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Ventura breaks down Interleague Play

CHICAGO -- White Sox manager Robin Ventura actually prefers the National League version of baseball over the AL version he manages in most of the time.

"I think there's a uniqueness that the National League has in having pitchers hit. It's good for your team," Ventura said. "I actually like the National League game as far as a team concept of it because everybody needs to be ready, you never know with the double switches when guys are going to go in and play.

"I don't think the bench gets as stagnant as they do in the American League because guys are always in the game. You seem to use your bench more in the National League than you do in the American League."

Ventura acknowledged that AL teams tend to be at a disadvantage in National League parks because their pitchers don't hit all year. It's become even more of a challenge since MLB switched to the new schedule format last season, in which Interleague series are spread throughout the year.

The Sox, for example, visited Colorado from April 7-9, Wrigley Field May 5-6 and will take on the Dodgers in Los Angeles Monday through Wednesday. They then won't play in a National League Park until August 12-13 when they visit the San Francisco Giants.

"Yeah, we have to have the pitchers hit and it is different. Our guys rarely swing the bat so when you're setting up how you're going to go about it, guys have to prepare," Ventura said. "We've got pitchers that are hitting today, just be ready for Monday against the Dodgers, having that come up. Usually, Interleague in the past has been kind of in one period of time where you could gear up for it and everybody does it.

"Now, it's spread out so much that your pitchers hit, then they don't hit and they have to work on it again. It is a bit of a disadvantage for American League teams, but it's just part of the deal."

Joe Popely is an associate reporter for
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