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Tony La Russa to "improve the game"

Dec 14, 2009, 4:55 PM EDT

I’ve seen a hell of a lot of jaw-dropping tweets today, but this one from the St. Louis Cardinals takes the cake:

La Russa has been selected by commish Bud Selig to serve on a panel to discuss ways to improve the game.

Biggest problem facing the game today?  They’re too long. Biggest reason they’re too long?  Too many pitching changes.  Reason there are so many pitching changes? Tony La Russa invented the concept of hyper-spastic bullpen specialization back in the late 80s, and now no manager thinks he can break spring training with a pen under 13 men strong and no manager can get through a seventh inning without using five if them.

Physician, heal thyself.

  1. Neon Noodle - Dec 14, 2009 at 5:09 PM

    Baseball games are not too long. I like baseball. I like more baseball. I don’t like commercials though, and pitching changes cause commercials, I’ll give you that.

  2. willmose - Dec 14, 2009 at 6:26 PM

    Craig you give Tony to much credit. The DH created too many pitching changes. No penalty for changing pitchers. In fact, it was not Tony who figured it out. It was Billy Martin and Whitey Hezorg who started it. Tony just raised to an art form.
    BTW, there is an easy way to reverse this. Limit the number of pitchers on the roster to nine.
    While pitching changes do impact the length of the game, it is the time between innings that really impacts the length. It used to be one minute, sixty seconds. Now it is what three minutes plus.

  3. dennis morgan - Dec 14, 2009 at 6:39 PM

    Stop the criticism right there Craig…King Tony would never hear of it.’s not like phd’s are a problem in baseball. As anyone would tell you, they were never in any of his clubhouses in Oakland, Arlington or the Loo…
    And his constant commentaries on driving under the influence to young ball players like Josh Hancock and David Freese….priceless to be sure…

  4. Steve A - Dec 14, 2009 at 9:33 PM

    Yeah, it’s very easy to limit roster sizes. I’m sure the MLBPA will gladly allow the commish to reduce the number of roster spots for a group of players. In fact, right after they do that, the DH will be removed from the American League.
    I also heard that Fox is willing to give up commercial time in the postseason.
    I think a possible way to shorten games would be to limit the amount of pitching changes per inning. You could even work the DH into it. Make a team lose the DH after its 3rd pitcher of the inning, or something similar.

  5. Church of the Perpetually Outraged - Dec 15, 2009 at 9:11 AM’s not like phd’s are a problem in baseball. As anyone would tell you, they were never in any of his clubhouses in Oakland, Arlington or the Loo…

    Please come back today and tell me you were serious with this note because I can’t stop laughing if this is what you meant.

  6. GBSimons - Dec 15, 2009 at 10:00 AM

    Arlington? Chicago’s South Side, yes; Texas, no.

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