DON’T GET ME STARTED on a Saturday waiting for Sunday to arrive to witness the battle between McCoy and Chip Kelly. So, why not get out my bat and glove and talk a little baseball.

Art Wander

Art Wander

First, the Chicago Cubs are making a huge statement by adding players who will help the team greatly in 2016. They added pitching and hitting getting Zobrist and Hayward and giving the Yankees some problems by trading for Adam Warren and Ryan. Warren had been a standout starter/reliever for the Yanks who now will be saddled with some aging ball players.

But one of the big stories goes back toward the end of last season. That’s when agent Scott Boras came out with a statement where some might suggest limiting the number of innings pitched by his client, Matt Harvey of the New York Mets. Other teams took notice as the agents for players are probably trying to protect their investments long term.

Agents should have absolutely no say in how a team uses its players – those with the monstrous mega millions they’re getting from the team. Here’s my solution:

If the agents continue on the path of dictating how many innings a pitcher hurls then major league baseball clubs have quite a few options including structuring contracts by paying them BY THE INNING. Let’s say that Harvey gets $9 million a season. If Boras says he will be limited to 180 innings…….that’s getting $50,000 an inning. At contract negotiations a pitcher might react positively to such a deal. If he pitches more innings- say 200 – that’s $10 million. That’s unbelievable – do the math. How would pitchers/players react to such a contract proposal? Some money hungry pitchers would want to pitch 300 innings like Warren Spahn was used to. Others might say, “I’m good for 400 innings.” That’s $20 million for all those innings. In a game where the pitcher goes the distance – 9 innings – hit take that day would be $450,000.

Naturally, some owners might even offer $75,000 for each inning pitches since today’s owners are shelling out phenomenal millions to players. So what is the solution?

Major League teams facing the “limit the # of innings pitched” demands by an agent could have those managers (and owners) with guts make the move by putting that pitcher – to the bullpen. Make him a reliever. That would make him pitch much less – much fewer innings – sending a message that baseball will not put up with a third party calling the shots on the game. The pitcher’s ego, naturally, would be shattered and he would be crying all over the league but teams can always say, “Hey go talk to your agent, he’s the one who was responsible for the move to the bullpen.”

And that’s what has me talking baseball in the middle of December because the weather in Buffalo has been baseball like with temperatures in the 50s and 69s. By the way, as baseball fans rooted for the New York Mets in their successful season a year ago, so they will be rooting for the Chicago Cubs in the wake of that team’s moves in the off-season that’s scoring big plusses all over the country on Don’t Get Me Started.

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