want in sports...excitement???
Are you wanting less excitement???
I'm in my 40s and have been to a lot of baseball games. The most exciting by far was one of the first interleague games between the Yankees and Mets. The fans' screaming - alternating between "Let's Go Yankees!" and "Let's Go Mets!" - was loud enough to make my ears ring. I have never, ever seen a baseball stadium shake as hard as Shea did that magical night, not even during the World Series. As a native Californian, I was stunned at the passion in the stands, and on the field, that night.
Of course, I'm told heroin is pretty good stuff your first time, too. But pretty soon, it just makes you sick. Interleague ball is like that. It's like kissing your sister at the prom - you might get a thrill from it at first, but pretty soon you realize it's not going anywhere. Never once have I seen another interleague game even half as exciting as that first time.
Baseball is like pizza - when it's good, it's great, and when it's bad, it's still pretty good. But as long as we have divisional play, I'd much rather watch intra-league games, where both teams are competing for the same playoff spots; they are simply more significant.
I feel as if you're readers don't appreciate your acute sense of sarcasm
I'm sick of people jumping back on the Yankee bandwagon due to their 9 game win streak. Look at the teams they have beaten: White sox, pirats and D-backs. one is a sinking ship and the other two aren't even average teams. I'll be satisfied with people saying the Yankee's have straightened it out once they beat some quality teams back to back
I love how everyone is crying whaaaaaaa whaaaa that the Yanks are hot but its bc they've played crappy teams whaaaa whaaa. I guess the Mets suck too whaaa whaaaa!!! Dont worry im pretty sure theyll be bulldozing through your team soon, be patient
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