According to my calculations, the Mets are 12-4 in interleague play, but I still hate it. I hate being treated like the red-headed stepchild by Yankee fans — people who believe they are morally superior to the rest of us simply because the team they root for has 28 world series championships. Please. Let’s face it — it’s EASY to root for the team that wins all the time. It requires no thought. No imagination. No heart. No character. No soul.
Am I slamming all Yankee fans? No. Not the ones who inherited this love from their parents or who fell in love with the team in the late 1960s/early 70s or late 80s/early 90s (in other words, during the period when the Mets owned New York). I’ll give those people a pass. They’re generally knowledgeable baseball fans who just happen to root for the Yankees. But there are a whole lot of people who jumped on the bandwagon in 1995 and who, after 15 years, still know nothing about baseball in general or the Yankees in particular but who still claim to be die-hards. Those people truly make me ill. It’s just not possible to be a die-hard when you’ve never had to die.
So, back to the original topic. Why do I hate interleague play? First off, the Designated Hitter is evil. Second, the scheduling is just ridiculous. In football, each team in a division plays a similar schedule to every other team in the division. But not in baseball. The Mets have to play the Yankees 6 times, yet the Cardinals get the Royals 6 times, the Padres get Seattle 6 times and the Giants get the A’s 6 times. If the Cardinals or the Padres or the Giants win the Wild Card over the Mets by a game or two, it’s not a stretch to think that the schedule had something to do with it.
But the single worst thing about interleague play is that it forces me to want the Yankees to win. Why, you ask? Because, when the Yankees play the Phillies or the Braves or the Marlins or the Nationals (or any team the Mets are competing against for a playoff spot), it’s best for the Mets if the Yankees win. And, frankly, that’s just wrong.
I found this picture through a Google search, but it reminds me of something that happened several years ago. When I lived in NY, a large group of my friends would meet in the Shea parking lot for a tailgate. Well, one year, at a Mets/Yankees pre-game tailgate, a man in the group next to ours set a Yankee shirt on fire. One of the cops came over to investigate and, when he was told that it was a Jeter shirt, he offered to throw more gasoline on the fire. That was a great day.