This was a pretty surprising tweet to see today:
Manfred also said NL adopting DH is gaining momentum. Expect it to be addressed in upcoming CBA, so could be for '17 season. #mlb
— David Lennon (@DPLennon) January 21, 2016
I had to stop in my tracks and read it a few times to make sure I was getting it right.Yes, words like “momentum” and “addressed” and “could be” are all relatively soft, but this isn’t an anonymous source doing some speculating. This is the Commissioner of Major League Baseball directly commenting on an issue immediately before collective bargaining discussions formally begin. This is the guy who is representing the owners, who presumably would be the ones – much more than the players – against the designated hitter in the National League.
This is pretty meaningful, and this suggests, at the least, that the DH is going to be very seriously considered in these CBA discussions. Even as recently as a couple days ago that didn’t look much more than merely possible.
I really look forward to seeing the full context of the Commissioner’s comments, and then whatever comes from there. I am an unabashed proponent of the DH in the NL, but I know that’s a controversial opinion. I have my reasons – Michael articulated them pretty well on Tuesday – but I’ll hold all that back for right now while we await more.