Wed Apr 28 04:39pm EDT
They're not moving any future installments anywhere (yet), but MLB's powers-that-be just announced the immediate adoption of four new rules for the All-Star Game. All four were recommended by that special panel Bud Selig put together in the offseason.
Way to look somewhat useful, gents!
The new rules:
• The DH will be used in both AL and NL cities: No problems with this one as no one's tuning in to see pitchers hit and they rarely get sent to the plate in an All-Star Game anyway. Plus it'll give the managers more flexibility when it comes to playing time. This is good news for the third first basemen on the rosters.
• Any starting pitcher who pitches the Sunday before isn't eligible to pitch and will be replaced on the roster: It'll be interesting to see how this one plays out. Will managers juggle their rotations to ensure a guy will pitch? Will they juggle them to keep him out of the game? How many pitchers will this affect each year?
I have a problem with how inflexible the rule is, but I can see why MLB made it that way. Taking away the pitcher's choice eliminates any controversy that might exist on the player's side — ie: Is he a wuss for saying he doesn't want pitch? — and I'm sure the union will love both the replaced and the replacement becoming eligible for All-Star roster bonuses.
• Rosters will be expanded from 33 players to 34 players, consisting of 21 position players and 13 pitchers. There were only 20 position players on last year's roster and not all of them received playing time. Even with the new DH rule, adding a spot isn't necessary.
• One positional player will be designated by each All-Star manager as eligible to return if a player at any position is injured: This is in addition to the injured catcher rule that's already in place. If you have a problem with this one, you probably have problems with lots of things.