When a football team gets in to the final few weeks of a season, they don’t suddenly change the rules. It’s not like they give them a couple of extra roster spots even though they probably have much more depleted lineups than a baseball roster generally does.
It makes no sense that baseball teams should be able to add players to their bench for the September call ups. The teams play with an even 25 players all season, yet for the final month they are able to bolster their bullpen and stack their bench with up to 40 players.
This gives managers the ability to overplay the match ups and throw in even more specialists in crunch time. It takes away from the format throughout the entire season. Rather than having to choose who to give the start to, managers can simply have them at their beck and call. It takes away from the managerial aspect of picking a roster in the first place.
Detroit Tigers‘ manager Jim Leyland thinks the call ups don’t make sense, and wonders why the rules should suddenly change at the end of the season. He has a point. If the teams have played under a certain set of rules for the majority of the season, why add clutter to the bench and suddenly give managers a bevy of players to choose from in a given moment?
I could see adding two or three players once the playoffs begin, but the teams shouldn’t play under different rules for the final month of the regular season than they do over the first five months.
While it does give opportunities to more specialized talent such as a base-stealer, a situational reliever or a lock-down defender, it takes away from the fact that a manager should have to choose from his options on any given day, and it makes no sense when that number changes.