Basicly, you need an administrator for each Starbase.
You start with a base number than can be increased with various techs. So what nonsensical is that you have the same number of administrators with 1 planet as 100 planets.
It ended the tactic of building 4 economic Starbase around every planet, and throwing them up all over the universe to expand your range and ZOC. In 2.33 you have to really make those limited starbases worthwhile.
2.5 still has them, but the limit is a good bit higher. And the mining starbases seem to generate more resources. So economic & culture starbases have made a comeback.