Interleague Play has, thus far, been kind to the Yankees. They took two of three from the Mets at home, the Cubs in their place, and won their first game against the Reds in Great American Ballpark. The Yankees, like most American League teams, take advantage of Interleague Play and beat up a bit on National League teams, even in their Senior Circuit counterparts’ homes. I, for one, cannot wait until they are done with this mini-tour of N.L. parks.
While it was certainly nice to see the Cubs–well, mostly Starlin Castro–I couldn’t stand another minute of Wrigley Field stroking. We get it: It’s an old park that features a team that hasn’t had a lot of success over the years. The rooftop seats? Cool. The Ivy? Yeah, awesome. The fact that it’s approximately a billion years old? Sweet! But it seemed like every single inning the YES guys were waxing on how special the place was. That? Annoying. Do a feature before or after the game and call the pitches.
Also annoying? Constantly hearing that the N.L brand of baseball is superior to the A.L. brand because there’s so much “strategy” involving the pitchers, hitting, etc. No. I find it hard to see the strategy in “Hey, pitcher: There’s a guy on first and zero outs. Bunt.” AMAZING. You know what takes real strategy from a pitcher and a manager? Pitching against and game planning for a lineup that includes nine real hitters.
I’m just glad we haven’t seen a double-switch yet. I’m sure that everyone in the booth will explode with excitement. There is nothing thrilling about watching a pitcher flail at a baseball or take three pitches down the middle or bunt. The best part is that the irony was clearly not lost on John Flaherty on Friday. Michael Kay asked him if he liked the N.L. style, pitchers hitting, etc. He said yes, he thought it was exciting. At that very moment, Doug Davis was taking a pitch right down the middle from Freddy Garcia for strike there. Ken Singleton chimed in: “There’s your excitement, John.” A certain beat writer for a certain network that goes by a four letter acronym also suggested over the weekend that A.L. managers don’t like to think and that pitchers aren’t necessarily “players” because they don’t hit every day. I wonder if he said those things aloud in the clubhouse; somehow I doubt that.
Maybe I’m biased because I’ve grown up with the Yankees and American League baseball but…it’s just better. I cannot wait until the Yankees return home to the Bronx and this no-DH silliness can end. Aside from the fact that it’s how the game started, I don’t see why there’s a good reason to keep pitchers hitting. Please, N.L., adopt the designated hitter. I’m begging you.