(is the crowning achievement of this man’s baseball career so easy to forget?

Left to the discretion of the New York Sun’s Tim Marchman, Mets fans would have no glorius memories of Dave Mlicki (above) shutting out the Yankees, Mr. Koo embarrassing the Big Unit nor one of the signature hits of David Wright’s career. Cubs fans (and most of the western world) wouldn’t have rejoiced in Michael Barrett punching out A.J. Pierzynski, nor would they be able to bask in today’s 6-3 defeat of the ChiSox (aside from Ryan Dempster rebounding from yesterday’s meltdown in Flushing, it really needs to be said that Jim Hendry might not have been totally out of his mind in giving all that money to Ted Lilly). Despite all of this (scant) evidence to the contrary, Marchman calls interleague play, ” a misbegotten, half-animate monstrosity.”

By its existence alone, interleague play marks out the rest of the schedule as unworthy of notice ” filled with meaningless games of little consequence, mere preludes to the garish spectacles on offer at the beginning and midpoint of summer.

The slow, comfortable rhythm and routine of the long season, into which we should just now be settling as May winds into its final days, is suddenly broken; the charms of small games against minor teams give sudden, abrupt way to games of apocalyptic consequence.

We have now endured a decade of this, a decade during which baseball has become more popular than ever and baseball players and owners have made more money than anyone ever thought possible. We will endure it for decades to come. The public has its tastes, and for mystifying reasons the public will rise to the customary pitch of warlike enthusiasm when the Yankees and Mets meet this weekend for their 18th exercise in reducing our national pastime to the level of a crosstown high school football rivalry.