Interleague baseball started last weekend, and I for one could not be happier. Far from being a cheap gimmick designed to artificially drum up interest in an overlong baseball season, or a relic of baseball owners' post-strike desperation, interleague baseball is a magical time for baseball fans. In SF this weekend, we got the rare chance to see American League stars like Nick Swisher! And Jermaine Dye! And former Giants A.J. Pierzyzsynkski!
The more important element of interleague play is that it helps resolve the bitter rivalries between cities, smoldering conflicts whose fires are stoked highest by triennial faceoffs on the diamond. When the Minnesota Twins play the Colorado Rockies, it's not just about baseball; it's the Minneapolis versus Denver, lakes versus mountains, white people versus white people. The winning city gets bragging rights, and in many cases, a whole lot more.
Let's go through the weekend of games and look at the fallout.
Chicago White Sox sweep the Giants
With its decisive victory, Chicago retains its title as the Windy City. Because the White Sox won in a sweep, Abe Froman becomes the Sausage King of San Francisco.
Toronto takes two out of three from Philadelphia
Toronto gets full custody of the mullet, though Philadelphia has visitation rights. Also, Joe Carter gets to take a whiz on the Philly Phanatic.
Baltimore defeats Washington
Cal Ripken, Jr. receives a seat in Congress, though he will never be allowed to abstain from a vote.
Boston sweeps Milwaukee
Milwaukee has to start serving bratwurst chowder until the end of the season. "Laverne and Shirley" will be replaced by "Cheers" on all Green Bay television stations.
Atlanta wins two out of three from Oakland
Tickets for Two Dollar Wednesday must now be purchased with Confederate currency.
St. Louis wins the series against Tampa Bay
From now on, Devil Rays players are no longer allowed to make fun of Albert Pujols's last name.
Texas takes two out of three from Houston
Rangers second baseman Ian Kinsler gets a seat on the space shuttle Discovery's mission to the international space station. In addition, team president Nolan Ryan can select the Houston player of his choice, put him in a headlock, and punch him in the face 10-12 times.
Colorado defeats Minnesota 2-1
The ghost of John Denver will haunt Garrison Keillor for the next six months.
LA Angels take two out of three from LA Dodgers
The Dodgers have to change their name to the Anaheim Dodgers of Los Angeles.
Seattle defeats San Diego
As a result of this series, the Chargers will be forced to sign former Seahawk running back Shaun Alexander.
Arizona won two out of three against Detroit
John McCain no longer has to drive around in an American car.
New York Mets win both games over the New York Yankees
Mr. Met gets a free four-hour session with one of Eliot Spitzer's "seven-diamond" girls, while the Yankees must eat only pizza from Infamous Derivative Ray's until the two teams meet again in late June.
Kansas City over Florida
Kansas City gets a hundred pounds of fried bananas, while Florida has to house all of Kansas City's retirees until they die.
Cincinnati sweeps Cleveland
The Indians have to pay for Ken Griffey Junior's next arthroscopic surgery, and former Bengals coach Sam Wyche gets to make this speech during the seventh-inning stretch of a game at Jacobs Field.