George Hale’s Perspective on Sports

Updated 3 years ago

THE RED SOX EMBARK ON A NINE-GAME INTERLEAGUE ROAD TRIP STARTING TONIGHT IN PITTSBURGH.GOING INTO THE WEEKEND BOSTON HOLDS A HALF GAME LEADIN THE AMERICAN LEAGUE EAST.STARTING TONIGHT TERRY FRANCONA HAS TO CONTEND WITH ANUMBER OF CHANGES AS HIS TEAM LOSES THE DH OR DESIGNATEDHITTER.I MUST SAY AT THE OUTSET THAT I HAVE NEVER BEEN A FAN OFINTERLEAGUE PLAY.CERTAINLY A NUMBER OF FANS DO ENJOY THE CHANGE BUT IMUCH PREFER THE TRADITIONAL LEAGUE SCHEDULE.THERE IS VERY LITTLE DOUBT THAT MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL IS GOING TO STICK WITH A FORMULA THAT HAS PROVEN SUCCESSFULAT THE GATE.BUT IT’S HARDLY FAIR.FROM WHERE I SIT INTERLEAGUE PLAY DISRUPTS THE FLOW OF THEDIVISIONAL BATTLES AS WE HEAD TO THE MID-POINT IN THE SEASON.THE SCHEDULES OFTEN ARE UNBALANCED AND PIT TEAMS WHOHAVE NO NATURAL REASON TO BE PLAYING.TO BE SURE THERE WAS GOOD INTEREST WHEN THE CUBS PLAYED ATFENWAY PARK FOR THE FIRST TIME SINCE THE 1918 SEASON EARLIERTHIS YEAR.GAMES LIKE THAT ARE NOT THE NORM HOWEVER.SO MANAGER FANCONA, STARTING TONIGHT, HAS TO BEGIN TO WEIGHTHE OPTION OF PLAYING ADRIAN GONZALEZ IN RIGHT FIELD SO THATHE CAN GET DAVID ORTIZ INTO THE GAME AND NOT LOSE HIS BAT.THE RISK IS THAT GONZALEZ HAS VERY LITTLE TIME AS AN OUTFIELDERAND CAN’T COVER A LOT OF TERRITORY.THE LAST TIME HE TRIED IT WAS IN 2005 AND THAT WAS ONE GAME.FOR THOSE WHO DON’T FOLLOW BASEBALL YOU PLAY BY NATIONALLEAGUE RULES IN THEIR BALLPARKS AND THE AMERICAN LEAGUERULES WHEN GAMES ARE IN THE AL PARKS.BOSTON HAS NINE GAMES IN TEN DAYS IT’S A BIG DEAL.IF ANYONE SITS IT WILL BE ORTIZ NOT GONZALEZ,WHICH BRINGS UP THE OTHER PROBLEM.RED SOX PITCHERS WILL NOW HAVE TO BAT.SINCE THAT IS NOT THE NORM YOU RUN THE RISK OF PITCHERS GETTINGHURT PARTICULARLY IN THE CAGE.THAT HAS ALREADY HAPPENED TO JOSH BECKETT THIS SEASON,INTERLEAGUE PLAY HAS BEEN AROUND SINCE 1997 AND ITS HERETO STAY.THE REAL PROBLEM IS THAT THE TWO LEAGUES HAVE DIFFERENTRULES AND BUILD THEIR TEAMS TO FIT THE RULES.WHILE THE AL HAS A GOOD RECORD AGAINST THE NL THEY ARESTILL PERNALIZED.NATIONAL LEAGUE PITCHERS ARE HITTING AND BUNTING ALL SEASONLONG. AMERICAN LEAGUE PITCHERS ARE AN AUTOMATIC OUT ANDSOME OF THE BEST HITTERS HAVE TO SIT GAMES OUT.INTERLEAGUE PLAY WORKS OUT FOR TEAMS WITH NATURAL RIVALRIES.I’M SURE THE YANKEES AND METS AND THE TWO CHICAGO TEAMS HAVESOMETHING PROVE TO THEIR THEIR CITIES.BUT FOR MANY GAMES IT’S A YAWN.I KNOW THE DECK IS STACKED AGAINST ME BUT A LEAST ICAN ONCE AGAIN EXPRESS MY OPINION .INTERLEAGUE PLAY IN BASEBALL IS A GIMMICK.FOR THIS FAN THE ONLY TIME I WANT OR NEED TO SEE A TEAM FROMTHE OTHER LEAGUE IS IN THE WORLD SERIES.THIS IS GEORGE HALE WITH MY PERSPECTIVE ON SPORTS


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