In my last entry I talked about why I feel Interleague games have lost their luster and are not as appealing to fans.
I received more responses on the Interleague topic than any other, and the consensus is that fans and players do still like the concept and want to see Interleague play continue.
The fans at Camden Yards seemed to enjoy the Braves, Mets and Nationals coming in for three-game series. The crowds that came out over the weekend for the Battle of the Beltways were large and enthusiastic.
I asked Brian Roberts if he still enjoys the Interleague match ups, and he said he does because it breaks up the schedule near the middle of the season and also gives the players a chance to compete against players they know about and have heard of but wouldn't get the chance to play against if not for the rotating Interleague schedule.
Major League players are very competitive and they do enjoy showcasing their talents to the other league. The three-game sweep by the Orioles over the Phillies in Philadelphia was the highlight of the Interleague schedule. Taking three straight games from the defending World Champions on their field was very satisfying and a good experience for the younger Orioles on the roster.
And the fact that the Orioles went 11-7 and won five of the six Interleague series made this season's battles against the Nationals League very rewarding for the won-loss record.
I still would rather see the Orioles play more games against the AL Central or West though. I think it's a better gauge over a championship season to have the same schedule as every team in your division and the Interleague schedule prohibits that. But as long as the fans enjoy it, there's no reason to turn back.
PS - As Bob Carpenter noted in his latest entry, we all enjoyed sharing the booth with MASN's Nats family in the six Interleague games against the Nationals. MASN has a unique position in having two Major League teams on its network, and being able to bring us all together for the series in DC and here in Baltimore was a lot of fun. Bob and Rob Dibble are pros and a joy to work with. Jim Palmer and I enjoyed the experience and the dueling analysts gave the fans a clinic. I hope you enjoyed it too.