In late September the Atlanta Braves lost two of the three to the visiting Florida Marlins to close out the regular season.

By then, the Philadelphia Phillies had already closed out the National League East division and the battle at Turner Field was for second place.

Fast forward eight months later.

The two teams are a half game apart in the standings and will once again face each other Tuesday night at Sun Life Stadium.

For all the talk about division rivals playing way too many times during a 162-game schedule, the Marlins (23-22) and Braves (23-21) somehow managed to complete almost 30 percent of the season before sharing the same diamond. 

Jason Heyward, meet Anibal Sanchez.

Mike Stanton…Scratch that.

After a quick three-game set, Florida and Atlanta won’t meet again until July. And in the final month of the season they will play six games, which could decide the division or wild card.  

Instead of complaining about interleague play, those with pull should find a way to expand upon it and fix the unbalanced schedule.

Despite its inception in 1997, the Marlins and Chicago White Sox didn’t meet until 2007. Three more games this past weekend and the tally stands at six.

Those who don’t follow the sport complain that the season is too long. How can a game in April matter when there are still five months left? 

Playing different teams more often makes the game more exciting.

Former players reappear.

Legendary managers sign autographs before the game.

Last year when the New York Yankees visited, the average attendance was over 40,000 fans.

If Major League Baseball wants the Marlins to fill a football stadium until they move into their own ballpark in 2012, give them a schedule that breaks away from the monotony and routine. 

Until then, it’s Atlanta and Florida in a best-of-18 series.

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