Pump the brakes on a universal DH, and MLB's next big thing

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There are some debates in baseball that just never go away. To be fair, baseball itself causes some of this by stirring the pot from time to time, and that's not a bad thing. Anything that generates discussion is good. It shows that people care. People who care watch games and buy tickets. Thus, here we are again, debating the relative merits of the designated hitter. Hey, don't blame me. The commissioner is the one who brought it cheap jerseys nike

Recently, Ben Lindbergh of The Ringer wrote a piece called "Let's Stop Pretending That Pitchers Can Hit," and it's a great read. It brings the DH debate into the current time, with an emphasis on the continuing deterioration of aggregate hitting performances of pitchers. That cannot be denied. Pitchers, relative to position players, have never been good hitters, even the best-hitting hurlers, and the gap is widening. Lindbergh is but one of a legion of analytically informed writers who have condemned the medieval practice of allowing pitchers to hit over the years. This, I think, has become orthodoxy among those whose fandom is heavily informed by analytics. To them, the professional game is undermined by having non-professional hitters take a turn at the plate in the major leagues.72

That is a rational opinion. If bad pitcher-hitting matters to you, then of course you want to add the DH to the National League. You probably also want to if you are angered when American League pitchers are injured while hitting in NL parks or running the bases. It's perfectly reasonable to feel that way. Yet, I would hate it -- HATE. IT. -- if the designated hitter spread to the National League. Yes, that's right, I am a status quo guy. Of course, that doesn't matter at all, which I'll get to in a bit.

First, a quick bit of biography: I grew up as a fan of the Kansas City Royals, who during my formative years had one helluva designated hitter named Hal McRae. Like scores of young fans in my region, I was a George Brett guy, but I loved McRae, too, and couldn't get enough stories about his ruthless ways on the basepaths. I remember arguing about whether McRae or Don Baylor was the best DH in the game. It seemed like a singular skill: to be able to hit at a high level while waiting around the dugout for two or three innings at a nfl jerseys wholesale cheap

Despite this, I have never really liked the DH, mostly because I grew up reading about baseball history even more often than I read about the game as it played out in my time. That made me into a kind of a neo-purist -- one who longed for an era of baseball that I never came close to actually experiencing. For most of my adult life, I was a kill-the-DH guy. Because of my almost-compulsive eye for symmetry, the idea of different rules for different leagues always struck me as absurd.

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