There is allot of debate about the virtues or otherwise of interleague play. Some people think it is a great idea and adds to the entertainment level of Major League Baseball, others think it is the single greatest evil since the birth of Lindsay Lohan.
Taking a step back, interleague play is the term used to describe regular season Major League Baseball games played between teams in the American League and the National League. Prior to 1997, when interleague play was introduced, AL and NL teams only met in the World Series or in exhibition games.
As with everything in life, there are those who support the interleague games, and those who don't. Those against it are generally traditionalists who are against big changes to the way the game of baseball is played and they one of their biggest arguments against it is that The World Series and All-Star game are robbed of some of their mystique that used to result from the two leagues playing completely exclusive schedules during the regular season. Other arguments are few and far between, bar 'It just shouldn't be that way!'
While watching the Arizona Diamondbacks coverage of last night's Boston v Arizona game, the D-Backs colour analyst, the great Mark Grace, professed to not liking the idea. I found just watching the game with their commentary to be one of the many arguments for interleague play. I have to say I haven't enjoyed commentary like that in some time. I found Grace and the main analyst, Daron Sutton, to be interesting, informative and entertaining.
They were rooting for the Diamondbacks, but very respectful of the Red Sox. They had plenty of insightful, interesting comments to make and were also pretty funny. They clearly cared for the D-Backs. For me, as a baseball fan, what is great about interleague play is finding out about these teams and players that you normally would not be exposed to.
Okay, last night's game was a bit of a let down in that Boston lost, but it was a real spectacle, with an energized, full-house-crowd cheering their talented young team on. It was a spectacle baseball fans would be denied without interleague play, and at the end of the day MLB is an entertainment industry.
On a week in which I caught games on the irritably bad YES network (the Yankee commentators are absolutely brutal) and the laughably comical White Sox station (the White Sox commentators are absolutely horrendous), Daron Sutton and Mark Grace were a refreshing and entertaining change. Next time I am looking for a good game to watch and spot an interesting pitching matchup in Arizona, I won't hesitate to tune in.
Check Sutton and Grace out some time, thoroughly enjoyable commentary team.
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