Orioles manager Buck Showalter seldom misses a chance to point out the competitive inequities created by interleague play. The Orioles will play the Washington Nationals for four straight games at a time when the two Mid-Atlantic clubs each own one of the top three win-loss records in the major leagues.
The New York Yankees entered Monday's games with the best winning percentage in the game at .690, but the Nationals (.677) and O's (.667) are lined up right behind them, both a half-game off the very top of the major league heap.
Meanwhile, the Boston Red Sox will play their four interleague rivalry games next month against the rebuilding Philadelphia Phillies and the Toronto Blue Jays get four against the last-place Atlanta Braves. At the moment, every American League East team other than the Orioles is scheduled to play a team with a losing record.
Well, Buck, Nationals manager Dusty Baker feels your pain. The well-heeled Nats, at least, know that their closest contender at the moment – the New York Mets – have to play the Yankees every year, but that doesn't change the fact that they have caught the Orioles in an updraft the past five-plus years and consistently have been playing an AL East contender in their rivalry series.
"Yeah, it crosses my mind, but you can squawk about it all you want and nobody's going to do anything about it,'' Baker said. "I remember when Kansas City was really bad and the Cardinals were playing them every year and I was in Chicago and we were playing the White Sox, who were really good. It's not equal because you don't play the same teams, but it's hard to determine who's going to be good this three years and the next three years. We bring this up every year and every year it's the same thing."