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epstein conference cubsChicago Cubs President of Baseball Operations Theo Epstein has come down pretty clearly in favor of bringing the designated hitter to the National League.

“I think we’re going to see the DH in the National League,” Epstein recently told USA Today. “Hopefully we’re just a few years away.”

With the Houston Astros moving to the American League, leaving 15 teams in each league, interleague play is now a necessity throughout the year. Some see it as the final precursor to an adoption of the DH rule in the National League.

Epstein is all for it, primarily because of the disadvantage the rule imposes on National League teams.

“I think the AL has a big advantage,” Epstein told USA Today. “When a team goes into Boston, they have to face [David] Ortiz, and you’re putting a guy who’s a utility player as your DH.”

Cubs manager Dale Sveum was asked about the DH, and, although he said he prefers the traditional NL approach, he acknowledged the problem Epstein pointed out. Sveum also mentioned big first base prospect Dan Vogelbach as someone who could benefit from the DH coming to the National League. (Generally speaking, I avoid mentioning Vogelbach when discussing the DH, because I don’t think it makes much sense to support or oppose such a long-term, substantial rule change based on a single player in Low-A. But, if you were going to mention an NL prospect in this discussion, Vogelbach is probably the very first one that everyone in baseball would mention.)

I’ve come around on the DH thing in the last couple of years, and have laid out my position before. Among the arguments made by those in favor of the DH in the NL, in addition to the issue addressed by Epstein, which is the most compelling:

  • Pitchers are supposed to pitch, and watching them flail away at the plate is no fun.
  • AL pitchers risk injury by only intermittently doing things – hitting and running the bases – that they don’t otherwise do regularly.
  • AL teams can more comfortably bid higher on free agents like Prince Fielder or Albert Pujols, knowing that in the latter years of their deals, the players can be stashed at DH.

Fine arguments, all of them. But the one Epstein highlights, which I’ve discussed before, is the biggest one by far. To restate my thoughts on it:

While an AL team is able to dedicate a roster spot to finding purely the best hitter it can find, and then deploys that guy when the AL and NL square off in interleague games and the World Series, the NL team is left to pick a guy off of its bench when in AL parks. Because pitchers as hitters – whether AL or NL – are roughly equal in performance, the fact that the AL team has a dedicated DH puts the NL team at a decided disadvantage in half the games. I am not OK with this. Ironically, it is because I’m an NL guy at heart that I think they probably should adopt the DH. I can’t stand the unequal footing.

If the DH does come to the NL, when would we see it? Well, your best bet would be 2017, which would be the first year of a new collective bargaining agreement (the current CBA runs through 2016). That is not to say that rules cannot be changed, on agreement, before the expiration of the CBA. Indeed, if the pitcher/DH problem in interleague games in September impact playoff races, all bets could be off.

That is to say: if you’re a pro-DH type, you’re going to want to pull for an NL team to be ostensibly screwed in September by the lack of a dedicated DH, or an AL team to be ostensibly screwed in September by the fact that their pitcher has to bat while their DH is on the bench.

  • John (the other one)

    I would much prefer they add two teams (one for each league) and go back to less inter-league play. Hell, I’d be fine with eliminating inter-league play altogether, but that genie ain’t going back into the bottle. I frankly don’t care what the AL wants to do, and at this point like that there is a difference (however slight in modern times) between the leagues.

    • HuskerCub

      I couldn’t agree more. The other way to remedy the advantage is to get rid of the DH in the American league. If you added two more teams and maybe increased the active roster to 26, to mitigate the pitching dilution, I would think the union would be happy to support such a change. You would be adding 82 players to the major league fold and open up a corresponding number of minor league roster spots.

      • SouthernCub

        2x

  • scorecardpaul

    I am all for the DH. We need to take away the advantage the AL currently has over the NL.
    I just want the Cubs to win a World Series. The rules have changed in MLB thousands of times, that is why this is the sport we all love. Should we go back to no gloves, or 3 strikes and 5 balls?

    • Brian

      Lets move the pitching mound to 45 feet as well a la 1890! These are designated hitters, they should be able to hit from anywhere the pitch is thrown.

    • http://thenewenthusiast.com dw8

      This

  • Die hard

    There is a feng shue aspect not being considered like a natural order of the way the game should be played

    • OlderStyle

      Can’t tell if you really believe half of what you write but sometimes I do enjoy the material.

      • DarthHater

        ♫Everybody was feng shue fighting
        Those quips were fast as lightning
        In fact it was a little bit frightening
        And not at all enlightening♫

        • MichiganGoat

          +1 – typos are fun

      • Die hard

        110 %

        • MichiganGoat

          Impossible dare I say BetterMath is also fun

  • DAN W

    Imagine if a bunch of old hard headed guys back in the early days of professional football said, “the forward pass is a cancer that will kill the game of football”. Or how about some old fuddy duddy in the 80’s saying ” the 3 point shot is a virus that will kill the game of basketball”. How did those pan out? Don’t be afraid of change, the panhandlers need it. lolololol.

    • BluBlud

      Thats changing a course of action within the game. Adding a three point line doesn’t change the fact that a player still has to shoot a jump shot. He has to shoot that jump shot whether the line is there or not. As for the foward pass, most people don’t remember football before the foward pass, and football wasn’t televised before the foward pass. Either way, it changed an action within the course of the game, but it didn’t create another position for a player who could only do one of the things that his position required.

      • VanSlaw

        How is that distinction significant?

      • Patrick W.

        You mean like a place kicker? Or Punter?

  • Dougy D

    “Pitchers are supposed to pitch, and watching them flail away at the plate is no fun.”

    Pitchers are supposed to be baseball players. Therefore, they should hit, run bases, and pitch.

    The NL screwed up when they agreed to allow the AL teams to use a DH in interleague games and the World Series. This is how they are at a disadvantage. I don’t see how they can’t keep a guy on the bench that could be essentially a DH for interleague games and a pinch hitter in other situations, such as a Daryl Ward or Lenny Harris (they were great pinch hitters at one point in their career and that is why they stuck around).

    Tragic comments by the suit.

    • Stinky Pete

      I will disagree with any argument about baseball rules and tradition and such that uses the word “Should”. There is no “Should”. It’s whatever we want it to be. There are no preordained rules that guide us through what should and shouldn’t be.

      • roncrayne

        What I am trying to say is that a baseball player is a baseball player. If you want a professional baseball player on your team, you would expect them to play the game and not just one or two aspects of it. It will be a sad day if the NL succumbs to the DH rule. Sad and pathetic.

    • DocPeterWimsey

      “Pitchers are supposed to be baseball players.”

      There is no such thing as “baseball players” any more than there are such things as “band players.” Bands consist of fundamentally different instrumentalists: guitarists, bass players, keyboardists, horn players, drummers. The ability to play guitar well has zero bearing on whether you can play the drums or the saxophone well: and as the history of rock shows, it’s rare that one guy can do both competently.

      Baseball is played by two fundamentally different kinds of athletes: batters and pitchers. The difference between batters and pitchers is greater than that between drummers and guitarists: at least the ability to “feel” a song is important to both. Pitching is about the ability to throw a ball in very precise ways. Batting is about being able to identify where ball is going and then making contact with it. The ability to do one has no bearing on the ability to do the other: and thus the ability to be one member of a baseball team has no bearing on the ability to be another member of a baseball team.

      • MK

        Great analogy Doc! Furthermore, the game has changed to allow “specialist” pitchers – set-up men, long relief and closers (and whatever Marmol is). With all the pitching changes in a game, having the DH better allows a manager to move these pitchers in and out without the concern of when to use bench players.

        I’ve been long for keeping the DH out of the NL, but as times have changed, there is no true logic there anymore, only sentiment.

      • Andrew

        I definitely agree with the sentiment a little, but at the same time, where do you draw the line? Fielding is a completely different skillset than hitting, especially if the fielder is the catcher. Why not have a bunch of designated fielders, designated pitchers and designated hitters? Maybe 100 years from now, that is what baseball will look like, who knows. It could be just like football. Actually I think this might be a fun idea. Teams get to field with their best fielders, pitch with their best pitchers, and hit with their best hitters. Since this might lower the offensive output, maybe you only allow 7 fielders so we get more entertaining baseball games and great defensive players would become as valuable as great offensive players.

      • roncrayne

        I totally disagree with the analogy of musicians being similar to baseball players. In many cases, a guitarists does not play drums as their craft is playing the guitar. If I were to compare them in a sporting fashion, I would say that guitar and drums are two different sports altogether. Totally doesn’t make sense, right?

        The DH is ‘poor man’s’ baseball. If the guy isn’t good enough to swing a bat, maybe he shouldn’t make $20 million a year. We are talking offense and defense played by the same players. What is this, 6 on 6 girls basketball?

  • BD

    I say we go slow-pitch softball style- the pitcher hits, and you can have an extra hitter (EH) if you want to. 10 man lineups, and a 3-homer limit per game, then they count as out. And a free runner for the old guy you stash at catcher.

    • Leo L

      me like. why not right?

  • James

    I found it interesting about the DH idea in the national league. I hope it dosn’t happen. Also somebody wrote that he would be happy for two more baseball teams to be added. I couldn’t disagree more with that idea. MLB has screwed them-selfs with expansion. There are so many teams out there that can’t even fill half a baseball stadium. There is really no cities that could support a major league team at the moment. The real fear for baseball has to be the Pirates, Marlins, and the Twins to name a few that are having issues with there fan base. I would hope baseball would look to remove two baseball teams for the health of the sport.

  • DAN W

    Brett, how about a poll on the DH.. Can you do that, let it run through the weekend?

    • BluBlud

      No need, espn did one already, and it was overwhelmingly in favor of no Dh in the NL. Just read the comments, most people don’t want it.

    • MichiganGoat

      Um I’m against polls the tradition of this site does not include polls, KEEP WITH TRADITION ;)

      • BluBlud

        If it forces Brett to create a designated position for a Writer, who can’t really write, but know hw to ask really good question, then I’m against it also. ;)

      • DarthHater

        This site needs a designated hater. I’m available. Please contact my agent:
        [img]http://www.buzzflash.com/analysis/04/09/images/02emperor350.jpg[/img]

  • Dan V

    Dan Vogelbach will be our dh

  • bbmoney

    I don’t like the DH. I’d much prefer there is no DH in either league. But that’s not happening.

    The roster construction issue and ability to sign somewhat older FA’s with good bats who may not be able to field a position a couple years down the line are huge issues, and as such, I don’t see any way of getting around adding the DH to the NL. It’s a competitive imbalance, even if you drop interleague play it’s still an issue in the biggest series ever year and the FA thing is still very real.

    • Edwin

      What if they changed the 9 man lineup to an 8 man lineup? That way it still forces players to have to be able to play some kind of defense, and pitcher’s don’t need to bat.

      • TonyP

        interesting idea………..

  • cubchymyst

    I don’t think Theo’s comment about the DH in the world series is that significant. As has been stated a few times by other people, the world series winner is usually who ever gets hottest in the play off. My whole problem with the DH is not that pitchers don’t have to hit, it is that you have a hitter that doesn’t need to play the in field. I think all hitters should have to play some sort of defense.

  • Melrosepad

    I think it would be interesting to add DH to the NL and raise the pitching mound.

    • Internet Random

      I’m not opposed to raising the mound, but I’d rather see the pitchers get higher seams first.

  • Internet Random

    “Pitchers are supposed to pitch, and watching them flail away at the plate is no fun.”

    With the exception of the argument above, the other arguments I’m seeing here support only a uniformity of rules between the leagues. In other words, those arguments, as stated, support the abolition of the DH rule in both leagues as well as universal adoption.

    As to the quoted argument: Baseball players are supposed to play baseball. Pitchers are baseball players.* Hitting is an sine-qua-non part of baseball. Therefore, pitchers should hit.

    *If you disagree, then please explain how baseball would work without them.

    • Edwin

      Doc has explained it before. While both pitchers and postion players are “baseball players”, that’s an arbitrary title. They are “baseball players” for entirely different skill sets. SImilar to how a quarterback is a football player, and so is a kicker.

      Baseball with the DH works just fine. The difference in run scoring is less than .5 run, pitchers in teh AL still throw perfect games. There are still manager decisions on when to pull the pitcher, when to pinch hit, when to call for a bunt/steal. I just don’t think AL baseball is at all different than NL baseball, except slighty more runs, and not having to watch as many poor plate appearances.

    • hansman1982

      “As to the quoted argument: Baseball players are supposed to play baseball. Pitchers are baseball players.* Hitting is an sine-qua-non part of baseball. Therefore, pitchers should hit.”

      Pitching is also a sine-qua-non part of baseball. Why aren’t people clamoring for position players to pitch regularly?

      • DocPeterWimsey

        That would be untraditional. Besides, have you seen position players pitch? They are awful, and that would diminish the seriousness of the game.

        :-)

      • Internet Random

        People don’t clamor to see catchers play center field either.

  • Edwin

    I think they should change the 25 man roster to a 9 man roster. No more bullpens, or benches. These are all baseball players, so they should all be able to hit and pitch. The nine players on the roster can take turns pitching each game. No more of this only playing once every 5 games crap, or sitting on the bench crap. Also, the manager has to be one of the 9 players. It’s time to bring back player/managers.

    • Internet Random

      Or let’s expand it to 75, eliminate all restrictions on substitution, and make sure nobody ever has to participate in a portion of the game that they’re not very good at.

      • Can’t think of a cool name

        An no championships, participation ribbons for all players.

  • DocPeterWimsey

    “Baseball players are supposed to play baseball. Pitchers are baseball players.”

    Again, there is no such thing as a “baseball players.” Baseball is played by two fundamentally different types of athletes. Here is the syllogism with music:

    “Band members are supposed to play music; drummers are band members; ergo, drummers should play guitar, too.”

    • Internet Random

      There certainly is a such thing as baseball players, and only someone straining reality to make a convoluted, weak, semantic argument would assert otherwise.

      And at least try to find an analogy that’s somewhat relevant.

      • DocPeterWimsey

        The analogy is perfectly relevant. I couldn’t play the drums to save my life, but I was more than capable of playing in a band. No pitcher is in MLB because he can hit. The physical tools necessary to be a good pitcher are completely disjunct from those necessary to be a good hitter. Asking a pitcher to hit is like asking a basketball or football player to hit, and just as silly: nobody plays pitcher, basketball or football because they can hit.

        Incidentally, analogies rely purely on logic and the relationships between the specific and the general. My analogy was fine.

        • Internet Random

          You can have a band without a guitarist. You can have a band with out a drummer.

          You cannot have a baseball game without a baseball player to pitch.

          • Internet Random

            I forgot to repeat that your analogy is not relevant.

            • DocPeterWimsey

              You don’t understand what an analogy is, do you. OK, I’ll try again and make it harder for you to distort. A band requires different instruments that require fundamentally different skills. The band requires that all these skills be satisfied. However, the skills often are completely unrelated to each other: what makes a good player of Instrument X has nothing to do with what makes a good player of Instrument Y: and therefore you don’t choose the person to play Instrument Y based on his/her skills with instrument X. You do not ask the player of X to play Y because it makes the band worse than it should be.

              • Leo L

                there arent rules in bands. ther are rules in games. you can play more than one instrument if you want. you just might not be good at it. not a good analogy. sorry.

                • DocPeterWimsey

                  Rules are irrelevant: there is no rule saying that you cannot have a DH unless people choose to make one. So, the analogy is still just fine: and it works fine for any complex system where different members must have fundamentally unrelated skills of any sort.

                  The ability of any one member to perform multiple tasks also is irrelevant. If the bassist can play drums, well, that’s swell: but you still would rather have the drummer do it, and the audience would rather see the drummer doing it. More important, you do not ask the bassist to join or subsequently kick him/her out because he/she cannot play drums.

                  • Leo L

                    im saying that a band doesnt say you are a gutarist so you cant paly this. sometimes mucisians will play instrumnets that they arent great at. it has been done. Heck i even seen dave mathews play piano and he was ok. and he isnt even a good singer which is his primary function on the band. but he can write music and his enjoyed by many, i understand your argument. (dont agree but understand) i think you have made better analogies in the past.

                    • Leo L

                      also my point is that skill completely determines waht a mucisican does. not rules. slow runners still have run the bases after they hit the ball. it is the rules. a band can change it up if they want. they can play more than one intrusement one night if they want or jsut play one on a different night. not set by “rules”

              • Internet Random

                “A band requires different instruments…”

                Where is that written?

                Bands are pretty flexible and don’t “require” much. For instance, they’re not limited to a certain number of members and, so far as I know, there’s no prohibition on members in the same band playing the same instruments. If it were, I’d think that Lynyrd Skynyrd would at least be facing some pretty steep fines.

                By the way, you’ve drifted into the argument that players should not have to participate in aspects of the game that they’re not very good at.

            • DocPeterWimsey

              Incidentally, my analogy applies to any complex system where the overall effort depends on unrelated skills/abilities. I just went for an obvious one. The key is that the requirements for one component are unrelated to the requirements for another. Hence, you do not choose an individual for Component A based on the skill sets of Component B, and you don’t have Component A do what B does (or vice versa).

              • DarthHater

                Don’t be snarky doc. ;-) The analogy is not irrelevant (i.e. it raises issues that are pertinent to the discussion), but it is far from perfect.

                For a hundred years before the DH rule existed, baseball was played with pitchers hitting and fans enjoyed the game. But I doubt that anybody ever considered watching a band concert in which some musicians were required to play instruments they did not know how to play. This tells me that your analogy does not give sufficient weight to: (a) the extent to which it is or is not possible for a specialist in one of the skills under discussion to perform the other skill; and (b) the extent to which the overall acceptability of the pertinent event (whether band concert or ball game) is impacted by having one or two people who are required to perform a task in which they do not specialize.

                Stated differently, it seems to me that: (a) it’s a lot harder to play a musical instrument you don;t know how to play than it is for a pitcher to hit; and (b) the negative impact on a concert of having some musicians playing an instrument they don’t know how to play is a lot worse than the negative impact on a ball game of having pitchers bat.

                • DocPeterWimsey

                  Ah, but remember the initial argument. I stated that there is no such thing as a “baseball player.” Baseball is the union of two different types of players (batters and pitchers) with fundamentally different skill requirements.

                  Similarly, there really is no such thing as a band player: a band is the union of 2+ instrumentalists (different instrumentalists and singers) with fundamentally different skill requirements. You could extend this to computer programmers, doctors, etc.

                  So, don’t expect a batter to pitch, don’t expect a keyboardist to drum, don’t expect a graphics programmer to program databases, etc.: that is never why you picked them in the first place. Just because there is one general term that describes them, it does not follow that they share the same properties.

                  Oh, and watching Matt Garza bat is just as painful as Paul McCartney’s drumming on The Ballad of John & Yoko…. :-)

                  • DarthHater

                    Okay, if you use the analogy for that more limited purpose, rather than as an overall argument in favor of the DH, it works better.

                    • DocPeterWimsey

                      It’s an argument against Paul drumming.

                    • DocPeterWimsey

                      (Really, it’s an argument against expecting Paul to drum.)

                  • Internet Random

                    And there’s no such thing as a tree because pine trees are good at keeping their leaves in the winter and maples aren’t.

      • hansman1982

        Just as there is such a thing as a musician. I’ll take Doc’s analogy a different way:

        The violin and cello are both in an orchestra, they are both played by musicians and they are both string instruments.

        Take the world’s greatest violinist and give them a cello and you will get a decent (but sub-par for their skills and life-long training) performance. Now ask the violinist to spend 1/10th of every performance playing the cello but not having any time to train to play the cello nor the skill set to play the cello. You are still going to spend a 1/10th of that performance listening to crappy (compared to the violin) music.

        • Internet Random

          This is the argument that players should not have to participate in aspects of the game that they are not as good at… which also supports allowing Tony Campana to be a designated runner for the likes of Prince Fielder.

          • DocPeterWimsey

            No, not the parts of the game that at which they are not good: just not the parts of the game that had no bearing on why they made MLB. Fielder made MLB on his ability to get to 2nd base and beyond frequently when he bats as well as his ability to walk slowly to first. He did not get there based on his ability to pitch, and thus should not be viewed as an incomplete player because he cannot. Batters and pitchers represent two disjunct sets of athletes used to make a baseball team. Calling them both “baseball players” does not change the fact that they are different types of athletes.

            • MichaelD

              But then what about players that are great fielders but cannot hit? Those are two different parts of the game. Taking this argument to its conclusion suggests nine hitters and nine fielders.

              • hansman1982

                No, they both require superior hand-eye coordination to go along with the ability to process the images you see instaneously. Even the art of throwing a fielded ball and pitching (effectively the same overall thing (getting the ball from point A to point B as quickly as possible using your hand and/or glove) are two different tasks.

                Pitching is about repeating the same motions over and over and over and FAR less hand-eye coordination.

            • Internet Random

              How’d Campana get there? Should he have to hit?

            • Internet Random

              ‘Calling them both “baseball players” does not change the fact that they are different types of athletes.’

              That’s a one way to say it. Another, and more specific, is that they’re different kinds of baseball players.

              Pines and maples are both trees.

            • davidalanu

              You really need to realize that not every thought you type is fact. In this case especially, its just your opinion. Others have their own, and if they are contrary to yours, that’s ok. It doesn’t make them wrong.

              You come across, at least to me, as someone who thinks that his opinions are gospel, and anyone who has a different opinion is just plain wrong. Or incapable of grasping your inherent correctness. I don’t want this to come off as an attack whatsoever, but it can get exasperating at times.

              • YourResidentJag

                Gosh, why don’t we say that about TWC, DarthHater, and Hansman1982 while we are at it ;)

  • DAN W

    Let’s use a softer ball (maybe even rubber) and allow the pitchers to use metal bats. That way the pitchers wont have to be afraid of getting hit, and it would still be fun to watch them at the plate.

  • notcubbiewubbie

    once again let’s cheapin the game;just because the junior circuit did it many years ago. sorry theo love ya but us national league fans don’t want boring 4 hour yankee red sox games.it takes out all the strategy and never makes the pitcher come to bat.i know we don’t have anything to say about it but the day the national league gives in will be a sad day for national league fans who want the game played the way it was meant to be played.

    • Edwin

      There is virtually no differance between an AL game and NL. At all.

      • Internet Random

        Then why change the rules?

        • Edwin

          Because I think you get a better product watching AL baseball. And in this case, I think chaning the rules (to either allow or disallow the dh league wide) makes more sense than leaving the divide. It allows teams to build their rosters and fill out daily lineups under more even conditions.

          • Internet Random

            “Because I think you get a better product watching AL baseball.”

            “There is virtually no differance between an AL game and NL. At all.”

            Which is it?

            • Edwin

              Both. The AL provides a better product, but it’s still baseball either way.

              • Internet Random

                How can it be so much better when there is virtually do difference at all?

                • Internet Random

                  *no

                • Edwin

                  the same way Spotted Cow can be better than Miller Lite. They’re both beers; drinking them gives you basically the same experiance. But Spotted Cow is a much better product.

                  The point is, having a DH or not having a DH doesn’t alter that much how the game is played, I just think it leads to a more enjoyable experiance. The strategy in each league is basically the same, the types of players in each league is basically the same. Nothing about how the actual game played is really that different, I just think that the AL gives you a slightly better quality game.

                  • Internet Random

                    Sorry, but this just doesn’t make sense.

    • hansman1982

      You don’t want 4-hour games? Stop watching ESPN.

  • http://bleachernation.com lou brock

    Where are all you statistical guys hiding ? I know most pitchers cannot hit a lick but are the AL designated hitters all hitting # 3 or # 4 in their lineups ? Most AL teams had DH’s hitting around .235 or less last year with less than 20 HR’s. LOOK IT UP !!! Ortiz was the exception to the rule. Also most AL teams are not paying their DH any more than than their 5th starter or their set up man in the bullpen. In yesterdays Cub game Travis Wood had a hit & scored the only run of the game for the first 8 innings.
    You would think that the AL teams would be looking for the Edgar Martinez types when they are drafting or trading, but I have not seen it. If it really meant that much to them & their offenses we would see a much greater disparity in runs scored , batting average, & HR’s between the two leagues. Theo says he feels the NL team is disadvantaged when playing against the likes of a David Ortiz because he does not have the equivalent player on his bench. OK if that is true then the Red Sox do not have the advantage when they come to play the Cubs in Chicago & either suffer defensively by playing him at first base or he sits on the bench as only a possible later inning pinch hitter.

    • bbmoney

      More than raw numbers in my mind it’s about roster construction. There was almost no chance Pujols or Fielder were going to sign with an NL team (unless STL stepped up for Pujols).

      Having the DH also just allows you to construct your roster differently. There were really only 3 ‘full time’ DH’s in the AL last year Ortiz (until he got hurt), Billy Butler, and Delmon Young (…yikes). But teams can rest their players more often by letting the DH instead of play the field. And it’s a lot easier to carry an impact bat or two you don’t want in the field everyday who’d be stuck pinch hitting in the NL.

    • hansman1982

      Psst, go here:

      http://www.fangraphs.com/leaders.aspx?pos=dh&stats=bat&lg=all&qual=y&type=8&season=2012&month=0&season1=2012&ind=0&team=0&rost=0&age=0&filter=&players=0&sort=17,d

      It’s sorted by wOBA. Don’t know what wOBA is, go here:

      http://www.fangraphs.com/library/index.php/offense/woba/

      Notice how 10 of the 13 guys who qualify for DH status had above-league-average wOBA.

      Also, notice the names of those who DH. There weren’t any players last year who had a qualifying amount of AB’s who were full-time DH’s. You had a lot of guys who spent a good deal of time at DH but no full-timers.

  • DAN W

    Lets just ask Tom Tunney, and settle this once and for all…..

    • Internet Random

      Nice. Very nice.

  • Bilbo161

    DH? Maybe I’ll just take the ball and go home. See how they like it then!

  • Saving Grace

    The great news for the Cubs is they might have a slugging DH in the farm system in Dan Vogelbach
    And they have finally found a position for him.

  • Chad

    I am somewhat of a baseball purist. And I am in favor of the AL making pitchers pitch. I think my position leaves these two mutually exclusive though. When I was in high school some ten years ago the best hitters on our team and others were generally the best pitchers as well. I think if you are a professional athlete you should be able to hit and pitch at the highest level. If AL teams made the switch then it in general it would lead to terrible hitting pitchers for the next 15 years but it would change the perspective on the game knowing pitchers would have to hit at that level and you can get (hypothetically), Babe Ruth type players, Greg Maddux types to a lesser extent. Plus I think if you throw at a hitter the opposing pitcher should have the opportunity to throw at you. I am not naive and I’m aware the NL will adopt the DH because a lot of people like more runs (I don’t) and think higher scores are more exciting and records need to be broken so we will eventually have 40 MLB teams and play 200 games per year because money rules and always will (sorry kind of lost my point at the end). Just my two cents. You only play once every 5 days, might as well hit. If you’re a DH because you are a liability on the field, tough should have learned how to field while you were working your ass off to become a MLB player.

  • boomindanny

    i know baseball is americuh’s game, but are there DH’s in foreign leagues?

  • Deez

    Ummmm? How about adding 2 more teams.

  • http://weareworkers.com Skooter

    To quote Emmylou Harris- “The designated hitter is bullshit”
    …in either league.

  • Rich Wittig

    I’ve read many of these comments, but I haven’t found one on merits of strategy issues of Not having the DH.

    With the DH there is very little strategy, compared to a NL game. I like strategy, and I can endure some bad abs because of it. I like the unknown of a Warren Spahn or anyone getting a hit, a walk or even a homer.

    No DH. Not in the NL a and erase it from the AL. Let’s play baseball with all the challenging choices possible.

    • Edwin

      It depends how you define strategy. Most of the choices that NL managers have to make with pitchers are pretty easy, at least in regards to when to pinch hit for the pitcher. There’s not much to really think about. The situation usually dicatates a clear and easy move.

      You could even argue that pitching changes are more difficult in the AL. In the AL the manager can’t rely on the pitcher batting to dictate a clear time as to when to pull the pitcher.

      Also, there are still plenty of elements of strategy in the AL. Managers still need to decide when to use pinch hitters, when to pull pitchers, what type of pitching matchups to go with. The DH also allows AL managers more flexability with their lineup; do they go with more speed/defense, or with more power?

      I think the strategy of having a pitcher bat is overrated.

  • hansman1982

    This is a wall of text. It isn’t as difficult to read as you may think. I have secretly obtained a copy of the “Managing in the NL for Mike Quade Guide” and here is all of the text:

    Is the pitcher due up to bat?
    Yes – Did he just suck on the mound?
    Yes – Go to the next question
    No – Why in the hell are you concerned? Leave him in.

    Is the pitcher a reliever and due up to bat?

    Yes – Next Question
    No – STOP – Go to the “Managing in the NL and AL for Mike Quade Guide”. The only difference you need to be concerned about between the NL and AL is when to sub-out the pitcher for a pinch hitter (why do we have pinch hitters? Next they’ll be wanting defense only squads and full 97 man-rosters!).

    Is it after the 6th inning and you need to sub the pitcher?
    Yes – Is he due up to bat?
    Yes – Straight swap
    No – Swap him with someone who just batted and consult the chart found in the blue binder to determine who to put in. You know, the chart the stat nerds upstairs created for you that shows how all of our players do against pitchers similar to their pitchers? You don’t have stat nerds upstairs to do this? Just go with your gut and who has the best nickname.

    No – Is he due up to bat and the game is close?
    Yes – Straight swap
    No – Swap him with someone who just batted and consult the chart found in the blue binder to determine who to put in. You know, the chart the stat nerds upstairs created for you that shows how all of our players do against pitchers similar to their pitchers?

    Did the other manager change his pitcher to take away the platoon advantage?
    STOP – Why are you still looking at this guidebook, go to the “Managing in the NL and AL for Mike Quade Guide”. The only difference you need to be concerned about between the NL and AL is when to hit for the pitcher.

    Are you angry that you needlessly wasted 2 previous AB’s having a pitcher bat?
    Yes – WELL SUCK IT UP NANCY! HE’S A BASEBALL PLAYER
    No – Good, you are a smart and amazing person. Quick, have the next batter sac bunt to move the runner over.

    The end.

    Unfortunately, Hendry never thought it was necessary to buy the “Managing in the NL and AL for Mike Quade Guide” guide.

    • notcubbiewubbie

      now that’s funny.

  • chrisfchi

    Why not start with where the WS is played. Instead of the ASG winner gettin home field, just use one of their leagues park, but in a warmer climate. If its a NL team, no DH thru the series and vice versa.

  • TigerCub

    NL has won its fair share of World Series since the DH rule began. Please don’t bring the DH to the NL.

  • Patrick W.

    Quick question for the self described purists: How pure are you? How far back do you wish to go? Get rid of instant replays for home runs? End the world series home field advantage going to the All Star Game winning League’s champion? Go back to two divisions in both leagues? Go back to no divisions? Get rid of the expansion teams? Raise the mound back up? Make the Dodgers, Giants, Braves, Athletics, Nationals, Twins, Rangers, Orioles move back to their original cities? Re-segregate? Allow spit-balls? End the game when one team scores 21 runs? How pure are you?

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