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Articles Tagged Rivalry 

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Breaking down the 2013 interleague schedule for all 30 teams. What teams are forced to deviate from their regular roster/lineup construction for the longest stretch of the year?

With the Astros finally moved into the American League, we have a very different interleague schedule this year. Not only does it mean that there is now at least one interleague series happening each day of the season, from April to October, it also means that the "rivalry weekends" that were the highlights of the interleague schedule fifteen years ago have been re-shaped. Additionally, the newly balanced divisions mean that, outside of the rivalry games, all teams in a given division can play the exact same teams as their divisional opponents. No longer do the schedule makers have to worry about a six-team division matching up with a four-team division.

So how did the schedule makers do? Did the schedule turn out as balanced as can be? Were they able to ensure that teams from any one division would have the same opponents as their division-mates? Were all clubs given the same number of interleague matches or did some lucky squad or two end up a series short? One thing to remember here is that, with interleague games happening all year long instead of on two or three specific weekends, clubs are now on unequal footing when it comes to setting their rosters for the change in league rules. If one team, for example, only ever has to worry about forcing their pitchers to hit one weekend a month, they are probably in a better situation than the club forced to suddenly remove their all-star DH for nine straight games. National League clubs playing in American League ballparks will have similar problems in trying to add a DH for extended periods of time.

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It's not easy when kids want to root for their own stupid teams.

First watch this:

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June 12, 2012 5:00 am

Western Front: A Brief History of the Vedder Cup

12

Geoff Young

Of all the natural interleague rivalries, none are more viciously fought than the Vedder Cup series. Wait, you've never heard of it? Then read on!

When Major League Baseball introduced interleague play in 1997, Bud Selig decreed that certain teams would be “natural rivals.” One such “rivalry” pits the San Diego Padres against the Seattle Mariners, presumably because they share a spring training facility in Peoria, Ariz.

Pearl Jam lead singer Eddie Vedder has called San Diego and Seattle home at various points in his life, ergo the series is played for a “Vedder Cup” that doesn't actually exist, which is fine because Vedder is a Cubs fan. Much like the “rivalry” itself, none of this makes any sense.

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The basis of baseball's biggest rivalry may not make sense, but there is no denying the passion it sparks among fans.

(Editor's note: This is the first installment of Prospectus Perspective, a regular feature that will feature the opinions and perspectives of various Baseball Prospectus authors, notably Christina Kahrl, on a regular basis.)

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July 19, 2008 12:00 am

Can Of Corn: Chicago vs. Chicago

0

Dayn Perry

Looming conflict between two tribes dug in on opposite sides of the same wall.

Not long ago, you could find civic ads inside many of Chicago's El trains, humorously touting the charms of the South Side in the form of a mock FAQ. In one of them, a mythical and provincially snobby North-Sider asked, "Will my cell phone work on the South Side?"

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February 8, 2008 12:00 am

Prospectus Matchups: The All-Time Matchup Record Book

0

Jim Baker

Tallies over time tell us which matchups have that extra bit of history in them.

I've been diligently checking the papers and, for some time now, have not been able to find any major league ballgames scheduled. When one does a column with "Matchups" in the title, this can be problematic. So, in order to stay thematically relevant, I've hit the record books and come up with some of the more extreme matchup results of all time. These records involve extant teams only, and all references to them encompass their entire history, including the time they were in other cities. So, for example, a reference to the Braves includes their time in Boston and Milwaukee.

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March 28, 2006 12:00 am

Prospectus Matchups: Propositions Decent and Indecent

0

Jim Baker

Jim has a series of creative propositions for you concerning the 2006 season.

Today, we're going to put the standings aside and look at some team propositions. What follows are five pairs of teams that either finished very close to one another in 2005 and/or are predicted to do so in 2006. Aside from that, there is a geographic component just to add subtext to the proceedings. In addition to the five pairs, there is one quartet of teams that also sort of fits this description. Your job is to pick which of these teams will win more games in the upcoming season.

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Some sluggers debate the meaning of the strikeout, some managers sound off on interleague play, Billy Beane defends himself, and Rickey Henderson surfaces in California with a take on left field in the Bronx.

"Does it bother me? I can't say that it doesn't, but I know it doesn't bother me when there are two outs and nobody on base in the first inning and I strike out. Then, it's just another out."
--Reds outfielder Adam Dunn, who struck out 195 times in 2004 (Newark Star-Ledger)

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October 1, 2004 12:00 am

You Could Look It Up: Tell Me Why...

0

Steven Goldman

Current events inspire questions about the game's history. Steven Goldman has more answers than a box of Trivial Pursuit cards.

Bottle-throwing is as much a part of the fabric of the national pastime as peanuts and Crackerjack. From the game's earliest days, bottle-throwing was the bane of players, umpires and the more civilized fans. Beer was always a big part of running a ballclub, especially in the 19th-century American Association, which was seemingly owned entirely by brewers. Unfortunately, it is axiomatic that if you put a missile in the hands of a "fan" he is going to throw it. The introduction of paper cups helped curb some of the violence, but it was only in the 1930s, when the umpires began making bottles a labor issue, that the sale of glass items in ballparks was addressed in a serious manner.

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June 29, 2004 12:00 am

Prospectus Matchups: The Empire Strikes Last

0

Jim Baker

Best Matchup (Best combined record with both teams being over .500): Boston @ New York Yankees We seem to have reached a point in baseball history where it is--what is the word?--understood that the Yankees somehow deserve to get the best available player on the trading block. When they don't, their owner and fans appear shocked. With Freddy Garcia gone to Chicago and Carlos Beltran now in Houston, it will be interesting to see how firm Arizona's resolve to keep Randy Johnson will be. The Newark Star-Ledger has also been kicking up some Tom Glavine-to-the-Yankees talk. It stands to reason. Glavine has been the best pitcher in baseball so far in 2004 (39.3 VORP, besting runners-up Mark Mulder and Carl Pavano), so it only makes sense that he should be on the Yankees. Why? Because it's the Yankees' world and we're just the extras sent over by Central Casting to fill in their background.

We seem to have reached a point in baseball history where it is--what is the word?--understood that the Yankees somehow deserve to get the best available player on the trading block. When they don't, their owner and fans appear shocked. With Freddy Garcia gone to Chicago and Carlos Beltran now in Houston, it will be interesting to see how firm Arizona's resolve to keep Randy Johnson will be. The Newark Star-Ledger has also been kicking up some Tom Glavine-to-the-Yankees talk. It stands to reason. Glavine has been the best pitcher in baseball so far in 2004 (39.3 VORP, besting runners-up Mark Mulder and Carl Pavano), so it only makes sense that he should be on the Yankees. Why? Because it's the Yankees' world and we're just the extras sent over by Central Casting to fill in their background.

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