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When the Houston Astros move to the American League next year, a great many scheduling things are going to have to change. Together with year-long interleague play, there will finally be the ability to have truly balanced schedules among the teams in each division.

Well, except for those “rivalry” series – Cubs/White Sox, Mets/Yankees, Giants/A’s, etc.) that teams typically play during the interleague season. Preserving those, after balancing everything else, would still result in a slightly imbalanced schedule for teams (if for no other reason than not all rivalries are created equally).

That may be why, according to sources, MLB is seeking to do away with those six game home and home rivalry series. From ESPN (you’ll have to excuse the exclusive mentions of Yankees/Mets as though it’s the only important intracity rivalry; it’s partly an ESPN thing, and it’s partly because the article originated at ESPN New York):

Major League Baseball is working on a scheduling reconfiguration for the 2013 season and beyond that likely will eliminate the Mets and Yankees as well as other “natural rivals” playing home-and-home, six-game series annually, baseball sources told ESPNNewYork.com.

With the Houston Astros moving to the American League West next season and the leagues becoming balanced at 15 teams apiece, natural rivals throughout baseball no longer will be guaranteed six games a season and home-and-home series, the sources said.

That goes for obvious intracity rivals such as Mets-Yankees and Cubs-White Sox, as well as for more-forced natural rivals such as the San Diego Padres and Seattle Mariners.

The Mets and Yankees will continue to play six games a season — three apiece at Citi Field and Yankee Stadium — when the AL East and NL East line up for long-form interleague play every three years.

But in the other seasons, a major league source added, the competition likely will be limited to three games at one ballpark, or two games apiece at each ballpark.

There are pros and cons to the new approach. On the one hand, it balances the schedule more fairly (while the Cubs were facing the White Sox, the Cardinals, for example, were facing the Royals). On the other hand, it takes away some of the excitement associated with true, near-proximity, interleague rivalries.

Some folks have hated the Cubs/White Sox series since its inception (preferring to play one exhibition game in the Spring). For me, I’ve always loved it. It gets that city rivalry blood boiling, regardless of how the teams are playing in a given season. Maybe it’s because I don’t live in Chicago. I imagine some folks will say I don’t “get it.” But, whateves. It would bum me out if the Cubs and Sox didn’t square off every year.

Fortunately, it sounds like the two might still play in some, limited capacity each year. And, if the change results in a drop down from a six game home and home to a two game home and home, then the change isn’t really a big deal.

What would happen with the BP Crosstown Cup (which, I know, was your first concern) remains to be seen.

  • North Side Irish

    I’m all for cutting it back. Playing each other six times a year makes it less special. They’ve now played each other close to 100 times since interleague started and fans are losing interest. Those games don’t even sell out anymore. I like the idea of making it more of an event for fans since it only comes to your stadium every other year.

    • rocky8263

      You’re wrong on the don’t sell out part. Thats one series that is a guarantee premium price for us resellers.

      • North Side Irish

        Three weeks before the game and you can get tickets to any of the game on Cubs.com right now. Doesn’t sound like a sellout to me.

        I’m a Season Ticket Holder who hasn’t been able to sell his Cubs-Sox tickets for face value the past three seasons. That tells me there isn’t a lot of demand for them.

        Sounds like you’ve been a lot luckier than me on the resale market.

  • SouthernCub

    3 games per year, alternating homes every year

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      That’s one suggestion on the table. Not enough for me, but I’d understand.

      • http://www.bleachernation.com Luke

        The best looking overall schedule would have a three game, alternating home by years annual setup.

        In the case of the Cubs and White Sox, though, I’d push hard to get it moved into Soldier Field.  Split the revenue (with the official home team receiving enough to offset the loss of a true home game’s revenue), and then pack the the stadium with absolutely as many fans as it will hold.  If they can find a way to expand it to 70,000, then expand away.  90,000 would be better.

        Suddenly the Cubs-Sox series would be not only the biggest game of the year in town, it would also be a massive media draw (novelty factor) that would likely get both teams some national TV time, and it would give Chicago a chance to host the biggest all out brawl it’s seen since the Democrat Convention in 1968.

        • Glenallen Hill’s One Home Run

          Holy cow, this Soldier Field idea is beautiful.

        • Mrp

          You sir are a genius. Best idea ever! I don’t care about logistics, this just needs to happen somehow.

        • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

          Love that idea.

        • Joe

          Soldier Field. That’s… epic!

  • ottoCub

    I’m all for a reduction in Cubs/WhiteSox games, just so I don’t have to listen to Ken “The Hawk” Harrelson as often

    • ETS

      or steve stone.

    • Richard Nose

      After reading his name I’m now furious. Thanks

    • Richard Nose

      He was babbling so much when “Pauly” hit 400 the other die I thought he was gonna start bawling. Then Kila dropped a game winner up his ass a couple innings later and he was dead silent. Yahoo even blasted him on their home page for being such a fuckhead.

  • Edwin

    With interleague games year-round I wonder if there will be more talk of either eliminating the DH, or having both leagues use the DH full time. I don’t think teams from either league enjoy trying to construct a roster to play by one set of rules, and then playing by a different set of rules multiple times during the season.

    Perosnally I’d rather the NL adopt the DH, becasue I find it boring watching pitchers bat, and think it gives some more flexability to lineup construction. But either way, it’s time for the leagues to start playing by the same rules.

    • MaxM1908

      I disagree with you completely, Edwin. The pitcher batting adds another layer of complexity to game decisions. Do you pinch hit for your pitcher who is at 90 pitches in a close game? He’s pitching well, but you could really use an offensive push. Do you do a double switch late in the game to put the pitcher position farther down the lineup? I like that kind of strategy. It’s pure. It’s true to the origins of Baseball. If you can hit the ball, you should also play in the field. The DH is a slippery slope to changing baseball to “make it more exciting!” Why don’t we just have two separate teams? One who hits and one who fields. Yay! Baseball is now more like football! More money! More Money!

      Baseball is a sacred sport. I don’t like it being messed with because half-interested fans want to see more dingers.

      • hardtop

        i knew i liked you.
        “We’re the same, you and me. We’re the same, don’t you see?”

      • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

        Here’s what I don’t like about the NL not using a DH: the NL is at a disadvantage every single year. AL teams can carry a big bat, no defense, big money guy as a DH. NL teams can’t afford to do that with a random bench guy. And the difference between David Ortiz and a random bench guy is far, far greater than any small difference between an “experienced” NL pitcher batting and an “inexperienced” AL pitcher batting.

        But you can use that argument in whichever direction you’d like.

        • TWC

          Right, and since the We need to keep pulling down paychecks long past our useful baseball lives! Players’ Union is the incredibly loud force on one side, and the ZOMG! Strategy-be-damned! If there’s more offense there’s more revenue! Owners are the incredibly loud force on the other side it’s only a matter of time before the staid baseball purists are shouted well out of the room and down the block.

          Lame.

          • TWC

            Also, I blame the DH rule on Matt Garza’s bewildering ineptitude at the plate.

            • Cubbie Blues

              I don’t know, I kind of like watching Garza bat flail. It reminds me of what I would look like as a MLB player.

        • MaxM1908

          I’m not convinced it’s as big of a disadvantage as everyone thinks it is. Since 2000, the AL and NL are split on World Series Titles. If it truly created the advantage that everyone think it does, I would expect the AL to dominate more in that span.

          • TWC

            AL vs. NL since 1997:  1939-1773

          • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

            SSS!

        • Diesel

          The dh was the national league’s idea. Isn’t time we started using it.

      • Edwin

        Max,

        I agree, there are certain strategic elements that would be lost. Personally, I think those situations are overrated. I don’t get nearly as much joy out of watching a manager making a good double switch as I do watching a hitter get a hit.

        Also, I hope you aren’t labeling me as a half interested fan who wants to see more dingers. I’m not trying to ruin your sacred sport. I am merely a fully interested fan who wants to see less pitchers bat.

        • MaxM1908

          No no, that probably came off as a personal attack, and I’m sorry for that. I just think it’s the general motivation behind the DH existing in the first place. I respect your opinion, and I know you’re not a half-interested fan, I’m just very passionate in the other direction.

          • Edwin

            Fair enough. Good discussion. Thank you.

        • Pat

          This I completely agree with. There isn’t any more strategy involved. There are more decisions to be made, but for the most part they do not involve strategy. In every one of those situations, there is an option with the highest expected value (in this case measured in win expectancy), and therefore only one correct decision.

          In fact, the decision as to when to remove a pitcher is actually more complicated in the AL, because there are not forced decision points with obvious answers.

          • http://www.viewfromthebleachers.com Norm

            I agree with Pat…I don’t buy the strategy part. Name a situation and the move that needs to be made will be pretty obvious.
            It’s definitely not interesting enough to me to see that “strategy” instead of seeing the starting pitcher stay in and face a real hitter.

            • hansman1982

              There was a qute from a manager that spent time in both leagues that effectively said that there is more strategy in the AL because in the NL the game tells you when to pull your starting pitcher.

              If only I could remember who said it.

      • DocPeterWimsey

        “Baseball is a sacred sport. I don’t like it being messed with because half-interested fans want to see more dingers.”

        Well, it can be “sacred” and discussed as theology rather than as fundamentalism!  In this case, I think that there are good “theological” reasons for tossing the DH:

        1. Complexity for it’s own sake is not good, and not the point of baseball;
        2. Tradition for it’s own sake is not good, and not the point of baseball;
        3. Having an extra batter allows for the “every day player” tactics to be used with one more player;
        4. Watching a pitcher try to bat is as “profane” as an atheist giving a sermon or a evangelist giving a science lecture.

        In the end, I’m paying to see hitters hit, pitchers pitch and fielders field.  Watching Matt Garza swing is a joke: he’s in MLB because he pitches so well, and asking him to hit is no different than asking an NBA or NFL player to hit.

        • TWC

          “In the end, I’m paying to see hitters hit, pitchers pitch and fielders field.  Watching Matt Garza swing is a joke: he’s in MLB because he pitches so well, and asking him to hit is no different than asking an NBA or NFL player to hit.”

          Nonsense.  In sport of baseball, pitchers are required to both pitch and hit, and have been since the beginning.*  Stepping up to the batters box is part of his job.

          *except for one league’s rule change 40 years ago.

        • Cubbie Blues

          I think Artest hits pretty well.

      • Caleb

        I like max too.

        And the bottom of that slippery slope looks ugly: how about designated runners for every batter? Bat boy cage matches instead of extra innings? Coaches review of every close play?

        • MaxM1908

          The Designated runner rule would certainly up Campana’s value as a player!

    • hardtop

      There will be plenty of talk and probably not enough resistance from the NL for my liking.
      The AL is to baseball as flag-football is to professional football.
      If you can’t stand in the box and face a pitcher, you are not a baseball player. If you can’t throw or field a baseball, you are not a baseball player. The game is called baseball, the people who play the game are called baseball players.
      I find watching partially crippled fatties take giant hacks really boring.

      • TWC

        Shit yeah.

        I’m curious, are there actual arguments to adding the DH to the NL other than “well, it’s bound to happen eventually”?

        • mjhurdle

          But isn’t that the only argument that matters?

          Regardless of personal feelings, I do not see any circumstance that the Players Union would allow the removal of the DH. There is too much money involved for all sides that it just won’t happen, in my opinion. If this is the case, then the longer the NL stays without a DH, the longer they play at a disadvantage to the AL. If it is bound to happen eventually, would it not be better for NL teams to make it happen sooner as opposed to later?

        • Edwin

          Sure. Pitchers are terrible at batting. Absolutely terrible. Even the best hitting pitchers are still terrible. I don’t find watcing a pitcher trying to hit to be entertaining. It’s basically an automatic out. Usually the best thing they do is bunt or strikeout to avoid the double play.

          The DH also allows teams more flexability in creating a lineup. With a DH, the Cubs could have LaHair and Rizzo in the same lineup. They could keep Soriano from having to play the outfield. They could stick a defensive specialist at SS and let Castro focus on hitting. They could create less wear and tear on their catchers by letting them DH part of the time.

          The DH also lets aging players keep playing. Fair or not, I think fans would love to see a guy like Andre Dawson stick around a couple extra years.

          Having the DH in the NL would not ruin the game. The AL is still fun to watch. There are still great pitching performances, managers still make late inning substituions for fans and media to question the next day, and teams still try to play great defense.

        • Hansman1982

          Is there any argument to the nl not getting the dh besides pitchers should hit because that is the way it always has been?

          Oh ya there’s the equally tired “pitchers should hit or we will get designated fielders and runners”.

          Seriously, you enjoy seeig a spot in the lineup get on base 20% of the time? You’re excited for double switches? I don’t much care either way but the NL will get the dh eventually and baseball will continue as it did after the al adopted the dh, after wriggled got lights, after the playoffs expanded and after the steroids scandal. If you want to watch baseball as it was created there are leagues for that and they attract tens of fans once a week. Baseball needs to evolve.

          • Drew

            “after wriggled got lights”

            -Ha

            • hansman1982

              Damn Iphone…

          • TWC

            “Baseball needs to evolve.”

            I don’t disagree with you, but I’m not sure putting a player in the lineup whose sole purpose is to hit — fielding, pitching be damned — is the way to do it.

            “Seriously, you enjoy seeig a spot in the lineup get on base 20% of the time? You’re excited for double switches?”

            Actually, yes. And yes.

            “the NL will get the dh eventually”

            I’m quite certain you’re right.  I just don’t like it.

            • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

              You want to talk turkey on the real changes MLB needs to make to keep things interesting vis a vis other sports?

              Games, shortened to 7 innings. Seasons, shortened to 125 games.

              These things will never happen, but it would work.

              • TWC

                To be perfectly frank, I can’t really come at this discussion from the point of view of (re)elevating baseball to the level of other sports in terms of popular interest. I can’t get a point of reference on it, nor do I care to.  The game of baseball is so completely ingrained in my head that I compare other sports to baseball only to find them lacking, not baseball.

                I do understand that there are other people think that baseball is boring, or slow, or lacking in action compared to, say, football.  I just think they’re wrong.  Very, very wrong.

                • hansman1982

                  I am the same with you, the strategy that is involved on each pitch and the game as a whole has me 100% hooked. Unfortunately, when discussing how to make the game better, we also have to think about the average fan. Myself – I would be thrilled to have an 18-inning World Series sudden death game, but to Joe and Jan Schmoe, that would turn them off.

                  It is about keeping the game close to its roots without becoming less popular than Hockey or Soccer.

                  • DocPeterWimsey

                    OK, here is a useful analogy.  Remember the Lord of the Rings or Harry Potter films?  The Rings films and the good Harry Potter films infuriated fans because lots of little things were different, even though the stories and plots remained intact.

                    However, those were the films that the millions and millions of casual viewers who made both franchises successful liked.  A lot of us had even read the books: but we were not so caught up in the details (or even remembering them years later) that we cared.

                    Look at baseball in this light.  Yes, the hardcore purists like to see pitchers bunting and double switches.  However, Joe and Jane Public (most of whom played baseball or softball) don’t care any more than they cared that Bombadil or the house-elfs were not in the big movies.    (I’ll bet that 95% of viewers, at home or at the park, do not even notice double switches when they happen.)

                  • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

                    Exactly. We have to remember that we’re probably the exception when it comes to baseball fans.

                    (Then again, I actually probably *would* support 7-inning games and 125-game seasons…)

              • hansman1982

                1 game World Series (not sure you could still call it a series, though) would be the big one. I think 90% of the reason the Super Bowl has become what it has is that it is THE game that decides everything. In baseball, games 1-3 don’t matter to the average fan and then game 4 and 5 usually don’t matter much if the series is 3-0 or 3-1. The only game that matters much is game 7 (until the Cubs get to their clinching game).

                • Cubbie Blues

                  I have to clinch at the end of every Cubs game.

                  Sorry just in a snarky trolling mood.

      • DocPeterWimsey

        I think that the fundamental flaw in this argument is that there is a beast called “baseball player.”  There is not.   In particular, pitching and batting are two fundamentally different athletic exercises, with almost nothing in common: they are as different as golfing and fencing.  There are some guys who can do both: but these people should be viewed, for all intents and purposes, as 2-sport athletes.

        • Leo L

          i dont like that argument. every team sport has differenet positions. and the game is defined by the rules.

          • Drew

            “every team sport has differenet positions”

            That brings up an interesting point: You’re right, every sport does have different positions, BUT in no other sport is a player forced to play a position or perform a task he is dreadful at.

            Pitchers pitch, Quarterbacks throw, Goalies(out of my element here!) block the net. QB’s are not, in turn, expected to rush the passer or cover a receiver on D, Goalies arent expected to run the ice and score, but pitchers have to hit.

            I really havent made up my mind either way, but your post definately got me thinking.

            • Cubbie Blues

              You’re right, every sport does have different positions, BUT in no other sport is a player forced to play a position or perform a task he is dreadful at.

              Excuse me but have you seen the Bears O-Line the last couple of years? They are definitely forced to play a position & perform a task they are dreadful at.

              • Drew

                Well played sir…I have to say I havent seen much of the Bears O-Line, but being a huge Cowboys fan I feel your pain!

            • Andrew

              Shaq had to shoot free throws his entire career. In fact, he had to shoot more than his fair share BECAUSE he sucked at it. Hockey forwards play defense and defensemen play offense. I could keep going…

              • Pat

                Neither of those examples involve someone doing anything fundamentally different than the part of the game they are good at.

              • Drew

                you should probably keep going…

              • DocPeterWimsey

                Exactly: shooting baskets = shooting baskets in the same way that hitting = hitting; some are free throws or fastballs, some are short shots or curveballs.  Asking Shaq to place kick as well as rebound is about the same as asking Garza to pitch and hit.

            • Leo L

              quaterback throws interception. someone has to make the tackle. not usually offensive side of football players job but they got to try. those are the rules. also why not just have differnet filelders and different batters for the game. they are different skills

              • beerhelps

                thanks for reminding me how cutler broke his thumb…. facepalm…

        • SirCub

          You can’t just segment different parts of the game because they are “fundamentally different athletic exercises.” Pitching and batting are fundamentally different, sure. But so are fielding and hitting. Or throwing and catching. It is the combination of all of these exercises that makes the game of baseball. Some players are much better at some of the exercises than others, while other players are well-rounded and can do everything well. It’s part of the game.

          • Pat

            However, when the game started, or more correctly started to resemble the current game, pitchers didn’t have to spend as much time working on the pitching side of the game. In fact, they were supposed to let the batter hit the ball. At that time there wasn’t much difference between pitchers and position players as far a batting results. It has deteriorated to the point that pitchers now have a collective OPS+ in negative figures. Who wants to watch that?

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      There will absolutely be talk.

      • EQ76

        MLB is fighting to stay relevant in American sports. ESPN and company are pimpin’ out the NFL as the only thing worth talking about.. which I get sick of. But the truth is, MLB will be forced to eventually have to make more changes to improve the game and we’ll have to go along with it. The DH in the NL is one logical move they will make… It’ll be weird and many won’t like it but it’s bound to happen. That’ll only depreciate big Z’s value for the Marlins!

        • Diesel

          Big z can still pinch hit. Also the al rules allow a team to use it’s starting pitcher as it’s dh.

  • Spencer

    I honestly don’t care how many times the Cubs play the Sox each year. Interleague play is just meh to me. It’s kinda cool, but I’m not all like ZOMG WE GET TO PLAY IN YANKEE STADIUM THIS YEAR.

    So, here’s an idea: In order to keep the strength of schedule most balanced (and, it would still in imperfect with the application of the DH, etc. etc.), MLB could adopt a system where the interleague games are based on your finish in your division the year before, much like the NFL does with inter-division games. For example, if the Cubs finished fifth in the Central, the following year for interleague play they would play the teams that finished fifth in the AL East, Central and West. Like I said, it would still be imperfect, but it would be a way to add at least some competitive balance.

    What that would do to the intracity rivalries, i dont know. I suspect each team will have to play more than nine interleague games a season, anyway. So the intracity and natural rivalries could still be squeezed in that way.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      Pretty interesting idea.

  • calicubsfan007

    I don’t want to hear this. I want to be able to watch a Cubs-Sox game at Wrigley, rather than just on the TV. I know it’s being minimized, but how far will the minimizing go? BTW, I have never been to Wrigley for a Cubs-Sox game and I want to experience that…

  • cubsin

    Implementing the DL in the National League would level the playing field when sluggers like Pujols and Fielder hit free agency. The Players’ Association would love it (more potential bidders) and several NL owners apparently favor it (better chance of being able to retain their sluggers). For the Cubs, it would give them a spot to play LaHair after Rizzo arrives without comprimising their OF defense (after Soriano leaves, of course).

  • hcs

    as far as a balanced schedule, just spitballin’ here, but…

    guaranteed one 3 game series against each team, 29×3 = 87
    one additional series agains each team in your league, 14×3 = 42
    seven additional games against division teams 4×7 = 28
    one additional series in the “natural rivalry” = 3

    equals 160 games, cut 2 games off of season length to expnd additional wild card series to something other than the ridiculous one game playoff.

    I know, it’s illogical in it’s simplicity…

    • Beer Baron

      Stop making sense! Bud Selig does not care for logic so clearly this would never work.

      • DocPeterWimsey

        Selig does operate very logically: he just uses very different premises than some of us.  HIs premises are always “if X, then more/less interest in baseball.”  He actually is very consistent in this, although sometimes you might question whether his premises are correct.

        That being said (and much as I am loathe to admit it), I think that Selig is right more often than he’s wrong.

        • Beer Baron

          Replace ‘X’ with ‘$’ and you are spot on. Truly the overriding factor in anything Selig decides is how much money it will generate. Granted that usually parallels fan interest, but his main concern is always money.

  • bob

    I don’t want a designated hitter, but for the safety of the fans down the first base line could we PLEASE get Garza a designated fielder?

  • TonyP

    Love that picture,  AJ P should be punched in the melon once a day at least.

    • Shawn

      I agree. AJ deserved it for any number of reasons.

  • Jeremy

    I don’t understand why the league would do this. The natural rivalry games create revenue for the league, a lot of revenue. Seems like the league would lose a ton of money if they eliminated these types of series.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      I reckon they’re hearing some bitching from the teams for whom it feels “unfair” and doesn’t generate a ton of extra revenue. Cubs could theoretically be one of those teams, given that – in recent history – tickets sell at Wrigley no matter what.

    • MichaelD

      The biggest drawing road teams are teams that are most likely to be involved in the rivalry series. If you are the Rays or the Mariners, you do not want all of the Cubs’ interleague road games to be against the White Sox.

      Actually the only ones that I see the only rivalry games that truly benefit overall attendance are the White Sox at the Cubs and the Cardinals at the Royals, because the White Sox are not really a big draw for anyone except the Cubs, and the Cardinals are a pretty good road draw but they really sell out in KC.

  • http://www.viewfromthebleachers.com Norm

    Didn’t read all the way through, but the AL also has the advantage of signing players into their mid-30′s without fear of defensive issues. Is this why the AL is signing all the big names like Pujols and Prince?

    • Mrp

      Yep, that is the biggest beef I have with the system right now. The NL teams usually have a soft cap on the number of years that can go after free agents. This is tough one for me because I absolutely hate the DH but I also hate being at a disadvantage because the Cubs can’t use it. Soriano is a good example of what happens to NL teams when they tack on a ton of years to land a free agent.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      Yes! That, too. Very much that, too.

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  • Rich G

    There’s no way Reinsdorf will get behind a plan that has the Sox saying goodbye to three guaranteed sellouts a year.

  • Cubs1967

    the original use of the DH in the early ’70s with Ron Bloomberg was as an experiement. 36 yrs later I would think there is enough info to decide who to proceed on the “experiement”. i can argue using the DH allows for more offense; which in the non-PED era helps attract fans (non-hardcore fans) OR i could argue not using the DH allows for more decision making by the mgr like double-switches, when ot PH, etc; BUT ultimately either way it’s time MLB decide both leagues need to have 1 rule. If there are going to be 15 teams per league, creating inter-league games daily; the rules need to be the same. No other sport uses different rules. Considering how loud the MLBPA would scream if the Dh went away; even if rosters were increased to 27; the MLBPA would say the last 2 roster spots would be rookies at league min. chances are it needs to stay. Time for uncle Bud to end the “experiement”.

    • Matt3

      thats a great point, I haven’t thought much about that. So we might have our DH in Soriano already if the rules are to change in the near future.

  • CUB5

    Overall I would love to see interleague cut back as I do agree with the game balance issues mentioned in the post. Plus I don’t enjoy it as much being so many games every year. The ‘BP Crosstown Cup’ crap also kinda ruined it for me…

    I also love the Soldier Field comment/idea, though I’m not sure how that would affect the atmosphere. Ballparks like Wrigley are cozy. I like how you don’t seem to get lost in them as in some of the newer ones. Having it at Soldier Field would definitely bring a novelty to the series.

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