This coming weekend Major League Baseball will showcase the first interleague games of this year’s schedule. You can expect several opinion pieces, both in support and against the idea of American League teams playing National League teams, to be published in the next few days. However, I doubt any opinion will be as frank and honest as Detroit Tigers manager Jim Leyland’s.

The appeal of interleague play has worn off for me. It was a brilliant idea to start with, but it has run its course. I’ll probably get chewed out for it, but I think a lot of people feel the same way. And that you can quote me on. They ought to look into it. I’m on the (Commissioner’s) committee, and I’ll probably get a phone call, but I don’t really care. That’s totally ridiculous.

And let me emphasize this, it originally was a tremendous idea. But it’s not really doing what it’s supposed to do. There are no rivalries for most of the teams. I’m sure it helps the White Sox a little bit when they host the Cubs, but it doesn’t help at Wrigley Field. The Cubs pack it most of the time anyway. The Yankees also pack their place most of the time.

It has run its course. I just don’t like it. First of all, at some point we have to get baseball back to the same set of rules. I don’t know why more people don’t talk about it. No other sport plays different rules. I don’t care what they do. Whatever way they go is fine with me, but the rules should be the same. I was on the committee. I don’t know if I still am.

Hey Jim, why don’t you tell us how you really feel?

To me, the bigger issue here is that teams competing against each other for a Wild Card playoff spot, have different schedules, and interleague play emphasizes this in ways that regular division play may not. It makes absolutely no sense to me that teams whose overall records decide who goes to the playoffs and who doesn’t have different strength of schedules. What would the problem be with putting all the teams together and letting the top four advance? Even if the idea of the Westernmost teams playing the Easternmost teams more regularly presents logistical problems, I can’t see how anyone could argue that removing divisions and eliminating interleague play wouldn’t be the fairest approach.

As for interleague play on its own, I agree with Leyland. What started out as a novel idea in 1997 has since turned into a gimmick that decreases the importance of a series because its against teams that essentially aren’t competing against each other.

And The Rest

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It’s important to celebrate Civil Rights, just don’t use those civil rights to talk about civil rights.

Tony LaRussa does not take criticism sitting down, at least not from someone associated with the Cincinnati Reds.

The Kansas City Royals time machine goes forward, not backwards.

Daisuke Matsuzaka’s up and down season will now take a trip to the Disabled List.

Baseball players have ninety-nine problems, but a fastball ain’t one.

Lego portraits!

Jurors are rethinking their verdict for the Barry Bonds trial.

Yesterday, in baseball awesomeness:

And finally, Paul Brothers catches de taste of Roberto Alomar: