Is the DH Un-American?

Without the DH we might never have had Edgar Martinez

Is interleague play over yet?  Seriously… It’s getting old.  I’m sick and tired of the Indians having to play National League teams in their ballparks under their rules.  As someone who grew up in an American League city and has known nothing but the designated hitter his entire life, I can honestly say I despise the National League rules.  In other words, I hate watching pitchers bat.

That brings up an interesting question this Independence Day.  Is the DH Un-American? (Yes I realize it’s only July 1, but I’m not writing over the weekend…so deal with it).

Now I understand that having pitchers bat opens the game up to a lot more strategy.  How and when to utilize pinch hitters, how to pitch to the bottom of the order to best utilize the almost automatic out that is the pitcher, and how to best utiize the double switch.  All are valid points and as someone who played baseball I can appreciate all of that.  Unfortunately, I’m not playing baseball, I’m watching it.  I don’t want to watch someone come to the plate that is supposedly a “professional athlete” look like the awkward nerdy kid from gym class.  Three ugly swings later and it’s back to the bench.  I’m sorry, I can’t watch it.  Give me Travis Hafner, Edgar Matinez, or Harold Baines any day of the week over this crap.

Purests say that the DH has ruined the game of baseball.  I’m sorry, I disagree.  Baseball’s inability to adapt and utilize modern technology to better promote its product has ruined baseball.  Don’t believe me?  Go to Youtube and search for anything from the NBA.  You will find exactly what you’re looking for and then some.  Now go search for something related to baseball.  The search results end up being a lot less plentiful, especially if you’re looking for something that happened in the course of an actual game.  But no, it’s having an extra, actual hitter in the lineup that’s killed baseball.

Think of how many players would be robbed of actual careers or had careers shortened if the DH were eliminated.

  • Edgar Martinez
  • Harold Baines
  • Frank Thomas
  • Jim Thome
  • Eddie Murray
  • Travis Hafner
  • Mike Sweeney
  • David Ortiz

That’s just naming a few that come to mind.  There have been others and there are sure to be more.

Everyone keeps crying about how if/when realignment happens in baseball all teams will have to go to the same set of rules.  I agree with them.  It’s ridiculous that half of the teams play with one set of rules and the other half play with another set.  But news flash people, that one set of rules will be the American Leagues.

First of all, offense is more fun.  It’s the honest truth.  For years we’ve been bombarded with home run stats and commercials where “chicks dig the long ball.”  By having pitchers bat and removing offense is an admission that 1.  MLB was wrong and 2.  The MLB wants to make it’s game more boring to the casual fan.

Second, baseball has a union, a pretty powerful union actually.  Does anyone honestly think they’re going to be ok with eliminating a position and essentially eliminating jobs or shortening careers?  Yeah right.  I understand the argument that those players should just learn to play a position.  Fine, I’ll give you that, but when Travis Hafner’s arm breaks off after three games, or David Ortiz’s knee explodes you’ll all be crying about it.  Hell, the Mariners tried playing Edgar Martinez at third one year for interleague play and about a week in he hurt himself and was out at least a month.

The whole argument is ridiculous.  Why does anyone in their right mind want to watch pitchers bat?  Even with DH’s, offensive numbers have been down in recent years thanks to the removal of steroids from the game.  Enough is enough already!

I guess what I’m getting at is the DH is all I’ve ever known when it comes to baseball.  Asking me to go back to having pitchers bat is something I’m not willing to do.  It may have “ruined the game” but I like the game how it is from my point of view.  And if that’s wrong than so be it.

If the DH is wrong…well, then I don’t want to be right.


One thought on “Is the DH Un-American?

  1. Interesting post. I think it’s best the way it is, with the AL having a DH, and the NL not having one. It doesn’t really give an advantage, as, when an AL and a NL team match up, the rule depends on what stadium they are playing in, like if they’re in a NL or AL stadium. I like the DH, but I also like watching pitchers hit, even if it usually looks bad.

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