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Whether I’m in FL or visiting family and friends in CA, I’ll hear the same things from the radio/TV announcers: “Join the Padres/Marlins as they continue their rivalry against the Mariners/Devil Rays.” The response is always the same from the fans: “What rivalry?” It strains credulity to create a sports rivalry out of thin air where one does not exist.
One point of disagreement: it is enjoyable to see players and teams you do not normally get to watch in person. Fabrizio argues that you can watch any team on satellite TV. But this misses the point: they’re still not playing my team. When interleague play first started in 1997, it was thrilling to see the Seattle Mariners, featuring a healthy Ken Griffey, Jr., a young A-Rod, Jay Buhner, and Randy Johnson taking the same field as my beloved Padres.
Or last year, following the Marlins’ second fire sale, what a thrill it was, when the Red Sox came to town, for the fans to cheer one more time for departed stars like Josh Beckett and Mike Lowell. And this year, fans will get to see longtime favorite Luis Castillo when the Minnesota Twins come to town.p>I’m sure we have not heard the last word on interleague play. Now, if only we could do something about baseball’s even sadder invention: having the All-Star game decide who gets home-field advantage in the World Series. br> — Greg Hoadley br> Deerfield Beach, Florida /p>
Lisa Fabrizio’s interesting column makes a good argument against interleague play and parity of schedule is the key point. But it was while watching an interleague contest last weekend between the Phillies and the Tigers that the wisdom of the Designated Hitter rule became very clear to me. Since this game was in the National League town, the DH was not recognized and the pitchers had to bat. Of course this meant that there was an automatic out every nine batters (although Jeremy Bonderman did get his first major league hit starting a big inning for the Tigers), but it also means that the 8th batter in the line-up doesn’t get pitched to most of the time, in anticipation that the next batter will be an automatic out. This effectively gives NL pitchers about two innings in every game that are almost guaranteed to not produce any runs. If you face six batters in an inning and the first one is the lead-off hitter, you will certainly see some runs scored. Not true if the 4th or 5th batter leads off the inning: two hits, two outs, a walk then the pitcher is up for the third out. No wonder NL pitchers have better statistics.p>Now I’m not in favor of changing rules just to have more offense in a game. I think they’ve done too much already toward that end by shrinking the strike zone to the size of a beer can, not by a rule change but by an unspoken consensus between the umpires. And I think the NBA has ruined basketball by trying to raise scores and point totals. (Remember the last time someone got called for traveling? Me neither.) But the one knock that younger people have against baseball is that it is too slow. I don’t agree but in a NL game there are clearly full innings that you don’t need to watch, even in a tight game. I consider myself a baseball purist and a student of the game but this is one rule that should be maintained in the AL and adopted in the NL. This is one big reason that the National League has been the inferior league for some time. Like a misguided governor trying to prop up dying industries, like manufacturing in an information age, as if it could always be like it was in 1961 (let’s say Granholm for example, in Michigan, just for argument’s sake) the National League will find that the world will continue to change whether they are with it or not. br> — P.T. Bruen br> Dearborn, Michigan /p> p> Interleague play is fine. Maybe Fabrizio’s idea of the Red Sox playing the Yanks 30 times is just dandy, but it would be nice if folks down here in Houston, limping through series after series with the likes of Pittsburgh and the Reds, could see the best teams money could buy every once in a while. You telling me that Detroit playing Florida is any different than Detroit playing KC? Or the Marlins playing the Nationals? This is simply an article written by a chick, wanting to be one of the guys, pretending to be elitist.
A man of faith in a godless age is hitting Americans where it hurts.
Mr. and Mrs. American Spectator Reader, let P.J. O’Rourke talk sense to your kids.
In Britain, defending your property can get you life.
The debacle of this president’s administration is both a cause and a symptom of the decline of American values. Unless Congress impeaches him, that decline will go on unchecked. An eminent jurist surveys the damage and assesses the chances for the recovery of our culture.
It won’t take long for conservatives to scratch this presidential wannabe off their 2008 scorecard.
The American Christmas, like the songs that celebrate it, makes room for everybody under the rainbow. Is that why so many people seem to be hostile to it?
Was the President done in by the economy, or by the politics of the economy?
H/T to National Review Online