“You know the problem with relief pitchers is that they’re so good. I’ve got nothing against relief pitchers, but they do two things to the game: The pitching changes themselves slow the game down, and our relief pitchers have become so dominant at the back end that they actually rob action out of the end of the game, the last few innings of the game. So relief pitchers is a topic that is under active consideration. We’re talking about that a lot internally.”
There have been a number of dumb MLB decisions the last few years, but setting a limit on the number of relief pitchers is the dumbest. Relief pitchers are so good that they eliminate action at the end of a game. Make everybody equal. Pitchers are too good, so equalize out everything for batters by having tired pitchers at the end of games.
Speed up the game? Eliminate warmup pitches on the field. Pitchers get warmed up in the bullpen, throwing more pitches on the game mound must waste five minutes every inning.
Speed up the game? Stop instant replay. Stop having umpires with headsets talking to another umpire in NYC, who will make a decision on what really happened three feet from an umpire in Kansas City.
Speed up the game? Limit the time of advertising between half innings and innings.
Speed up the game? Return to the 19th century rule of no substitutions unless a player is injured. If a manager needs a relief pitcher, he would have to bring a position player to the mound.
Speed up the game? Develop strong arms. Develop pitchers such as Old Hoss Radbourn or John Clarkson, pitchers who threw 500 or 600 innings and whose complete games statistics run around 90 percent. Not only did Old Hoss win 309 games in 11 years, he also batted .230 and played 150 games at other positions.
A standard rule in crime, politics and sports decisions is: Follow the money. So, who in baseball will benefit from limiting the number of relief pitchers in a game? The players? Not likely. Owners? Advertisers?
And who decided games are too long?