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September 13, 2010 at 8:30 am ET
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Chris Nelson Stole The Heart of America

Dude, what happened?

Watch it and listen to Mitch Williams squeal again and again right here.

In the process caused Reds manager Dusty Baker to swallow his toothpick. —->

But was it fair?

Or maybe the better question is: Does it make any sense that Jim Tracy had the option to use seven position players off the bench in a nine inning game?

Tom Verducci has an interesting angle.

Beginning Sept. 1, teams can call up as many players as they wish from their 40-man roster. What all year was 25-vs.-25 becomes 33-vs.-29 or 35-vs.-32 or . . . you get the point. It’s illogical.
What used to be a “reward” for minor leaguers, the promotion of reinforcements has become a way to outflank opponents. Multiple catchers, pinch-runners, left-handed relievers, etc. change how the game is played and managed.

I agree with Tom on this one.  I mean sure, every team knows the rules and has the option to bring up as many players as they wish.  But the strategy it allows managers in September isn’t consistent with what we see April-August and then again in October.

That’s a problem.

I also agree there’s no reason to end roster expansion all together.  It’s necessary.  One look at everyone’s bullpen the last week of August was all the proof you need that all 30 teams need reinforcements.  The quality of the games always decrease as teams mix and match with completely exhausted bullpen arms.

There has to be a middle ground that allows better baseball, while keeping the entire 162 game season consistent.

I liked the idea of healthy scratches.  Expand the roster, but only dress a set number (prerferably 25) like you see in the NFL.  It still allows the manager the flexibility he desires, because you can scratch your other four starting pitchers, some tired bullpen arms, maybe a banged up position player or two, and still field a competitive team.  Which in turn makes the games better and the strategy more consistent.

Verducci’s angle and suggestions make all the sense in the world.  He’s probably not the first to suggest it, but i like it.

Note: While I mean everything I wrote… this was honestly more of an excuse to mention Nelson’s steal of home plate and to throw up that picture of Dusty Baker.  Priceless!

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