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Selig wants to use the DH in NL park, pitcher batting in AL parks in interleague

Jul 10, 2012, 1:02 PM EDT

Bud Selig Reuters

“Because I can, that’s why. I’m Bud Selig!”what I am imagining Selig saying in this picture every single time I use it.

Anyway: wanna know why I have whiplash right now? Because after listening to Bud Selig and Joe Torre talk about how one must not tinker with baseball tradition and how it’s all fine and no innovations are needed when it comes to replay, he whipped out an idea that seems like pure gimmickry for gimmickry’s sake: using the DH in NL parks and the pitcher hitting in AL parks during interleague games.

Selig says he “likes” this idea and that he’s going to discuss the matter with Joe Torre in the offseason.

This seems kinda nuts to me. Because if there is one thing NL and AL fans agree on, it’s that the other league’s system is awful.  Inflicting pitchers hitting on AL fans and the DH on NL fans is the baseball equivalent of making a kid take castor oil. Except it won’t serve even the thinnest medicinal uses in baseball’s case.

Earlier, Joe Torre’s reason for not wanting to tinker with replay is because there’s no need to constantly try to make things perfect. Given that he and his boss seem interested in screwing around like this for no good reason, at least he’s walking the walk in terms of not wanting to improve things.

  1. manifunk - Jul 10, 2012 at 1:07 PM

    It’s breathtaking how the most powerful man in the sport has the wrong opinion on literally every major issue plaguing it.

    • Ben - Jul 10, 2012 at 1:09 PM

      It’s breathtaking that the most powerful man in the sport has simply made up a major issue plaguing it, whole cloth.

    • kkolchak - Jul 10, 2012 at 1:11 PM

      No doubt. Because that’s just those of us fans who actually attend the games want to see–our team placed at a disadvantage in our own park. It’s almost like Selig is a Manchurian Candidate, installed to destroy baseball from within.

      • The Dangerous Mabry - Jul 10, 2012 at 1:26 PM

        I think this is a key point. Why in the world would you want to disadvantage the home team? I mean, if they don’t win, it’s a shame, right?

      • CJ - Jul 10, 2012 at 1:43 PM

        Mabry, next ASG Selig will change that too.

    • stex52 - Jul 10, 2012 at 1:28 PM

      We can document it now. The man has lost his mind.

  2. Jason @ IIATMS - Jul 10, 2012 at 1:07 PM

    Seriously, that’s about the dumberest thing I have ever heard contemplated with regards to interleague, DH/no-DH, etc.

    On Tuesdays, Everybody Bats Opposite Handed!
    On Fridays, DizzyBat to first base
    On Sundays, Only French Is Spoken

    • The Dangerous Mabry - Jul 10, 2012 at 1:18 PM

      Where do I sign up for the Fridays-only partial season ticket plan?

      • Ben - Jul 10, 2012 at 1:28 PM

        On French-only Sundays, they Nats wear throwback Expos uniforms to honor their Québécois heritage.

      • antlerclaws - Jul 10, 2012 at 1:46 PM

        In AL parks, we can play by BASEketball rules.
        In NL parks, underhand slow-pitch.

      • kopy - Jul 10, 2012 at 2:19 PM

        On Wednesdays, bases must be run clockwise. 3rd is 1st and 1st is 3rd!

    • WhenMattStairsIsKing - Jul 10, 2012 at 2:49 PM

      Fear not – rumor has it Bud will make up for his own idiocy by having “Pour Gasoline On Bad Umpires’ Crotches” Saturdays and “Ballplayers Get to Eat Wings On The Field” Wednesdays.

  3. number42is1 - Jul 10, 2012 at 1:11 PM

    wait… so instead of keeping inter-league as is he wants to Topsy/Turvy it cause its a full season of inter-league?

  4. canucklehead21 - Jul 10, 2012 at 1:12 PM

    Also lets add in the standard softball rules of

    You can’t leave first until you chug a beer.
    Any man scoring has to chug a beer.
    You have to chug a beer at the top of all odd-numbered innings.
    Oh, and the fourth inning is the beer inning.

    • shaggylocks - Jul 10, 2012 at 1:16 PM

      On a related note, I’ve decided to join your softball league.

    • number42is1 - Jul 10, 2012 at 1:23 PM

      hey! we know how to play softball…

    • thetruth1313 - Jul 10, 2012 at 1:40 PM

      That would be unfair, my beloved Red Sox would go undefeated and win the Championship year after year.

      • Jeremy T - Jul 10, 2012 at 3:26 PM

        The first not-tired Red Sox beer joke in months!

    • ajcardsfan - Jul 10, 2012 at 2:37 PM

      I’ve played in a tournament with similar rules except it was all fielders had to finish a beer before the inning was over, otherwise the other team could keep going until an out was made after everybody in the field had finished. You also can’t set the cup down, you have to hold it in some form or fashion. [The trick was to slam it and hold the cup with your mouth]

  5. southpaw2k - Jul 10, 2012 at 1:14 PM

    I’m sure that if anyone dared to inform Selig of how insipidly stupid this idea is, he’d say, “Well hey, attendance is up!”

  6. chew1985 - Jul 10, 2012 at 1:14 PM

    This is what you get when a certifiable doofus is the Commissioner of Baseball. Now he’s chanelling Sarah Palin.

  7. Joe Hansen - Jul 10, 2012 at 1:16 PM

    Also, home teams will now bat first in all even-numbered innings.

  8. sabatimus - Jul 10, 2012 at 1:17 PM

    And I thought the change to the All Star game was a sad gimmick…

  9. shaggylocks - Jul 10, 2012 at 1:22 PM

    I know I’m solidly in the minority on this, but as far as gimmicks go I think this would be a pretty cool gimmick. I’m completely opposed to Interleague play and I’m disappointed that the Astros’s league switch is going to force it on us for good next year, but I know I’d probably be more likely to go see the games in person if this was the rule. I’d be fun for a year or two, at the very least.

    • CJ - Jul 10, 2012 at 1:46 PM

      fair point, astros fans would be about the only people to benefit from this. Both of you 😉

  10. vallewho - Jul 10, 2012 at 1:22 PM

    More verbal and mental diarrhea from 245 Park Ave

  11. amhendrick - Jul 10, 2012 at 1:23 PM

    I’m surprised at the hostility to this idea. I’ve seen it suggested frequently on baseball primer and other sites. I don’t like it though because I think both leagues should have the same rule. I don’t care which.

    • paint771 - Jul 10, 2012 at 1:42 PM

      I am too – when “ways to improve inter league play” get bandied about every season, this suggestion typically comes out on top (ESPN did a feature a year or two ago, can’t find it now, that had fan suggestions and then owners, managers, writers, and players commenting on them, and this was the one that was unanimously most liked).

      The argument is, if you’re in Pittsburgh and the Red Sox come to town, shouldn’t you be able to see David Ortiz hit? Or if you’re in New York and the Pirates come to town, wouldn’t you want to see C.C. Sabathia swing a few times? I realize there’s a novelty factor here, but hell, that’s what interleague play is all about (and, as an AL team fan in an NL town, it’s the only chance I get to see my team live unless I take a significant trip (which I also do now and then)).

      I kind of agree with Selig – this will drive certain baseball people nuts (mostly the same ones that just hate all interleague play, the All Star game counting, pitchers winning MVPs (or not winning MVPs), or the Designated Hitter rule), but for the casual fan, I think most people would get a kick out of it. Both for people who aren’t in the hometown of their, or for hometown fans who can see the same rules baseball in every other home game.

      • IdahoMariner - Jul 10, 2012 at 2:38 PM

        I, for one,, would actually love to see Felix hit. And it would give you a taste of how the other league operates, without having to endure it the whole year. It’s just a few games. I think it’d be kinda cool.

        But we need instant replay, now. I am having trouble explaining to my 5 year old why players are out at first when even she cold see they were safe, etc. “but he got there before the ball! Why is he out?!” um, life is random and unfair sweetheart. I was trying to save that lesson for when you were older….

      • chitownmatt - Jul 10, 2012 at 2:41 PM

        I am all for it.

        Most people who actually go to games regularly only go to one ballpark and never really get to experience the other style of play.

        Most people posting here are couch-fans that go to a game or two a year…

        I go to two or three a week.

      • daisycutter1 - Jul 10, 2012 at 7:45 PM

        We’re already seeing Ortiz and other top DHs in NL parks, because they’ll play a position in order to stay in the lineup.

        As for CC, I can watch him take his ABs on TV.

  12. jrbdmb - Jul 10, 2012 at 1:23 PM

    At least “the appetite by Selig for instant replay is very low.” But his appetite for stupid gimmicks is increasing by the week.

  13. JB (the original) - Jul 10, 2012 at 1:24 PM

    Since we’re talking Selig and replay, I’ll just ‘replay’ my comment from the previous Selig piece:

    “My appetite for more Bud Selig is very low, so low that I think one more bite will cause my guts to spasm and deliver the entirety of him in quite rapid manner to the bottom of the porcelain bowl where he belongs.”

  14. flavas - Jul 10, 2012 at 1:25 PM

    “he whipped out an idea that seems like pure gimmickry for gimmickry’s sake…”

    you must be talking about the DH–pure gimmick…

  15. Stiller43 - Jul 10, 2012 at 1:25 PM

    This guy seems so far out of touch with not only what everyday baseball people and fans want, but also with common sense.

    Does he have ANYBODY advising him on anything, or just brown nosing yes men lauding his every idiotic move?

  16. umrguy42 - Jul 10, 2012 at 1:26 PM

    I forget – in baseball, do the owners have to vote on rule changes like they do for Football?

    • - Jul 10, 2012 at 1:28 PM

      They’re SUPPOSED to be a part of the checks and balances system, but they all lick the ground Selig walks on anyway

  17. - Jul 10, 2012 at 1:27 PM

    This madness has to stop.

  18. crali - Jul 10, 2012 at 1:37 PM

    What? I can see (since there will unfortunately be inter-league all season) using a DH for those games in both parks but — he’s joking, he has to be…or maybe he – no, can’t say it.

  19. ashoreinhawaii - Jul 10, 2012 at 1:59 PM

    Gimmicks trump tradition with this clown – and it’s all about money.
    The All-Star game is his crowning achievement – an embarrassment of gimmicks.

    • Jason @ IIATMS - Jul 10, 2012 at 4:17 PM

      I approve that message.

  20. Jason @ IIATMS - Jul 10, 2012 at 2:01 PM

    Is it too far fetched to imagine Selig wearing a monocle by the end of the season, along with a rare carved narwhal tusk-topped walking stick?

  21. jdny - Jul 10, 2012 at 2:06 PM

    Make the DH optional for both leagues. Both teams don’t even need to use it in the same game. Let the manager decide if he wants an extra hitter or his pitcher standing at the plate, subject to beanings and pulling a muscle running out to first. You could have a game where one team uses the DH and the other doesn’t. Let the strategists figure it out when lineup cards are submitted.

  22. thefalcon123 - Jul 10, 2012 at 2:09 PM

    Just….why!?!? Stop. With. The. Stupid. Fucking. Tinkering!

    Or, if you are, go all out.

    1. Pitcher gets to throw two surprise baseballs per game without the batters prior knowledge. Also, one hollowed out ball that contains hornets.

    2. In a joint promotion with the NFL, on Sundays in September, a football is instead of the baseball. The NFL will use a home plate as a football.

    3. Steroids are allowed. But for every player that uses steroids, one player has to drop acid right before the game.

    4. To bring back real competition to the All-Star game, every member of the losing team gets an arm amputated and have to Pete Gray it through the rest of the season. The losing team’s manager’s family will be killed.

    5. Increase the sports worldwide appeal by making it soccer.

    • thefalcon123 - Jul 10, 2012 at 2:12 PM

      “1. Pitcher gets to throw two surprise baseballs per game without the batters prior knowledge. Also, one hollowed out ball that contains hornets.”

      That should ready “two surprise ceramic baseballs per game”.

      Jokes tend to work better when they don’t omit entire words.

      • kopy - Jul 10, 2012 at 2:24 PM

        I kind of liked being able to daydream about what a “surprise baseball” would be.

    • stlouis1baseball - Jul 10, 2012 at 2:23 PM

      5. Increase the sports worldwide appeal by making it soccer.
      Hahahahahahaha! Well played.

  23. bigleagues - Jul 10, 2012 at 2:13 PM

    This pretty much settles it . . . I’m pretty sure CEO Selig wouldn’t be deemed as mentally fit to run for President.

    So why is he allowed to continue in a job that actually matters and affects peoples lives?!

    • stlouis1baseball - Jul 10, 2012 at 2:30 PM

      I would have voted for him as President the last election.
      Furthermore, if he were the only person running against Barry this election I would be in the unfortunate position of having to vote for his ass now. Fortunately, I don’t have to make that decision. Bud Selig for President? Wow.

  24. ck101 - Jul 10, 2012 at 2:20 PM

    Craig, don’t you think there is a very interesting long-form article – I’m thinking someone like SI’s Gary Smith – or even book waiting to be written about the life and times of Bud Selig? By any objective measure he’s had a fantastically successful life – he works his way up from used-car salesman to owner of major league team, and then commissioner, amasses a huge personal fortune, and is the man in charge as baseball (a) enjoys a lengthy period of labor peace after 30 years of near-constant labor difficulties, and (b) makes money in amounts not previously thought possible. And yet he is widely perceived – in some ways unfairly, but also in large part quite fairly, due to the profoundly ridiculous things he says – to be so stupid that you are shocked he can tie his own shoes in the morning. Are appearances that misleading? Is he a Chauncey Gardiner-type character? Does his success show the greatness or abject failure of America as a society? I’m sure there are pieces like this out there, but I’ve never seen a really good one.

  25. dannythebisforbeast - Jul 10, 2012 at 2:26 PM

    Selig is Einhorn. Einhorn is Selig

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