It was a sad day in baseball land for the athletes when the criteria for getting into the game/lineup became based on your contract $$$ rather than the statistical averages of your on the field abilities.
This is not how they do it in Little League where everyone must play a certain amount of time/innings. How else to find out the skills of the kids? Ask their parents? Sure……….
Ask a really fine player about his start in the game and he will tell you about all the time spent early on travelling from one minor league field to another – learning the game slowly, but surely. I know of one who cried every night, thinking he would never make it at all, but he did.
Personally, I’ve played USGA tournament golf for years in the NY/CT area and I understand loving the game you play.
Some of the people who have really changed things by gaming the system are the Sports Agents who boost the egos of these kids to ask for all kinds of extraneous ‘perks’. Remember when Boras got Alex Rodriguez to ask the Mets for his own office?
The Wilpons nixed that quickly.
So now, according to Jerry Manuel, the playing time of the players is based on the monies owed to them in their contracts and each Manager must gear his lineup to that figure……….why?.
I don’t care about the money owed to Carlos Beltran, Oliver Perez or those bullpen pitchers who push Johan Santana aside after eight innings – I care about the game and the players who have earned the right to play it to its’ completion by working hard at their baseball abilities.
But, that’s just me and my love of The Game.