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Thursday, August 30, 2018

It’s time to finally change the stupidest rule in all of sports

I have always liked September roster expansion. You get to see a lot of young players for the first time. Teams with depth get value for that depth.

Jim Furtado Posted: August 30, 2018 at 11:03 AM | 65 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: september roster expansions

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   1. villageidiom Posted: August 30, 2018 at 11:18 AM (#5736253)
I will again advocate for expanded rosters in April, not September. It's early, starters aren't pitching deep into games, give more time for roster battles and a (slightly) larger sample in which to make roster decisions, etc.
   2. Jose is an Absurd Force of Nature Posted: August 30, 2018 at 11:20 AM (#5736256)
It's time to finally copy/paste the same article that gets written every year in September. This article is to sportswriting what airplane food is to stand up comics.

That said I'll co-sign idiom's idea for April over September.
   3. Howie Menckel Posted: August 30, 2018 at 11:26 AM (#5736261)
back in the day, there were more roster spots in April. still were into the 1950s, I think
   4. oscar madisox Posted: August 30, 2018 at 11:36 AM (#5736271)
Pass
   5. Pasta-diving Jeter (jmac66) Posted: August 30, 2018 at 11:40 AM (#5736276)
back in the day, there were more roster spots in April. still were into the 1950s, I think

I never knew that, but it appears you are correct--from a rules history:

In 1910, a new scheme was instituted, with teams being allowed to keep as many as 40 players under control during the offseason and the early and late parts of the season. Prior to 1921, this total did not include players on optional assignments. During the heart of the season, though, teams had to reduce their active rosters to 25 players. Adjustments were made from time to time in these limits, depending on competition from the Federal League and economic conditions. Beginning in 1957, teams were required to reduce their active rosters to 28 players by opening day, with the final reduction to 25 players coming 30 days later. Starting 1968, the 25 man limit was in effect from opening day, although teams were allowed to carry 40 players after August 31.


it doesn't really explain what "the early and late parts of the season" means
   6. Skloot Insurance Posted: August 30, 2018 at 12:05 PM (#5736290)
September callup season is wonderful and should not be dramatically altered. Prospects and minor league lifers get a taste of major league life, ephemeral as it will be in some cases.

I could see a case for restricting the number of *active* pitchers on a September roster, but I like the spirit of the rule.
   7. Random Transaction Generator Posted: August 30, 2018 at 12:12 PM (#5736293)
I could see a case for restricting the number of *active* pitchers on a September roster, but I like the spirit of the rule.


I've always liked that idea, but you know that someone is going to abuse that by sitting his other four starting pitchers and activating 4 more relievers every game.
   8. Lyford Posted: August 30, 2018 at 12:27 PM (#5736311)
I suspect that there's a legitimate argument to be had over whether roster expansion in September is a good thing or not.

Even if that's true, this article contributes nothing whatsoever toward it...
   9. Bote Man Posted: August 30, 2018 at 12:32 PM (#5736314)
OK, let the full 40-man roster play the full season: 8 position players, 32 pitchers. Why pussyfoot around??
   10. Pat Rapper's Delight (as quoted on MLB Network) Posted: August 30, 2018 at 12:53 PM (#5736340)
Of all the dumb reasons to hate expanded September rosters, the "unfairness" of different roster sizes between teams playing each other is the dumbest. Every team has the exact same opportunity to expand the roster to as many players on the 40-man as they want. Whether they choose to or not is up to them.
   11. McCoy Posted: August 30, 2018 at 12:57 PM (#5736353)
Of all the dumb reasons to hate expanded September rosters, the "unfairness" of different roster sizes between teams playing each other is the dumbest. Every team has the exact same opportunity to expand the roster to as many players on the 40-man as much as they want. Whether they choose to or not is up to them.

Well, the ultimate unfairness is that potentially some team will have enough money to have a better group of guys stuck in the minors than some team that doesn't have enough money to do that. When that happens the disparity between the haves and have nots will grow.
   12. vortex of dissipation Posted: August 30, 2018 at 01:05 PM (#5736364)
Beginning in 1957, teams were required to reduce their active rosters to 28 players by opening day, with the final reduction to 25 players coming 30 days later.


The speculation and tension in the clubhouse over which three players would be sent down in the final roster cut a month into the season is an important subplot in at least one of Jim Brosnan's memoirs. I think it's Pennant Race, but it could be The Long Season.
   13. Rennie's Tenet Posted: August 30, 2018 at 01:06 PM (#5736367)
I think in 1990 they started the season with 27 or 28 man roster? Some labor issue shortened spring training?
   14. Rally Posted: August 30, 2018 at 01:21 PM (#5736386)
OK, let the full 40-man roster play the full season: 8 position players, 32 pitchers. Why pussyfoot around??


Under your rules there would be no DH, so I accept.
   15. Howie Menckel Posted: August 30, 2018 at 01:27 PM (#5736391)
there was at least one year, had to be 1980s or 1990s, where they trimmed the rosters to 24.
   16. Fernigal McGunnigle Posted: August 30, 2018 at 01:33 PM (#5736399)
Of all the dumb reasons to hate expanded September rosters, the "unfairness" of different roster sizes between teams playing each other is the dumbest. Every team has the exact same opportunity to expand the roster to as many players on the 40-man as they want. Whether they choose to or not is up to them.
One unspoken thing in this is AAA pennant races and the AAA playoffs. The season ends on September 3, but the two teams that make the AAA championship game will keep playing until September 18. I know that the Rays are at least nominally in the wild card race and probably need all of the help they can get, but I'll be pissed if they call up Austin Meadows while the Bulls are still alive in the postseason. So the 40 man rule is unfair here to someone, either to the Rays or to fans of the Durham Bulls, depending on how the people in Tampa Bay decide to handle the situation.
   17. . Posted: August 30, 2018 at 01:41 PM (#5736410)
Yes, the *real* problem with baseball is the expanded September rosters.

/eyeroll
   18. wjones Posted: August 30, 2018 at 01:54 PM (#5736416)
This is a unique thing to baseball. No other sports have the farm system that baseball has. Unique is generally good. Why must baseball give up things that make them unique? Silly article.
   19. John Northey Posted: August 30, 2018 at 02:11 PM (#5736432)
I love the September expansion as it lets us see more use of pinch runners, pinch hitters, kids on the roster, etc. I find it fun. Maybe it isn't 100% fair, but what is in baseball? The Yankees have more cash than anyone, the Dodgers are right there too, Boston is in the next tier but somehow the Rays with horrid revenue do compete from time to time with those Yankees and Red Sox. Perfectly fair equals perfectly boring.
   20. Jim Furtado Posted: August 30, 2018 at 02:19 PM (#5736439)
I like the idea of expanded rosters in April. Maybe expand to 30, rather than 25, though. I could be convinced to limit the active roster to 25 players per game in both April and September as well.
   21. My name is Votto, and I love to get blotto Posted: August 30, 2018 at 02:25 PM (#5736445)
Anyway, this is by no means the "stupidest rule in sports". Off the top of my head, what constitutes a football catch, forcing teams to challenge in order to use replay, and the hack-a-Shaq are all clearly worse.
   22. Jack Keefe Posted: August 30, 2018 at 02:40 PM (#5736453)
Here are my 5 supidest rules in sports Al.

SOCCER the rule that says you can not pick the ball up. It is sitting right their Al. How hard is it to pick the thing up. The gold keeper can do it but not the 10 other Guise. This is unfare Al.

TENNIS the rule that says it can only bounce Onct. What if you catch up to it after it has bounce 2 or 3 times you can still hit it Al.

WATER POLO I guess the rules are OK Al but what if you get water in your Ear Canal.

CAR RACING the rules that says you have to go around the whole track. What if you fine a Short Cut Al. Should you not get Credit for cleverality.

BADMINTON.



   23. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: August 30, 2018 at 02:46 PM (#5736458)
Off the top of my head, what constitutes a football catch,

That's what I thought of immediately. Football catch rules make the expanded roster look like the theory of relativity.
   24. Sean Forman Posted: August 30, 2018 at 02:57 PM (#5736468)
expand the rosters, but only dress 25 for each game
   25. John Northey Posted: August 30, 2018 at 03:04 PM (#5736473)
I'd like 27-30 all season long, but put in new pitcher rules. No switching pitchers in an inning unless he has already given up at least one run. That would put an end to loogy's and roogy's.
   26. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: August 30, 2018 at 03:11 PM (#5736478)
Here are my 5 supidest rules in sports Al.

SOCCER the rule that says you can not pick the ball up. It is sitting right their Al. How hard is it to pick the thing up.


QFT
   27. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: August 30, 2018 at 03:16 PM (#5736484)
I'd like 27-30 all season long, but put in new pitcher rules. No switching pitchers in an inning unless he has already given up at least one run. That would put an end to loogy's and roogy's.

But you'd still get a series of 1 inning pitchers from inning 5 on. With 30, teams would roster 12 position players and 18 pitchers. You'd have a 4 man rotation going no more than 18 batters faced, and 14 short men who would collectively pitch 5-6 innings every game, in 1 inning stints.

Hard pass.
   28. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: August 30, 2018 at 03:18 PM (#5736485)
SOCCER the rule that says you can not pick the ball up. It is sitting right their Al. How hard is it to pick the thing up.

QFT


Soccer should add a rule that each player gets one opportunity per game to pick up the ball, take 5 steps, and throw. Once that opportunity is used, it's gone for the rest of the game.
   29. stig-tossled, hornswoggled gef the typing mongoose Posted: August 30, 2018 at 03:19 PM (#5736487)
I'm pretty sure the stupidest rule(s) in sports can be laid at golf's door. Though golf isn't really a sport, but rather something rich people do to kill time between drinks at the country club.
   30. SandyRiver Posted: August 30, 2018 at 03:43 PM (#5736498)
The speculation and tension in the clubhouse over which three players would be sent down in the final roster cut a month into the season is an important subplot in at least one of Jim Brosnan's memoirs. I think it's Pennant Race, but it could be The Long Season.

The Long Season. Brosnan was roomed with rookie Phil Clark to start the season, and Clark got cut after not being all that effective in a handful of relief appearances. He'd been 1958's pitcher of the year in the minors (IL? Can't recall which league) and did fine in a Sept. cuppa that year, but ERA of 11.57 and 10+ BB/9 in '59 got him sent down. He never made it back - don't know if he hung in for a few years or quickly chose a different career. He was married, and IIRC had one kid and another coming soon, which may have affected his (and his wife's) tolerance for the 1950s MiLB lifestyle.
   31. Khrushin it bro Posted: August 30, 2018 at 03:45 PM (#5736500)
I'd like 27-30 all season long, but put in new pitcher rules. No switching pitchers in an inning unless he has already given up at least one run. That would put an end to loogy's and roogy's.


I've lately thought that an actual in game penalty is the way to go. If you do a pitching change mid inning then the first guy he faces starts with a 1-0 count. Put a little extra game theory in there. The Astros played the A's and Brad Peacock walked the bases loaded and they took him out, it would have been cool if the new guy was already down in the count (would probably still have been worth it since Peacock was all over the place).
   32. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: August 30, 2018 at 03:47 PM (#5736502)
I've lately thought that an actual in game penalty is the way to go. If you do a pitching change mid inning then the first guy he faces starts with a 1-0 count. Put a little extra game theory in there. The Astros played the A's and Brad Peacock walked the bases loaded and they took him out, it would have been cool if the new guy was already down in the count (would probably still have been worth it since Peacock was all over the place).

In that vein, you get two pitching changes per 9 inning game. Every additional pitching change causes an intentional walk to the first batter faced by the new pitcher. In extra innings, you get one extra change per 3 innings.

If your SP can't go 7 IP, or your RPs can't go 2 IP each, screw you.
   33. Khrushin it bro Posted: August 30, 2018 at 04:05 PM (#5736511)
#32 That sounds too extreme to me but would be an easy way to lower the amount of pitching changes.
   34. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: August 30, 2018 at 04:06 PM (#5736512)
expand the rosters, but only dress 25 for each game
So you have 23 relievers sitting naked in the bullpen in Minneapolis in late September? That's a creative solution, but the union would probably object.
   35. PreservedFish Posted: August 30, 2018 at 04:36 PM (#5736528)
If your SP can't go 7 IP, or your RPs can't go 2 IP each, screw you.


I don't get this - it would have so many bizarre unintended consequences, and it wouldn't really resemble any known form of historical baseball.

Just limit it to 10 pitchers. If a manager still wants to use a LOOGY in those circumstances, let him. If it leads to a rise of Kieschnicks or the return of the off-day relief appearance, that's OK with me.
   36. Bourbon Samurai, what price fettucine? Posted: August 30, 2018 at 05:05 PM (#5736539)
The rule that says if a football player diving over the goal post going out of bounds bobbles the ball for a second, it's not a touchdown, but a turnover and the other team gets a touchback, is easily the dumbest rule in sports.
   37. jmurph Posted: August 30, 2018 at 05:11 PM (#5736542)
The rule that says if a football player diving over the goal post going out of bounds bobbles the ball for a second, it's not a touchdown, but a turnover and the other team gets a touchback, is easily the dumbest rule in sports.

Good call. Surely all of the top 10 dumbest rules in sports are NFL possession related rules.
   38. Greg Pope Posted: August 30, 2018 at 05:15 PM (#5736545)
I don't get this - it would have so many bizarre unintended consequences, and it wouldn't really resemble any known form of historical baseball.

Just limit it to 10 pitchers. If a manager still wants to use a LOOGY in those circumstances, let him. If it leads to a rise of Kieschnicks or the return of the off-day relief appearance, that's OK with me.


Right. Let's tinker with off-the-field stuff first. If it doesn't work, then change the on-the-field rules.

Baseball just doesn't do penalties like other sports. There's no equivalent to a power play, and very little equivalent to a 10 yard penalty or a foul shot. Players can get ejected, but the team gets to replace them. Most "penalties" in baseball are just attempts to set things right. Advancing a base on a ball going into the stands, calling the DP on an illegal slide, etc. Even running over the catcher doesn't get anyone a penalty, they just award the run or the out. Catcher's interference is really just awarding a guy the base that he might have gotten. The only real penalty I can think of is the balk.

   39. Howie Menckel Posted: August 30, 2018 at 05:26 PM (#5736556)
agreed on the touchback for a fumble. it's not difficult to just give the opposing team the ball where the player lost possession - so inside the 5-yard line usually. change of possession is a fully sufficient penalty for a blunder. moving the ball to the 20 ridiculous.

heck, I'd prefer the fumbling team keep the ball, but get pushed back to the 20, than the current situation.
   40. Pat Rapper's Delight (as quoted on MLB Network) Posted: August 30, 2018 at 05:29 PM (#5736559)
I've always thought that alternating possessions on a jump ball was a pretty stupid rule.
   41. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: August 30, 2018 at 05:38 PM (#5736563)
The rule that says if a football player diving over the goal post going out of bounds bobbles the ball for a second, it's not a touchdown, but a turnover and the other team gets a touchback, is easily the dumbest rule in sports.

Good call. Surely all of the top 10 dumbest rules in sports are NFL possession related rules.

Maybe #2 through #11, but nothing can top college football's Sudden Death With Infinite Gubernatorial Pardons overtime rule. The only thing that could top that for inanity would be the proposal to start every extra inning in baseball with a runner on second base.
   42. bfan Posted: August 30, 2018 at 05:58 PM (#5736574)
So you have 23 relievers sitting naked in the bullpen in Minneapolis in late September? That's a creative solution, but the union would probably object.


Depends. Do those pitchers get to keep their tip money, or does it get turned over to the team?
   43. Swoboda is freedom Posted: August 30, 2018 at 06:08 PM (#5736583)
Good call. Surely all of the top 10 dumbest rules in sports are NFL possession related rules.

I always thought the 1/2 the distance to the goal rule was stupid. You are on the 6 yard line and you are offsides, the ball goes back to the one. You hold, a more serious infraction, and it only goes back to the 3 yard line.

If you are on the 11 yard line, they will send you back to the 1. I say send them back to the 1 for all penalties that would take them into the goal.
   44. Hank Gillette Posted: August 30, 2018 at 06:58 PM (#5736614)
No switching pitchers in an inning unless he has already given up at least one run.


So, if the relief pitcher comes in with the bases loaded, four runs have to score before he can be taken out in an inning?
   45. Eric J can SABER all he wants to Posted: August 30, 2018 at 07:26 PM (#5736629)
I always thought the 1/2 the distance to the goal rule was stupid. You are on the 6 yard line and you are offsides, the ball goes back to the one. You hold, a more serious infraction, and it only goes back to the 3 yard line.

I don't think this is true? I think it's half the distance if that's less than the amount of the penalty. (So offsides and holding from the 6 would both move the ball to the 3.)
   46. puck Posted: August 30, 2018 at 08:08 PM (#5736646)
It's time to finally copy/paste the same article that gets written every year in September.


When did sportswriters start complaining about this? I don't remember it 20 years ago.
   47. Misirlou doesn't live in the restaurant Posted: August 30, 2018 at 08:25 PM (#5736654)
I'm pretty sure the stupidest rule(s) in sports can be laid at golf's door. Though golf isn't really a sport, but rather something rich people do to kill time between drinks at the country club.


Am I imagining it, or was there a situation, possibly in a major, where a player hit the ball into an area with casual water or something where he appealed to a rules official for a free drop, it was granted, and after he finished the round, a rules committee looked at the situation on video, determined that a free drop should not have been awarded, and disqualified the player for signing an incorrect scorecard?
   48. Eric J can SABER all he wants to Posted: August 30, 2018 at 10:06 PM (#5736718)
Am I imagining it, or was there a situation, possibly in a major, where a player hit the ball into an area with casual water or something where he appealed to a rules official for a free drop, it was granted, and after he finished the round, a rules committee looked at the situation on video, determined that a free drop should not have been awarded, and disqualified the player for signing an incorrect scorecard?

I think this happened with Tiger once and they didn't actually disqualify him but some people thought they should...

Or I could just Google it.

Tiger's incorrect drop.

Also, apparently they might be changing the rule (at least some of the tours) after it decided an LPGA major.
   49. Howie Menckel Posted: August 30, 2018 at 11:11 PM (#5736739)
Dustin Johnson got screwed in a major a couple of years ago on a weird rules issue, and was told they'd sort it out at the end of the round. which is silly. they cost him a stroke after he finished, but he won anyway. he lost another major on a bizarre ruling on what is or is not a hazard.

DJ's father-in-law is Wayne Gretzky, by the way.

Roberto DiVicenzo was headed to a playoff in The Masters 50 years ago, but got disqualified for signing a wrong scorecard. that is.... a bit severe.
   50. Greg Pope Posted: August 31, 2018 at 01:23 AM (#5736778)
I don't think this is true? I think it's half the distance if that's less than the amount of the penalty. (So offsides and holding from the 6 would both move the ball to the 3.)

This is correct. The rule is actually best thought of as "you can't be penalized more than half the distance to the goal". So any penalty at all inside your own 10 would be half the distance. A false start from your own 12 would set you back to your own 7. A hold from your own 12 would set you back to your own 6.
   51. Fancy Crazy Town Banana Pants Handle Posted: August 31, 2018 at 05:47 AM (#5736799)
agreed on the touchback for a fumble. it's not difficult to just give the opposing team the ball where the player lost possession - so inside the 5-yard line usually. change of possession is a fully sufficient penalty for a blunder. moving the ball to the 20 ridiculous.

heck, I'd prefer the fumbling team keep the ball, but get pushed back to the 20, than the current situation.

This one drives me crazy. Fumbling the ball out of bounds anywhere else on the field does not generate a turnover. Fumbling out of bounds in the opponents end zone should not either. Should just be put back to the one yard line.
   52. manchestermets Posted: August 31, 2018 at 06:20 AM (#5736801)
From TFA:

I don’t want to write this column again in 2019.

Please fix this.


Okay. You're fired. Fixed.
   53. dejarouehg Posted: August 31, 2018 at 10:37 AM (#5736875)
As a kid, I remember the thrill of seeing the prospects in the back of the Mets yearbook getting call-ups (the Rich Folkers and LeRoy Stantons of the world) and getting pumped for their debuts. Still love seeing rookie debuts.
   54. wjones Posted: August 31, 2018 at 10:48 AM (#5736885)
After last night's Braves-Cubs game, I am starting to support Bill James views on the balk rule.
   55. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: August 31, 2018 at 11:15 AM (#5736902)
I don't get this - it would have so many bizarre unintended consequences, and it wouldn't really resemble any known form of historical baseball.

Just limit it to 10 pitchers. If a manager still wants to use a LOOGY in those circumstances, let him. If it leads to a rise of Kieschnicks or the return of the off-day relief appearance, that's OK with me.


It would very closely resemble baseball from 1850-1990. Teams rarely used more than two RPs in a game.
   56. Misirlou doesn't live in the restaurant Posted: August 31, 2018 at 11:32 AM (#5736911)
It would very closely resemble baseball from 1850-1990. Teams rarely used more than two RPs in a game.


I wanted to check this with the stats, but BBREF makes it difficult. An easy way would be to go to a season summary page, take total appearances (games), subtract total games started to yield total relief appearances, and divide by total games started. Simple, huh? Well, for some reason, BBREF defaults appearances (games) to merely total games played. for example, the 1980 Phillies have about 265 relief appearances, but to get that total, you have to add up all the individual player totals. Total G (games) unlike every other column on a team or league page, does not total the individual numbers above it. It merely mirrors games started. So, despite a team total of about 430 pitching appearances, the G total is 162.
   57. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: August 31, 2018 at 11:42 AM (#5736922)
I wanted to check this with the stats, but BBREF makes it difficult. An easy way would be to go to a season summary page, take total appearances (games), subtract total games started to yield total relief appearances, and divide by total games started. Simple, huh? Well, for some reason, BBREF defaults appearances (games) to merely total games played. for example, the 1980 Phillies have about 265 relief appearances, but to get that total, you have to add up all the individual player totals. Total G (games) unlike every other column on a team or league page, does not total the individual numbers above it. It merely mirrors games started. So, despite a team total of about 430 pitching appearances, the G total is 162.

I did the 1980 NY Yankees. 372 total appearances, minus 162 GS is 210 relief appearances. They had 29 CG. So, 210 relief appearance in 133 games, or 1.6 relievers per non CG.
   58. Howie Menckel Posted: August 31, 2018 at 11:53 AM (#5736934)
to be true to BBTF, 1979 would be the preferred choice
:)
   59. PreservedFish Posted: August 31, 2018 at 12:06 PM (#5736947)
I did the 1980 NY Yankees. 372 total appearances, minus 162 GS is 210 relief appearances. They had 29 CG. So, 210 relief appearance in 133 games, or 1.6 relievers per non CG.

Yeah but give today's managers those rules and god knows what might happen. We could easily end up with 3 3IP pitchers.
   60. JAHV Posted: August 31, 2018 at 01:12 PM (#5736989)
This one drives me crazy. Fumbling the ball out of bounds anywhere else on the field does not generate a turnover. Fumbling out of bounds in the opponents end zone should not either. Should just be put back to the one yard line.


I will sign off on this as the dumbest rule in sports. Not only is it inconsistent with fumbling rules everywhere else on the field, but it actually punishes teams for being successful. A team that fumbles on their own 40 gets the ball back. A team that drove all the way to the other team's 1 turns it over. Ridiculous.
   61. Bote Man Posted: August 31, 2018 at 01:34 PM (#5736998)
Right. Let's tinker with off-the-field stuff first. If it doesn't work, then change the on-the-field rules.

This is Rob Manfred's stated preference.
   62. RMc Has Bizarre Ideas to Fix Baseball Posted: August 31, 2018 at 01:41 PM (#5737002)
OK, let the full 40-man roster play the full season: 8 position players, 32 pitchers. Why pussyfoot around??

No, no, no...the roster would be 40 pitchers. The position players would be guys the teams pick up on a day-to-day basis, like the labourers who hang around Home Depot looking for work.

"Hey, you! Can you play third base?"
"¡Lo siento, no juego béisbol!"
"Good! Hop in the van...!"
   63. cardsfanboy Posted: August 31, 2018 at 08:16 PM (#5737131)
I wanted to check this with the stats, but BBREF makes it difficult. An easy way would be to go to a season summary page, take total appearances (games), subtract total games started to yield total relief appearances, and divide by total games started. Simple, huh?


Do you have pi? if so, just go to pitching game finder, find teams with player matching criteria, select pitchers role "reliever" and you get the number of games that a reliever appeared in for a team.

Ignoring complete games, the 2017 Miami Marlins had 580 games with a reliever, divide that by 162(just assume every team has the max games instead of wasting time looking for them all) so about 3.58 relievers per game.

Going back to 1990 you have the Phillies with 374 reliever appearances which over a 162 game season comes to 2.3 relievers per game.

Going to 1980 you have the Cubs with 344 relief appearances. for 2.12 relievers per game.
Going to 1970 you have the Senators with 315 relief appearances, for 1.94....

I think it's fairly safe to assume that you have to go back before 1970 to find a time when more than two relievers was rarely used in a game... if that number would have been three, then it's a potential point, but two was such a low hanging fruit, and it's very obvious that two relievers was used quite frequently even in the 1970's.

and that is without detailed analysis where you do adjust for complete games, which would only up the numbers in the frequency of relievers being used multiple time in a game.


edit: note of course I'm cherry picking the worst offenders, but the point that was made was 'frequently' and finding teams that did it on an annual basis indicates a level of frequency.
   64. BDC Posted: August 31, 2018 at 09:13 PM (#5737160)
Just to pick a year at near-random, in 1939 there were 2,462 team games, and 1,028 complete games. 1,434 team games featured relievers, and 227 of them featured three or more relievers.

Of course, if you start clicking on those individual 3+ reliever games, that usage wasn't typically driven by pitching strategy. A bunch of those 227 games feature three pinch-hitters for the pitcher. On 14 August 1939, the Reds used five relievers in a 9-8 win over Pittsburgh where at one point they'd trailed 7-0. They used four pinch-hitters for their pitchers (the last of whom, Lew Riggs, hit a walkoff single to win the game).
   65. cardsfanboy Posted: August 31, 2018 at 09:40 PM (#5737186)
Of course, if you start clicking on those individual 3+ reliever games, that usage wasn't typically driven by pitching strategy. A bunch of those 227 games feature three pinch-hitters for the pitcher. On 14 August 1939, the Reds used five relievers in a 9-8 win over Pittsburgh where at one point they'd trailed 7-0. They used four pinch-hitters for their pitchers (the last of whom, Lew Riggs, hit a walkoff single to win the game).


Right... the complaint that is being made, is grasping at the wrong issue, but we've pretty much also have debunked the argument that there are more mid inning pitching changes which is the real complaint. The issue does change when it comes to expanded rosters over the past few years though, as September does see a much more increase of relievers, and of mid inning pitching changes, beyond the norm, in recent years.

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