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Whither the 4-Man Rotation

I fail to see the fascination with the five-man rotation. I don't want to sound like an old crank but I was raised on the 4-man rotation and given that it was the norm for longer then anyone's age that reads this blog I have yet to understand how it became extinct.

It is hard enough to find four good starters these days much less five. You used to have four starters and a swingman who would help out when you had doubleheaders (remember those) or not enough off days.

Just looking at the World Series from 1969 - 1974 the following pitchers were all still effective in October even though they were part of 4 man rotations. If the pitchers were so worn out, then why were the following pitchers still so effective in the World Series? Seaver, Cueller, Koosman, McNally, Gentry, Palmer, Nolan, Blass, Moose, Briles, Hunter, Holtzman, Billingham, Gullet, Grimsley, MatLack, Vida Blue, Messersmith, Sutton. Hell, the Dodgers went with Messersmith, Sutton, Downing, and then Messersmith again in 1974.

I understand pitch counts, I don't understand the difference between 3 and 4 days rest. Was it a mandate by Selig to get more offense into the game, because if it was, it has been very effective?

If you look at the teams in the pennant races right now, only a few can lay claim to an effective 5th starter and yet they roll them out every 5th game to be slaughtered.

Geez, the good pitchers are only pitching 6 innings or 7 tops anyway. They can't do that on three days rest?

Given all the angst each GM went through during the trading deadline trying to find another pitcher you'd think one of them would have a light bulb go off and try something old school.

If your not going to try that then turn the 5th starter position into a tag team of sloth. Let Tomko go 3, then pull him no matter what and let Hendy go 3. Then turn it over to Proctor/Broxton/Saito

Here are the 5th pitcher candidates:
AL Pennant Contenders:
Boston- Taveras 5.01 ; Lester 5.67
Yankees- Actually the Yankee's are in great shape with Hughes as their 5th starter. Mussina with his 5.22 ERA is the worse option in the rotation. They could also plug in Joba Chamberlain.
Cleveland- Cliff Lee 6.38; Sowers 6.93 "YIKES"
Detroit  - Durbin 4.72 but he's just temporary until Rogers is ready. Can't really complain about Detroits rotation.
Angels - Santana 6.02; Colon 6.72 ; Mosley 4.70
A tag team waiting to happen
Seattle - Ramirez 7.15 - how are these guys one game back of the Angels?

NL Pennant Contenders:
Atlanta - Cormier 9.00 ; Jo Jo Reyes 9.62  are you kidding me.
Phillies - JD Durbin 5.44; Eaton 6.36; Castro 6.23
Brewers - When Sheets returns they are set
Cardinals - Pineiro - 4.34 how long is that going to last?
Cubs - Shockingly decent rotation but couldn't you see Marquis and Marshal implode?
Diamondbacks - Petit 5.4; Gonzalez 5.3
Padres - Hensley 6.7 ; Ledesma 5.36
Dodgers - Tomko 5.80 ; Wells 5.54 ; Hendrickson 5.09

And this is for the pennant contenders; just imagine the garbage inhabiting the 5th spot for the teams who are already toast.
Throw in the cost of these garbage pitchers and I'm just at a loss of words why every team in major league baseball uses a 5-man rotation.