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Interleague Play

Today begins the first round of AL/NL matchups, which will this year be compressed all into the month of June. This is the seventh season of interleague play, so it is now a significant part of baseball history.

Now George Steinbrenner is bitching about the matchups he got in interleague play, as the Yankees will play the Reds and Cubs while his closest competitors, the Red Sox, play the Pirates and Brewers.

I've heard this argument about a lot of teams ever since MLB went to the "natural rival" idea, which means the Cubs and White Sox, for example, play home & home series, while some other teams don't have that, and will play only 12 interleague games, as opposed to the 18 that the Cubs will play.

This is an excuse, in my view. You've still got to go out and win the games. The Yankees went into Detroit, in their own league, over the weekend, and had to play seventeen innings on the last day of the series to avoid losing the series to the worst team in baseball. And the Tigers won the same number of games in the month of May that the Yankees did -- eleven.

The Cubs face the Devil Rays, not a very good team, the next three days. If the Cubs are serious about contending this year they ought to win at least two of three, if not sweep.

But you still have to go out and win the games. I'd advise Steinbrenner, or any other team owner who thinks his team is getting shafted by the schedule, to shut up and tell his manager and players to just go out and win.

This ought to be quite a weekend at Wrigley Field. Dusty Baker has shifted the Cubs' rotation around so that both Kerry Wood (Saturday) and Mark Prior (Sunday) will face the Yankees. If this rotation is maintained, it means that a lot of teams will face Wood and Prior back-to-back over the next few weeks.

Just a few musings on a chilly, rainy June day. Tonight's weather will be more suited to mid-April than what it should be this time of year.