Baseball commissioner Rob Manfred quashed the hopes of those hoping the National League would adopt the designated hitter rule in the near future.
“I think the vast majority of clubs in the National League want to stay where they are,” Manfred told ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick.
St. Louis Cardinals general manager John Mozeliak got us talking about the DH issue with a comment a fan event earlier this month that the idea of the National League adopting the rule was “gaining momentum.”
What that probably means is that more National League team owners are willing to consider the idea, but there’s quite a ways to go between considering and making a change.
And that’s really too bad. Despite the comedy value of Bartolo Colon‘s at-bats and the baseball value of Madison Bumgarner‘s home runs, most National League pitchers are awful hitters. When you realize that most don’t pick up a bat between the time the turn pro and the time they reach Triple-A, that’s rather understandable.
But it does not make the game better to force fans to watch eight professional hitters and one guy who’s just trying to get back to the dugout without getting hurt.
If National League teams want to keep baseball’s traditional rules, they need to stop using the DH in the minor leagues and make sure their pitchers know how to hit.
I think it’s probably better for the game to finish unifying the American and National Leagues by having both play under the same set of rules, if that spares us automatic outs and cuts down on sacrifice bunts.
Here’s hoping that it happens in my lifetime.
4 thoughts on “The DH isn't coming to the National League anytime soon…”
I would like for the DH to be eliminated in minors and kept in the NL, but I’m resigned to the fact that universal adoption of the DH is just a matter of time.
The subject has been argued for 40+ years, but just to take a slightly different angle on this, I think it’s unfair to those pitchers who enjoy hitting and can actually handle a bat.
I totally see your point, and I was on board with it for a long time. But I converted to the pro-DH side a couple of years ago when the Mets’ staff didn’t get their first hit until around Memorial Day.
Question is, how many pitchers can actually handle a bat? Players like Madison Bumgarner or Yovani Gallardo are the exception, not the rule.
If the DH were to be implemented, it wouldn’t be the worst thing to allow NL pitchers who could hit up until that point (based on some arbitrary system that fans will no doubt complain about) to be grandfathered from the DH-rule while everybody else adjusts to it.
For the longest time I liked the leagues being different, but I’m ready for rules to be uniform. The AL has dominated interleague play for a reason. The NL teams just can’t roster the traditional slugging DH. Instead of David Ortiz teams like the PIrates are stuck with Pedro Florimon because he is a good defensive replacement.
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