Baseball has gotten to the point where the way it can promote itself is with gimmickry or syrupy "Field of Dreams" and "The Natural"-inspired nostalgia. That's why the Red Sox winning the World Series last year was such a great coup for the sport: it incorporated both of those promotional approaches in one great big rowdy package. That's a rarity so baseball has to invent events that they are capable of promoting.
Enter interleague baseball, the game's ugly stepsister that I reported last week had altered the results of possibly ten playoff spots in as many years. But even that aesthetic mess is has become de rigueur. Baseball needed to up the gimmick factor.
So what's a scheduler to do? I can see the boardroom meeting now:
[Dimly lit boardroom with lots of leather and even more scotch, all bearing the label, "Property of Allan H. Selig". An overhead projector sits waiting whirring in the alcohol-laden silence. A Powerpoint cell appears on the screen that reads "MLB Annual Ineffectual Middle Management Suckups Committee". Bud Selig slouches somnolent in an oversized leather chaise lounge in the corner. A peon fans him with an oversized palm leaf. Other than his left hand, which is gently swishing a half-full brandy snifter, and his preternatural drooling, Selig is unmoving, otherworldly, above it all. Men and (rarely) women business suits shuffle in nervously, approach the Selig, bow, kiss its right hand (which it does nothing to acknowledge), and quickly take a seat as far as possible on the other side of the room.]
[The meeting starts.]
Sycophant/Marketing Whiz: OK, Boss, we have some great news for our evil plan
Bud (Jabba-like while reading his mind): Yes, the Red Sox AND the Cubs. It's just crazy enough to work.
[Fadeout amid peals of evil laughter, a few snorts, and intermittent retching into a spittoon.]