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The lack of the DH in the NL imperiled Chien-Ming Wang’s marriage

Apr 24, 2012, 2:32 PM EDT

chien-ming wang getty Getty Images

I’m a longstanding opponent of the Designated Hitter. I think it’s evil and wrong and Godless and I shudder to think that my children may hear about it from a stranger before I get a chance to have “the talk” with them about it.*

But something has happened that has thrown all of that into question. It’s a moral issue, really. You see: the lack of a DH in the National League has led to betrayal and disgrace:

Chien-ming Wang, Taiwan’s favorite major league baseball pitcher, confessed in an April 24 press conference held in Florida Viela, his team’s spring training site, that he had had an extra-marital affair two years ago while in Florida … At the press conference given to Taiwanese media, Wang said he made a “big mistake” and would not seek to make any excuses. He added that he does not expect forgiveness from his family or fans, but expressed “innermost apology.” He cited growing pressure from pitching in the major league, especially after his surgery in 2009. “I was so depressed at the time. Besides the long road to rehabilitation, the only thing I could do is wait,” said Wang.

The case here is clear: If the DH were ubiquitous, Wang doesn’t bat in an interleague game. If he doesn’t bat, he doesn’t run the bases. If he doesn’t run the bases, he doesn’t injure himself. If he doesn’t injure himself he’s not on that depressing, lonely “long road to rehabilitation,” and if he’s not on that road he does not have that affair.

Let’s put the DH in he NL now, people.  Not because it’s good — it’s far from it — but because the lack of the DH destroys families.

*“Son, when a man loves a woman very much, it can be a beautiful thing. Now, think of the polar opposite of that kind of beauty. Of horrors and awfulness as powerful as the greatest love in the world is wonderful. That, my son, is the DH.”

(link Via SBNation)

  1. Baseball Beer Burritos In That Order - Apr 24, 2012 at 2:44 PM

    I agree. DH in the NL, tackling the first baseman is legal, mandatory beanball once an inning (DH gets two bases!) and outfielders have to juggle boxes of crackerjack in between at bats. Oh, and make Selig commissioner for life.

    • ajcardsfan - Apr 24, 2012 at 3:20 PM

      All players must chug a beer before being able to score, and to keep things fair, this will be required on homeruns as well. If chugging of the beer on a home run goes over a minute, the outfielders will be allowed to climb fences and attempt to put the HR back in play.

      • Baseball Beer Burritos In That Order - Apr 24, 2012 at 3:23 PM

        If chugging a beer in less than a minute became a requirement for MLB the Pirates would probably sign half of HBT’s comment section.

      • phukyouk - Apr 24, 2012 at 3:24 PM

        Sorry for the crappy quality

    • marshmallowsnake - Apr 24, 2012 at 5:08 PM

      Looks like Wang went soft…

      • Kevin S. - Apr 24, 2012 at 6:04 PM

        Sounds like he had the exact opposite issue.

  2. WhenMattStairsIsKing - Apr 24, 2012 at 2:44 PM

    Or you can value the love in your marriage and keep it in your pants.

    There’s no excuse for infidelity, unless you and your partner agree to an open marriage.

    If he was going through pain, he should have made sure his wife was there.

    • WhenMattStairsIsKing - Apr 24, 2012 at 3:04 PM

      Love the dislikes. Enjoy your relationships, fellas.

      • dangle13x - Apr 25, 2012 at 10:05 AM

        Thanks for the sappy nbcsports message board moment. I think you’re looking for e-harmony.

    • biasedhomer - Apr 24, 2012 at 3:25 PM

      You clearly have a broken sarcasm detector.

  3. dowhatifeellike - Apr 24, 2012 at 2:46 PM

    That’s what your hands are for.

    • phukyouk - Apr 24, 2012 at 2:49 PM

      He was not specific so he may have cheated on righty with lefty….

  4. randygnyc - Apr 24, 2012 at 2:47 PM

    Eh. The same can be said about this ill conceived article.

  5. amoses74 - Apr 24, 2012 at 2:49 PM

    Professional athlete cheats…WOW….. in other news : the sky is blue, clouds are white and grass is green.

    • phukyouk - Apr 24, 2012 at 2:50 PM

      only the finest grass is green

      • lardin - Apr 24, 2012 at 3:03 PM

        No, No, No. The finest grass is orange, yellow, red, and sometimes purple.

      • phukyouk - Apr 24, 2012 at 3:09 PM

        I’m pretty sure we are both right… I’ll let you know tomorrow for sure.

      • stlouis1baseball - Apr 24, 2012 at 3:47 PM

        I have to agree with Lardin. I will add the my favorite kind has the purple hue to it.

      • phukyouk - Apr 24, 2012 at 3:53 PM

        you know… in my defense i said the “only the finest grass is green” i did NOT say that “only the greenest grass is fine”… there is a pretty big difference.

  6. mj2sexay - Apr 24, 2012 at 2:59 PM

    The lack of DH in the NL sucks. I still don’t understand how people would rather (for sake of example) see Drew Pomeranz get up at bat then Jason Giambi. I get that there’s more strategy in the NL game in terms of pinch hitting and double switches, but to me that doesn’t mean there’s more entertainment value. I want to see hitters hit and pitchers pitch.

    • meteor32 - Apr 24, 2012 at 3:10 PM

      I don’t understand why people would have rather seen Hal Janvrin or Del Gainer bat instead of the pitcher Babe Ruth.

      • mj2sexay - Apr 24, 2012 at 3:50 PM

        ?

        The 1920’s called they want their comparison back. If pitchers could hit, this wouldn’t be an issue. Show me one starting pitcher that can hit every day at the Major League level. Yea it’s interesting sometimes to see a pitcher with some pop pinch hit like Cain or Zams, but that speaks just as much to the lack of depth on the benches of the Giants and Marlins as much as it does the hitting ability of said pitchers.

        I just find it wildly un-entertaining when a pitcher has for the most part, an automatic out in the 9 hole of every NL lineup. The only thing the lack of DH does in my opinion is allow pitchers to police themselves when it comes to throwing at people, and allow for more strategy to be injected into the game. But from purely an entertainment standpoint, I’d much rather see a career DH like Edgar Martinez get up and hack away then King Felix.

        Also, having the DH in the AL gives them a decided advantage when it comes to recruiting free agents. Prince got his contract partially because the Tigers know they have the luxury of moving him to DH full-time at some point. You can’t say the same for an NL team.

      • ezthinking - Apr 24, 2012 at 4:55 PM

        Pretty incredible this has to be said, but there was no DH when Ruth played.

      • meteor32 - Apr 24, 2012 at 5:33 PM

        @ezthinking
        That is my point. If the DH had been in place in 1914, Ruth probably wouldn’t have become the Sultan of Swat. He’d have been a very good left handed pitcher who didn’t bat.
        If he came up to the big leagues now, he would have never even had to bat in the minors since all American League affiliated teams use the DH. I think Babe Ruth was more to baseball than getting rid of all the bad at bats taken by pitchers.

      • meteor32 - Apr 24, 2012 at 5:21 PM

        If you are going to call me out the least you can do is spend 10 seconds to go to baseball reference and look up when the Bambino switched to being solely an everyday right fielder and who those players were. At least get in the right decade.

        As for a pitcher who could hit everyday at the big league level: Babe Ruth. I think Z could do it if he focused solely on that and had a good psychiatrist. While not a star, Rick Ankiel has proven that he can hit well enough to stay in the big leagues and be a starter as a defensive CF.

        Finally, Pomeranz only has 9 PA and 7 AB. I don’t care what you are arguing, don’t try and make a point based on 9 trips to the plate. It’s just lazy.

    • Baseball Beer Burritos In That Order - Apr 24, 2012 at 3:14 PM

      Yeah! And why aren’t there touchdowns? How cool would it be if you could score 7 points at once? TOTAL GAME CHANGER. And why do we still use wooden bats? Switch to aluminum and let’s see some workout warriors jacking balls out of the park all night long!

      /gets up to flip over REO Speedwagon tape
      //puts on Van Halen instead
      ///running with the devil

      • phukyouk - Apr 24, 2012 at 3:22 PM

        “How cool would it be if you could score 7 points at once? ”
        Didnt the yanks do this twice this weekend?

      • Baseball Beer Burritos In That Order - Apr 24, 2012 at 3:26 PM

        Well played, sir.

    • koufaxmitzvah - Apr 24, 2012 at 3:30 PM

      If you want to cherry pick, Clayton Kershaw outhit Andruw Jones last year.

      • ezthinking - Apr 24, 2012 at 5:03 PM

        With what statistic?
        Jones 13 HR 33 RBI .247/.356/.495 .851 OPS

        Kershaw 0 HR 4 RBI .225/.267/.225 .492 OPS

        Oh in opposite world he was a better hitter. I get it now.

      • koufaxmitzvah - Apr 24, 2012 at 5:16 PM

        You know what? You’re right.

        Go watch Andruw Jones, with his amazing hitting totals and no fielding prowess.

        I’ll go watch Clayton Kershaw playing every 5 days and his bunts and occasional basehits.

        I really would. All season long. For frigging ever.

        You know why? Because I like that kind of baseball.

        Now, you can whine and cry and have a tantrum about how terrible NL ball is. I have a solution for you: Stop watching NL ball. Just don’t do it. Wait until the All-Star game, and after that, wait until the World Series.

        That’s what I do with AL ball. You know why? Because AL ball is boring and shitty and is the only place where Andruw Jones will ever play another ballgame.

        While we’re at it, grab your stats and have a field day. I’ll turn on my TV and be pleasantly surprised by the players on the field playing.

        And you won’t be there. Because I won’t let you in my house. Because you’ll only bitch and complain about how boring it is to watch NL ball that nobody is forcing you to watch.

        “But… but… Interleague play is right around the corner, and I don’t want my pitcher getting hurt by playing real baseball.”

        The whine to the Marketer in chief. Tell him you don’t want your AL ball playing by NL rules.

        I won’t complain if you never see an NL ball game ever again.

      • koufaxmitzvah - Apr 24, 2012 at 5:18 PM

        BTW: Kershaw batting .225 is pretty sweet, and a shitton better (on my planet) then a washed up outfielder batting 8th in a $200 million lineup.

      • dangle13x - Apr 25, 2012 at 10:09 AM

        haha what a shocker. a jewwy loser with a loud, obnoxious opinion. Yea, you name 1 pitcher that hits at a decent clip. Good for you. I’m not going to renounce the DH, or Christ, sorry buddy. Enjoy watchin your pitchers bunt.

    • stlouis1baseball - Apr 24, 2012 at 3:52 PM

      If you lace em’ up…you take your cuts. Or…if you wear a uniform…you bat.
      Or…if you are a BASEBALL PLAYER…you ALSO hit.
      Most importantly however…
      “I get that there’s more strategy in the NL game in terms of pinch hitting and double switches, but to me that doesn’t mean there’s more entertainment value..”
      More Strategy = More Entertaiment.

      • stex52 - Apr 24, 2012 at 4:02 PM

        100% with you StL. Leave the platoon crap to the NFL.

        Unfortunately, the Astros will be abandoning the league of sanity next year for the DH.

        Sadly, I also think in the long run that the NL will give it up, too.

      • jwbiii - Apr 24, 2012 at 5:46 PM

        you ALSO hit.

        No, pitchers don’t hit. They stand in the batter’s box and “hit” 142/177/184.

      • mj2sexay - Apr 25, 2012 at 12:10 AM

        Disagree COMPLETELY. If more strategy equals more entertainment, why did the NHL do everything they could to get rid of the trap? There’s more strategy in hockey when you devise around ways to either implement or beat the trap. They got rid of it because it’s BORING. You know what else is boring/frustrating? Seeing an NL teams 7 and 8 hitters get on only to see them have to get bunt over, or have there momentum stymied because the pitcher is coming up. It’s crap.

        Thank you Kevin S for calling the other joker out on Pomeranz and Giambi…looks like I don’t have to try again.

        The fact is, and I know I’m going to elicit thumbs down from every NL fanboy, but I just find the A.L. game better when I know that every 9 hole hitter at least has a chance to get a hit at least 2 out of every 10 times.

      • dangle13x - Apr 25, 2012 at 10:15 AM

        more startegy = more entertainement? hahaha what STUPID comment. First of all, this is all heresay and a bunch of morons arguing opinions. To make a claim like that though puts you on the nbcsports short bus, which is actually pretty long with all you idiots.

      • dangle13x - Apr 25, 2012 at 10:15 AM

        more startegy = more entertainement? hahaha what a STUPID comment. First of all, this is all heresay and a bunch of morons arguing opinions. To make a claim like that though puts you on the nbcsports short bus, which is actually pretty long with all you idiots.

    • theptbnl - Apr 24, 2012 at 4:12 PM

      You know most catchers are slow. Watching them on the bases isn’t very entertaining. Why don’t we have a designated runner for the catchers.

      One of the beauties of baseball is that you have to play both ways. If you want the advantage of Jose Canseco in the lineup then you are going to have to accept a home run off his head once in a while. If you want Randy Johson to keep pitching in the eighth inning you are going to have to let him bat no matter how ugly it looks. This is the real strategy that gets lost when the DH is involved.

      • dangle13x - Apr 25, 2012 at 10:11 AM

        haha so asinine it hurts.

    • bbk1000 - Apr 24, 2012 at 4:29 PM

      “The lack of DH in the NL sucks. I still don’t understand how people would rather (for sake of example) see Drew Pomeranz get up at bat then Jason Giambi”

      This would imply these players were either on the same team or Pomeranz ended one half inning and Giambi batter first the next half inning….try again….

      • Kevin S. - Apr 24, 2012 at 5:25 PM

        Drew Pomeranz and Jason Giambi are both Colorado Rockies.

      • bbk1000 - Apr 25, 2012 at 5:32 AM

        I understand, it was a grammatical deal….

      • dangle13x - Apr 25, 2012 at 10:12 AM

        do you understand? because I’m pretty sure you don’t.

      • bbk1000 - Apr 26, 2012 at 6:49 AM

        The comment was based on the use of the word “then”, meaning Pomeranz would hit, followed by Giambi, not Giambi hitting instead of Pomeranz.

        You push the who understands what when clearly you are the one who doesn’t understand what was actually written…….

  7. randygnyc - Apr 24, 2012 at 3:00 PM

    Matt stairs- spot on. End of story.

  8. deathmonkey41 - Apr 24, 2012 at 3:22 PM

    I have to agree- my relationship almost ended because of the same thing. No, I didn’t cheat, my girlfriend just kept falling asleep watching some pitcher batting .067 at the plate. Chili Davis for President!

  9. hasbeen5 - Apr 24, 2012 at 3:29 PM

    But how many affairs has the DH spawned? If you can’t eat chicken and drink beer between at-bats what are you going to do?

  10. Jonny 5 - Apr 24, 2012 at 3:43 PM

    I disagree! If the EVIL DH were never invented then all players would still know how to bat and run the bases properly. The DH should be erased from the face of the earth. I only hope the damage it has created so far can be undone.

    • stex52 - Apr 24, 2012 at 4:05 PM

      Afraid the genie is out of that bottle. Pitchers don’t bat in college or the minors now. In the long run the NL (and baseball) loses.

    • dowhatifeellike - Apr 24, 2012 at 4:10 PM

      The DH has dripped all the way down to high school. I was a pretty good gap hitter and could fly around the bases, but I made my HS team as a pitcher and never hit again (except in simulated intrasquad games during Feb. training). Imagine being drafted by an NL team out of high school, having never faced high school pitching, and then being asked to hit off the best arms coming out of of high school and college. It must be maddening.

      I’m not against the DH rule, but at least give the kids a chance to show they can’t hit before you take it away from them.

      • dowhatifeellike - Apr 24, 2012 at 4:42 PM

        And let me also say that I never had the opportunity to swing at a good curveball. It was just presumed that I couldn’t hit one.

    • Kevin S. - Apr 24, 2012 at 4:27 PM

      You’re pretending that pitcher’s somehow knew how to hit before the DH came around. IIRC, pitchers as a whole haven’t had an OPS+ over 20 since WWII.

      • Jonny 5 - Apr 24, 2012 at 4:37 PM

        You’re pretending that I care about a pitchers OPS ;)
        (Ok, maybe just a little bit)
        I like the NL style where the Pitchers spot is like a wild card. Will they leave in the pitcher? Will he hit if he does stay in? Who will pinch hit for him if not? What’s his pitch count, is it high enough to pull him for a bench bat? and so on, and so forth. And it just seems like cheating to pull a guy from the game for a half an inning without pulling him for the rest of the game. It’s just a cheap way to get big lumberjacks to knock the ball out.

  11. daisycutter1 - Apr 24, 2012 at 4:43 PM

    Remember back to 2008…if the NL had a DH, Wang wouldn’t have blown out his foot running the bases in an interleague game at Houston. He was lights out for the Yankees in 2006 & 2007, and he was having a pretty good 2008 until that point.

    Get the DH already, NL…or at least use the DH in both AL and NL parks. If I wanted to see pitchers hit, I’d also want to see hitters pitch. And while sometimes the latter can be entertaining in like the 17th inning of a meaningless game, that’s certainly an exception.

    • ptfu - Apr 24, 2012 at 5:40 PM

      Okay, I’m remembering the game that Wang hurt himself on the bases. I seem to remember Roy Oswalt, the Astros’ starting pitcher, going 2 for 2 at the plate. And both hits were against Wang! The Astros only had 7 total hits that day, all singles, so it was hardly a Houston slugfest. Oswalt was pulled not because of his hitting, but because of his pitching.

      Look, some pitchers CAN hit a little. Why should they be penalized because Wang sucks at running? If he’s that inept or fragile then let him deal with it, or find a way not to get hurt. Or just accept that random freak things happen.

      Besides, inept pitchers coming to bat (especially with 2 outs) means more time for me to hit the ice-cream line or the bathroom before the next inning starts.

  12. ezthinking - Apr 24, 2012 at 5:12 PM

    There is less strategy in the NL because it is automatic to pinch hit after about the fifth inning and to walk the 8 hole anytime an out is needed to end an inning. Non-DH baseball is disgusting and should be outlawed as my dog could manage the game. How else do you explain Girardi being manager of the year in the NL and being chastised in the AL for following the same ‘book’ that got him the award?

    • theptbnl - Apr 24, 2012 at 5:51 PM

      You obviously never saw Bob Geren screw up a double switch twice in one game against the Giants last year at AT&T Park.

  13. sfm073 - Apr 24, 2012 at 5:21 PM

    Why do I read this garbage?

  14. bigxrob - Apr 24, 2012 at 5:49 PM

    Wang got hurt RUNNING, not hitting. Are pitchers so fragile they can’t be expected to run? Should we not allow them to cover first on a ball hit to the first baseman b/c they might get hurt running to the bag?
    Please, the DH is a gimmick.
    I saw something mentioned above about pitchers not hitting in the minors, they still do in the Eastern league and the international league when both parent clubs are NL teams.

  15. addictedzone - Apr 24, 2012 at 6:17 PM

    Exactly why pitchers prefer the National League…they get more action both on and off the field because chicks dig the long ball.

  16. greymares - Apr 24, 2012 at 6:35 PM

    the designated hitter is not baseball period.

  17. ezthinking - Apr 24, 2012 at 8:19 PM

    Oh, oh I have the answer! Since pitchers must hit, then hitters must pitch! A quality starter gets 70-90 AB’s a year so figuring we would have more pitchers, then each player must pitch about 15 innings.

    That way each player can earn the right to be on the field and not just field and hit. It’s only fair.

  18. leftywildcat - Apr 24, 2012 at 9:35 PM

    Ban the DH in both leagues through the 1st 9 innings, in order to keep the pinch-hitting and double-switch strategies in the game. Allow a DH as of the start of the 10th inning, in order to try to bring an extra-inning game to an end sooner, and to lessen the chances or running out of players if a game goes several more innings.

    And if a pitcher gets hit by a pitch, he gets two bases.

  19. bozosforall - Apr 25, 2012 at 12:24 AM

    Let’s also ban relief pitchers, since every other position player is usually expected to finish he game that he starts…and to ensure this, no substitutions period (unless there is a medically-verified injury to a player). That will show these modern-day wuss players.

  20. bozosforall - Apr 25, 2012 at 12:28 AM

    Also, no catching masks or gear. No batting helmets. No padding for the umps. No netting for the backstops. No sanitary conditions for the food vendors. No electronic scoreboards.

  21. kp33 - Apr 25, 2012 at 1:46 AM

    Marry me, Craig.

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