Its a strange, unintended effect of Interleague play in baseball – you end up rooting against the league you favorite team is in. On Sunday as it appeared the Yankees would win, I was rooting for the Marlins to beat the Rays and the Phillies to top the Red Sox. Go National League!
I’ve always liked the Interleague portion of the schedule. The Yankees are able to play teams it typically rarely ever sees in a non-playoff setting. Prior to the Yankees sweep of Houston this past weekend, I couldn’t remember the last time the two teams played. Over the next two weeks, the Yankees will face off against their opponents from last season’s World Series, the Philadelphia Phillies, the NY Mets, Arizona Diamondbacks and Los Angeles Dodgers. The Dodgers series, in two weeks, will pit the Yankees against their former manager, Joe Torre.
Interleague provides a little extra spice to a long baseball season. Although I think the National League needs to get with it and start using the DH, it is fun watching Yankees pitchers hit, or rather, try to hit. Plus, the fun of seeing teams you don’t usually see is a good attraction to interleague play. After this year, the Yankees won’t face the Dodgers or Diamondbacks for years.
It does surprise me that teams from the same division will end up playing different teams. It’s kind of unfair. Tampa, Boston and the Yankees all get to face off against the struggling D’Backs, but the Yankees will face tough series against the Phillies, who are built like an AL team, the Mets, who are always a tough series no matter what each team’s record is, and the tough Dodgers. Boston faces three NL West teams with winning records – the Rockies, Giants and Dodgers, while the Rays face off against interstate rivals Florida, the tough Atlanta Braves and NL West-leading Padres.
I think Boston gets the worst of it, while Tampa gets the easiest schedule. I personally like the NFL version of inter-conference play – each division plays the same teams – so you know that schedules are equal on at least that footing.