Change Interleague Rules?
Hey all. I know I usually provide Orioles stories, but something came up in conversation the other day that I wanted to discuss. It seems that people these days are either in love with Interleague play or not for it at all. Bud Selig decided that in 1997, American and National League teams should face off during the regular season. This allowed for fans to see “dream matchups” that would normally only happen during the playoffs. Furthermore, new rivalries have been born. Take for example the New York rivalry; the Yankees vs. Mets or “Subway Series”. Others include White Sox vs. Cubs, Marlins vs. Rays, Orioles vs. Nationals, Rangers vs. Astros, Angels vs. Dodgers, Reds vs. Indians, and Giants vs. Athletics. Each series involves crosstown teams representing both leagues going head to head for geographic supremacy.
Another fun part of Interleague baseball to me as a fan is getting to watch the pitchers bat. The way it works is if the game is played in a National League park, the game takes on National League rules (aka pitchers batting and double switches). If the game is played in an AL park, both teams honor the designated hitter, thereby following American League rules. That way, the game is slightly favoring the home team. The American League teams are lost without having the designated hitter to use in NL parks, while having a DH for some National League teams helps them as opposed to hindering them.
The reason for all this is that a co-worker of mine had an idea. He proposed a situation where the home team would have to play to the rules of the away team. For example, say the Rockies hosted the Orioles at Coors Field. In this case, the Rockies (the home team) would have to play by American League rules instead of National League rules, like it is presently. That may sound crazy at first glance, but there are some positives. One positive is the fans at the home ballpark (Coors Field) would get to see the DH used, which never happens in the NL. Furthermore, it was because fans were clamoring for Interleague play that it even began in MLB. If enough fans get on board with this concept of switching the rules, this too could become a reality in the coming years.
I think it would be worth at least an experiment and see what fans think. It could be said that the two leagues being so different is unfair in the first place and that each should be on a similar playing field. As an Orioles fan all my life, I am used to life with the DH. With that said however, I do enjoy seeing our pitchers bat. Moreover, it would be a cool experience to see an NL-style game played in the cozy confines of Camden Yards.
Please comment, let me know your thoughts on the subject. I want all your input. If you think it’s a good idea, pass it along. A petition would be a great way to get word out. Think about it folks!