Drumming my thumbs on the desk as I wait for stories to come in, I get a bit bored. So I try to come up with some things to keep my mind whip sharp.
So I got to thinking about baseball’s interleague play. Some love it, some hate it; I lean towards the latter, thinking it dilutes the special separateness of the Senior and Junior circuits, as the National and American Leagues are called in the history books.
On the other hand, if you can come up with an interesting rivalry or some connection, I’m willing to reconsider. For example… Years ago there were five cities that supported multiple baseball teams, including Boston (Red Sox and Braves, who moved to Milwaukee then Atlanta), Chicago (Cubs and White Sox), Philadelphia (Phillies and Athletics, who moved to Kansas City then to Oakland), St. Louis (Cardinals and Browns, who became the Baltimore Orioles), and, of course, New York (Yankees and the Giants and Brooklyn Dodgers, who relocated to San Francisco and Los Angeles, respectively; the Mets were added in 1962 to replace the “lost boys”). So if any of those face off, that’s a natural. The Mets and Yankees and Cubs and White Sox used to play annually for civic pride (in New York, they played for the Mayor’s Trophy).
So let’s take a look at the current schedule:
* Cubs-White Sox (see above)
* Cardinals-Tigers, a rematch of the 1968 and 1934 World Series.
* Braves-Yankees, a rematch of the 1996, 1958, and 1957 World Series. Also, the whole North-South thing.
* Mets-Orioles, a rematch of the 1969 World Series.
*San Francisco-Los Angeles Angels, a rematch of the 2002 World Series, plus the whole North-South California thing.
* Dodger-As, a rematch of the 1988 World Series, plus the whole North-South California thing, again.
* The Reds are playing the Indians in the “battle for Ohio.”
* Texas Rangers vs. San Diego Padres: Remember the Alamo?
Of course, I would imagine many, if not most, of the players on teams that have faced each other in years-ago World Series don’t even know who most of their predecessors were.
Pretty much everyone else. The best I can come up with:
* Mariners-Diamondbacks: Sailors have to watch out for snakes in the water?
* Red Sox-Marlins: When fish are caught, they frequently have odd objects — including perhaps socks — that they’ve eaten.
* Nationals-Rays: The former Senators caught in a “sting” operation?
* Kansas City-Houston: A Royals pain in the Astros?
That leaves the Pirates-Twins, Blue Jays-Brewers, and the Rockies-Phillies, because there are more NL than Al teams at this point. I’m all out.