Skip to content

“Slash the roster of all teams to 20 men. This would save payroll…”

Apr 30, 2012, 2:06 PM EDT


No, that’s not from some Marge Schott fever dream. It was from a fun 1957 article by a guy named Franklin Lewis of the Cleveland Press, and it was one of 21 suggestions he offered to fix baseball.

Larry over at Wezen-Ball runs them all down. A couple of them are arguably sensible. Most of them are crazy sauce at best, completely contradictory at worst.  All of them are kind of fun, though, if for no other reason than they’ll be even more hilarious when some hack columnist writes the modern version of this thing on a slow day. Which seems to happen a couple times a year.

  1. yankeesfanlen - Apr 30, 2012 at 2:18 PM

    Sixteen years later, someone had a better idea.

    • nolanwiffle - Apr 30, 2012 at 2:47 PM

      Retire Clemente’s number in Pittsburgh?

    • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Apr 30, 2012 at 3:35 PM

      Find a group of no-names thinking they’d finish dead last so the Indians owner could move the team to Miami?

  2. WhenMattStairsIsKing - Apr 30, 2012 at 2:20 PM

    Baseball isn’t broken :)

  3. dowhatifeellike - Apr 30, 2012 at 2:26 PM

    Slow news day?

  4. pjmitch - Apr 30, 2012 at 2:35 PM

    “•Eliminate the bonus rule. Clearly, by not paying players the money they’re worth, it would “recreate somehow the desire in a young man to play baseball for love of the game instead of for love of a buck for signing a contract.”

    Yea, this would work in all workplaces, wouldn’t it??

    • The Baseball Idiot - Apr 30, 2012 at 6:02 PM

      Do you even know what the bonus rule was? Because if you did, you would probably support it.

      Knowledge is powerful.

      • The Baseball Idiot - Apr 30, 2012 at 6:04 PM

        Sorry, support eliminating it.

    • jwbiii - Apr 30, 2012 at 9:06 PM

      That was one change MLB adopted and it was a good idea. Essentially, to translate it onto modern terms, a team’s top draft pick would have to spend a year on the 25 man roster, like a Rule 5 player, before being sent to the minors. So you’d have Dylan Bundy collecting splinters in Baltimore’s bullpen instead of kicking ass in Salisbury.

      • The Baseball Idiot - May 1, 2012 at 2:46 AM

        It was more than that. Depending upon the amount of the bonus, it could be up to four years. Check out Killebrew.

        Four years for a teenager sitting on a bench and not getting to play. Then at the age of 21 or 22, getting sent to the low minors because they hadn’t developed.

        That’s why so many phenoms washed out during that time. They made their money, but they didn’t produce much for it.

      • jwbiii - May 1, 2012 at 12:26 PM

        Yeah, I was just trying to simplify it.

  5. stlouis1baseball - Apr 30, 2012 at 2:56 PM

    Gasp! An article written in 1957 by a writer with the Cleveland Press.
    Yet…no mention of Chief Wahoo, racisim or segregation. Think. Of. The. Children!

    • koufaxmitzvah - Apr 30, 2012 at 3:03 PM

      Wasn’t it great to be ignorant in the ’50s? Didn’t the USA save the world from fascism just a decade before? Weren’t we wiping the Reds out of this country’s government at the time? When we were barging into Korea and getting ready to do our duties in Vietnam?

      Sunday, Monday, Happy Days….

      • nolanwiffle - Apr 30, 2012 at 3:10 PM

        Potsy?! Is that you? What a dren.

      • stlouis1baseball - Apr 30, 2012 at 3:30 PM

        Tuesday, Wednesday, Happy Days,
        Thursday, Friday Happy Days,
        Saturday…what a day. Groovin’ all week with you!

        I love Lucy and she loves me, we’re as happy as two can be, sometimes we quarral but then again how we love making up again.

        And just for the record Sandy…the Reds are very much alive and well in this Country.
        They play in Cincinnati and they are America’s 1st Professional Baseball Club (circa 1869).

      • stlouis1baseball - Apr 30, 2012 at 4:02 PM

        I will try very hard to not get all “anti-pc” on you Sandy. Not that it really matters…but please know I truly do NOT reference it from a political/side of the aisle sorta’ thing. I reference it because I get tired of everyone using it as a crutch. I feel it is used so much it looses it’s “ass” so to speak. Bad way to put it…I know. Sorta’ like the boy who cried wolf. Sooner or later…that “Wolf Cry” is gonna’ fall on deaf ears because people pound it into the damn ground. Not everything has to be racist. Not everything has to be offensive.
        The lates example I have is of the guy who tried to turn Aubrey Huff’s anxiety issues into a racial thing. It drives me up a phuqing wall. I am off my rant. Thank you for listening.
        Now let’s get with Bravo to iron out our intenerary!
        In the words of Cyprus Hill…”Insane in the Membrane!”

      • koufaxmitzvah - Apr 30, 2012 at 4:12 PM

        I’m cool with you, Lou. I might occasionally suggest you to Sit On It, but, really, it’s out of respect. Like when Ralph Malph and Potsie Weber separated their room in half. Sure, they argued over the line, but they still shared the same front door, y’know? And when Fonzi got stood up by Pinky Tusclaro, did that squelch his respect for her? I think not. No, the ’50s may have been a bit hard-up, but it taught me how love does rule the roost, especially if there’s a jukebox and some burgers on the line.

  6. stlouis1baseball - Apr 30, 2012 at 5:03 PM

    Great episode. I forgot about that. They damn sure argued over the line. But at the end of the day it was good. After all…”especially if there’s a jukebox and some burgers on the line.”
    Well stated Sandy.

  7. genericcommenter - Apr 30, 2012 at 6:35 PM

    Well, what did they do with more than 20 men back when starting pitchers started 60 games a season and threw complete games 2/3 of the time, there were no 1-batter lefty specialists, or 1 inning cheap-save “closers”? Did they have 6 catchers? A backup for every single position and dedicated pinch-hitters and runners?

  8. bmoreballers - Apr 30, 2012 at 11:06 PM

    ^^^ shout out to Salisbury

  9. simon94022 - Apr 30, 2012 at 11:33 PM

    Roster slashing is not a bad idea. Overspecialization makes baseball and all sports less exciting; smaller rosters means less specialization.

    20 is kind of extreme, but 22 or 23 would be great. No more 7th innings where a manager uses 4 different pitchers.

Leave Comment

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!

Top 10 MLB Player Searches
  1. G. Stanton (2322)
  2. B. Crawford (2291)
  3. Y. Puig (2269)
  4. G. Springer (2034)
  5. D. Wright (1999)
  1. J. Hamilton (1971)
  2. J. Fernandez (1959)
  3. D. Span (1907)
  4. H. Ramirez (1863)
  5. C. Correa (1823)