Interleague play in Major League Baseball – An idea

First a brief history. When Interleague play began in 1997 and for the next five seasons,  each division played against the same division from the other league (NL East vs. AL East, NL Central vs. AL Central and NL West vs. AL West). In the 2002 season, a new format was instituted where teams play Interleague games against various divisions. This history is important because MLB has changed the format of Interleague play at least once before.

During Interleague Play the designated hitter rule is used in all American League ballparks, but is not used in National League stadiums.  According the MLB.com “From 1997-99, umpire crews for each Interleague game came from the league where the game is being played.”

My suggestion is that during Interleague Play the designated hitter rule be used in all National League ballparks, but not used in American league parks. 

Rationale: This change provides fans in AL ballparks the chance to see the game played by NL rules.  Fans in NL ballparks will have the chance to see the game played with the DH in their NL ballpark. (Since each team plays the same number of home and away Interleague games during the season the change will not result in any variation of the # of games played under the NL or AL rules than under the current system. The only change is where those rules are applied. 

The change will add to the excitement, anticipation and marketability of interleague play for the home team regardless of whether they are AL or NL teams. It will no doubt also bring a certain amount of controversy which would be a good thing for TV, radio and other sports media as well as for major league baseball and its fans. 

A note on Stats: Major League Baseball has previously decided that  “The official statistics of both leagues will be kept separately as they have in the past. This means statistics for each team and their individual players will reflect their performance in games within the league and also in Interleague games without differentiation.” No change in this policy is either required nor recommended. 
Please weigh in and let me know what you think.

Interleague play in Major League Baseball – An idea

First a brief history. When Interleague play began in 1997 and for the next five seasons,  each division played against the same division from the other league (NL East vs. AL East, NL Central vs. AL Central and NL West vs. AL West). In the 2002 season, a new format was instituted where teams play Interleague games against various divisions. This history is important because MLB has changed the format of Interleague play at least once before. 

During Interleague Play the designated hitter rule is used in all American League ballparks, but is not used in National League stadiums.  According the MLB.com “From 1997-99, umpire crews for each Interleague game came from the league where the game is being played.”

My suggestion is that during Interleague Play the designated hitter rule be used in all National League ballparks, but not used in American league parks. 

Rationale: This change provides fans in AL ballparks the chance to see the game played by NL rules.  Fans in NL ballparks will have the chance to see the game played with the DH in their NL ballpark. (Since each team plays the same number of home and away Interleague games during the season the change will not result in any variation of the # of games played under the NL or AL rules than under the current system. The only change is where those rules are applied. 

The change will add to the excitement, anticipation and marketability of interleague play for the home team regardless of whether they are AL or NL teams. It will no doubt also bring a certain amount of controversy which would be a good thing for TV, radio and other sports media as well as for major league baseball and its fans. 

A note on Stats: Major League Baseball has previously decided that  “The official statistics of both leagues will be kept separately as they have in the past. This means statistics for each team and their individual players will reflect their performance in games within the league and also in Interleague games without differentiation.” No change in this policy is either required nor recommended. 
 
Please weigh in and let me know what you think. 

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