Tuesday, June 24, 2008

World Series Flashbacks

In anticipation of the Yankees-Pirates series, the New York Times runs a remembrance of the 1960 World Series. We all know how that ended so I'll spare you, but how about this:
Since interleague games began in 1997, there have been many of these series reminding fans of World Series games contested decades before.

Two weekends ago, the Pirates visited Baltimore for the first time since they won the 1979 — “We Are Family” — World Series against the Orioles. That same weekend, the Red Sox played the Reds in Cincinnati for the first time since the Reds won the 1975 — “Carlton Fisk Foul Pole Home Run” — World Series against the Sox.

I have no idea if it's a person or a computer making the interleague matchups, but it seems like World Series rematches have been a conscious calculation this time around. I've read a lot of articles like these that force me to reflect on the past, but nostalgia can be a double edged sword. While the "historic" matchups like these are supposed to inspire fond remembrances, nothing diminishes the 1975 World Series more than seeing Norris Hopper in left field when I'm thinking about Pete Rose. Or seeing Darrell on the mound when I'm reminded of Whitey Ford.

3 comments:

Osmodious said...

Craig, it just seems to me that there is NOTHING about this interleague play that isn't contrived. Look, they even put off having the Yankees & Mets make up a rainout until this week so they could pull this stupid day/night cross-town ridiculousness (it would have been MUCH better, for both teams, to have made up the game right away).

There has been a lot of debate and discussion about 'should they or shouldn't they' play interleague games. Joe Girardi (in his weekly review show with Michael Kay) summed it up pretty well, in essence saying that we're stuck with it so we might as well make the best of it...but there should NOT be 9 games in a row in an NL ballpark, because of the DH (who would otherwise have to sit out almost 2 weeks). Sorry to digress there...

The whole thing is very contrived and diminishes both the World Series and the All Star game, in my opinion. The schedules are designed for these make-believe rivalries based on I don't know what, and as a result you have teams playing meaningless games against meaningless opponents that, unfortunately, can seriously impact their place in the standings.

Personally, I don't think it's a robot making these schedules...they would be far more logical about it. When you take into account the ridiculous number of in-Division games (Yankees-Red Sox NINETEEN TIMES?!?!), I think it is more likely a room full of monkeys with schedule cards...

the Ascetic Sensualist said...

The Pirates also had a series with the Orioles this year...for the first time since...the 1979 World Series.

Rob said...

I find it interesting that despite all the claims of how popular interleague games are, MLB still needs to drum up these contrived matchups in order to stimulate interest.