Image courtesy of The Sports Hernia
They call it the Senior Circuit. Yes, the National League may be the world’s oldest professional sports league, but that doesn’t necessarily mean those National League rules are the be all and end all of baseball.
A lot of folks shared the same sentiment on Twitter last night: that these Interleague Games and specifically the ones in National League ballparks are overrated.
First of all, I don’t like them because they automatically put the American League teams at a disadvantage. For most American League pitchers, it’s a fish out of water situation that almost always leads to an easy out.
In American League games, all the National League teams have to do is sub in a player from their bench as the DH. No extra skills required … in fact the designated hitter doesn’t even need to take the field, it’s not like they have to go out there and take the mound.
My second pet peeve about these National League rules games is twofold regarding the strategy around using the pitcher in the lineup.
We’ve already seen this happen a few times in the Jays/Rockies series, but the situation arises when a rally begins near the bottom of the lineup with two out and the opposing team intentionally walks the number eight hitter to get to the pitcher.
I understand the logic of why National League managers make that move, but at the same time it seems like a cheap way to get the third out of the inning
The second part of that pet peeve once again surrounds the pitcher. We saw this particular situation happen with Ricky Romero in the six inning of Friday’s game against the Rockies. The Blue Jays are behind by a run and the Blue Jays have runners on second and third with two out.
Aside from the torrential downpour, Romero has the game relatively under control but Cito Gaston opts to pinch hit for him in hopes of keeping the two-out rally going. Yet I wondered, how does Romero feel about being taken out of a game when he was still pitching pretty well?
The point I’m trying to make here is: in close or tied games that are at about the midway point, National League starters really don’t have as long a leash as their American League counterparts. That probably not only reduces their innings pitched, but evidently their chance at more wins and losses as well.
The baseball purists may say that the true game of baseball involves the pitcher stepping up to the plate, but personally I just think it’s part of the game that could be done away with.
Taking the path of least resistance doesn’t capture the essence of baseball to me, and that’s why I prefer my American League game.