Sunday, June 27, 2010

Let's review

I've been out of town the last few days and finally return Saturday afternoon. For the first time since I began the blog, I wrote regularly scheduled posts for the days that I was gone. It worked relatively well. I'm not crazy about writing in advance when I don't know what's going to happen. It tends to make some of the posts a little stale.

While I was gone, I tried to stay updated on all of your blogs via my cell, which is quite the frustrating experience at times. I don't know how you regulars do it. But then my battery died and I completely missed anything that happened Friday.

Edwin Jackson's eight-walk no-hitter was news to me until about 2 p.m. Saturday. I didn't know about Carlos Zambrano's meltdown until about an hour after that. But the oldest bit of news that I knew nothing of until Saturday was the 11-hour match victory by American John Isner at Wimbledon. How on earth did no one mention that on their blog? ELEVEN HOURS! Perhaps I missed it on a stray post. Buried under "U.S. beats Algeria" posts, no doubt (Yes, I've watched Donovan's goal. No, I haven't the slightest idea why it was so exciting. It certainly doesn't beat an eleven-hour tennis match).

But thanks to some last-minute cramming, I believe I'm somewhat up-to-date.

Meanwhile, what have I been doing?

I wish I could say something interesting, but I can't.

I'm happy the Dodgers were able to beat the Yankees tonight, because most of what I've been doing is stewing about the Dodgers' performance during interleague play.

I despise the interleague set-up. I know it's not going away, but quite simply all interleague play has been from the start is a cash grab by major league baseball. A greedy gimmick. Interleague doesn't interest me in the least. The Dodgers vs. the Yankees? Is it the World Series? No? Then I don't care. Baseball is interesting enough without tarting up matchups.

But this is what irritates me the most about interleague.

Below is a list of each National League West team, their record this season, their interleague opponents so far this season, and the combined overall records of their interleague opponents:

1. San Diego,  44-30 (Mariners, Blue Jays, Orioles, Rays: 133-160 .454 winning percentage)
2. San Francisco, 40-33 (A's, Orioles, Blue Jays, Red Sox: 139-158 .468)
3. Los Angeles, 40-34 (Tigers, Angels, Red Sox, Yankees: 170-127 .572)
4. Colorado, 39-35 (Royals, Blue Jays, Twins, Red Sox, Angels: 196-177 .525)
5. Arizona, 29-46 (Blue Jays, Tigers, Yankees, Rays: 167-125 .571)

This bothers me every year. Why the hell don't the Dodgers get to play the Orioles? All of the teams they have played are at the top of the American League. Meanwhile, San Diego, which I still don't know how is in first place, plays two of the worst teams in the AL but doesn't play the Yankees or Red Sox. The Giants get a pretty favorable run, too.

Any surprise that the Padres are on a hot streak right now while the Dodgers are in their biggest slump since April? I'm not surprised.

There are enough variables for teams in a baseball season -- injuries, slumps, weather -- the damn schedule shouldn't be one of them. Until schedule makers can figure out a way to make schedules equal among teams that share the same division -- as it was before interleague play began -- then I will continue to hate interleague play. Dodgers vs. Red Sox or Yankees does not interest me in midseason. I don't need to see replays of the 1955 World Series in June. I already know my blasted baseball history. Interleague play is poorly run greed. That's all it is.

OK, so, other than sending Bud Selig hate mail, what else did I do?

Well, I stopped in a couple antique shops in search of cards. I found some, but for the most part it was all junk wax. I could've had all the 1990 Score that I wanted. There were lots of rack packs of anything 1988. A whole stack of Panini stickers. Some Classic travel sets.

I spent 3 bucks on half of a set that was not from the junk wax era. It will remain nameless now as some cards will probably go out in trades (don't get excited -- it's not junk wax, but it's pretty darn close).

I also found one area that had singles from just about every non-sport issue of the last couple of years. Lots of American Heritage, and non-sports cards from Piece of History and Allen & Ginter. I didn't get any of those. But I always search through stuff like that because you never know what will sneak in there.

For example, I found 3 cards from the 2004 Topps insert set that featured all the World Series covers. I don't know why they were in there. Maybe the seller thought they were boring because they showed a magazine and not a player. I always thought that was a cool set. But I bought only one.

It's the program from the Dodgers' first World Series appearance, against the Red Sox in 1916.

That means I still need the insert series cards of the 1920, 1941, 1947, 1949, 1952, 1955, 1956, 1959, 1963, 1965, 1966, 1974, 1977, 1978, 1981 and 1988 Series programs (I have 1953). So if you have any of those lying around and you think they're boring like that seller did, send them my way.

I also went to Target one day and grabbed a few modern packs. The display there was miserable. The cards I pulled were mediocre.

My time away didn't involve much else related to baseball. I did bring along my 1,848-page Standard Catalog of Baseball Cards. You know, for some light reading (and heavy lifting).

It gave me an idea for my next post. So, yay me.


  1. Personally, I like interleague play. But, I can certainly see where you are coming from. It would be nice if they could get a little rotation going year after year where the NL West would play the AL West one year, the AL Central the next, and the AL East the following year. But the problem with that is that you would lose some of the intercity/state rivalries that some of the teams rely on. Plus, with the AL West and NL Central not having five teams in the division, it would be hard to schedule truely equal schedules for all of the teams involved.

    I do think that something should be done to equalize it, but I have no ideas on how to really do it without expanding to 32 teams. Then you could have four divisions of four per league. But, I don't think that we are ready for that yet.

    I checked the four World Series programs that I had and unfortunately, I did not have one of the one you needed.

  2. The Mets always get the short end of the interleague stick. Not only do we get to play the Yankees 6 times, it seems we usually get the better teams from whatever crazy method they use to choose the teams (the Orioles not withstanding). I feel that you have to beat the team in front of you and that these things tend to work themselves out. Besides, the Mets blow things in September, not June.

  3. While I basically agree that the interleague setup is unfair, it's not my biggest complaint of MLB biggest complaint is the size of the NL Central and AL West. Sure, it may stink that a team like the Dodgers or Mets have to play the Yankees three (or six) extra times compared to a division rival...but that pales in comparison to teams like my Reds who have to outplay five other teams to lead the division while the Angels only have to outplay 3 other teams. I get the logistics behind the numbers in the leagues, but I still think that's the #1 inequity in baseball.

  4. I hate Interleague play, and have since its inception during the regular season. Interleague should be reserved for the biggest series in baseball, not as a cash cow for the MLB. But, then again, that's basically what the MLB is all about anyway, isn't it? Oh well.