In the baseball blogosphere, writers started coming up with their own headlines, all to varying degrees of humor.
And, in perhaps the most easily-seen result, the debate over whether American League pitchers should be out on the basepaths was born anew. (What? You really thought a Yankee pitcher would get hurt without anyone complaining about the differences in interleague play?)
Mike Mussina: “American League pitchers are at the most risk, because we don’t hit, we don’t run the bases. You get four or five at-bats a year at most, and if you happen to get on base once or twice, you never know. We run in straight lines most of the time. Turning corners, you just don’t do that.”
Ed Valentine, Bugs & Cranks: "I hate interleague play, always have. Yankees vs. Mets is exciting, but it puts American League pitchers at tremendous risk of injury. Remember, some of these guys haven’t been on the basepaths since high school."
Scott Proctor's Arm: "The Yankees, as well as every other American League team, should not be put at a disadvantage during the regular season. Their pitchers aren't used to batting and running the bases like the National League pitchers are. They shouldn't have to change their routines and training schedules to take batting practice while they're trying to prepare to face new hitters."
Personally, I think the fact that AL pitchers are at risk for injury (just like every other player ou there) would be a silly reason to call for an end to interleague play. If NL pitchers can find time to practice running and bunting for an entire season of risk, then AL pitchers can surely do the same thing for a few weeks.
Plus, when did AL pitchers — most of whom were no doubt all-world athletes in high school and college — start acting as limber as a shut-in? I hear Mike Mussina talk about how difficult it is to turn a corner at third base and it's like someone just asked him to start playing a different sport altogether.
Still, I think it's an interesting discussion to have, especially in terms of the DH-disparity that has existed between the two for over 30 years. Should Major League Baseball revamp the interleague rules so that pitchers are at less risk for injury? Why or why not?
(I have an inkling this isn't going to be pretty.)