A few weeks back I read a piece on The Athletic (I don’t see it right now and am too busy to go hunting) that pointed out that for 125 years the rhythm of baseball has been based upon the Starting Pitchers.
Today: deGrom vs Scherzer! or Seaver vs. Valenzuela!
Nobody wants to see
Today: Swarzak vs Sergio Romo!
That’s bad for the game.
So, being the brilliant person I am, I have a simple fix that baseball should immediately adopt.
You may or may not know about the Earl Weaver rule. Back in the day, Earl hated the DH. So he would hand in a lineup with yesterday’s SP, and then bat for that person when the spot came up. Baseball put in a rule that the names DH must bat once.
So, with that as inspiration, here is my proposed rule.
Any player designated as the starting pitcher is ineligible to pitch for the next three calendar days or three games, whichever is longer.
So, if you want to have Swarzak “open” the game tonight, you cannot use him on the mound tomorrow, Saturday or Sunday. You can have him open again on Monday if you want. He can pinch hit, pinch run, play left field but he cannot pitch.
Looking at it another way, if you start deGrom tonight, you cannot use him on the mound tomorrow, Saturday or Sunday. You can have him open again on Monday if you want. He can pinch hit, pinch run, play left field but he cannot pitch.
That’s how things would have been handled anyway had someone not started this Opener nonsense.
I doubt teams will want to carry 3 or 4 “openers” plus 4 or 5 “guys that pitch the 2nd through the 7th.”
I believe my rule to be brilliant. Discuss.
While we’re saving baseball from itself, read this about how baseball neatly divides into 25 year eras, the next one begins in 2020 and why baseball should go to 7 inning games in 2020.