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Peter Gammons speaks the truth

Sep 11, 2010, 10:41 AM EDT

I’d love to say the Rangers’ 6-5 extra-inning win over the Yankees last night (or this morning) was exciting and dramatic — and it certainly had its moments — but unfortunately the five-hour, 12-minute marathon was completely dominated by pitching changes. The two teams combined to set an American League record by using 19 pitchers. The Rangers established a new franchise record by using 11 of them.

This morning, Peter Gammons said it best when he tweeted:

Pennant races lose integrity when 11 pitchers get used to win in Sept. Please, MLB, care

There’s an easy way to fix this. Simply determine the maximum amount of players allowed to be active for a September game. 25? 30? Whatever. Just pick a number. Not only is it the fair way to do things, but it will also ensure that we won’t have to sit through a repeat of the ridiculousness that we just witnessed.

  1. Buccofan - Sep 11, 2010 at 10:50 AM

    Using that many pitchers would have been OK with Gammons had it been the Red Sox using them.

  2. GP - Sep 11, 2010 at 11:02 AM

    By that logic it should have been OK here too since the Yankees lost. Clearly he just hates ballgames that go for 5+ for no good reason.

  3. Glenn - Sep 11, 2010 at 11:10 AM

    Gammons seems quite capable of criticizing the Red Sox.

  4. Proudly Canadian - Sep 11, 2010 at 11:21 AM

    The proposed solution has little practical merit. For example, a team could meet a 25 man limit by listing 14 position players, 1 starting pitcher and 10 relief pitchers.

  5. D.J. Short - Sep 11, 2010 at 11:31 AM

    Right. I’m aware of that. The starting pitchers are the tricky part and they need to find a way to account for that. I’m assuming that’s a major reason why it hasn’t happened until now.

  6. Largebill - Sep 11, 2010 at 11:32 AM

    I like the idea of September call ups to allow top minor leaguers to get a taste of the big leagues and give the major league staff a chance to evaluate those players. However, problem comes from allowing the entire 40 man roster to be activated. Maybe limit teams to a maximum of 5 additions to the active roster. Now if they add all pitchers it can still lead to extra pitching changes. Oh well. I’m sorry if poor Mr. Gammons had to watch more baseball than he wanted and wasn’t able to go to bed as early as he’d like.

  7. andrewlw - Sep 11, 2010 at 11:49 AM

    Realistically you only have a couple of crazy games like this. I don`t see a problem with allowing teams to use their 40man roster in september. Some cheap out and only call up 1-2 players, some simply don`t have the prospects on their 40man and some don`t want to keep players around for the 1 time they will use them. However if a team uses them good for them. What did the additional players add to this game 20mins, if that.

  8. pcrm - Sep 11, 2010 at 11:54 AM

    I can understand why it’s frustrating to see so many pitching changes and seems a little ridicolous, but I’m not sure how that makes the contest ‘lose integrity’. It’s not like the rosters are getting stacked with major talent, it’s just some AAA callups to give and end-of-season rest to the top players. Unless you think the whole concept of expanded rosters in September is what loses integrity.

  9. buckeyeboy - Sep 11, 2010 at 12:41 PM

    u are exactly right. it is asinine to say that guys getting a chance to play in the majors (after they have worked their tails off in the minors) is baseball losing its integrity. if you are angered at the game, turn it off and let someone else do the real reporting

  10. D.J. Short - Sep 11, 2010 at 12:53 PM

    Nothing against bringing young players up to the majors, but I would just like to see a framework in place for a maximum number of players to be used in a game in September.

  11. steelers rule - Sep 11, 2010 at 1:59 PM

    If that was a Redsox- Ynaks game, Grandpa Gammons would have loved the pitching changes! He is an homer and idiot!

  12. RichardInBigD - Sep 11, 2010 at 2:02 PM

    There is. The number is 40. Been that way for a very long time.

  13. MN Boise Fan - Sep 11, 2010 at 2:13 PM

    Some kind of game day actives-inactives, modeled slightly after the NFL, seems like it could work. Since the standard for April-Aug in the AL would be 4 bench players, and 7 bullpen guys, maybe institute a system in September where you’d need to “declare” who your, say, 6 bench guys and 9 bullpen guys are. Gives the kids a chance, but keeps both sides fairly even. Some teams would just call up the 4 extra guys. Some teams might call up 6, and rotate who is active and inactive.

  14. Mark - Sep 11, 2010 at 2:24 PM

    It’s funny when one HBT author criticizes the Twins for not bringing up enough pitchers in Sept. and another one criticizes the league for allowing teams to use too many pitchers in a game. Pick a side, fellas.

  15. D.J. Short - Sep 11, 2010 at 2:31 PM

    I think you’re missing my point. Sure, call up the entire 40-man roster for all I care. That’s fine. But I advocate some sort of active-inactive list for “each game.”

  16. Ditto65 - Sep 11, 2010 at 2:32 PM

    Baseball is not limited by time. If you don’t like it, basketball will be here soon enough.

  17. Mark - Sep 11, 2010 at 3:19 PM

    No, I understood exactly what you were saying. It was just a joke. I just found it amusing that days ago Gleeman criticized the Twins for not having enough pitchers in case a situation happened when they didn’t have enough pitchers to use – which ended with them losing the game. And now a similar situation happened in which these two teams used a ton of pitchers, and you’re criticizing the league for allowing teams to use too many pitchers.
    I’m not necessarily for or against an inactive list, but like others have pointed out I’m not sure how it would work since you can put your SP who aren’t used that day on the inactive list. You could pretty much get around it so that you’d still be able to dump 7-8 RP in a game.
    A better idea would be to cut down on pitcher meetings with the catcher (I’m looking at you, Posada), or add a ball for every additional pitching change in an inning (ie if it’s the second RP in the inning, he starts the count with a 2-0 count).

  18. D.J. Short - Sep 11, 2010 at 3:35 PM

    It’s no problem! I appreciate the insight. I read Gleeman’s piece the other day, too. It would be difficult to regulate, for sure. I wish I could find the article about it, but Joe Maddon was talking about this very issue not too long ago and while he favored the idea, he had a hard time wrapping his head around it.

  19. walk - Sep 11, 2010 at 4:01 PM

    I cant help but wonder what the title of this article would be if the yanks won. Something praising the genius use of pitching subs i am sure.

  20. Kell Varnsen - Sep 11, 2010 at 4:17 PM

    The Rangers changed pitchers mid-inning a grand total of 4 times. The Yankees changed pitchers twice mid inning, basically just Boone Logan coming in for 1 lefty in the 6th, which they would have done with a 25 man roster too. How much time did the expanded roster really add to the game? It’s a silly complaint imho.

  21. char in miami - Sep 11, 2010 at 4:20 PM

    if you had seen javier vazquez pitch last night you would have seen the game lose integrity. he absolutely sucked.

  22. bigtrav425 - Sep 11, 2010 at 7:16 PM

    He is CRAZY how does that lose the integrity???!!?…YOU PLAY TO WIN THE GAME!!! jesus christ

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