Regional interleague rivalry games will grow more scarce under the plan Major League Baseball has proposed for use beginning in 2013.
The Oakland Athletics and San Francisco Giants, Chicago Cubs and Chicago White Sox, New York Mets and New York Yankees and Los Angeles Dodgers and Los Angeles Angels and other regional pairs have played six times head-to-head in recent years. The new format might reduce that number to four, according to Michael Weiner, executive director of the Major League Baseball Players Association.
Weiner discussed the proposed changes in a meeting with the Baseball Writers Association of America, the Chicago Tribune reported.
One of every three years, when the divisions of the local rivals are playing, those teams could still meet in a two three-game series. In other years, however, Weiner said the local teams might play a pair of two-game series.
Next year, the Houston Astros will move from the National League to the American League, creating two 15-team leagues. That will necessitate interleague play from Opening Day through the last game of the season.
"The fairness issue was the reason to move away from playing six games against certain opponents every year," Weiner said, according to the Tribune. "The Mets, for instance, have had six games against the Yankees every season while other teams in their division might play teams that aren't as strong. We are moving off that."