I like Interleague Play. I guess there are times when I say to myself, "I can take it or leave it." But I do like going to new ballparks and new cities, and I also like playing against guys who I don't normally get to play against.
This year during Interleague Play, we play at Anaheim and at Seattle. We host Texas, Toronto and Baltimore. When the schedule came out, I was excited about going to Angel Stadium and to Safeco Field.
To me, Angel Stadium is the best ballpark in baseball. When you step onto the field, it has a big league feel to it. I also have fond memories of it, because I played there last year and won the Most Valuable Player Award at the All-Star Game. It was one of the best nights of my career. I will never forget it.
I am also looking forward to going to Seattle for the first time. I see it on TV, and Safeco Field looks first class. You also hear that from guys who have played there, and they love it. I am excited to go on that trip.
When I go to a new ballpark for the first time, it probably takes me one or two games to adjust. The biggest adjustment for me is as a hitter and not as a catcher, and the biggest difference is the background. You are going to like certain hitting backdrops more than others.
A lot of people like Interleague Play because of the geographic rivalries. Being in Atlanta, we don't have one per say. We used to play Boston twice a year, but that stopped last year. Also, at times, it seems that one club's schedule is more favorable than another team's during Interleague Play. That is one of the aspects of it that I don't like. But much of it is the luck of the draw.
In Interleague Play you also have the designated hitter rule in American League ballparks, which is something that is always talked about. I would like all teams to use National League rules and let everyone hit. When a National League team goes to an AL ballpark, the team has to come up with a DH while the AL club has some guys in that role on an everyday basis. The AL clubs structure their teams around that. The NL clubs are at a disadvantage.
As for the DH role for me, down the road, that is a role I could maybe see myself in. I, of course, want to catch for as long as I can. After that, we'll see what happens.
Braves catcher Brian McCann, an All-Star in each of his five big league seasons, leads all catchers in homers and RBIs over those five campaigns. He also has a solid track record in Interleague Play. Entering this season McCann had seven homers and compiled a .626 slugging percentage in 27 Interleague games.
This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.