Skip to comments.Is the designated hitter coming to a National League park near you?
Posted on 03/08/2012 7:35:27 PM PST by TBP
Major League Baseball has expanded its pool of postseason teams to 10 -- up from four just 19 years ago -- and next year will re-align into 15-team leagues that make for at least one interleague series all season long. But the biggest change of all may be around the next corner: the end of baseball as it was originally designed.
"I would be shocked if 10 years from now there's not a DH in both leagues," said one influential baseball source.
(Excerpt) Read more at sportsillustrated.cnn.com ...
I agree with you about adding two teams. You could go to 4-team divisions, get rid of interleague (except for a very few matchups, nobody cares about it), and create a much more competitive environment.
That also strengthens the All-Star Game and World Series.
You could even make the rosters 28 (as they used to be from Opening Day to May 1), with 25 suiting up. It helps manage injuries and rotations, allows a little more strategy, and gives more players time in the bigs. Phase out the DH, keeping it until the expanded rosters and the new clubs are in place. (That also provides a transition period for DH-only types like Big Papi.)
The player talent is at a higher level proportionally than ever. We do need to allow for more minor-league clubs (and use pitchers differently), but there is plenty of talent to stock the clubs. Maybe cities Bud won't consider can get a chance then. Bud's adamancy was one reason it took so darn long for DC to get back in.
Expansion is a good source of easy revenue.
There are places to go. Unfortunately, one of the best has three territorial vetoes, most likely: New Jersey. But a third team in the market would do pretty nicely. The Carolinas could be viable (call them the Carolina Cougars), Portland is bigger than at least 3 current MLB markets, there is a movement to revive baseball in Montreal, and there are all the usual choices, such as Nashville, New Orleans, Buffalo, Vancouver, Las Vegas, San Antonio, the Tidewater area (largest metro without a team in any of the 4 major sports), etc. Brooklyn?
FWIW, Brooklyn and Montreal are the only places that have lost MLB and not gotten it back. Buffalo is the only one of the Continental League cities never to get a major-league team.
I’m not exactly happy about the expanded playoff but I can live with it. But the DH in the NL? NO WAY.
Wish the AL would get rid of it, but the Union will never allow it.
I will fight the dh with as much fervor as I do Islam and liberalism.
I don’t watch the AL. The DH would be a death knell for me. I would still follow my Giants, but as for watching any other games, I would say screw them. DH ball sucks.
Bread and Circuses.
SCREW the DH rule!!!!
It’s the reason I won’t even watch the AL anymore.
I hope the NL keeps their big boy pants on and kills this idea forever so future generations can always know what old school baseball is all about.
I’m not thrilled about the expanded playoffs either, but if you’re going to have wild cards, then you may as well do something to make it harder for the wild card than for teh division winners.
That’s why I offered some of the suggestions in my post. In order for them to get rid of it, you’d have to give the union something significant. Perhaps three more players per club plus two new clubs (16 new everyday players, 10 new starting pitchers, 2 new closers, and a bunch of new bench players) would make up for losing the DH.
Besides, it’s time to tell the Players Association to get lost.
Great post. I agree 100% about getting rid of interleague play. I’m on the fence about the DH; if they got rid of I definitely wouldn’t lose any sleep over it.
How about Indiana for a new baseball francise?
Gin and raisans.
And while I understand it, I'm not crazy about pinch-runners either.
Baseball has it over football in ONE respect. You play offense AND defense. None of the "return specialist" players. I support it in the NFL, not in MLB.
The number one reason for not having a DH in my opinion. There are a number of pitchers who are decent hitters and that number needs to grow. There is really no excuse, however, for a pitcher to not be at least a passable bunter.
I'd be in favor of roster expansion to 28 if it was limited to 11 or 12 pitchers. Pitching talent is too watered down as it is. Any more and you'd be getting one batter specialty pitchers. That's overkill!
However, I have no problem if the team wants to use a roster spot for a pinch runner. The great Oakland A's teams of the 1970's actually did that with some success.
Sure, why not? The AL is defiled with the DH, so we need to bring the NL down to the same level. It’s just plain ol’ PC equality.
There was a guy named Art Agnotti who wanted to put a team in Indianapolis. He was going to call it the Indianapolis Arrows. He couldn’t manage to put together funding for a stadium for the Arrows.
I seem to recall once there was this pitcher who was a pretty good hitter.....I think his name was Ruth or something like that.
The other thing about Indiana is that the Reds, a regional team, might object.
Oh, come on. What kind of a name is "Babe" for a ballplayer? And his last name is a girl's name? Puh-leeze. Like he's ever gonna amount to anything. I say trade him...yeah, to the Yankees, that's the place for him. He'll probably never pitch again.
I grew up with the mantra “Pitchers can’t hit”. Fun when we were young.
The DH should be eliminated.
Soon they’ll be playing baseball until Thanksgiving.
The designated hitter is an abomination and should be removed from baseball.
I’m fine with expansion to 32 teams as long as one of them is a NL team in San Antonio (largest city without MLB or even AAA baseball) so I can see the Braves once a year. ;)
Seriously, now that Houston is moving to the AL (groan), there will be no NL team in Texas.
Unfortunately, since we can barely draw 5K a night to see the AA Missions in decrepit Wolff Stadium, MLB in SA is a pipe dream.
And a GOOD HITTING pitcher can be worth his weight in gold.
I couldn't care less about the argument that the DH keeps older, slower pitchers playing longer. It sucks and it takes a lot of the strategy of the grand old game away from the managers.
I will be PISSED if the NL ever adopts the DH, or if the league ever changes the rule on them.
I think the selling point of this deal is so many hitters in their early 30’s with knee problems or just poor defensive skills. So they can market the guys and carry them on the payrolls for another five years.
Walter Johnson, of the Babe's Hall of Fame class wasn't too bad of a hitter either. His lifetime batting average was .235 and he was occasionally used as a pinch hitter.
Players were expected to be multidimensional in those days. You look at the equipment they used, especially the gloves, and it was remarkable they were even able to do what they did.
When I hear these blowhard announcers bleat about how much better the players are today, I feel like puking.
Even Hank Aaron, as great as he was, wouldn't have come close to breaking Ruth's home run record if he had spent the first 30% of his career as a pitcher in the deadball era. As for jackasses like Barry Bonds who followed Aaron, they aren't fit to shine Hammerin' Hank's shoes.
Look up the word Cheater in the Websters dictionary and it should have a picture of Barry Bonds.
Likewise Mark McGuire
I’m not sure if it is true, but they say the DH rule was especially created for Tony Oliva. He was actually a very good defensive outfielder before his knees went.
My DBacks have the best hitting pitching staff in baseball. Opposing teams can’t count on an easy out when the Pitcher walks into the batters box.
If you’d had the DH rule around during the Micky Mantle era....he might have lasted two more years. Hank Aaron or Willie Mays....same thing.
2004 BOS (AL) Hit Batsmen: 16
2005 NYM (NL) Hit Batsmen: 4
Gee, I wonder why such a discrepancy ?
I wish I could remember the guy’s name but he said right after Ruth went to the Yankees: “Too bad he didn’t keep pitching, he might have become famous!”
NY Yankee teammate: "Bam, what was that pitch that you hit?" Babe: "I don't know, it just looked good so I socked it!"
Athletic conditioning has definitely improved over the decades. If you look at a tape of an old basketball game, you would really want to throw up - nowhere near the skill level and coordination on display back then as is standard now. Nowadays the players are too big for the court. And football? Just the size of the linemen tells the tale, and the fact that they are so much faster than in the past.
I dont believe that you can compare baseball players from different eras, either - IMHO the strike zone is much smaller than in the past, so it takes much better control and stuff to be a mediocre pitcher than in the past. And the batters are facing different pitching - and especially are not facing tired starting pitchers in the late innings unless the guy is pitching a shutout. So batters have to solve more different pitchers in a given game.I hope that soon the calling of balls and strikes will be mechanized, so that a strike will be a strike and a ball will be a ball. As it is, each umpire has his own strike zone - at best. At worst, he is unable to be consistent. And at some level inconsistency is inevitable when the judgement is made by a person. Remember that the pitchers objective is not to groove a pitch but to make every pitch a difficult call for the batter, and thus for the umpire.
At that point they might as well drop the league label and call them conferences. When the rules are different “leagues” makes sense, when they’re the same it’s a league with conferences.
There was another one named Drysdale. That was back before I gave up MLB because of Curt Flood.
Kinda like interleague play ...bleccccch
wow - you insightful post has made me mend my ways, and now I will no longer pay attention to anything you deem unimportant. It WAS useful for you to post on a thread you care nothing about - thank you for saving me!!
No argument from me there.
But the point is that professional sports are a full time job now. With rare exceptions, the guys aren't human, they are machines. Even one of my all-time favorites, Sammy Sosa, was transformed from a super nice kid to a steriod shooting schlub in a few short years.
A couple years ago, I went to a program put on by the 1960 World Champion Pittsburgh Pirates. Vernon Law was the featured speaker that particular day. It was a real eye-opener.
Law's residence was a walk-up apartment close enough so he could walk to the ballpark or take the team bus to the airport or railroad station for the away games. ElRoy Face, the great relief pitcher on that team, was a union carpenter in the off-season. Everyone had an off-season job. The fans loved the players because they could identify with them.
We asked Vern what the Pirates paid him to show up for this particular promotion. He replied "airline tickets for my wife and I, a week's lodging and meals in a nice downtown Pittsburgh motel, a couple hundred dollars in spending money and taxi vouchers and, most of all, the chance to meet the fans, former neighbors and friends in a city I grew to love and where my kids got their start." Can you imagine any of today's stars doing the same?
Interesting that you should mention basketball. IMHO, it is the only sport which loses more appeal as the level of competition goes up. 5'8" kids making three pointers in a high school game is very exciting. 15' guys dunking baskets in the NBA is ho-hum.
Put today's modern players in the conditions of a generation ago and see if they would be even able to put up with it mentally. Put the great players of a generation or two ago in the conditions of today and I have no doubt that they would rise to and exceed the abilities of modern players.
Yeah, physical conditioning is a big part of the game, but so is mental toughness and attitude. Babe Ruth wasn't loved just because he was a great player, but also because he had a great attitude toward the game and especially toward kids off the field.
I can’t imagine why.
They actually had to dribble and couldn't travel or carry the ball back then.
Put the best team of today against a team from the past...and play by the rules as enforced then...and the old timers win every time. IMHO, of course
I should post at baseball fever, but I've always wondered certain things:
When did "relief pitching"come into vogue? In the olden days a pitcher was expected tofinish games, in factwould occasionally pitch adouble header. Was itconsidered unmanly to "need" a reliever?
Why were pitchers halfway decent hitters until say 40 years ago? Now it's a miracle if they hit .100
Speaking of Walter Johnson, he was known as a strictly fastball pitcher. No curves, no sliders, etc. what made him so effective? A strict fastball pitcher in 2012 would get destroyed by batters.
Why do guys in the early days of the century look so damn OLD? Ty Cobb looked 50 years old in 1920, but he was still a "young" man.