The big Subway Series starts tonight as the Mets take on the Yankees for a three game weekend series that’s sure to be exciting for players and fans alike. Or so the MLB hype department and media would have you think. The bottom line is that the subway series stinks. Why?
For one thing it doesn’t count in the standings any more or less than any other regular season games do. A win or loss in any game of this series doesn’t count for any more than half a game within the divisional standings. I’m not suggesting that it should count for any more than any other game. I’m just trying to keep things in perspective.
The subway series also represents everything that is wrong with interleague play. Sure it’s fun to see the Mets and Yankees duke it out 6 games a year. But while the Mets draw the Yankees, the Marlins draw the Devil Rays. This wouldn’t be a problem if the Mets got their chance with the D-Rays and the Marlins would get a shot at the Yankees. But they don’t.
To me this situation illustrates what is wrong with interleague play and scheduling in general. I’m a strong supporter of a balanced schedule in which all the teams in each division play the same opponents across the 162 game season. I long for the days of my youth where every team played 18 games (9 home, 9 away) against teams in their division and 12 games (6 home, 6 away) against every team in the rest of their league. It was a fair and balanced way to see how good a team was in relation to the other teams in their division.