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The All-Star Game is now all-DH, all the time

Apr 28, 2010, 4:31 PM EST

2010 All-Star Game.JPGEver since Ron Blomberg and his ilk ruined our national pastime lo those 37 years ago, the rule has been that the designated hitter is to be used when an American League team hosts the All-Star Game, and that the pitchers will bat when in a Senior Circuit park.

That is no more, as baseball announced a few moments ago that, henceforth, the DH will be used in all All-Star games.  In the AL, the fans will choose the DH. The manager for the NL team will choose who will DH for him. And despite what you think I was going to say about it, I like this move.

The All-Star Game is not real baseball as we all know and love it. It’s an exhibition. Multiple substitutions are made and regular strategy is thrown out the window, so why not give the people what they want (and no matter what I say about the DH, I’ll freely admit that the masses want it). And to be honest, it may actually improve the All-Star Game. As of now, new pitchers are used almost every inning, so they’re always fresh and always firing it in there. In light of this fact, the teams could use all the extra offense they can muster.

Other changes:

  • Any pitcher selected to an All-Star Team who starts a regular season
    game on the Sunday immediately preceding the All-Star Game will not be
    eligible to pitch in the All-Star Game and will be replaced on the
    roster. Upshot: teams will make sure that their best pitchers all pitch on that Sunday, I presume.
  • Rosters will be expanded from 33 players to 34 players, with the additional player being a position player. Let’s call this the “Chris Sabo Rule,” shall we?
  • There already exists a rule that says a catcher who has already played in the game and left can come back in to the game if the last eligible catcher is injured.  That rule is being expanded to cover one additional non-catching position player.

The one rule change that we would all like to see — the elimination of the All-Star Game determining home field advantage in the World Series — did not occur. Given that was basically Bud Selig’s baby, I presume we won’t see that change until he has gone off to Commissioner of Baseball Valhalla.

  1. Ryan - Apr 29, 2010 at 10:55 AM

    Agreed.

  2. Old Gator - Apr 29, 2010 at 11:04 AM

    Bill James’ argument is an exercise in sophistry, “convincing” primarily to those home schooled in trailer parks. There’s no strategic choice that an NL manager doesn’t already have added by the DH – that’s utter horseshit – unless you consider how much easier it makes his life, and how much duller for the fans who actually enjoy being confronted with dilemmas, moments of drama and real choices, that he doesn’t have to make a decision about keeping his thus-far effective pitcher on the field when he’s got a run-scoring opportunity. This has nothing to do wit etticks, as the much-admired Johnny Caspar has noted. It has to do with making the game more interesting than a Neanderthal mammoth hunt with nothing going on but a lot of mindless clubbing away at everything. It has nothing to do with masturbation, either – unless you want to think of designatedhitterball as the equivalent of only knowing how to perform in the missionary position, nitwit on top.
    .
    Incidentally, for those of you prone to bellyaching that games take too long, the DH is a major instigator of that problem too. The bloated ERAs in the designatedhitterball league are prima facie evidence of how this brainless, featherbedding atrocity dilates game time.
    .
    Replying to comment from Roy Papas: so let me get this straight: the determination of who has earned home field advantage after busting their asses through seven grueling months, 162 grueling games, injuries, recoveries, playing in the rain and dodging thunderstorms, jet lag and beer farts in the locker rooms, ought to depend on the outcome of a single, largely ignored exhibition game with persistently low television and lower radio ratings, in which barely a few percent of all these ballplayers participate? In the immortal word of Bill Cosby, rrrr-ight. I think you must be Bud Selig in drag.
    .
    Replying to comment from (Not That) Tom: why you young whippersnapper, I’ll arm wrestle you any time. Winner buys himself a horsemeat and velveeta sandwich.

  3. Will - Apr 29, 2010 at 11:07 AM

    I want to see pitchers hit. I want to see players playing offense and defense. There is no rule that says pitchers have to be lousy hitters, see one George Herman Ruth as a prime example. As Craig pointed out yesterday, there are pitchers in the NL that are outhitting the vaunted AL’s designated hitters.
    This far, and no farther. If the DH comes to the NL, I’m out.

  4. Mike D. - May 9, 2010 at 10:14 PM

    Well said sir. Ban the DH league-wide! Save clubs some money, ergo save me money on ticket prices!

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