Hello, Larry! Atlanta’s Chipper Jones gets a jump start on the interleague-bashing, courtesy of the Associated Press .
I don’t think there’s any question it’s not fair, but I don’t think major league baseball is concerned with fair,” Jones said before Atlanta’s 13-2 loss in Pittsburgh. “If you play the top teams in the American League and everybody else doesn’t, it’s pretty unfair.”
While the Braves oppose the Red Sox (6 games), Tigers (3), Twins (3) and Indians (3), and the Mets face the Yankees (6), Tigers (3), Twins (3) and Athletics (3), the other NL East teams look to have less-demanding schedules. The Phillies, for example, play three games each against the losing-record Blue Jays and Royals, plus three each against the White Sox, Indians and Tigers.
“Is it fun? Yeah. It’s fun playing in new cities. It’s fun playing in front of new crowds, it’s fun playing new teams,” Jones said. “What’s not fun is when they’re all contenders and your competition doesn’t have to play the same competition you do.”
What Jones most dislikes is the recently added wrinkle that requires teams to play so-called regional rivals in home-and-home series each season, such as Braves-Red Sox, Yankees-Mets and Angels-Dodgers.
“It’s a factor (in the pennant race),” Jones said. “We play Boston six times, and they’ve got the best record in the American League. We play the top three teams in the toughest division in baseball (the AL Central). We, without a doubt, have the toughest schedule in baseball, bar none. You don’t play in our division and play the interleague schedule we play and not say we don’t have the toughest schedule.”
On the other hand, Chipper does get to play in a division where John Paterson was supposed to be the no. 1 starter for the Nationals. So I do think this tends to even out a bit more than he lets on.