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Kevin Millar on M&M: Interleague play ‘does take away a little bit from the American League teams’

07.01.11 at 1:34 pm ET
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Kevin Millar spoke with Mut & Merloni Friday afternoon to talk Red Sox and Interleague play. To hear the interview, go to the Mut & Merloni audio on demand page.

Millar said that Interleague play ‘€œdoes take away a little bit from the American League teams.’€

‘€œIt’€™s a little different-looking when you look at [Josh] Beckett instead of David Ortiz,’€ Millar said. ‘€œThat’€™s where American Leagues take a notch back: when you’€™ve established a DH, and you have to take him out of the lineup.’€

The lack of a designated hitter in the National League wasn’€™t the real problem with Interleague play, Millar said, adding that he liked it because it let fans watch superstars they wouldn’€™t normally see.

‘€œThe problem I have is the parity of the scheduling,’€ Millar said. ‘€œThe Red Sox draw the Phillies, ok, so let’€™s just the say the Yankees drew the Pittsburgh Pirates. ‘€¦ That’€™s not fair.’€

Added Millar, ‘€œIt’€™s kind of funny to see the American League pitchers swing the bat.’€

Of the decision to move Adrian Gonzalez to right field, Millar said the risk of injury outweighed getting Ortiz extra at-bats.

‘€œIs it worth Adrian blowing out his elbow on a play at the plate ‘€“ because of course he’€™s going to try to throw him out at home ‘€“ to get David Ortiz a game in?’€ Millar said. ‘€œYou look at it that way, you’€™re thinking ‘€˜no, you’€™re right.’€™ But, Papi needs to play. You can’€™t sit him nine days.’€

Millar said that Josh Reddick also needs more playing time.

‘€œYou have to play the hot hand,’€ Millar said. ‘€œ’€¦ He’€™s swinging the bat as well as anybody in the big leagues, so let him play out there. He’€™s got some nice tools.’€

Millar called Mike Cameron a ‘€œtremendous professional,’€ but said that age may have contributed to his reduced playing time and designation for assignment.

‘€œYou just get to an age and things slow down,’€ Millar said. ‘€œ’€¦ He just didn’€™t have the bat speed.’€

Added Millar, ‘€œI don’€™t think Boston was a great fit for him when he’€™s not the everyday guy.’€

While Millar would not predict whether or not Jonathan Papelbon would return to the Red Sox next season, he liked where Papelbon is at this season.

‘€œHe’€™s in tremendous shape,’€ Millar said. ‘€œHis velocity is back, his arm speed’€™s back, but he looks great. Is he going to be too expensive? I don’€™t know.’€

Millar also said that closers are ‘€œweird dudes,’€ and that the mentality necessary to be a closer doesn’€™t always translate to success in other relief roles. He agreed that this might be the case with Bobby Jenks.

Millar called the six-man rotation, which both Terry Francona and Yankees manager Joe Girardi have considered using this season, ‘€œa little funky.’€

‘€œI don’€™t know when the last World Series champion team had a six-man rotation,’€ Millar said. ‘€œIt’€™s just a little odd; guys need roles.’€

Read More: adrian gonzalez, bobby jenks, David Ortiz, Jonathan Papelbon
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