Jim Leyland: Interleague play “totally unfair”

Detroit Tigers manager Jim Leyland (R) and coach Gene Lamont watch batting practice before their spring training game against the Washington Nationals in Viera, Florida March 9, 2010. REUTERS/Phelan M. Ebenhack (UNITED STATES – Tags: SPORT BASEBALL)

Tigers’ skipper Jim Leyland recently cried to the Detroit Free Press that interleague play is “totally unfair” and that Major League Baseball “out to look into” the gigantic inconvenience.

“I’ll probably get chewed out for (saying) it,” he said, “but I think a lot of people feel the same way.”

What prompted Leyland to rail against interleague play before it begins this season isn’t the three-game series the Tigers will play in Pittsburgh this coming weekend. That’s harmless enough.

“For three games, that’s OK,” he said.

But he takes issue with the back-to-back road series the Tigers will play in Colorado, then against the Los Angeles Dodgers next month.

Leyland said it’s “ridiculous” and “totally unfair” for an American League club to have to play consecutive series in National League ballparks.

“And that you can quote me on,” he said. “They ought to look into it.”

The bigger picture is that he thinks it’s unfair for A.L. clubs to have to change their style of play for that long — meaning no designated hitter.

It means teams with productive DHs, such as the Tigers with Victor Martinez, have to scramble their lineups for six games.

Oh, the poor Tigers. They have to scramble for six games…out of 162. How could Major League Baseball do this to its teams? What horror. What cruelty. What injustice.

Come on. I’ve always liked Leyland and I love when he speaks his mind. But we’re talking about six measly games out of a 162-game season here. Interleague is fun for some fans and if it means that a team like the Tigers has to cope without a DH for six games then so be it. It’s not like the league is asking AL teams to play in their underwear and with one arm tied behind their backs.

I know some playoff races come down to one or two games in the standings, but using the term “totally unfair” seems a tad extreme here. (Especially for a team like the Tigers who have played the freaking Pirates for three straight years.)

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