The Baltimore Orioles will open a three-game set with the Los Angeles Dodgers tomorrow night at Oriole Park at Camden Yards. Los Angeles of course comes in with an eye on the post-season, while the Orioles are in effect playing out a string. However that wasn’t always the case at this time of year.
As we know, the Orioles won more regular season games than anyone in baseball between 2012-2016. They were always very much in contention at this point. So you, the Orioles fans, know what that’s like. You obviously want things to go as smoothly as possible for you.
Interleague games can sometimes throw a wrench into that armor. From the Dodgers’ perspective, that’s what they’re having to deal with right now. However from the perspective of an American League team, it’s even worse – you surrender your DH. And there have been plenty of times when the Orioles of the aforementioned era have had to do that in these all-important September games.
This is symptomatic of MLB wanting to have an interleague game on every day of the season. Literally from Opening Day until the season concludes. So whenever your team has an interleague game at what could be deemed an inconvenient moment, just keep in mind that someone had to play interleague today.
But I think it made much more sense to do interleague games in blocks, which is how it used to be. Normally the weeks leading in and out of Memorial Day weekend (and Memorial Day weekend itself), and the last couple of weeks in June would be interleague games. So whether you were home or away, that’s when you would be playing games against the opposite league.
MLB moved away from that, however I think it’s something they should reconsider. Once you get to September it should be about one of two things; the playoffs, or playing out a string. I suppose if you’re the Orioles and you’re playing out a string, it’s not that big a deal. However the L.A. Dodgers have to get used to a style of play with which they’re not familiar, at a very sensitive moment.
Again, the Orioles have had to do that in the past as well. However if the league went back to the former rules on interleague play, that would cease to be an issue.