Designated Hitter in the National League
MLB, MLB

Changes to MLB: Enforcing the DH in the NL

1/23/12 in MLB   |   Carlo_S   |   28 respect

This week at ESPN.com, there will be a lot discussion among writers and fans around “radical changes” that should be brought to MLB. Anything related to the rules of the game, its draft, umpires/instant replay, expansion/contraction, etc. is fair game. 
 
In my view, one not-so-radical change that the game needs is the implementation of the designated hitter (DH) in the National League (NL). Basically, the arguments against enforcing the DH aren’t substantive and the arguments for the DH make too much sense to ignore.
 
First of all, the idea that pitchers “should” be required to bat because “that’s the way the game should be played” doesn’t make sense. As a lifelong baseball fan, I used to be against the DH but realized that, as a true fan, I should be dedicated to making the game more fun and interesting, and more attractive to casual and non-baseball fans. Allowing pitchers to hit undermines these goals.
 
Watching pitchers bat isn’t fun because pitchers make for terrible hitters. Those who understand the game know that being a pitcher is incredibly demanding. It is ludicrous to think that a pitcher could ever become even an average MLB hitter. 
 
Finally, the notion that eliminating the DH forces managers to be more strategic and creative also isn’t true. The easiest decision a manager can make is to walk the eighth place hitter to get to the pitcher. Rallies and innings are killed by this boring tactic.
 
Allowing pitchers to hit is simply a detriment to the sport, which is why the DH should be enforced in the NL.
 
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3/5/12   |   scottnymets17   |   1 respect

I never liked the DH.  You want standardization, let the AL get rid of it!  Bring back the thinking man's game where a manager has to make a decision to stretch a tiring pitcher to the end of the inning if he is one of the first 3 due ups to go to a pinch hitter without wasting another pitcher.  Where you are down 1-0 in the 6th and the pitcher is up and although with the exception of the one run, he is pitching a good game, but you have to make the sacrifice because you need a bat.  Bring back the suicide squeeze when the pitcher is up with a runner on 3B and less than 2 outs.  This is how games are won when sluggers are slumping!

Let's play ball the way God intended baseball to be played!!!!!!

1/26/12   |   jaysinw   |   4946 respect

  As a DH he was a role player so what has change since 2005? Yes he will be used primary as a PH, still you can him him a liability, but we will see Thome play 1B,, 3B, RF, and DH during this next season. He is prolonging his career in the NL where the DH is not used in almost every game.

1/26/12   |   derms33   |   17642 respect

jaysinw wrote:
See I knew you wold say that, if Tony Gwynne could play RF at the end of his career Thome could. He still could play 1B. Where do you think he is going to play for the Philles (no DH in the NL) in 2012. Again I am not saying he needs to be an everyday player. He will still get his ABs as long as he is healthy.

thome is a truck man...NO F-IN WAY HE COULD PLAY IN THE OF. They will attempt to use him at 1st with Howard out, other than that he's a PH. And Thome at 1st is a liability. He's a role player at best

1/26/12   |   jaysinw   |   4946 respect

derms33 wrote:
HAHAHAHA...Thome can't play RF...this ain't softball! And First base? if he could play 1st he'd still be i nCleveland

See I knew you wold say that, if Tony Gwynne could play RF at the end of his career Thome could. He still could play 1B. Where do you think he is going to play for the Philles (no DH in the NL) in 2012. Again I am not saying he needs to be an everyday player. He will still get his ABs as long as he is healthy.

1/25/12   |   derms33   |   17642 respect

jaysinw wrote:

1B or even RF

HAHAHAHA...Thome can't play RF...this ain't softball! And First base? if he could play 1st he'd still be i nCleveland

1/25/12   |   jaysinw   |   4946 respect

derms33 wrote:
at which position?

1B or even RF

1/25/12   |   derms33   |   17642 respect

jaysinw wrote:
See the only problem with thought of it prolongs careers like Jim Thome... is how many players are like Jim Thome? I know we do not want to see our hero's go away, but really do you want to see them play only as a shell of them self? Besides Thome could have played the last 4 years on a NL team and played just as much.

at which position?

1/25/12   |   ML31   |   3675 respect

See?  This is why I think it is a good thing to have the DH in one league and not in the other.  There are people who hate it (myself included) and people who love it.  

I've always claimed that MLB made the wrong move when they eliminated the League offices, eliminated league specific umpires and added interleague play because a good rivalry between the NL and AL was a good thing for the game.  Currently the DH is the one and only difference.  They lose that they may as well just go to an east-west kind of format.

1/25/12   |   jaysinw   |   4946 respect

derms33 wrote:
 It helps prolong the careers of great guys like Jim Thome, so I am all for it.  Apitcher batting is basically a free out.  ANd to say it takes away from a good hitting pitcher is not true...a pitcher that can rake can still be used as a PH and not count as a roster spot typically filled for a utility guy

See the only problem with thought of it prolongs careers like Jim Thome... is how many players are like Jim Thome? I know we do not want to see our hero's go away, but really do you want to see them play only as a shell of them self? Besides Thome could have played the last 4 years on a NL team and played just as much.

1/25/12   |   BRye21   |   544 respect

derms33 wrote:
 It helps prolong the careers of great guys like Jim Thome, so I am all for it.  Apitcher batting is basically a free out.  ANd to say it takes away from a good hitting pitcher is not true...a pitcher that can rake can still be used as a PH and not count as a roster spot typically filled for a utility guy

 Right, im not saying that you couldnt use him in the line up....I'm saying that if one pitcher is a good hitter and the opponent is a bad hitter - with the rules as they stand now, that gives team A a decided advantage. To have the DH slot takes away from a teams advantage of having someone with the extra ability.

1/25/12   |   derms33   |   17642 respect

 It helps prolong the careers of great guys like Jim Thome, so I am all for it.  Apitcher batting is basically a free out.  ANd to say it takes away from a good hitting pitcher is not true...a pitcher that can rake can still be used as a PH and not count as a roster spot typically filled for a utility guy

1/24/12   |   BRye21   |   544 respect

 The only reason I have any say in this topic, being as I'm not a real baseball fan, is that it can take away an advantage from some teams. For instance, Zambrano has always been known as a pretty good hitting pitchers - one of the best if im not too far off. The cubs have even used him as a pinch hitter in some circumstances. Now if you have 2 teams that are both having to hit in the pitchers spot that gives an earned advantage to the team with a hitting pitcher. It's not really fair in my eyes to take away from somebody's ability.

1/23/12   |   ML31   |   3675 respect

You know what?  What the hell?  Why not just go all out and have separate teams for defense and a separate team for offense.  While we are at it, let's just change the game so it is only played once a week.  The MLB could hype the games all week and each game would be incredibly popular.  It would do away with the have and have not teams as there would no longer be local TV for the games it would all be national TV games.  The season would be 24 games long.  One game a week for 6 months.  Then the league should have one game take all playoffs once a week.  Then have a two week break and play a one game final for the MLB champion.  

All those things should make the game immensely popular and since all change is good, it would make things better.

1/23/12   |   jaysinw   |   4946 respect

Saying that it is not  more strategic and creative is not true. With the pitcher having to hit yeah you can walk the pitcher twice by the 7 inning after that you going to have a PH and double switches which you do not see a PH in 90% of the games in the AL, as for the NL you will see them 99% of the time. With DH who had at least 300 plate appearances in 2011 out of the 7 players 1 hit over .300 and 3 hit .261 and lower. Then when it comes when to put in a PH knowing that the game may go extra innings do you use it now or wait another inning, and you are using two players instead of one like the AL. All they do is change pitchers.  Double switches make you think ahead of where to put a batter coming in so late innings you have that hitter, so again to say it is not more strategic  is not true out all.

A rally killer, with all the games that is played and the amount of times that it really kills your rally is a small amount to use it as an argument to use the DH. Pitchers cold be decent hitters, grants most will not work on to, but you cannot claim they have to much to do it. now most times it sets up a but and yes it should be a routine play, but as a bunter, they should be able to place the ball better and make more interesting seeing if the defense will mess it up. As for boring  NL teams now average about 100,000 more fans a season than AL teams. So again you are going to say it is detriment to the sport, so we must have DH in the NL, really?

As for casual fans why don't we just get rid of the pitcher completely and have a machine to throw strikes so it wold be more like HR derby. That would be more exciting then then to watch Halladay pitcher a no hitter.

The financial impact of the Designated Hitter rule also widens the gap between big- and small-market teams. Just compare the haves and have-nots: Over the same five seasons (2006-10), the average AL team that finished .500 or worse had a payroll of $71.1 million, indistinguishable from the $72.0 million average in the NL but $37.3 million behind the winning teams, while the NL teams trailed the winners in their league by $17.6 million.

1/23/12   |   Dan_B   |   1067 respect

I've been saying this for some time now... Just because something is old doesn't mean it's right. And I don't think I need to give examples to prove that point.