Is the DH headed to the National League?
Nick Bequette – 252 ESPN Radio
A lot has been said over the years, whether or not the DH (designated hitter) should be implemented in both the National and American League. As of right now players like David Ortiz and Albert Pujols, aging power hitters, hold far more value in the American League as opposed to the National League. Players like Ortiz and Pujols replace the pitcher from the batting order, giving the lineup more power or just an overall better bat. (Now this can be for any position, but the Pitcher is DH for 99% of the time in MLB)
photo courtesy of mlb.com
Now… me personally? I don’t care for the DH because it takes a lot of situational play out of baseball. The double switch, and matching up pitchers for situations aren’t as prevalent with a DH in your lineup. I like seeing double switches, and substitutions in the game because it implements a huge element of strategy. Do you bring in the pinch hitter for the starting pitcher, or do we leave the starter in and hope he can bunt the runner over and gives us one more good inning? That type of situation will never be seen if the DH gets voted to both leagues.
What’s the appeal?
The player union would most likely condone a DH in the National League because it would add another big name hitter in the roster to bargain. Also, the DH is used at every level of baseball besides the 15 teams in the National League. Ultimately more teams would vote for the DH rule then those voting against it. Teams don’t want to get in an unfamiliar territory when playing interleague match ups during the regular season, and especially the World Series. To vote for a DH amongst all clubs puts every team on an even playing field. Also it could leave a team in a situation that cost them the World Series. A National League team doesn’t want to sign a big name DH that will only play in a handful of games, so they are left to use situational players or their fourth outfielder.
photo courtesy of The Chicago Tribune
What’s the verdict?
With the MLB playing an interleague game everyday this season, the issue is at a peak in discussion. I believe we will see this rule instilled in baseball, where both leagues have a DH in the next 5 years, if not the 2017 season. With this being said, it makes me sad that pinch-hitting for the pitcher and subbing in situational pitching matchups will be outsourced from the game as it evolves. I personally hope that since no one would vote to get rid of the DH, hope that the rule stays the same, so I can watch Mike Matheny and Joe Madden play chess amongst matchups. This is extremely hopeful thinking. As a fan of the Cardinals and the National League, I hope that coaches can stay true to the pitcher remaining in the lineup, so we can see a game of chess be played amongst managers more often. But to all other purest like myself, I am sad to inform you that the pitcher remaining in the lineup will most likely be a thing of the past in the near future. ☹