Tomorrow, each Major League team will have as many as 40 players eligible to play in games until the end of the regular season – and then they go back to the normal 25 for the duration of the playoffs.
Presumably, this rule was designed to reward a team’s best minor league players a cup of coffee in “The Show” and to allow management a chance to look forward to next year to see which players have progressed the most. This rule is outdated and needs to be changed at the Owners Meeting this winter…..and here’s why.
Nearly all of the players who will be called up have already had their cup of coffee and a steak too. This is due to the myriad of injuries at the Major League level. Minor Leaguers get called up to replace a banged up regular or for a spot start or bullpen help…….and then are optioned out only to be recalled later for the same purpose. The “Transactions” section of the sports page often takes up a full column.
Beyond that, the iimportation of these fresh faces skews the Division Races and confuses the fans. It’s NOT the same team that has battled through five months and 130 games. A hot shot comes up and tears up the league for three weeks…….and that’s fair? Baseball is reduced to a crap shoot of which team catches lightning in a bottle for a few days……….no……..that’s not fair and it needs to be challenged and corrected.
Suit up forty……give them all a taste and some energy moving forward……but when the manager brings out the lineup card…..only 28 are eligible to play in that game. That’s still three extra. Use ’em any way you want (maybe to give a veteran a couple of days rest down the stretch…….or maybe you skip a starting pitcher)…..but you still only get an extra three.
The Commissioner and owners talk about parity all the time and they’ve done a good job by and large bringing it about with things like the Rule 5 Draft and a bottom first regular draft……but this would help bring about parity DURING the regular season when it should count the most.