Why Interleague Play Is A Great Thing
This past weekend was the first opportunity during the 2006 season for fans and teams alike to renew relatively young but sometimes heated rivalries between teams of different leagues. It's hard to believe, but this is already the 10th season of interleague play, and the argument for and against the scheduling of games between different leagues continues to rage. The "purists" who decry interleague play generally lean on a few standard points to make their case, and we'll examine some of these below.
Not to mention, a championship-caliber team in any sport needs to measure up to any test that's presented. If the Cubs are going to contend for the pennant, they need to step up for these few games and play well. Also, the chance to play a very good team from the other league creates an opportunity for invaluable experience.
Teams that are battle-tested are better suited for a late-season surge, which is really what makes the difference between winning a division or not in October.
It's highly dubious that baseball fans will not be as interested in a World Series simply because the two teams playing had a series in May. Secondly, many Super Bowls have featured teams that have played each other during the NFL season, and this has never diminished the competitive nature of that game. NBA Finals series always feature teams that have played each other, and there doesn't appear to be any falloff in terms of competitiveness or fan interest in this setting either. If anything, a small dose of familiarity creates better games, as adjustments need to be made immediately.
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