The National League Should Adopt the DH rule
Debate Rounds (3)
Pitching is a very specialized thing. Pitchers really don't have time to work on batting, they need to spend all their time working on what they do best - pitching. As a result, when a pitchers is forced to bat, the outcome (86.2% of the time in 2014) is usually a foregone conclusion - it's an out.
The American League adopted the DH rule back in 1973. While traditionalist may want to cling on to this outdated charade the National League endures once every 9 batters, there can be no doubt that AL brand of baseball puts more balls into play, creating a more exciting and watchable product, something the Major Leagues need in order to market themselves to an increasingly uninterested younger demographic. The time has come - the NL needs to adopt the DH.
First, the NL requires far more strategy that is not even considered in the AL. Some of those strategic maneuvers include, but are not limited to: Double Switches, when to take a pitcher out, which pitcher comes in from the bullpen, where is the pitcher's spot in the batting order is coming up, which pinch hitter to use
Next, the actual amount of runs scored per game is a negligible difference at best for the AL. For 2015, the difference was just 4.11 runs scored per NL team per game to 4.38 runs scored per AL team per game.
Third, the presence of a DH promotes more specialization, which makes baseball predictable and boring. In the NL, a 6th inning rally in a close game might mean sacrificing your best starter for the betterment of your offense.
Finally, the DH allows inferior athletes to remain competitive longer than they should be. Forgive me for not being wow"d by a 38 year old with bad knees taking 10 seconds to run out a grounder.
It's simply more fun to watch players play, than watching managers manage.
That 38 year old with the bad knees? Dude may not be breaking a speed record but he can still mash like nobody's business. Remember, chicks dig the long ball.
It's time the 2 leagues unite and both have the DH rule
One of the few amusing intricacies of the sport is watching the teams in interleague play, the All Star game, and the World Series adjust to the home team's DH rule. Does David Ortiz and all his deficient defensive prowess man 1st base in an NL park? Which plucky utility infielder will get the defensive start for the NL team while the manager gets a regular a "rest day" at DH?
Also, let's not forget that some pitchers can actually swing the wood. Adding the DH in both leagues erases any potential for the embarrassment of allowing a pitcher a base hit, or worse, a home run.
Why mask that with uniformity?
The NL is certainly not struggling for offense, and retains their own unique identity by having all defensive players pick up the bat.
Baseball is an all encompassing sport, stop trying to demean the value of all contributors in favor of a dumbed down Home Run Derby.
You sir, are wrong. So very wrong.
So you don't think it's necessary for the leagues to have a unification of the basic rules?
So I guess in the NFL if the NFC played with 11 on each side, but the AFC played with 12, you would be okay with that? What if in the NBA the Eastern Conference didn't have a 3-point line but the Western Conference did - that would be alright by you?
It's a basic rule. And the better of the two options (either a DH or having a pitcher bat) is the DH rule.
Some pitchers can swing the wood? Zach Grienke is considered one of the best. HIS CAREER BATTING AVERAGE IS .217!
Make the rules uniform. In a few years people will even forget that once upon a time we were forced to watch the charade of someone who is paid to pitch, very badly trying to hit.
Baseball needs to do something to shake things up and get younger fans interested in baseball. For sure watching pitchers strikeout is definitely a part of the game we can live without.
Frankly, I could argue that the NL formula is superior (as 4 of the last 6 WS champs are NL teams), and the AL should drop the DH. It's all a matter of preference.
However, consider the ramifications of both leagues utilizing the DH.
HS, College, and minor league teams would obviously follow suit and not require players to play both defensively and offensively. This would drastically lower the quality of fundamentals across the board and pigeonhole athletes into hyper-specific roles, limiting their growth.
Bottomline is, AL fanbases cannot fathom why the puny little men pick up the bat, and NL fanbases don't want to see their brand of baseball dumbed down. To which I say, fine, let both leagues keep their identity. As the old saying goes, "if it isn't broke, don't fix it." And MLB baseball is definitely not broke after registering north of $9.5 billion in revenue for the 2015 season.
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