Friday, June 24, 2011
Vote: Is interleague scheduling unfair?
By David Schoenfield
A few more notes, question and thoughts about interleague play ...
- Craig Calcaterra of the Hardball Talk blog wrote Thursday about Brewers manager Ron Roenicke complaining about the unbalanced schedules in interleague play. In Roenicke's case, his Brewers play the Yankees, Red Sox, Rays and have two series against the Twins; the Cardinals, meanwhile, get two series against the Royals, plus the Blue Jays, Orioles and Rays. Craig then followed up today with a post linking to a study by Wendy Thurm at the Hanging Sliders blog that argues no division or wild-card race has been affected by unbalanced interleague schedules. (Wendy later wrote another piece analyzing the effects of unbalanced scheduling if a second wild-card team is added to each league.)
One problem, however, is that interleague schedules are more unique then ever before. Teams within the same division used to play essentially the same schedules, other than their natural "rival," but that obviously isn't the case anymore. The great Jayson Stark addressed all this back in May in his Rumblings & Grumblings column. The Reds are in a similar situation as the Brewers: they get the Indians twice, plus the Yankees, Blue Jays, Orioles and Rays.
- Since I wrote about the AL's dominance over the NL interleague play on Monday, the NL has surged back, cutting the season deficit to 66-60 in favor of the AL. The Diamondbacks, Nationals and Braves all completed sweeps (over the Royals, Mariners and Blue Jays, respectively) to make a big dent.
- Several readers asked/suggested/commented that the AL is superior only because of the bottom dwellers in the National League. But this isn't the case. I looked up the interleague record of all NL playoff teams from 2006 to 2010 and those teams went 148-161 in interleague play. The 2007-2010 Phillies went 28-38 in interleague play during the regular season (6-5 in the World Series). The Phillies are 3-3 this season.
- And in case you missed it: The Florida-Seattle series this weekend is actually Florida's home series, but the games will be played in Seattle due to a U2 concert at Sun Life Stadium. The Marlins will be the home team with NL rules applied (thus Mariners fans will get to see Felix Hernandez hit -- he can't be any worse than a few of their regulars).