Boo hoo. Poor old George. Interleague play isn’t going to let his Yankees pad their lead on the Red Sox this year, so it must be unfair. This man is the worst sport in the world, I swear. Who else complains about their schedule when they are in first place in their division and make more money than any other team in their sport?
Let’s look at the two teams’ interleague schedules:
|Cincinnati||27-39 (.409)||Pittsburgh||24-31 (.436)|
|Chicago Cubs||30-25 (.545)||Milwaukee||22-34 (.393)|
|Houston||30-27 (.526)||St. Louis||28-27 (.509)|
|St. Louis||28-27 (.509)||Houston||30-27 (.526)|
|NY Mets||26-30 (.464)||Philadelphia||31-25 (.554)|
|NY Mets||26-30 (.464)||Florida||26-32 (.448)|
|Total||167-168 (.499)||Total||161-176 (.478)|
So let’s break this down a little. Both teams play St. Louis and Houston, so that’s a wash. The Yankees get to play the Mets two series (which is why they’re included twice in the totals), but Florida and Pittsburgh are roughly comparable to the Mets, so call that a draw. That leaves Philadelphia and Milwaukee for Boston vs. Chicago and Cincinnati for the Yankees. Philadelphia has a slightly better record than the Cubs, so call that a wash. What are we left with? The difference between 27-29 Cincinnati and 22-34 Milwaukee. Yes, that’s a bit lopsided, but with six teams in the NL Central and five in the AL East, somebody had to draw the short straw.
An argument could be made, I suppose, that the Yankees got the short end of it last year, too. The Yankees played (in order) San Francisco, Arizona, the Mets, Colorado, San Diego, and the Mets again. Boston got to play Arizona, Colorado, Atlanta, San Diego, Los Angeles, and then more Atlanta. All in all, that’s pretty fair, though – sure the Yankees had to play the Giants, but Boston had to play Atlanta twice. Besides which, New York finished interleague play 11-7 in 2002 – their worst matchup was 3-3 against the Mets – while Boston struggled to 5-13, including a dismal 1-5 against the Braves. Personally, I think 2003 is gonna play out similar to last year, or maybe 2001, when both teams went 10-8 in interleague play. I certainly don’t think Steinbrenner has too much to worry about.