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 Leyland: Interleague Play has 'run its course'

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PostSubject: Leyland: Interleague Play has 'run its course'   Thu May 19, 2011 2:24 am

Leyland: Interleague Play has 'run its course'
By Jason Beck / | 05/17/11 11:17 PM ET

DETROIT -- Tigers manager Jim Leyland talks regularly with Commissioner Bud Selig and has served on Major League Baseball's Committee for On-Field Issues for a year and a half. As baseball heads into Interleague Play this weekend, Leyland has an issue with the way the concept has played out.

"I want to emphasize it was a brilliant idea," Leyland said. "I think it's had its purpose, and it's probably, in some case, served its purpose. But it's run its course."

This weekend's series in Pittsburgh isn't a problem for him, and not just because it's where he calls home. But the more he stares at the Tigers' schedule and looks at next month's road trip to play the Rockies and Dodgers, without the designated-hitter spot available for six straight games, the more concerned he gets.

"I think it's ridiculous to have an American League team [play] back to back in National League cities," Leyland said. "That's ridiculous. You can quote me on that. That's ridiculous. If we were playing like we are this weekend in Pittsburgh for three, OK, and then three other games somewhere and then later on three more somewhere, that's one thing. But six straight days?"

When asked whether it had been looked into, since he's on the committee, Leyland smiled and said: "Well, I was on the committee. I don't know if I'm still on it."

The Tigers have had back-to-back Interleague series in National League cities every year since Leyland took over as manager in 2006. Most teams do. They had a three-city Interleague trip in '07.

The Tigers boast one of baseball's better Interleague records in recent years. They've had a winning record against National League opponents every season under Leyland, including 11-7 in 2010, and 63-27 over Leyland's first five seasons.

The bigger issue for Leyland seems to be the DH. One way around it, he suggested, would be to get rid of the difference.

"I don't know if I'll be around to see it or not," he said, "but at some point, we have to get baseball back to the same set of rules, and I don't know why more people don't talk about it. ... I don't care what they do. I just think that they should synchronize it. Whichever way they decide to go is fine with me."

Jason Beck is a reporter for Read Beck's Blog and follow him on Twitter @beckjason. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.
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