Let’s take a break from what has become the status quo of a lack in the signing of impactful free agents. There’s a guy, Manny Machado, who hasn’t signed, and the other guy, Bryce Harper, is also still unemployed. No one knows when that is going to change.
However, there is an old, but also, new, issue we can all argue about over on message boards, Twitter, and during opening day festivities. That is the, not-so-quiet elephant in the room, designated hitter.
The league and the Major League Baseball Players Association, are talking rule changes, just days ahead of pitchers and catchers reporting for duty. The highest profile rule change is a universal DH. April 6th, 1973, isn’t necessarily a day that will live in infamy, but it marked not only the first use of the designated hitter in the A.L., but also the beginning of, what likely will be, the end of visible difference between the two leagues – National and American.
It appears inevitable, that we will be seeing no differences between the N.L and the A.L. with the potential addition of the DH into the major circuit. What will that impact be? What will the pros and cons be for such a move? “The sport is boring. It is dying. No one wants to see pitchers hit.” Unless that pitcher is Bartolo Colon, Madison Bumgarner, or the chance to see Rich Hill run around the bases. I hear those concerns, and I understand that a majority of people want the pitcher to never put on a batting helmet. Though, there is more to it than just not wanting to see a pitcher flail away in the batter’s box.
To implement a universal DH at this point in time, would be a major disservice to both the teams and free agents. Budgeting for the off-season has already been established, and in some cases, already exhausted. There will also be a major shift in strategy going into games that front offices have already established in their respective leagues. If, and when, this change happens, there should be a 1 or 2-year plan to implement the rule into the N.L. This will give teams the ability to forecast budgets, personnel, and strategies.
Personally, I appreciate the differences between the two leagues. Call me old fashioned, but I will always favor nine players field, and the same nine get to dig in the box. I also believe that if you play baseball, you should have AND use both a glove and a bat.
What do you think? Would you want to see the N.L adopt the DH?
Featured Image: Jon SooHoo/Los Angeles Dodgers