Monday, May 24, 2010

Should we send interleague out to pasture?

Interleague play has always been a little strange. But this weekend, so many things happened that borderlined on the ridiculous you wonder if baseball should do away with this 15-year experiment.

Attendance, sure, is great. And frankly, that's why we'll probably never see interleague go away. And actually, I like the natural rivalries (Cubs-Sox for one) that we'd never see otherwise (I know, baseball purists will shoot me down for this).

But from a fantasy perspective, everything we've known to accept as truth have shaken our core a little. Mainly from the top-shelf pitching department.

Seven of the preseason top 10-ranked pitchers (according to Yahoo), gave up at least 4 earned runs over the past three days. Several were lit up for their worst outing of the year. Here's just a sampling.

Roy Halladay: Normally untouchable, was rocked by the Red Sox: 5 2/3 IP, 8 hits, 7 runs, 6 ER, 2 BB.

Zack Greinke: Rocked by Rockies in K.C. Just 3 1/3 IP, 9 hits, 8 runs, 7 ER,

C.C. Sabathia: Was hit by the Subway in Queens: 5 IP, 10 hits, 6 runs, 5 ER, 2 BB.

Cliff Lee: Wait. This was against San Diego. At home? 6 1/3 IP, 11 hits, 8 runs, 7 ER.

So what can we surmise? A couple things.

For starters, each blowup was accompanied by at least one error, which may have been from a little added juice from the game. Certainly the Subway Series and the Phillies-Red Sox had playoff-type atmosphere in May. Not sure folks were patting down the goose bumps in the hyped Padres-Mariners duel.

Secondly, fuggetaboutit. Interleague throws a lot of things out of whack. Teams may be facing the opposing team's stud for the first time for several years. They may have to hit without the DH. There is added pressure that they weren't prepared for. The list goes on.

It's more than a coincidence, that almost all the top-flight aces in the league scuffled.

But it does open just a crack into a potential buy-low trade window. Just that seed of doubt that the owner may have now. Wouldn't hurt to float a decent offer to the Grienke owner in your league who may be short on power. Maybe a serviceable sell-high pitcher like Ricky Romero or Matt Latos and a near-top tier hitter like Kendry Morales or Pablo Sandoval.

Think outside the box. This may be the only bad outing these guys will have all year.

Dice-K Revival? If for some reason you were still clinging to hope with Daisuke Matsuzaka, congrats on the near-no hitter Saturday night. But don't be fooled. Dice-K threw four balls and had a couple spectacular fielding plays go his way (one that he made a nice move to cover first base). Yes, it was the Phillies, but I still don't trust him. The WHIP (1.28) hasn't killed you so far, but facing the Blue Jays, Rays and Yankees a million times down the stretch will kill his ERA. Find a taker, if you can.

Waiver Wired: Here's the last 10 pickups in my 11-team league. Mike Napoli, Travis Hafner, Casey Blake, Gio Gonzalez, Alexei Ramirez, Howie Kendrick, Jon Garland, Kris Medlen, Carlos Villanueva, Carlos Santana.

Lima Time over: Jose Lima, the high-energy closer for the Dodgers, Astros, Royals among other teams, died of a heart attack Sunday.

Sure, Lima may have been misunderstood, often times having a spirited two-way conversation with himself in his glove around the pitcher's mound, countless reporters have talked about how vibrant a character he was and the impression he put on the game.

Here's a good read from the Seattle Times' Larry Stone.


Walter said...

It's such a long season, I think it makes sense to have some interleague play to break up the monotony of the schedule. And like you said, there's lots of good regional rivalries that can be played during IP.

And it's fun to watch good pitchers get blown up from time to time!

j-minus said...

Naugh this is the best of baseball ever because imagine a potential World Series Match-up and look at how the teams feed off the game they'll played. I like the interleague games because it's for the fans of baseball to see. If this didn't occur it would be what if they did play each other all season long conversation going down...Why not bring the major leagues to Charlotte?