The New York Yankees are in Chicago this afternoon to begin a three-game interleague series against the Chicago Cubs. This begins a 15-game stretch of interleague games for the Yankees, and I am going to hate every last one of them.
Yeah, so maybe getting to watch the Yankees play at Wrigley Field will be cool. For about a minute. But, once you have gotten a look at the ivy-covered walls, which you've seen on TV a gazillion times already, who really cares?
I am old school about this, I know. But, what connection do the Yankees have with the Cubs? None. How about the Cincinnati Reds, Colorado Rockies or Milwaukee Brewers, whom the Yankees will also face during this period of interleague play? Why do I -- or should I -- care about any of those teams? Cincinnati is Paul O'Neill's hometown and they were stupid enough to trade him to the Yankees for Roberto Kelly. Oh, and they were stupid enough to pass on Derek Jeter and draft some guy named Chad Mottola.
Yes, the Yankees end their interleague journey with three games at Citi Field against the Mets. Some people will enjoy those, and they are better than most of you standard interleague fare. Earlier this year, though, we saw during the Mets-Yankees games at Yankee Stadium that even those rivalry games are growing stale.
My hatred for interleague play only makes me more anxious about the current talk of realignment by Major League Baseball. ESPN's Buster Olney reported recently that MLB is considering a realignment plan that would create season-long interleague play. I don't want to see that. Less interleague play, please. Or none at all. It's an old argument no one seems to care about any longer, but the DH/non-DH issue makes interleague games unfair to both league. I know will not go away with Bud Selig as commissioner, but I'm allowed to wish for it.
A balanced schedule, another thing that won't happen, would also be nice. I hate seeing teams across different divisions play schedules of vastly different difficulty competing for the same wild-card playoff spots. It just does not lead to a true determination of which team is more deserving of a playoff berth.
SI.com's Tom Verducci reported today that, while it is a long way off "change does seem to be in the air." Verducci, thankfully, also reported that realignment or schedule changes seem unlikely to be as massive as Olney originally indicated -- no doing away with divisions or increased interleague play.
In my humble opinion, the unbalanced, already too interleague-heavy MLB schedule is a mess in its current form. I just get the sinking feeling that Selig will wind up making it even worse.
As for this afternoon's Yankees-Cubs tilt the pitching matchup is Freddy Garcia (5-5, 3.60 ERA) for the Yankees vs. Doug Davis (0-5, 5.90). Game time is 2:20 p.m. ET.