It’s ruining the fairness of baseball’s playoff races, turning fans and viewing audiences away from the game, and leaving Major League Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred stuck watching four-hour contests.
MLB’s archaic September call-up rule, where in the final month of the season, teams can expand their rosters from 25 to 40 players, turns baseball’s most critical stretch into an inequitable slog.
Now that the minimum salary has escalated to $535,000, costing teams $90,628 per player alone in pay for those called up in September, the focus has shifted.
Take a look, and you’ll see the rich Los Angeles Dodgers leading all teams with 38 players on their active roster.
The colossal problem in this roster disparity, turning playoff races into a sham, is that teams with limited September rosters are directly impacting the playoff races.
We’re guessing you didn’t plan your Labor Day around the Los Angeles Angels’ 11-inning victory over the Oakland A’s, when manager Mike Scioscia used an American League record 12 pitchers in the game, including six who threw fewer than 10 pitches.
Little wonder why that game lasted 4 hours, 38 minutes – and how the Angels made baseball history this week by playing five straight games lasting at least 3:49.
The Major League Baseball Players Association rejected it, believing it would suppress the number of call-ups in September, affecting service time for arbitration and free agency.
Teams should be permitted to call up as many players as they choose in September, but when the lineup cards are exchanged at home plate, you still are limited to 25 players.
The players still will have their service time, teams’ prospects can still be rewarded and earn a few extra bucks, but most important, every manager will have the same number of players at his disposal.