Tuesday, June 23, 2015
Dear Commissioner Manfred: The Yankees have now used 21 pitchers in 22 days, and the current roster system is a joke
Posted by el duque at 7:26 AM
First, thanks for standing down on Alex Rodriguez. It's a refreshing change. Clearly, A-Rod has his flaws, but it's time for MLB to stop hanging former stars in the town square, especially when they weren't the only wrongdoers, just the only ones caught.
Also, thanks for trying to speed up the game. Good luck on that. For the 55 years I've followed baseball, folks have been trying to speed up the game, without dropping commercials between innings. Oh, well...
But let's get to the meat here. MLB's current 25-man roster system is a joke. Right now, every team in baseball uses its Triple A franchise as a bullpen taxi squad, and we're going through pitchers like I go through potato chips on Friday night.
This month, the Yankees have used 21 pitchers in 22 days - a franchise record for months (not counting September, with the call-ups.) On Wednesday, we will unveil the new and improved Ivan Nova - number 22. By July 1, they might go through an entire 25-man pitching roster. That's nuts.
So what can you do? Here's a suggestion: Reduce the number of regular season games to 154, like it was, back in the day. Lop eight games off the schedule, and you'll give every pitching staff one extra day of rest every two weeks. Arms can heal. You might even save somebody from elbow surgery. I would think the players union would seriously consider taking a little less money for a few free days.
Not only would this help pitching staffs, but MLB will get an added bonus: It can revert to its old system of records. The big slugger totals of the steroids era will be encased in glass, and from now on, hitters will chase the greatest single-season record in sports: Babe Ruth's 60 home runs.
Worried about losing money? Convert the one game Wild Card into three games. Or make the first round of the playoffs seven games, rather than five. You'll have extra time.
Frankly, it's a no-brainer. The pennant race will run just as hot in August and September. The difference: We just might recognize the pitchers.