Saturday, March 24, 2018

Expand the rosters

If I were major-league position player right now, my number-one demand to my union would be this: expand the rosters.

Few ideas have less of a chance of becoming reality. But as the thrilling battle over who will be the 13th pitcher on the Yankees this year reminds us, it's necessary.

13 pitchers? That means 12 position players for 9 slots, and given the automatic need for a back-up catcher, we're essentially talking two reserves.

That might have been all right back in, say, 1936, when the Yanks' starting infield—Gehrig, Lazzeri, Crosetti, Rolfe—averaged 148 games in what was a 153-game season that year. But not today.

Frankly, I question the need for 13 pitchers. But they look to be here to stay, and as such have wiped out such animals as the third-string catcher. Such pitching-heavy rosters are like an invasive monoculture in nature. They wipe out variety and color in the game. Getting to the 26- or 27-man roster is what the game's analytical geniuses should be clamoring for.

Instead, we are talking about Judge batting first. Hey, at least that led to Billywitz getting to write an actual piece of baseball analysis this spring—the first one, I think, he has turned in all year.

Unfortunately, the Times also ran a piece on Landon Donovan, the most boring soccer player in recorded history, yesterday, so Soccer maintains its healthy lead:  Soccer 46, Yankees 26.


Local Bargain Jerk said...

Landon Donovan, the most boring soccer player in recorded history

If you're scoring the game, L. Donovan is in a 3,632-way tie for first place.

HoraceClarke66 said...


Every four years, it was, "Hey, maybe this year Landon Donovan will score 30 goals and the US will win the World Cup."

Then Landon Donovan would come on the pitch: slight, balding, looking like someone's suburban dad, and about as fast. Sigh.