Everyone complains about Interleague Play during the MLB season. It seems like every sports website I view or sports radio show I listen to have their own opinion about why Interleague Play should just end. Here is how many of these arguments go:
[sarcastically] "We've got a great match-up between the Pirates and Blue Jays- of course everyone looks forward to that classic match-up!"
Ok, we get it. It's an unusual match-up with ZERO rivalry involved. But this is a TERRIBLE argument. Why, you ask? Because this very same argument works for regular match-ups as well. Watch-
[again, sarcastically] "We've got a great match-up between the Mariners and Royals- of course everyone looks forward to that classic match-up!"
See, you wouldn't care about that stupid game either. So what's the harm with having fresh games that don't happen all that often? What's wrong with having pitchers hit and not be able to run the bases? What's wrong with allowing natural Interleague rivalries develop (A's/Giants, Cubs/White Sox, Yankees/Mets, etc.)? ABSOLUTELY NOTHING.
Oh, so baseball is supposed to ignore the inflated attendance numbers during AL vs. NL games? Yeah, I love when businesses go away from profit to adhere to tradition. It's that kind of backward thinking that drives our country into the ground. "It's always been like this, so we can never change!" That attitude never got us anywhere and it doesn't work in this situation either.
The next argument is unfair scheduling. For example, this year the Cardinals play the Orioles, Blue Jays, and Rays from the AL East while the Brewers play the Yankees, Red Sox, and Rays. People will argue that this is unfair because the Yankees and Red Sox are much better than the Blue Jays. I say- who cares? These kinds of things happen in all sports. What if the schedule was made like this and the Yankees and Red Sox happened to have off years and it actually swung into the Brewers favor? This type of scheduling shenanigans happens in the NFL all the time. I believe if your team is good, they will beat whoever is on the schedule. If they are bad, they will lose. Even the Cubs managed to beat the Red Sox once, so it can be done, NL Central teams. Back in 2003, the Cubs beat the Yankees 2 of 3 at Wrigley and it was no coincidence that the '03 Cubs ended up in the playoffs. Beat teams on your schedule and stop whining.
I like Interleague Play. It keeps the schedule fresh and the rivalries I mentioned up top are typically very good (A's and Giants fans exhibited great rivalry this past weekend even though the Giants swept the A's- it just adds fuel to the fire.)
Feel free to disagree, but the fact remains, schedules may not be fair if one division happens to be weak one year versus the next. Imbalance is always going to happen and it's not Interleague Play's fault. Fan attendance, interest, and money does not lie. It's good for the game.