By Brendan Gleason
Mark you purist, elitist, baseball snob. The game has changed, and having interleague games sprinkled throughout the season is one of the better changes. I donʼt know why people get so up-in-arms about interleague play, but donʼt seem to care about any of the other modiﬁcations that have graced baseball since invention. Sure, the rules have remained pretty similar since the start of the 20th century, but so much about the actual game has changed.
Letʼs start with some boring logistics. The mound height has changed a couple of times…no big deal. With that, in the late 60s, the strike zone shrunk.(both of these ﬁrst 2 changes had to do with Bob Gibson…that dude was sick!) In 1971 the batting helmet became mandatory. Very boring, but necessary. Like using a 1st round pick on an offensive lineman. The designated hitter came into effect in 1973 (obviously AL only…different debate).
There have been some interesting advancements. Pitchers used to pitch every night. Cy Youngʼs Win Record is the safest record in sports. No pitcher will ever touch that. If a pitcher started this season and won 30 games per year for the next 17 seasons…he would still be a win short of the record. This goes hand in hand with my next point…what pitches did the hurlers throw back in the day? A fastball and a slowball. Thatʼs what they were called. And thatʼs why pitchers could pitch every night. Now thereʼs a slider, a curve, a sinker, a slurve, a splitter, and Eddie Harris puts a little Jalapeno up his nose and wipes the snot on the ball when the ump isnʼt looking.
Itʼs fun to see New York play New York. itʼs fun to see Chicago play Chicago. Itʼs fun to see Oakland play San Francisco. Itʼs kind of fun, i guess, to see Florida and Tampa Bay battle it out. Itʼs fun to see pitchers from the AL try to bat. itʼs fun to see the NL get a DH.
The biggest reason Iʼm a proponent of Interleague play is, the season is so long. Why not have a few games here and there against the other league? Theyʼre all playing baseball in the majors. If a guy can get traded from one league to the other midseason, then we know the playing ﬁeld is level. Itʼs the regular season. The AL teams play 18 interleague games. 5 NL teams play 18, 10 play 15, and one team plays 12. Making a grand total of 126 games. If you donʼt like the Interleague play, lucky for you there are 2,304 other games to occupy your time during the baseball season while you complain about the game not being pure.