The old saying, “Good pitching will beat good hitting any day of the week,” is what comes to mind when I hear that Major League Baseball (MLB) is looking into limiting relief pitchers in games. The commissioner has allegedly received complaints from fans who feel relief pitchers are so good late in the games that they should be limited to how many times they can pitch. What a bunch of nonsense! That’s like saying certain hitters hit too many home runs or for too high of an average and their at bats should be limited.
It is a serious problem with the commissioner’s office if they are even entertaining this notion about something this absurd. If a fan or the commissioner has an issue with the amount of action late in the game then maybe they should just remove themselves from attending the games. The quality relief pitchers that are making millions of dollars to do what they do best should be punished for being too good? One would think that MLB owners and the Major League Baseball Players Association (MLBPA) would put a nix on these thoughts very quickly. If the MLBPA allows this to come to fruition some players may end up losing their jobs. These relief specialists are in these roles for a reason. They have the ability to come in a game and do well for a short period of time and are very effective at what they do. Limiting their appearances is certainly not the answer. The answer is the hitters work a little harder to execute their craft late in the game when the game is on the line.
I would be totally shocked if this nonsense makes it much further then where it is currently. Baseball is America’s past time and should be treated as such. The way pitchers are utilized has evolved over the years and it has made the game more interesting to those that know and understand the game. For those that don’t feel there is not enough action late in the game, really don’t know or understand baseball. If that’s the case then maybe they should become a fan of some other sport and check baseball off their list.
By Dr. Bret Simmermacher
Dr. Simmermacher is the Chair of Sports Coaching at the United States Sports Academy, and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.