Pivotal Mets-Indians Series Is Why Interleague Play Needs To End
Entering last night’s game, the Wild Card leading Cleveland Indians traveled to New York to take on a Mets team who was just two games back in the Wild Card race. This is a huge August series which could go a long way in deciding the postseason picture. The problem is no matter the outcome of the series, it will not have a definitive impact on where each one of these teams are in the standings.
This is the inherent problem with Interleague Play and its expansion.
With the Wild Card format, the Mets are fighting for a postseason spot with the Nationals, Phillies, Cubs, Cardinals, and Brewers. If you look deeper, you could also throw the Giants and the Diamondbacks on that list as well. Expand that list as far and wide as you want all the way down to the Marlins who have yet to be mathematically eliminated. No matter how far out you expand it, you will never reach the Indians.
The Indians are an American League team fighting the Minnesota Twins for the AL Central. They are trying to fend off the Rays, Athletics, and Red Sox in the Wild Card race. In no way shape or form are they competing with the Mets for the division or the American League Wild Card.
When you have a pivotal series with real postseason implications between two teams in different races, the Interleague gimmick has gone too far. It is time baseball fixes this and lets National League teams fight with National League teams for the Wild Card and let American League teams fight with American League teams for the Wild Card.
It is up to baseball to decide how to fix this. A team can be moved to the American or the National League. Baseball could expand into two markets to balance out the leagues permitting them to balance out the schedules. Short of contraction, any option is better than the Indians and Mets playing games that matter in August which will have an impact on the postseason picture.