Tonight we will all be treated to an interleague matchup between the Seattle Mariners and Chicago Cubs from historic Wrigley Field in Chicago. While not all folks care for interleague play, this game makes a good case for it. The “King”, Felix Hernandez, will be taking the mound to face the most talented young lineup in all of baseball led by Anthony Rizzo and Kris Bryant. Sunday Night Baseball, a King versus the kids? Who says no?
People from the Northwest aren’t saying no, and I know the large group of fans who are hanging out all day at The Cubby Bear aren’t hating this interleague tussle.
The Cubs have the best record in all of baseball entering Sunday, and have a lineup meant for video games and fantasy league championships. The only thing missing on the Cubs side is one of their aces, Jon Lester or Jake Arrieta. They moved their rotation around a bit and will recall Brian Matusz from Triple-A Iowa to start. The Mariners are trying to steal two victories while looking to stay within striking distance in the American League West and the Wild Card chase. They host a four game series against the Boston Red Sox starting Monday. The Sox currently sit as one of top two teams in the Wild Card hunt. While King Felix hasn’t been his dominant self since returning from the disabled list, giving up 19 hits and nine earned runs in just 12-plus innings against the Pittsburgh Pirates and Chicago White Sox. In his outing on Tuesday against the Pirates, he gave up four earned runs in the first two innings before settling down and shutting out the Pirates out in his final four frames, allowing the M’s the time to come back and eventually win the game. I fully expect that under the bright lights of a national audience that he will be sharp Sunday night. But I’ve been wrong before, and I’ll be wrong again.
That matchup doesn’t sound bad right? So, why are some still against the AL playing the NL?
One main argument against interleague play is that some divisions have it easier one year, playing weaker teams, while another division within their league faces the tough division. Sure, that makes sense from an organization standpoint with the Wild Card playing a big role in today’s game. But is that what the fans are thinking?
As a baseball fan, I want the best and most intriguing matchups. It’s fun to watch the New York Mets take on the Kansas City Royals, or the Red Sox playing the Los Angeles Dodgers. While you don’t always get the aces on the mound, just seeing teams challenge each other who don’t normally play is intriguing. The AL team having to adjust their lineup to play in the NL park intrigues me. Then you have the NL team getting to pack some more punch in their lineup in the AL park. While I enjoy seeing Bartolo Colon hit as much as the next person, would you not rather see David Ortiz bat four times?
Much like political views on Facebook, my opinion probably won’t get you to change your mind. If you’re an NL person, you hate the designated hitter. If you are an AL person, watching pitchers hit is like watching a bad comedian; you may get a laugh here or there, but you leave unsatisfied.
At this point in the season, games get designated weekly for Sunday Night Baseball. So it’s more than likely if your team is playing in that game, they at least have some relevance in the playoff race and aren’t looking forward to next season, just yet.
Interleague may not be for everyone, but until something changes, it is here to stay and no arguments or opinions are needed.
I want to urge everyone, if you aren’t doing anything tonight, get the family together and watch the greatest sport in the world at one of the greatest ballparks ever created.