Expanded rosters and long, sloppy games. It must be September!


Yesterday’s Dodgers-Angels game took forever and featured a zillion pitching changes. Indeed, between the fifth and eighth innings alone, Mike Scioscia used seven different relievers. This led Zack Greinke to lodge a very reasonable complaint:

“I think it’s ridiculous . . . They should probably look into this not happening anymore because it’s not exciting to watch.”

It’s possible to overstate the impact of the expanded rosters and, in the past, some have done just that. Indeed, a couple of years ago a well-respected scribe said that expanded rosters in September “directly impacts the pennant races, alters the integrity of the game, and could mean the difference between a team sitting home or playing in Game 7 of the World Series.” That seems way too much for me, as I can’t really recall any instance in which the expanded rosters have caused that kind of impact.

But I really don’t like teams with uneven amounts of players playing because it messes with my love of symmetry and fairness. I don’t like it when someone empties an 11-man bullpen because that either denotes or sometimes causes a slow and sloppy game, like the slow and sloppy game the Angels and Dodgers played last night.

I’d be all for allowing baseball to do what some other sports do and designate a handful of players who are called up during expanded roster time, but still require them to use only 25 guys in a given game. Before games and after games you can designate your 25 and, in September, switch those people in and out as you see fit irrespective of the usual disabled list/option/callup rules.

Any objections to that?