Saturday, May 21, 2005

« Report: Interleague Play -- Hot or Not? »

By Suss
Also posted on Blogcritics

The mystique of interleague baseball, some argue, has faded over the years and the novelty of American League teams facing National League has worn off. Bad teams playing bad teams, simply because one of the teams has to adhere to a different designated-hitter rule, doesn't bring in crowds. At the same time, my Diamondbacks (NL) travel to Detroit and Cleveland (both AL), giving me a chance to see them. Detroit is an hour-long drive from Toledo, and Cleveland is 1-1/2 hours. The next closest cities they visit are Cincinnati, Chicago and Pittsburgh -- all roughly 3-1/2 hours.

So it gets mixed feelings from baseball fans. Still, interleague play rolled on in its second day Saturday, featuring classic interleague matchups:

  • The Subway Series (Yankees-Mets)
  • The Battle of the Windy City (Cubs-White Sox)
  • The Freeway Series (Angels-Dodgers)
  • The Buckeye Series (Reds-Indians)
  • The Sunshine Series (Marlins-Devil Rays)
  • The Great White North Series (Brewers-Twins)
  • The Lone Star Series (Astros-Rangers)
  • The Show Me Series (Cardinals-Royals)
  • Canada's Past vs. Present (Blue Jays-Nationals)
  • The Earthquake Series Rematch (A's-Giants)

Of course, not all series have geographic or history behind them, but you can find catchy names for them:

  • We pretty much stole Luis Gonzalez from you (Diamondbacks-Tigers)
  • We used to be the nation's capital / We're really close to it (Phillies-Orioles)
  • The Yankees beat us in the late 90's for the AL East / World Series (Red Sox-Braves)
  • Our corporate-named stadiums end with "co" (Padres-Mariners) [Petco/Safeco]

And for the next batch of interleague series, you can count on more concocted yet catchy series nicknames.

Injury News

The biggest out-of-game news came from Los Anaheim Angels, where outfielder Vladmir Guerrero went on the 15-day disabled list Saturday for a partially dislocated shoulder, the Associated Press reported Sunday. The Angels play in a rather weak division, with Oakland and Seattle no longer threats in the division, so the perennial bottom-feeder Texas Rangers (3 games back of Los Anaheim) is the only competition for the Angels. If Vlad comes back healthy even after a month, Los Anaheim should still be a shoe-in for the division.

The White Sox also lost Orlando "El Duque" Hernandez (5-1, 3.91 ERA) to the 15-day DL with a sore muscle in the back of his shoulder, the AP reports. This means he'll miss at least three starts, maybe more. But even if his replacement loses all 3 games and the Sox continue their winning ways, second place Minnesota will still have some catching up to do as they are already 5-1/2 games behind.

Neither of these injuries should hurt their postseason chances unless the injuries get considerably worse.