Alamo of the MLB by Bob Ryan

We all know the story of the Alamo….I’m not here to relive the valor of the Americans in that battle where the Mexican Army overwhelmed the Americans with many, many more soldiers to win the battle nor am I trying to boost up the legend of Davey Crockett…but …there is a similarity …in a way… between the Alamo and the current MLB rules. 


After September 1, MLB teams are permitted to expand their roster to 40 players. I’ve never quite understood why that was necessary…these MLB teams already monitor very closely all of their minor league teams and players… may have been as recently as a few decades ago that the Major League teams wanted to “see for themselves” the progress of minor league players since training camp…not so now…General managers can zip down to watch any or all of the players on a particular level at any time of the year


The baseball union loves this expansion of roster….it’s said that the minor league players who are brought up to the “big time” earn as far more in that 1 month than they do in the other 5 months of the season.. “I was a September call-up at 19 years old,” Washington manager Dusty Baker said. “I looked so forward to that because I made more money in that month than I did in five months in the minor leagues. I was sending money home to my mother, and I was like, ‘This is the life.’ For a young player, it’s wonderful.”


But……ya knew that word was coming….is it fair….I always assumed that all teams expanded to 40 players in the last month…. but that’s FAR from the case…it varies with each team….and…yep…the teams with the most money bring up the most players….take a look as of last Friday, the LA Dodgers were dressing 39 players, Red Sox, Indians, Astros, Cards all have 37 players for example and the teams with the smaller coffers just don’t do it….White Sox/Padres sit with  29 players, Marlins 30 players…so …how is that fair to the teams that are ALREADY weak?


Well…in a recent game Mike Scioscia used a record 12 pitchers in 1 game in the Angels 11-9 win over the Athletics..he had more players…more pitchers than Oakland….Manifesto has been running the bullpen guys in & out so fast …I sometimes think they are pizza delivery guys  …other teams don’t have that ability…. It doesn’t fair at all to me….that one team may compete with more players than the other team in any game…much less at the end of a season when some are competing for post season and some have been eliminated…one team is overmatched by the quantity of players..the Alamo effect …my brother .. a long time season ticket holder…has lamented frequently about the pace of the game…the 1st 5 or 6 innings fly by…but those last 3 or 4 innings crawl like a 6 month child..I think they crawl at that age….the length of a game is a consideration…when you provide a manager with more toys to use….whatta expect? Btw…in the game mentioned above..Scioscia’s use of 12 pitchers…it took 4 hr & 48 minutes to complete…Even the players recognize the injustice. “I agree with the sentiment that it completely changes the game in September when the games matter most — and I don’t like it,” said Miami Marlins reliever Brad Ziegler, a member of the players’ association’s executive committee. “This is the time of the year when we’re competing with football for ratings popularity, and our games become longer and tougher to watch”


I’m not the first …. nor the only one…. to point out this injustice…Doug Melvin..Sr Advisor for the Brewer sited this injustice back in 2005. He said this, “”It’s not about large markets or small markets,” Melvin said. “I just thought it was the integrity of the game. There’s no other sport I know of where you can start a game with unbalanced rosters. And we’re the one sport where if you take a player out of a game, he can’t go back in.”



There are plenty of exciting things going on in the MLB outside the pennant  & wild card races.. the Cleveland Indians’ long winning streak; Giancarlo Stanton’s goal of 60 home runs: Rhys Hoskins’ power surge for the Phillies and the exciting wild-card scrambles in both leagues. Adding extra players changes the rules for some teams but not all teams…gives one team an distict advantage.. one has more pitchers/players than another and has an advantage ….stop this Alamo advantage.

We saw it firsthand this weekend as the Cardinals’ roster of 37 players provided them with multiple changes in the last 2 innings against the Pirates in one game and  in another game Manifesto pinch hit 6 times in one of the middle innings..he would NEVER have done that without his squadron of players in the dugout…it’s NOT the same game as April through August…why change the rules for the most crucial month of the season? Btw…as the lineup came back around in the 8th & 9th innings…our pinch hitters…who were mostly subs…batted in those key spots…ugh

My compromise solution….if they MUST expand the rosters, on Sept 1…which I think is not necessary….let each team have 30 players (expand roster by 5)…but you may only dress out 25 players each game.  Let’s not have any more games that are decided because one team has a deeper, longer bench than the other team…like the Alamo. In fact….I’m proposing to use a similar idea throughout the entire year…abolish the 10 day DL…fraudulently used by some teams…make the minimum stay on the DL 20 days….BUT…there’s that word again….permit each MLB team to carry 27 players continually..all year long until Sept 1…. but only “dress out” 25 for any one day (both rosters for a DH)…union should like the additional days of playing time added to many “fringe” players who will now qualify for the pension quicker.  What are your thoughts?  Respond below the article…no right or wrong answers…they are YOUR thoughts.

The LA Dodgers …who have 39 players dressed they have another issue….no one has problems any longer …they couldn’t fit all their players into the dugout  I rest my case about too many players. I guess the extra guys were exiled to the bullpen? Wouldn’t that make you feel real good as a rookie just called up for the first time?

Over-run by the SEC…

….despite my dismay over the Mizzou football team…I am a fan…I actually wanted to watch them LIVE on Saturday night against Auburn….but….no….the wonderful SEC network doesn’t regionalize any games…so we…the Mizzou fans were eliminated from having ANY chance to follow our team..Mizzou football wasn’t on ANY of the channels that I have on my cable network…Charter….what?  the SEC bows to the big dogs (Bama, LSU especially) and shoves aside the “new kids on the block”…I’m aggravated…I should be able to watch my bad local team every weekend not ignored!!  Some of my other choices included McNeese State vs some other nobody…I don’t even know where McNeese St is…much less want to watch them


Never Losing Hope…like the Alamo

….the Cardinals, who have perplexed us all season with their spurts, are currently on a RED-hot stretch! Amazingly our Birds are flying right back into the Wild Card picture as the Rockies seem to be backing up towards us.  Kudo’s to the Cards….and Manifesto…for staying focused & optimistic while not cashing in the chips after dropping 3 straight games to the Cubbies. I hope that they make it to the Wild Card table but also hope that these last 2 weeks don’t blur the overall picture of our “needs” for next year.


Fighting to the end….like @ the Alamo

…so Barry Odum goes off on a rant for 3:30 after the debacle on Saturday against Auburn about why he should keep the job…Mizzou was NEVER in the game Saturday…from what I heard…I couldn’t watch it…see above….soooo…why the rant?..well it’s clear to see… to us …and Barry Odum… that he’ll be fired….sooner or later…his frustration at losing his dream job led to this emotional outburst…. I actually feel sorry for the guy…but…I’d still fire him. It seems evident to me that he wasn’t ready for coaching the x’s & o’s & the Johnnys & the Joes, handling the staff, recruiting, scheming game day plans,  etc.  at this very high level coaching job…he needed head coaching experience at a lower level first…remember Pinkel came from Toledo..he didn’t start his coaching career in the SEC.


Friday Night Lights in the Lou…

Some very exciting games amidst many “runaways” on Friday….

 …..Connor Jones of Orchard Farm ran for a touchdown as time expired…to give the Eagles a 30-27 win over St. Charles West. This see-saw battle saw the Eagles take a 7-0 lead early. The SCW Warriors scored the next 20 points only to have OF rack up 17 straight point…so it was 24-20 entering the 4th Qtr. SCW crossed the goal line with only 3:28 to snatch lead only to see the heroics of the Eagles on the last play of the game…

….Jake Korba (Duchesne) rambled across the goal line with only 34 ticks left on the clock as the Pioneers edged the St. Dominic Crusaders 10-7 in a AAA conference game.

….in a battle in the GAC, Ft Zumwalt West had to go Overtime to beat the Francis Howell Vikings 27-20. Marquis Majors grabbed a 5 yard pass from Jake Verschoore to provide the difference. 

….scores like 55-7, 67-6, 80-7,  60-6 still show up regularly each weekend….again I propose an idea like baseball’s 10 run rule…if up by 40 points at any time of 2nd half…game is OVER!


Coming at you from all angles now….

….9 of the 10 MLB teams currently poised to grab post-season berths have SS who are 24 years of age OR younger…

…after being run out of Texas U. as head Football Coach… but not by the Mexicans attacking the Alamo…Charley Strong landed in S. Florida. The Bulls are 5-0 this year after crushing E. Carolina. Right now in this 12 team conference there are 5 unbeaten teams ..will there be another team from the American Conference come charging onto the  National Scene this year like Houston U did last year?

….The Minnesota Twins are fighting …to their last man…to keep hang onto the 2nd wild Card spot…without question, the Leader of the Twinkies has been Joe Maurer…He’s been the face of the franchise since many of his teammates from years ago were not resigned due to the tight resources in Minneapolis… so it’s not unexpected that you’d expect HIM to be the guy….and..he has been…since May 1, his batting totals are .328/.409/.425 since August 10th, Mauer has the 2nd best batting average in the MLB at .395… bravo! …on stepping up when most needed by your club. …probably the quietest STAR of any team

…if you could sign just one NCAA Coach to be YOUR coach…would it Urban Meyer or Jim Harbaugh-why? Please put your answer right on the Prepcasts site below the article…THX

…I don’t know why or how…Larry Robinson was just floating around out there in the hockey stratosphere…but it sure seems like a good addition the brain trust for the Blues

… The Astros acquisition of Justin Verlander seems to be the best catch in the Trading Deadline Waters.  It propelled the ‘stros to their 1st division title in 16 years….btw… did the good signings of the Cardinal free agents evaporate when Jeff Luhnow left?


Thanks for making it to the end of the Alamo assault 







  2. Without question…Jim Harbough

  3. Neither…I would opt for Tom Hermann whose currently at Texas. These two are overpriced egomaniacs I have little use for. While Hermann may not be as successful in the short run, I think what he brings to the table is much better for a college football program than either of the other two and that will prove out longer term. Just my opinion..

  4. Any sports team who pays for the best players will indeed… pay for more amount of players on their team, if its 37 or 40 players to a team. I think that all teams(MLB< NFL NHL.) etc, should have the same numbers of players for each game.

  5. Bob
    Great article!
    Urban Meyer hands down–
    He went undefeated with Alex Smith @ Utah
    He went to the Fiesta Bowl Utah rolled over Larry Fitzgerald Pittsburgh
    Won with Fla with Tebow and now at THE Ohio State

  6. Urban Meyer, Bob, for sure.
    He’s not quite as odd Harbaugh.

  7. Bob, I agree on most all except I believe Barry Odum is a class guy and a good coach and was handed a very untalented team. It does take time to turn it around in a league as tough as the one Mizzou decided to join. Look at the age of the guys they put on the field compared to the opponent. Sophomores do not stack up against red-shirt seniors in any league.

  8. Robert Renz says:

    we’ve had this conversation before about the running clock and you’re comment on 40 points or more “game over”. There are times in run away games that coaches have to play the second team and this guys who don’t get enough playing time, yet they are always at practice taking those hits to better the starters.
    I feel each game should be played keeping regular time and rules so these non starters get their just rewards and playing time. Besides these are your team of the future and playing time is invaluable.

  9. I’d go with Urban. Harbaugh has great NFL credentials both as a player and a coach, and is a colorful character, as was Ditka. However, I think that Urban’s proven results at the NCAA level would tip the scales for me.

  10. Both coaches have had success. Harbaugh has played/ coached in NFL… might be better prepared to prep kids for shot in pro’s He’s been there.

    Meyer continues to have success and a bit more “polished” with media, fans, alums and college kids.
    Team, market, conference and experience play into who would be a better selection.

    Always thought sports brought all races together to achieve a common goal. Sad that sports & politics are being tied together.

    If a particular group feels their community treats them unfairly…. Get involved! Run for political office… become public servants ( cops) and work to create the changes wanted.

    Shutting down business and damaging property will not solve anything…. just widens the divide.

  11. Gerry Everding says:

    Didn’t Urban Meyer get out of his contract at Florida because he said he had health issues and couldn’t coach anymore? Strange that he then appears at OSU as head coach with no health issues. I will take Jim Harbough any day!

  12. the Quiet Man says:

    Robert, As usual, you are on the nose…..
    I have an alternate suggestion. Expand all MLB rosters to 26 or 27. With the modern way relievers are used, we need more pitchers on the roster, which leaves most teams very shorthanded on the bench. They can afford it. This may also save some bullpen arms and prolong their careers. At the worst, limit roster expansion on 91 to 30 players, but let them all be used.
    When did the Cards have good free agent signings, at least one that lasted loner than two years or so. Holliday? Anyone else. Luhnow was the master of the draft!
    Larry Robinson is a great “get” for the Blues. He can only help develop Parayko and Edmundson…two big defensemen just like he was.

    I am worried about Fabbri….that knee seems to be a chronic issue. He needs more down time. We needed him back because Berglund is hurt…again…but we shouldn’t force the issue. But Barbashev in the middle and see what happens, or trust Wade Megan with a roster spot.

  13. I like Jim Harbaugh but I read Urban Meyer’s book and I think he has the right football ideology. Alabama may have better athletes but I think he is doing it the right way.

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