“My Suggestion.”

            The following is simply a suggestion to improve the competitiveness of Major League Baseball.  With the recent talks of possible contraction, relocation, and disparity in baseball I decided to research an idea that would help not only the owners and players but the fans as well.

            Currently Major League Baseball teams have what are called 40-man rosters and 25-man active rosters.  The American League uses a designated hitter to bat in place of the pitcher.  My reasons for mentioning these facts will come into play a little later on in this suggestion.

            Recently much has been mentioned about trying to balance out the disparity problems “big-market” teams have over the “small-market” teams.  Often the larger markets finish the season with a better record than the smaller market teams.  What would happen if you gave these “disadvantaged teams” an extra player to use?  Now instead of a 25-man active roster they may now have a 26-man roster.  This would create more jobs in baseball that could either help out the fact that some jobs may be lost to contraction or it could be used as a bargaining chip for the owners to use with the players association about eliminating the designated hitter rule in the American League.

            How do you determine what teams are to be considered the “disadvantaged?”  You simply take the records of all the teams in the National League and all the teams in the American League and put them each in separate groups.  As it stands now, we have 14 A.L. teams and 16 N.L. teams.  You would then take the 7 worst teams in the American League and the 8 worst teams in the National League (both representing the bottom half of each league) from the previous year and give them the right to have a 26-man roster the following year.  This idea is subject to change for example; another idea is to take the weakest half of teams from each division instead of the weakest half of teams in each league. It would be best to determine which teams finished with the weakest records on August 31st of the calendar year instead of the end of the season due to the expansion of rosters and the integrity of baseball.

            So a team would be given a 26-man roster for an entire year?  No, the expanded rosters would start on Opening Day and last until the All-Star break, at this time the team must reduce their active roster back to the original 25-man limit.  This in turn could allow a new adaptation to the Rule V draft.  Under the current rules a Rule V draftee must stay on the active 25-man roster the entire year.  Under the new rules he is only required to remain on the roster until the All-Star break.  At that point the player could have the possibility of spending nearly two months in the minor leagues and receive some much needed playing time instead of losing an entire season on the bench.  This would allow teams who cannot afford big name free agents the chance to develop players in their systems.

            Like I said before this is simply a suggestion that I am making.  While it may not completely turn around the sport it would certainly be helpful.  Please vote below on what you think of this suggestion.


-Dave Pierce (Sophomore, IUP college PA)


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