AshevilleApp wrote: ↑
Wed May 13, 2020 10:41 am
Looks like we might have the DH in both leagues for at least the 2020 season.
I just saw the link to an article panning that. I agree with it. The rationale for doing that for THIS year is that MLB is planning to pod the equivalent divisions (i.e. NL West/AL West, etc.) to conserve travel costs under COVID restrictions. The main problem with that idea is that once the precedent has been set, MLB will be likely to retain the universal DH as the status quo.
I have three main problems with the DH, one of which has mainly to do with the fact that one league has it and one league doesn't. The DH mainly exists due to the bogus assumption that there exists NO pitcher who can hit. Nothing could be further from the truth. There have ALWAYS been pitchers who could hit for average and pitchers who could hit for power. The blatant profiling of all pitchers as no-hit stooges leads to the assumption that if you're in a league that provides for the DH, you HAVE to use the DH. That is certainly NOT true, as the rules do allow for the AL manager's "move of last resort," the moving of the DH into the field lineup, which forces the pitcher to bat in the spot vacated by the departing field player. The problem with this is that by the time it happens, it's generally the 9th inning or beyond, which pretty much guarantees that a relief pitcher is in the game, and relief pitchers generally get much less batting practice than starting pitchers, so understandably they will get on base less. There was also the 2009 case when Joe Maddon, then managing Tampa Bay, made a lineup mistake that lost him the DH from the get-go; even in THAT case, pitcher Andy Sonnenstine (batting third because Maddon had listed both Ben Zobrist and Evan Longoria, the intended DH, at third base) doubled in a run in the fourth inning, leading to a 7-5 win over Cleveland. There is absolutely no reason why a .300 hitting pitcher should have to sit so that a .150-hitting shortstop can strike out simply because he just got traded to the AL (or, God forbid, the universal DH has been foisted off on us). We could address this by modifying the DH rule, which currently mandates its use associated with the pitcher to match the softball Designated Player rule, which affords managers the opportunity to use the DP in place of ANY weak-hitting field player so that a pitcher with a good stick can hit.
The other problem I have is that the DH typically eliminates the late-game managerial chess match. AL teams usually use the double-switch much less than NL teams. These are the sorts of things that make baseball interesting, and the DH ruins that.
There are exceptions, of course, but typically, the DH is a muscle-bound power-hitter who can't run, playing into the bogus paradigm I label "Bochy Ball" for former Padres and Giants manager Bruce Bochy, who exemplified this to a T; it's the idea that baseball is best played by getting a base hit and then sitting and waiting for the jack that never comes. Ever since the AL enacted the DH, outside of the mid-'80s Oakland Athletics under Billy Martin (enabled by dynamic LF Rickey Henderson), very few AL teams steal, hit-and-run, or bunt on a regular basis, because they're playing boring Bochy Ball. And it stems from the idea that pitchers can't hit. I've already covered hitting for average, but there have ALWAYS been pitchers who have hit for power, from George Ruth and Red Ruffing in the "Deep Dark Past" to today's Madison Bumgarner, who was unjustifiably excluded from a recent Home Run Derby simply because he's a "non-hitting pitcher."
Another issue I have with the DH is the fact that many pitchers are skilled in bunting, which adds quite a bit to a team's offensive repertoire, from advancing the runner to the ever-exciting suicide squeeze play. As muscle-bound home run hitters only, very few DH's can bunt. AL teams, having the DH, don't typically bother training other field players to do this, so a very important aspect of the game is lost.
I move that instead of moving to the universal DH, we outlaw it altogether....
https://sports.yahoo.com/national-leagu ... 57498.html