The Instigator
Con (against)
4 Points
The Contender
Pro (for)
0 Points

The DH rule for Major League Baseball is a good rule

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 8/12/2013 Category: Sports
Updated: 4 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,583 times Debate No: 36621
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (0)
Votes (1)




Hey all. This is my first challenge for a debate. I want to debate the designated hitter rule for major league baseball. It has been around about 40 years now, and it does not seem as though it will change. I am not going to argue about whether or not we should change the rule, but whether or not it enhances the game of baseball overall.

It is my contention that the rule does not make baseball a better game. Baseball is still a great game, and the MLB is still great. But the DH rule is not one of the best elements of the game.

I will argue this for three main reasons:

1st: All players who play the field are equally players on the team. None of them should be exempt from hitting. Similarly, all batters should have to play the field. they too are fully players on the team.

2nd: It hurts strategy because w/o the DH there is much more to the game. For instance, the balance of a player's fielding and hitting ability comes into play a lot more than it does with the DH rule. For example, David Ortiz. He is a prominent DH but is known for his poor fielding. If there was no DH rule would his hitting outweigh his poor fielding? (He doesn't only hit the ball well but also the phone in the dugout btw)
Similarly, if the pitcher is pithing a shutout in the 7th and comes up to bat with a guy in scoring position and one out, should he hit or should the team PH for him? These kind of strategy questions are minimized with the DH rule.

3rd: It encourages hitting too much. Baseball involves hitting and pitching but ever since the steroid era hitting has become too strong. There should be a balance of good hitting and pitching. The one batter does not make much of a difference in terms of actual running stats. However, it does take the focus off of the defense and make it much more about offense.

I will qualify these statements a lot more in round 2. I look forward to any participants!


I disagree with the opponents argument that the DH in baseball is a bad rule.

First fact: DH's hit better than pitchers, as that is the player that is replaced in the batting order.

My 1st contention based on fact: Baseball is a game and is a business. The goal of every business is to maximize profits for itself. Anecdotally, increased hitting leads to more people watching the game.

Disagreement involving opponents contentions.

1st. All players on the field are not equally on the team. Each player has a position which requires different skill sets. In both the National and American leagues, you have different members on the pitching staff that play in different situations. These specialty players are hired for the specific tasks that they perform. Taking this argument further, should kickers and punters in the NFL be required to play offense and defense. They are all equally members of the team, of course not.

2nd: According to advanced baseball statistics, a player's defensive fielding ability is not as important as a players hitting ability. So unless you had a player who could not catch a single ball, there hitting ability would trump there negative fielding shortcomings. (Will provide cite, cannot find at moment.) Also, having a dh still requires just as much strategy, replace any weak hitter with the pitcher in the opponents hypothetical and this issue still arises.

3rd. A team that never scored a run and also never gave up a run, would not win a single game in baseball. Therefore, hitting is more important than fielding, no points are given for defense. Therefore, hitting is rightfully more important than defense.
It is incorrect hitting in baseball is currently too strong.In 2000 not single team had an ERA below 4.0 ( Since then the numbers have risen drastically.
In 2001 5 teams did; In 2002 11 teams did; In 2003 7 teams did; In 2004 3 teams did ;In 2005 11 teams; In 2006 3 teams In 2007 2 teams did; In 2008 8 teams did, in 2009 6 teams did; in 2010 11 teams did; in 2011 16 teams did; in 2012 16 teams did and finally currently 18 teams have below a 4.0 era
Based upon these numbers, pitching has gotten statistically much better. In the past 3 years 50 teams have had an era below 4.0. a number equal to 2000 to 2008.
Pitchers don't need help, they are better now than they have been in the past 10 years, removing the dh is unnecessary.
Debate Round No. 1


I agree with the first two sentences of your contention. I am not sure about whether or not the DH increases the number of fans, we'd have to look at NL vs AL attendance. But that is really not my point. I am not arguing over the empirical question of whether or not the DH rule helps earn money for teams. I am asking the question that isn't empirical over whether or not the DH makes the quality of baseball better.

I'll now respond to your disagreements and clarify my contentions.
1st. All players are different but they are equally fielders. The DH may be used for any fielder and it is completely arbitrary that one fielder gets to not bat. True specific players have specific roles, however, this does not mean they do not have both an offensive and defensive role. This is what it means to play baseball, that is, to play offense and defense. The specific roles on offense and defense is secondary and not essential, The football analogy does not work. The reason is that football substitutions are very different. Really any player in football can play anywhere at any time in the game. This is why players come in and out all the time, switch positions, play special teams, and even sometimes in non-professional levels play both offense and defense. Baseball on the other hand is not a game like that, the players who are in the game are simply in the game. The general rule is to play offense and defense, the exception is the DH. This is very different from football so the analogy fails. Even if it succeeded, football is a different sport with a different set of questions and therefore does not change whether or not the DH is actually good for baseball.

2nd. I somewhat agree, somewhat disagree. First off, defense correlates slightly better with winning than does offense. Still, this is overall defense and overall offense not individual players. Remember though, fielding percentage is not the only consideration when it comes to fielding. Often times we do not even notice the fielder's contributions. When a right fielder gets the ball after a single, he may hold the runner on first or hold a runner who was on first to second simply by the fact that he is known to have a good arm. Second, range matters as well in terms of preventing hits, limiting EBH, turning double plays, etc. There is more to the story however. My point is about strategy. It is not so black and white. If two players are very similar in terms of batting does fielding play any role? Is the Gold Glove meaningless? Also, there are other factors besides hitting that are important offensively. If we open up more slots for hitters, these become less important. In other words, there may not be a need to choose between a .300 hitter with 20 stolen bases and a .280 hitter with 20 homeruns because both can play. Finally my point about pinch hitting for the pitcher remains.

3rd. Defense and offense are both important. Baseball is about scoring more than you let up. Also, I am not saying that hitting is too strong in the sense that too many runs are scored. I am saying that there is too much emphasis on the offense in baseball. There should be equal emphasis for the sake of the game. A DH balances the emphasis to the offensive side because it includes an extra hitter simply for the sake of his hitting ability.


Kc716 forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 2


Since pro has forfeited the round, I have nothing more to say. I will let my previous argument stand.


Kc716 forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3
No comments have been posted on this debate.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by Ragnar 4 years ago
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Total points awarded:40 
Reasons for voting decision: FF.