Tuesday, August 21, 2007

LITTLE LEAGUE PITCHING RULES: ADAPTATION REQUIRED

The 85/21 rules are great but they work better in the regular season than they do in tournament play.

Too intraleague teams send their three best position players to the League's all star team. The trouble is that may not include even that team's fourth or fifth best pitcher. As a consequence, too many good all star teams come to the tourney with two good pitchers and three or four second tier pitchers. In years past, that was all they needed. Now, these second tier pitchers are often in the game with the result on the line. Not fair to the teams and the kid pitchers.

There are 14 players on a team now. I believe they should do an adaptation of the NFL's "3rd Quaterback" rule. There should be a 15th player on each team who is restricted to pitching. He can't pinch hit, pinch run. He would be exempt from the mandatory playing time rule. He either pitches in those "Run out of pitchers" situations or he doesn't play.

This ensures that the second or third best pitcher in the league actually makes it to the all star team.

I love the rule but it is tarnishing this year's tourney.

1 Comments:

At 6:11 AM, August 22, 2007, Blogger rodney hart said...

Interesting post. When I flip through the channels, I always stop at the LLWS (as opposed to blowing past whatever MLB games are on).

When I was a sports writer in Michigan I covered a lot of Little League. It's a proven fact young people blow their arms out at alarming rates.

Maybe the rule is just to protect young arms. Maybe the rule makes managers actually manage. Maybe the rule puts a premium on depth.

In Little League, pitchers aren't just pitchers. They are the best hitters who can play anywhere, so I'll respectfully disagree with your "15th player" rule. And I don't like specializing at a young age. Just let 'em play, Tony!

 

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