On September 15th, a game was played between the Colorado Rockies and the Los Angeles Dodgers. The game lasted 16 innings and the two teams combined to trot out 58 players in the contest. 58. Fifty-Eight. That’s absolutely obscene. And don’t even think about buying a program. I guess it’s a good thing people don’t keep score anymore. Ken Rosenthal over at Fox Sports thinks it may be time for a change.
Angels manager Mike Scioscia has advocated for a taxi squad in which teams could add different numbers of call-ups but activate only the same number – say, three – for each game. An executive suggested another other idea – stick to a 25-man roster, but allow teams to deactivate a certain number of players (most likely starting pitchers) each night. The effect would be the same.
I get the desire to call-up players in September as a reward for a good season or to get a glimpse at the players and all, but it’s getting out of hand. I miss the days when a team couldn’t afford to bring out a new pitcher every two outs. I think I’m most in favor of Mike Scioscia’s idea of a taxi squad. Let each team designate an additional 3-5 players per game (or even once a week.) It seems the most eloquent and simple solution to a problem of growing rosters in September. In last night’s blowout loss against the Red Sox, the Orioles substituted 7 members of the starting lineup. The team that remained on the field more closely resembled the Norfolk Tides than the Baltimore Orioles. I’m pretty sure the 22,000 people in attendance didn’t pay 15-30 bucks a ticket to see that.