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Anonymous GM: players can’t handle a 162 game season

Jun 3, 2011, 3:06 PM EST

coffee pot

Jayson Stark spoke with a major league general manager — we don’t know which one — who had a couple of interesting things to say about the length of the season and player stamina and all of that.  The upshot: the GM thinks the season is too long, players can’t handle it, and it needs to be shortened.

What’s more, he cites teams’ use of the disabled list as evidence of this.  Check it out:

“The season’s too long. Guys can’t handle it. In fact, you’d be amazed how many of these DLs are just teams covering for guys who can’t handle it. This isn’t just about guys not being able to handle it physically. Guys can’t handle it mentally. They need mental breaks to regroup.”

The GM goes on to recommend a number of changes to the schedule, including lopping off games, mandatory off days each week and stuff like that in order to keep players fresh.  Stark suggests that the fact that players don’t take greenies anymore has something to do with all of this.

I have no idea what kind of toll being a professional athlete takes on one’s body and one’s mind.  But if this is as bad as the GM makes it out to be, I would think before you go proposing that the schedule be shortened — which will never happen due to the financial impact — you’d consider proposing a couple extra roster spots so as to give managers the ability to give guys a day off once in a while.  This would be especially important for position players who, once upon a time, had more backups on the team but don’t anymore because people have decided that they need 13 guys on the pitching staff.

File this all under “interesting, but what the hell can you really do about it, practically speaking?”

  1. halladaysbicepts - Jun 3, 2011 at 3:11 PM

    I’ve said all along that baseball should have never disallowed speed. When the players took speed, they had more energy and we saw better baseball.

    It’s not the length of the schedule. They just need a pick-me-up, and speed/greenies are the answer. Sometimes when I see Jimmy Rollins at the plate he looks like a zombie up there.

    Maybe they will be more alert to avoid more injuries as well.

    • bloodysock - Jun 3, 2011 at 3:19 PM

      That’s not Jimmy Rolling you’re looking at; it’s the mirror.

      • halladaysbicepts - Jun 3, 2011 at 3:23 PM

        Your a funny guy. How long did it take you to come up with that, scumbag Red Sox fan?

    • Mark - Jun 3, 2011 at 3:21 PM

      But I thought Jimmy Rollins was a winner who always gives 100%? Are you saying that Rollins can’t be a winner without greenies?

      • halladaysbicepts - Jun 3, 2011 at 3:25 PM

        I don’t care what kind of player a person is. Having that extra energy in the tank will help any player. I would bet that the lack of greenies in baseball is the biggest reason for the drop in hitting across the league. Most baseball authorities have stated this to be the case.

      • Mark - Jun 3, 2011 at 3:33 PM

        You actually do care because you’ve said so in other posts.

      • halladaysbicepts - Jun 3, 2011 at 3:39 PM

        Mark, you’re right, I do care. I like the gritty players like Rollins, Utley, Votto, Chipper, etc.

        They always give 100% of their mind and body to the game.

        However, I’m also a realist. Players have, until recently, have taken greenies and it help elevate their alertness in the game.

        All I’m saying is that there was never a good reason to not allow them to take it again. For them it’s like a 4-Loco energy drink.

      • Mark - Jun 3, 2011 at 5:08 PM

        So greenies are good but steroids are bad? I don’t think so.

        The obvious solution that doesn’t involve using greenies, is to build an 11 man pitching staff, and use your bench more often. Realistically in the pen you’re using 4, maybe 5 guys for key situations (Closer, LOOGY, 2 set up for the 7/8 innings and a MR to get you through innings 5-6). So the 6th man in the BP can be the long guy in case a starter gets knocked out early.

        Instead of scaling back the number of total games, use your bench players more often. Instead of starting someone 162 times, maybe do it 150. Or rotate guys into the DH spot once a month if you’re in the AL so that they’re not standing on the field for 9 innings everyday.

        See, we can come up with rational solutions that don’t involve resorting to greenies. Common sense and logic to the rescue.

    • CJ - Jun 3, 2011 at 3:43 PM

      I’d be inclined to agree with you, but then we’d both be wrong.

      • halladaysbicepts - Jun 3, 2011 at 3:47 PM

        Remember, a negative multiplied by a negative = a positive.

      • Vincent - Jun 3, 2011 at 3:50 PM

        Remember, agreeing with someone who’s wrong, makes you wrong.

      • halladaysbicepts - Jun 3, 2011 at 3:56 PM

        Vince, reading your enlightening comments from other threads, I believe you could use some greenies. It might actually make you more interesting.

      • Vincent - Jun 3, 2011 at 4:13 PM

        halladaysbicepts, based on reading your not-so-enlightening comments from this and other threads, not too many people like you and/or what you have to say. I’ll refrain from insulting you and I’ll maintain my facade of not being interesting.

        Additionally, this isn’t the first time you’ve tried to insult me, but it’s not the first time I’ve replied to one of your ingenius comments with a snarky remark either. If you want to keep playing this game, I’m up for it.

      • halladaysbicepts - Jun 3, 2011 at 4:19 PM

        Well, Vince, follow your own advice and don’t insult me. I’ll expect no further replies from you.

        At least I get responses from other people, whether they agree or disagree with me. You add nothing to any conversation/debate.

        “Remember, agreeing with someone who’s wrong, makes you wrong.”

        Remember, don’t try being a smart guy. You’ll strain yorself by trying to out-debate me in any subject.

      • Vincent - Jun 3, 2011 at 4:30 PM

        I wasn’t giving you any advice, halladaysbicepts. And I’m not trying to start an argument, I was merely making an observation. If you’re able to extrapolate these ideas from what I said in my last comment, I don’t think there would be any straining involved in arguing with you. The straining would come from me questioning why I bothered saying anything to you in the first place. I would also like to add that I haven’t directly insulting you in anyway, but I’m impressed that you’ve been able to muster up enough emotion to call me out…. wait a minute, he’s actually pretty good at that kind of stuff…

      • halladaysbicepts - Jun 3, 2011 at 4:40 PM

        Vince, well said. That sounds better and I appreciate it.

        I’ll tell you what. I’m man enough to bury the hatchet. Let’s start from scratch. OK?

        I like when people respond to what I have to say, whether they agree or disagree. To almost every article/blog entry that’s posted on this site, there’s usually two sides. I state my opinion, like everyone else. All I can really say is that the response that I like to see if someone disagrees is the reason why, then I can make a counterpoint, and the debate can commence.

        I like to sometimes exaggerate my opinion to spark a debate.

      • Vincent - Jun 3, 2011 at 5:47 PM

        I can also be a grown man (sometimes). We can bury the hatchet if you’d like.

    • raysfan1 - Jun 3, 2011 at 11:24 PM

      I doubt halladaysbicepts is reading this thread anymore but still… can’t believe he just advocated using PEDs–hopefully he will now be intellectually consistant and be OK with players using steroids too. Also, let’s try to remember that it’s also advocating nonprescription use of a schedule II controlled substance–a misdemeanor. In the ’60’s and ’70’s they were handed out like candy in the clubhouse–that would now constitute conspiracy to illegaly distribute a controlled substance–a felony.
      .
      Worst…idea…I’ve…heard…all…day.

  2. Vincent - Jun 3, 2011 at 3:17 PM

    Hey Craig, is there a reason there’s spanish on that coffee pot? Are you hinting that this mystery GM might be Amaro Jr.? CUIDADO!

    • Craig Calcaterra - Jun 3, 2011 at 3:19 PM

      No reason other than my laziness at snagging the first GIS result for “coffee pot” I could find.

      • Utley's Hair - Jun 3, 2011 at 3:25 PM

        Looks like Craig needs some coffee.

      • Vincent - Jun 3, 2011 at 3:46 PM

        Fair enough.

        Now where did I leave my magnifying glass, awesome detective’s hat, and pipe.

      • yankeesfanlen - Jun 3, 2011 at 4:06 PM

        Most commercial coffee pots have the required warning printed in English on one side, Spanish on the other. If you look behind your monitor, you’ll see the “Caution”, Sherlock.

      • Vincent - Jun 3, 2011 at 4:19 PM

        I’m far too lazy to look behind my monitor; maybe I’ll check the coffee pot on my way out of work today. Good work Watson, I’ll let you know if I have any luck later.

        I feel like I should have said elementary somewhere in there…. but I’m not going to call you “my dear Watson,” Len. That’s just weird.

      • Vincent - Jun 3, 2011 at 5:49 PM

        Hey Len, I couldn’t find anything on there…. I think Amaro Jr. is up to something.

    • jimbo1949 - Jun 3, 2011 at 4:02 PM

      Coffee flavored Dominican Shake.

  3. halladaysbicepts - Jun 3, 2011 at 3:19 PM

    Also, my source tells me that the GM that made these comments is Sandy Alderson of the Mutts.

    The Mutts are the only team in baseball that has a handicap entrance where the players come in to the park.

    • Paul Zummo - Jun 3, 2011 at 3:31 PM

      You can actually see the tumbleweed rolling over your comment.

      • halladaysbicepts - Jun 3, 2011 at 3:34 PM

        I like tumbleweed. In fact, my favorite genre for movies is the old westerns.

    • skerney - Jun 3, 2011 at 3:41 PM

      I just love when halladaysbicepts trots out his “sources.”

      • halladaysbicepts - Jun 3, 2011 at 3:45 PM

        My source always talks to me via telepathy. Sort of like an out of body experience.

        It’s usually when I have about a 12-pack in me.

  4. royalsfaninfargo - Jun 3, 2011 at 3:27 PM

    I find it funny that baseball has played at least 154 games a season for over 100 years and NOW the players cant handle it. I dont ever remember hearing anything like this 10 or even 20 years ago. I wonder if this was Sabean.

    • halladaysbicepts - Jun 3, 2011 at 3:30 PM

      Agreed. Also, the amount of injuries happening this year is far more than I have ever remembered.

      What are these guys made out of, playdough?

  5. heffmessina - Jun 3, 2011 at 3:30 PM

    I wonder what anonymous GM’s cousin “one scout told me” thinks of all this.

  6. jlinatl - Jun 3, 2011 at 3:46 PM

    1. Add a few double headers early in season (charge a premium to make up some of lost revenue)
    2. Extend the All Star Break (some teams before the game; some teams after so the break for all of baseball is the same)
    3. Add another “call up” period besides Sept
    4. Build golden idols to Gehrig and Ripken

  7. Jonny 5 - Jun 3, 2011 at 3:47 PM

    I’ve always thought it had to be tough with the schedule. But less baseball? Ta hell with that!

  8. bigharold - Jun 3, 2011 at 3:47 PM

    So after 50 years of testing the results are in, .. 162 games is too much.

    And, in othre news ….

  9. kopy - Jun 3, 2011 at 3:57 PM

    Based on this year alone, there’s no way it couldn’t be Bill Smith. Joe Mauer has played 8 games this year because he can’t handle it, with 12 of the Twins’ Opening Day 25 having DL stints this season. I don’t know if it’s actually him, though.

  10. schmedley69 - Jun 3, 2011 at 5:25 PM

    Speed is very dangerous. Just ask Alex P. Keaton.

    • Gobias Industries - Jun 3, 2011 at 5:46 PM

      Or Jesse Spano.

  11. smoothaswilkes - Jun 4, 2011 at 12:59 PM

    Craig – shortening the schedule was one of a host of changes proposed, including adding more players to the roster…

    “His changes wouldn’t stop there. He also thinks it’s time to ease the burden on players by increasing roster sizes — finally — to 26 or 27 players per team.

    “It doesn’t make any sense to me anymore — 25-man rosters,” he said. “Why is a 25-man roster still appropriate to play this game without greenies?”

    Now, we all know why owners would object to bigger rosters. One word: $$$$$$. But that knee-jerk reaction would be sooooo short-sighted, the GM said.

    “It costs you, anyway, because you’re DL-ing guys [who break down],” he said. “I’d like somebody to do a study. How many DLs would it save you? Or do a trade-off and put a limit [on rosters] in September — say you could only go to 30 instead of 40.”

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