It could be argued that the Mets are at a schedule disadvantage every season. After all, they have to play the Yankees six times a year, where the rest of the division enjoys games against the also-rans of the American League East.
Maybe this was Major League Baseball’s thinking when they switched the Phillies/Blue Jays series from June 25th to 27th from the Rogers Centre to Citizens Bank Park, after concerns of security due to the G-20 Summit. The schedule wasn’t balanced anyway, so why the big fuss.
Yet, there should be a big fuss, since this is giving the Phillies a true unfair advantage and Jeff Francoeur concurs.
“That’s just bull—-,” Francoeur said to the New York Daily News. “That’s not really fair. That’s just not fair. It’s ridiculous. Absolutely crazy.”
Because the games are now to be played in Philadelphia, the tickets are being sold to the Phillies season ticket holders and since the all the Phillies games are sellouts, these tickets will go like hotcakes, giving fans who have been shut out of games a chance to go to Citizens Bank Park.
Now, there probably many other options Major League Baseball could have explored instead of giving the Phillies three more days at home. They could have put the games in San Juan, or Montreal, or Cleveland. Even Yankee Stadium could have been an option, which would have put the games close enough to Philly, but far enough away to take away the home field advantage.
But this all comes down to money and the Blue Jays will be taking the lion’s share of the take to what probably will become three sellouts. And because Toronto is losing a possible payday with Roy Holladay returning, why not line their pockets rather than worry about keeping the competition fair?
Of course that’s little consolation to the Braves, Marlins, Mets, and Nationals, all of whom have been competitive this season and probably will continue to play tough throughout the year.
The Jays, though, are an also-ran who will probably lose two of three to the Phillies, even if the games are played in Toronto, so of course their management would rather take the payday rather than argue about competition. If these games were against say, Boston rather than an Interleague matchup, do you honestly think Yankees would allow this to happen?
And that’s the problem. These Interleague games are still looked at as gimmicks rather than real competition. The Mets will play the powerhouse Yankees for six games, while the Phillies get the Blue Jays, so who cares where those games are played? To hell with competitive balance, let’s just go and make money.
That’s the most important thing, isn’t it?