Watching the series against the Braves unfold was a little depressing. I mean, it’s the Braves — this was supposed to be a nice way to rebound from the horror show against the Red Sox. Instead, the Jays got swept again and are now riding a six-game losing streak into Baltimore.
The culmination of yesterday’s loss to the Braves did leave me with two thoughts: This proves that the Jays are in a slump and that the loss to Boston doesn’t mean what the naysayers say it does; and two, the Jays always seem to suck at Interleague play.
In a rare moment of ambition, I decided to take a look at the actual numbers instead of basing my opinion on my gut. Turns out, as usual, that I shouldn’t ignore what my gut is trying to tell me.
In the 12 years since Interleague play has taken place (I’m ignoring this year so far because it makes this a hell of a lot easier), the American league has put up the kind of record you’d probably expect it to against the National, going 1536-1420, good for a .520 winning percentage. The Jays aren’t so lucky though.
The following are the Interleague records of AL teams over those 12 years, sorted by winning percentage (sorry for the wonky formatting, WordPress is great for a lot things, but apparently tables aren’t one of them):
New York Yankees 123-87, .586
Oakland Athletics 123-89, .580
Minnesota Twins 120-90, .571
Boston Red Sox 116-95, .550
Chicago White Sox 116-95, .550
Seattle Mariners 116-96, .547
Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim 114-98, .538
Detroit Tigers 113-98, .536
Cleveland Indians 108-103, .512
Texas Rangers 103-109, .486
Toronto Blue Jays 101-110, .479
Kansas City Royals 99-112, .469
Tampa Bay Rays 86-110, .439
Baltimore Orioles 90-121, .427
Nobody should be surprised to see the Yankees, A’s, BoSox, etc… leading the way, but the Jays are the fourth worst AL team in Interleague play. Ever. So, uh, Interleague can just go straight to hell.
What does it mean though? Not much. With the turnover of players, coaches, general managers, ownership and everything else that’s happened in the last 12 years, you can’t really make a blanket statement as to why the Jays seem to be consistently subpar against their NL counterparts.
What you can say though, is that Jays fans should never take a series against, say, the Atlanta Braves for granted. (Not that any series should ever be taken for granted, but I trust you know what I mean.)
Beside the fact that the Jays aren’t very good at it, Interleague play is kind of dumb anyway. Other than a handful of matchups (Mets/Yankees, Dodgers/Angels, Cubs/White Sox and a couple others) do any fans really care at all about Interleague? Do Jays fans get jacked up to see the Braves or the Phillies? Toronto beat those teams in the World Series nearly 20 years ago. That doesn’t seem like much of a rivalry to me, but maybe I just don’t get it.