Horror: Designated Hitter May Be Coming To The National League

If you are a National League fan, like me (I’ve rooted for the Dodgers since my t-ball days), you will either love or loathe this

(Dodgers Nation) Baseball purists, you’re going to want to look away. Fans of keeping the designated hitter out of the National League are going to be very disappointed in the MLB. (snip)

Reports then surfaced that MLB and the player’s union were closing in on a deal to get things moving, which was later refuted. The league has sent over a proposal to the union, but that has yet to officially be agreed on or denied at this point. In that agreement though, there was one interesting change to play.

The designated hitter has long been held strictly to the American League and AL home games. That might be changing, as the new agreement would make the DH universal for 2020 and 2021. If that’s the case, it’s likely that the DH will be universal in the next collective bargaining agreement as well.

Not good

Will a pitcher ever hit for himself again in Major League Baseball?

The shortened 2020 MLB season is paving the way for the universal designated hitter, equalizing the American and National Leagues for the first time since 1973.

According to the proposed agreement for this year and next, the universal DH will be instituted beginning this season. The deal also calls for the DH next year.

Couple that with the belief the DH was going to become universal in the next collective bargaining agreement (2021), and could it mean we’ve seen a pitcher bat for himself for the final time in Major League Baseball history?

That’s not to say a pitcher will never bat again. Some may be utilized as a pinch-hitter. But a NL manager will never be forced to write in his starting pitcher’s name into the lineup card. Relievers no longer carry the burden (as long as they face three batters!) of leaving the game when their spot in the order is due up.

While seeing a big slugger, usually someone who has been kicked out of playing a position as they get older, maybe the knees are not so good anymore, come up and destroy a ball is exciting. But, having pitchers bat and then getting all sorts of substitutes later in the game makes it a chess match in the NL. Do you keep the pitcher in and let them bat, or have a substitute hitter, meaning you need a new pitcher and you’re down 1 on the bench? What happens if the game goes extra innings? Do you have enough pitchers? Will they run out of gas? I’m not a big fan of the DH. We’ll see if the Player’s Association accepts this proposal.

What do you think?

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9 Responses to “Horror: Designated Hitter May Be Coming To The National League”

  1. formwiz says:

    I’ve rooted for the Dodgers since my t-ball days

    I’ve rooted for the Dodgers since they were in Brooklyn.

  2. Tsquared says:

    I guess they are trying to make sure that professional baseball will have a slow death like football and Nascar.

  3. Elwood P. Dowd says:

    The DH sucks and has made baseball less interesting, but has permeated the minor leagues, NCAA baseball, most high school leagues, almost all international leagues. The MLB NL is the staunchest holdout, IOW, one of the few leagues to still play “baseball”.

  4. dachs_dude says:

    Elwood — We agree on this poing completely!!
    The DH ruins the strategy of the game.
    Between that, and bringing in the outfield walls, (so there’s more dingers), MLB is becoming a sad, expensive joke on the fans who want to see real athletes and not Roided up Weekend Warriors.

  5. Dana says:

    For once, Mr Dowd is absotively, posilutely right!

    I grew up listening to the Cincinnati Reds on radio, with Al Michaels and Joe Nuxhall calling the games.

    Was there ever a player with a better name that Cesar Geronimo?

  6. STW says:

    Of course the players association will go with the DH. It’ll be good for players who otherwise can’t play the game anymore. It will not be good for baseball. Who gives a rip about a less than full player? It can’t be the legion of kids hoping to grow up and be a DH someday. Sadly, I won’t be able to think of the AL as the candyass league anymore.

    I realized that MLB doesn’t care about the fans 25 years ago during the strike season. What with the DH and dropping 40 minor league teams it appears that MLB doesn’t care about baseball anymore either. If they don’t care, why should I?

    (Took my oldest to her first Dodgers game when she was six weeks old, 40+ years ago. T-shirt night. It was a long time before she out grew that shirt.)

  7. Elwood P. Dowd says:

    Baseball is so incredibly American… An Englishman colleague hated baseball saying “it’s like watching paint dry”, but I told him he just didn’t understand the game. Euros think soccer and cycling are sports.

    Joe Nuxhall, at 15, was the youngest ever to play in a big league game. I was an NL fan too, Cards, Cubs, Reds, Phils, Giants, Dodgers, Pirates, Braves… especially in the 60s. Vada Pinson, Frank Robinson. And, of course, hated the Yankees.

    See. Baseball brings Americans together.

  8. Dana says:

    Mr Dowd wrote:

    Euros think soccer and cycling are sports.

    Soccer is what worried mothers let their kids play, ’cause real football is so dangerous, don’t you know!

    But cycling, yeah, that is a sport, because it’s racing. I love watching le Tour de France, though as much for the scenery as the race. I was rooting for Julian Alaphilippe last year, because he was King of the Mountain in 2018.

  9. gitarcarver says:

    Quoting another poster:

    The DH sucks and has made baseball less interesting, but has permeated the minor leagues, NCAA baseball, most high school leagues, almost all international leagues.

    It’s a minor point, but while professional leagues often use the designated hitter rule, both the NCAA and the NFHS (high school) use the designated player rule.

    The difference is a simple one. In MLB and pro leagues, the designated hitter can be used for the pitcher and the pitcher alone. (See 5.11 and AR)

    In NFHS and the NCAA, any player can be hit for in place of the original player. This is because at those levels, a pitcher is often the best player and athlete on the field and the thinking is that if the other team can hit for their weakest hitter if that player is a pitcher, the other team should be able to hit for their weakest bat as well.

    (Like I said, its a minor point.)

    Like it or not, baseball has a problem with younger fans. Just like fans like high scoring basketball and football games, fans like the higher scores of a DH / DP game. (Chicks dig the long ball.) Games with the DH / DP are generally shorter than those without it. Not by much, but while the time of the games are close, the amount of action in a game with a DH / DP vs. a game with the “strategy” we older fans like isn’t cutting it these days. Instead of watching a parade of 6 pitchers and the accompanying warmup, people would rather see some guy stepping in and swinging the bat.

    Time of Game (TOG) is a serious concern at all levels of the sport, but especially at the pro level where TV contracts are involved. New pitching rules were supposed to help address the speed of the game this year, but obviously they aren’t since no one is playing. In order to shorten game times, instead of eliminated the DH in the NL, and making silly rule changes so the game resembles a video game, MLB should adopt the “step out” rule used at the high school level. Generally speaking if a pitch comes in, the batter can’t step completely out of the box. There are eight exceptions to this, but it is amazing how fast the game moves when a pitcher throws, the catcher catches, and you do the same thing until someone hits the ball, strikes out or walks.

    Compare that with MLB where it seems as if each pitch runs up against the time limit between pitches because the batter steps out, adjusts his gloves, his helmet, checks his bat (which is often held in the wrong orientation to begin with) pull up the pants, step back in the box and then request “time.”

    I’d love to see the “step out” rule in the pros. Games would be faster paced and you could still have the DH because of the time savings.

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