|Houston bullpen 2006 by Fabiopao from Wikimedia Commons|
My position for some time on implementing re-entry has been to maintain the batting order (players are locked into a spot in the batting order) but I'm open to other ideas.
The basic reasons to oppose are based on people being too dumb and lazy to consider any change. Generally, the initial impulses are:
1. Invoke accusations of blasphemy.
2. State that there is no practical way that it could work.
3. Insist that it will slow down the game.
Ah, number three is the last refuge of the baseball curmudgeon. Here's the thing: the other sports do not have changes made by some fat old guy in a costume waddling out onto the playing area and treating it like a conference room filled with victims awaiting a Power Point presentation.
Just make the damn change! No meeting. No warming up. In fact when a player is injured, you're required to replace him ASAP, not wait to determine whether he can continue without coming out.
Somebody is reading this and having conniptions imagining perpetual changing of batter and pitcher into eternity with no resolution. Back and forth with no pitch being thrown. Enough already. We'll devise implementation rules. The main point is to allow players to return, not dwell on how and/or why this should not be done.
Baseball fans delude themselves into imagining that baseball is special because it is so primitive that the extreme limitations cause the very few moves to be so much more compelling. Grow the heck up. It's just dumb.
Baseball managers make almost no significant decisions in the first half of a game. The only one possible is to remove the starting pitcher and the manager does that only under extreme duress. He might as well send the starting lineup to the plate umpire by e-mail and show up in the fifth inning.
About half the players do not play in most baseball games. Among 12 basketball players there may be a rotation of eight with a few others who see limited duty. In football of almost 50 players, only the backup quarterbacks will not be expected to play.
In baseball four of the five starting pitchers do not play. A couple of relief pitchers may not be available. The backup catcher will be held back. So in addition to not being allowed to re-enter games, very few bench players are even available for substitution. This makes the lack of re-entry even more absurd.
Allow players to re-enter games. Once that concept is accepted, then we can work on how to implement.