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Bud's Committee is not going to ban the DH

Dec 16, 2009, 8:00 AM EDT

I went on yesterday about how Commissioner Selig’s little committee was probably set up for cynical purposes. Today the Chicago Tribune’s Phil Rogers goes in a different direction, hatching the conspiracy theory that the committee was set up to ban the Designated Hitter:

To
be fair, it’s premature to ask such a potentially provocative question.
But thanks to Commissioner Bud Selig’s decision to turn recommendations
for on-field matters over to a newly created version of the NFL’s Competition Committee, the DH rule could face its first real threat since the American League accepted it permanently for the 1976 season . . . The commissioner did not mention the DH rule, but Cardinals manager
Tony La Russa and longtime Braves executive John Schuerholz, who joined
Selig on a conference call, both listed it as the one thing they
potentially would change if they could.

I’m no fan of the DH, so if there was even a shred of a scintilla of a hope that La Russa and the gang were going to recommend its abolition, I’d be playing it up like crazy. But there’s nothing here to suggest that the committee is even going to look at the DH rule, let alone opine on it.

La Russa doesn’t like it. Great. But that “if they could” in the last sentence of the blockquote is pretty important. Messing with rules is one thing. Abolishing the DH, however, messes with rosters. As in, the position on the AL roster that has historically had the highest average salary in baseball and is home to a lot of players who would otherwise be out of the league due to their inability to play defense. The Player’s Union would no sooner agree to getting rid of the DH than the Teamster’s Union would agree to give up seniority pay.

The DH made its debut three months before I was born. I’ve resigned myself to the DH. I’ve even prepared myself for the expansion of the DH to the NL one day, because I think that has pretty even odds of happening in my lifetime. Getting rid of it? No way. No how. The world simply isn’t that just.

  1. John_Michael - Dec 16, 2009 at 11:08 AM

    let’s put some excitement into baseball!
    Some of us like more than what is shown on Sports Center.

  2. jonny5 - Dec 16, 2009 at 11:12 AM

    BK, that’s a dumb thing to say actually. If you count WS wins since 1963 it’s 21 – 25 AL on top. Since you probably can’t count that’s a difference of 4 since then. Yake out the huge spending Yankees and it’s even. Seroiusly you’re just being a douche about it now.
    “I get the feeling most of the replies here are coming from NL fans. There’s a reason why position players don’t pitch, and there’s a reason why pitchers don’t hit. The MLB batting average for pitchers is about .135. Maybe it wasn’t always that way, but by now the gimmick isn’t the DH, it’s having the pitcher bat.”
    Baseball fundamentals out the window, that’s ok for AL fans I guess…… Maybe this new committe will vote in the use of softballs now to make the game more exciting yet??? Yoo hoo!!!!

  3. John - Dec 16, 2009 at 11:28 AM

    Thanks for help making our point in support of the DH! “If you can play baseball, then play baseball…” Pitcher can only pitch…they are absolutely incapable of hitting. Let the pitchers pitch and let the hitters hit. Again, you’re not only wasting the number 9 hitter, you’re wasting number 8 as well.

  4. YANKEES1996 - Dec 16, 2009 at 11:34 AM

    I cannot stand the DH rule, I would love to see pitchers up there laying down a bunt, sacrificing and hitting. The DH role is becoming even more specialized, now there are teams that are going out a signing guys to do nothing but DH and that is sad. But that being said you will most likely see the DH added to the National League before it is gotten rid of in the American League.

  5. HammerPhils - Dec 16, 2009 at 11:49 AM

    I think the next step after the DH, is to expand the roster and have an offensive team, and a defensive team. That way we wouldn’t have to see any bad batters or poor fielders. Everyone would be happy, well except baseball purists.

  6. Neon Noodle - Dec 16, 2009 at 12:06 PM

    Ok anti-DHers, here is your test. Say, they implemenet the DH into the NL this off season. You are a Phillies fan. In the second inning, with 2 outs, Raul Ibanez is on third, and Jayson Werth is on second. Carlos Ruiz is coming to the plate in the number 9 spot. Would any of you be thinking “Man, this DH thing sucks, I wish Roy Halladay were batting right now.”

  7. dave - Dec 16, 2009 at 12:09 PM

    The DH sucks. Get rid of the excuse to keep tired old nen on the team. If you do not want to do away with the DH then put the 6″ back on the mound and lets see how they do then.
    The DH is like a side show at the circus

  8. Doug - Dec 16, 2009 at 12:45 PM

    I’m a huge DH fan. I’ve watched Pirates and Orioles games and
    now A’s and Giants games each season, and I’d rather see an AL
    game anytime. The #8 batter walks twice a game to get to the pitcher
    in NL games — great strategy there. Pitchers only start 30 games a year now and can’t hit, bat .130. It is a big DIS-advantage to the AL in the series to have to have pitchers try to hit or even bunt when they haven’t done it all year- – and they still dominate inter-league play and the World Series. Pitchers don’t get paid one cent more to hit, they don’t care about it, and they can’t do it. The DH was one of the best changes to baseball ! The NL fans just use it as an excuse. Would you rather watch Matsui bat 4 times a game or Pettite – - easy choice.

  9. jonny5 - Dec 16, 2009 at 12:54 PM

    That isn’t the point noodle head. Baseball should be played properly. Pitchers are players too, and they should bat like the rest of the team. If they don’t bat they don’t come back next inning. I say it’s equal to pulling them from the game, but they’re special so they can come back into the game?????? DH is bull.

  10. Neon Noodle - Dec 16, 2009 at 1:24 PM

    Baseball should be played properly? There is a rule (6.10) that says using the DH is playing the game properly.
    Pitchers are so special only they get to pitch. Let’s take it a step further. Would you say anyone who hits should have to take a turn at pitching as well? Sure, it’s ludicrous, but face it, baseball is a game of specialization no matter how you look at it.
    And you really hurt my feelings by calling me “noodle head”, I hope you’re satisfied.

  11. Tony A - Dec 16, 2009 at 1:43 PM

    Since this is turning into a referendum on the DH, might as well get my 2 cents in: I vote for the same rule in both leagues, I would prefer DH in both, but would gladly settle for DH in neither.
    Just so long as it’s the same in both leagues!

  12. John - Dec 16, 2009 at 2:02 PM

    You’re right Jonny, baseball should be played properly. That’s the point. Pitchers CANNOT play the game properly. They CANNOT hit! It’s embarrassing to watch, screws the number 8 hitter, and the “strategy” employed argument that “purists” pontificate is a joke. Every game, NL pitchers get three – four automatic outs. Additionally, they can completely avoid the number 8 hitter. That’s 6-8 batters per game that they do not have to address. AL pitchers face a true major league hitter every single at bat in the game.

  13. Jonny5 - Dec 16, 2009 at 8:44 PM

    “AL pitchers face a true major league hitter every single at bat in the game.”
    Baseball is a team sport and it wasn’t created with the DH. It’s been used by one league. One league that decided pitchers should be treated with kid gloves. It’s lame, most true Baseball fans would agree. It will be a sad day if it ever hits the NL.
    “Pitchers are so special only they get to pitch. Let’s take it a step further. Would you say anyone who hits should have to take a turn at pitching as well?”
    No, i’d say if you are on the field with a glove, you must come up to bat. If you come up to bat, you must get on the field with a glove. Kinda makes sense. It was a punk of a rule when it was implemented, and it’s a punk rule today. End of story. It was created because Chicks dig the long ball. :>)~ I’m sure you catch my drift……

  14. Loren - Dec 17, 2009 at 12:52 AM

    Conspiracy theory:
    The committee will decide that the DH is not in the best interests of the game. The owners will try to abolish it, the players union will fight it since DHs make good money, and then the owners will offer to keep the DH in exchange for hard slotting in the draft!

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