(CBS) The buzz surrounding the White Sox-Cubs series seems to diminish every year and now the games are going to be reduced too.
Union leader Michael Weiner told the Chicago Tribune that the Cubs and White Sox will only play four games against each other in most seasons. Every three years, they could play six games against each other.
With the Houston Astros moving to the American League next season, Major League Baseball is making major changes to the schedule. With an odd number of teams in each league, interleague play will last all season with some teams opening the season against a team from the opposite league and others ending the season with interleague play. Weiner told the Tribune that “nobody wanted that” because some teams will play meaningful games at the end of the season with the DH rule from the other league. Still, Weiner said “the overall impact of the changes, going 15-15 (in terms of teams in each league) outweighed that.”
As part of the changes, Major League Baseball wanted to minimize the competitive imbalance that currently exists with the schedule. For instance, the White Sox playing the Cubs six times this season is a break compared to the Cleveland Indians having to face the Cincinnati Reds six times. In the new schedule, interleague play will rotate between the divisions, meaning teams in the same division will play the same interleague opponents every season. The only exception will be a series with a “traditional rival” every season.
Based on what Weiner told the Tribune, it appears traditional rivals will play four games against each other each season with two played at each ballpark. Every three years, when the American League Central is set to play the National League Central, the Cubs and White Sox will go back to playing two three-game series at each park.