Coffee With Ian

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May 22
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The Final 8 Interleague Series

This weekend, the 15th season Interleague Play has started up again in Major League Baseball.  It is also the 10th season of interdivision Interleague play.

This year sees a few regular season Interleague matchups that hadn’t happened yet, led off by the Chicago Cubs visiting the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park for the first time since the 1918 World Series.  The Cincinnati Reds and St. Louis Cardinals will each visit Camden Yards for the first time and play against the Baltimore Orioles.  The Milwaukee Brewers, who switched to the National League in 1998, will visit the New York Yankees for the first time since 1997, their final season in the American League.

This leaves eight remaining stadium-specific matchups that have not happened in regular season Interleague Play, including three World Series rematches.  Each of these teams have played at least one series at the other team’s stadium.

Los Angeles Dodgers at New York Yankees: The Yankees and Dodgers have a lot of history with each other, dating back to when the Dodgers were based in Brooklyn.  They have played many World Series against each other, the last being 1981.  While the Yankees have visited Chavez Ravine twice, the Dodgers are the only current Major League franchise* to have never played a regular season game at the old Yankee Stadium.

Minnesota Twins at Atlanta Braves: Another World Series rematch (1991) that hasn’t been scheduled.  While the Braves have visited the Twins, Minnesota has never been to Turner Field, which opened for baseball in 1997.

Chicago Cubs at Oakland Athletics: OK, so the two World Series were in 1910 and 1929, when the A’s were still based in Philadelphia, but they still have not played each other in Oakland, which could use the high profile visiting team to boost sagging attendance.

The other five series, with no particular history or backstory are:

CHW @ NYM

ATL @ KC

SD @ TOR

STL @ LAA

TEX @ STL

My question is what are Bud Selig and the schedule makers waiting for?  All eight of these series, led off by Dodgers at Yankees, should be scheduled for 2012.

*The Washington Nationals never played at the original Yankee Stadium as the Nationals, but the franchise visited there many times as the Montreal Expos, including David Cone’s perfect game in 1999.  The Nationals visited the new stadium in 2009.  The only Dodger to play at Yankee Stadium as a Dodger since 1981 was Russell Martin, the team’s only representative at the 2008 All Star Game.