Yes... another baseball rant about how the game played today irritates me at times.
You would think that if you pay more you'd expect more, but that's not the case in today's MLB. You see, a guy like Greg Maddux can rake in $10 million a year and only have to put up 5 or 6 innings every 5 days to "earn" his keep. I'm using the Maddux of today and not of the mid 90s so don't take this as a potshot at Mr. "I still get an extra 6 inches on either side of the plate" Maddux.
He's not the only one... most frontline pitchers are told "good job" if they put up 7 innings. Your #4 and 5 SPs are considered valuable if they go 6 innings. To me that's bullsheet.
To illustrate the change in the game, let me compare Ron Guidry to Roy Halladay at age 29. I picked Halladay because he's actually known to finish a game or 2 that he starts.
Ron Guidry stats (look at 1979)
Roy Halladay stats (look at 2006)
What I want to highlight is the # of complete games thrown by each that year. Guidry threw 16 while Halladay had 4. Also, look at the innings pitched. Halladay is considered to be a workhorse in today's game, but pitched 50 less innings than Guidry.
In the era of specialization what's been lost is the art of pitching. Late inning specialists come in with (sometimes) overpowering fastballs, but questionable control. I blame Tony LaRussa and Joe Torre for the shift to the bullpen specialists.
I believe the allowed use of body armor affects control pitchers, but that's another rant for another day.
Edit- I guess I'm not the only one that thinks this way... Jeff Passan of Yahoo! Sports wrote an article about this on April 28th... one I just read a few minutes ago.