Baseball has made many strides while commissioner Selig has been in office. Instant replay, home plate collisions and evening out the AL and NL to 15 teams name a few.
One thing that hasn’t changed and needs to, is having the DH implemented in the National League. There are lots of baseball purists that don’t want this to happen, but it needs to.
It might be entertaining seeing Bartolo Colon swinging out of his shoes and having his helmet come off, but when the New York Mets pitching staff is hitting under .100, something has to change.
National League baseball is fun to watch, don’t get me wrong, because the strategy is something you don’t see in the American League. The double switch can be an interesting tactic. At a time when baseball may not be the most popular American sport like it used to be, having another slugger as a DH may not be the worst thing. It would put a premium on players like David Ortiz or Kendrys Morales who don’t play the field. It also may give players a better option when it comes to the last few years of their career.
If a player wants to play their entire career with one NL team, it makes it a lot harder when you have to play in the field in order to get into the lineup. As teams are shifting and looking to get every defensive advantage they can get, having a defensive liability in the field isn’t something teams are going to necessarily want.
For example, Corey Hart came off of surgery on both of his knees last season and missed all of 2013. He was a free agent and it came down to a choice between staying in Milwaukee or going to Seattle.
AL vs. NL. DH vs. no DH.
He ultimately chose the Mariners over the Brewers. This was a great choice for him not only because it was a change of scenery, but because he didn’t have to start the season by playing in the field everyday. He still played plenty and he was the Mariners DH for the first month and beyond. Manager Lloyd McClendon wanted to ease him in to an everyday role and by having the DH, he did just that.
Having the DH not only helped Hart avoid the DL to open the season, but it let him get good exposure and reps at the Major League level while he didn’t have to play the field and potentially hurt himself doing so.
In addition, at any level of baseball can you not use the DH anymore?
The National League is one of the only leagues in baseball across the world where pitchers are required to hit. At the high school level, college level and in the minor leagues the DH rule is in place.
It takes away from the game.
Seeing pitchers waste 2-3 outs per game by bunting or striking isn’t worth the price of admission. As attendance in some markets struggles, having a slugger that could help a team on the cusp of playoff contention finally make it to the postseason makes a huge difference and makes it more exciting.
I’m not saying pitching in the NL is easier because it definitely isn’t, but when an NL starter gets 3 easy outs 85% of the time, it makes a difference.
AL starters have to face a DH whose craft is hitting. The craft that pitchers have to master is obviously pitching. This is why having the pitcher hit in the NL just baffles me.
We aren’t playing in 1929 anymore where Babe Ruth could be an ace type pitcher and club over 40 home runs per season. It has gotten so competitive to make it in baseball nowadays that kids have to choose around High School whether they want to be a pitcher or a position player.
I hope the new MLB commissioner Rob Manfred does what is best for baseball, but I think this should be the next step in making baseball better and more appealing to the public.
What would you rather have consistently, teams averaging 2-3 runs a game or 4-5 runs a game? It’s time to modernize the game we love and make it as good as it can be.