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Lance Berkman: “the AL is Mickey Mouse”

Oct 23, 2012, 8:23 AM EDT

berkman getty Getty Images

A day after saying that the Cardinals lineup was more dangerous than the Giants, Lance Berkman wades back into analysis.

His initial take: that the Tigers should be favored because their rotation is set up while Cain and Vogelsong won’t get to pitch until the series goes back to Detroit and they have to face a DH. He doesn’t mention that the DH is probably Delmon Young, but that’s a minor detail.

About DHs in general, though:

Berkman has spent all but three months of his career in the NL. He played three months for the Yankees in 2010.

“It only cemented my opinion that the AL is Mickey Mouse and the National League is real baseball,” he said. “I hate the DH, even though it might prolong my career.”

I like to note these things because (a) while I wouldn’t go as far as Berkman does here I do prefer NL baseball; and (b) I also realize that, within the next 15-20 years or so, MLB is probably going to put the DH in the NL too, and I’d like to save this sort of stuff for posterity.

130 Comments (Feed for Comments)
  1. proudlycanadian - Oct 23, 2012 at 8:41 AM

    You should never say anything negative about Mickey Mouse, Mr. Bergman. I do recommend that you go to You Tube and listen to Julie London sing her version of the Mickey Mouse Club March. That ought to cure you of making any negative aspersions about Mickey.

    • proudlycanadian - Oct 23, 2012 at 8:42 AM

      Edit Function: Berkman, but you knew that anyways.

    • Old Gator - Oct 23, 2012 at 8:51 AM

      Ackcherley, Mickey’s daddy – Walt – had a drinking problem. Or, perhaps we should call it, a dunking problem.His regular breakfas was a donut dunked in a glass of scotch. Really. Is it plausible that Mickey grew up watching daddy marinating himself every morning, Twin Peaks with a chaser style, and didn’t pick up any of daddy’s bad habits?

      • indaburg - Oct 23, 2012 at 9:13 AM

        You say a breakfast of donuts dunked in scotch like it’s a bad thing, OG.

      • Brian Donohue - Oct 23, 2012 at 10:55 AM

        Mickey didn’t have a drinking problem, but Dumbo did. I remember watching that film with my kid and encountering that scene where Dumbo and the mouse get drunk after visiting Dumbo’s Mom in prison, then there’s the famous and surreal hallucinatory “pink elephants” musical segment leading to the meeting with the crows. “My god,” I said aloud, “Kubrick couldn’t have dreamt this up…”

      • Old Gator - Oct 23, 2012 at 1:19 PM

        Great call on Dumbo. Disney doesn’t get enough credit for the truly whacked-out imagery in many of his animated films (though Krazy Kat ran him a good close second for weirdness, and sometimes exceeded him).

        What is not well known, along with his morning dunks and imbibitions, is that he also collaborated with Salvador Dali on a nine minute long animated vignette called “Destino,” which he originally thought might fit into a revised Fantasia – but it was too weird even for Uncle Walt on the wrong end of a flying-fark-at-a-rolling-donut bender. It sat in the can until a few years ago, when it played on the big screen at the old Dali Museum across the street from that gunite Morlock dome where the Razed play. It’s now available on DVD. You want weird? Diz and Dali got weird for ya.

    • historiophiliac - Oct 23, 2012 at 9:53 AM

      Julie London!

      • historiophiliac - Oct 23, 2012 at 10:42 AM

        Don’t be bitter, Jack Webb.

      • proudlycanadian - Oct 23, 2012 at 11:40 AM

        Bobby Troup was the winner in that one.

      • Old Gator - Oct 23, 2012 at 1:21 PM

        Jack London! The dog was the winner in that one.

  2. darthicarus - Oct 23, 2012 at 8:42 AM

    What did Mickey Mouse ever do to Berkman? Woody say that if he hadn’t given himself that Goofy nickname or started his career in the AL. I guess he’s saying the DH is a Simba of what’s wrong with baseball & he’s trying to create some Buzz after being sent home for the winter.

    • Old Gator - Oct 23, 2012 at 8:59 AM

      More important: whatever happened to Mickrey’s ithyphallic cousin Mortimer, in the early days Mickey’s rival for Daisy’s affections? The discernibly ratlike Mortimer was just snuffed out somewhere along the line, replaced by other, “adorable,” faux rodents like Chip and Dale, or ducks and various dog types. What did Mortimer ever do to Walt, who was renowned for forming sudden, weird paranoid animadversions to his cartoonists and their creations. Did Walt finally figure out who was nibbling those little holes in his donuts? Or….did Mickey set him up?

  3. sictransitchris - Oct 23, 2012 at 8:43 AM

    I don’t even know what that means.

    • proudlycanadian - Oct 23, 2012 at 8:53 AM

      You now have a new homework assignment. Do some research.

    • Old Gator - Oct 23, 2012 at 1:23 PM

      1that pronoun \ˈthat, thət\
      plural those

      Definition of THAT

      a : the person, thing, or idea indicated, mentioned, or understood from the situation
      b : the time, action, or event specified
      c : the kind or thing specified as follows
      d : one or a group of the indicated kind
      a : the one farther away or less immediately under observation or discussion
      b : the former one
      a —used as a function word after and to indicate emphatic repetition of the idea expressed by a previous word or phrase
      b —used as a function word immediately before or after a word group consisting of a verbal auxiliary or a form of the verb be preceded by there or a personal pronoun subject to indicate emphatic repetition of the idea expressed by a previous verb or predicate noun or predicate adjective
      a : the one : the thing : the kind : something, anything
      b plural : some persons
      — all that
      : everything of the kind indicated
      — at that
      : in spite of what has been said or implied
      : in addition : 2besides
      Origin of THAT

      Middle English, from Old English thæt, neuter demonstrative pron. & definite article; akin to Old High German daz, neuter demonstrative pron. & definite article, Greek to, Latin istud, neuter demonstrative pron.
      First Known Use: before 12th century

  4. philsieg - Oct 23, 2012 at 8:51 AM

    You don’t have 15-20 years before the DH is universal. With an interleague game nearly every day next season, it’ll be 2015 at the latest. And it won’t be the NL anymore, it’ll be the National Conference. Schedules will be weighted so that weaker teams from the previous season will have an easier schedule to gin up ersatz “playoff” interest(and boost merchandising). Then the NFL-ization of the most unique sport on the American landscape will be complete. Seligula can declare himself a god and rest on his laurels.

    • Old Gator - Oct 23, 2012 at 9:00 AM

      That’s good, because his nates have gotten too bony.

    • jericoc - Oct 23, 2012 at 10:59 AM

      You make a good point, but unfortunately, no one under the age of forty believes you. Just like they don’t believe it when old people say that boxing and horse racing used to be the biggest sports in this country …

  5. pmcenroe - Oct 23, 2012 at 9:00 AM

    I honestly think bringing the DH to the NL will be the big focal point when the current CBA expires in 2016. The reason being, as we see more (esp. small-mid market) clubs try to lock up their “franchise player”, someone like a Joey Votto for example, to 10+ year contracts. It puts NL teams at a considerable disadvantage knowing that there is no way that player will be playing a position in the field the last few years of that contract, thus necessitating a trade by the end of the deal. In the end why would players engage in long term deals with NL teams if they know going in they will HAVE to change teams at some point, because why not just hit the FA market in the first place then? Tradition notwithstanding, its just a bad business to cut off commodities to half of your markets.

    • Detroit Michael - Oct 23, 2012 at 9:11 AM

      I disagree. There are many batters who don’t want the option of playing DH open to their employers and prefer to sign with NL teams for that reason.

      • pmcenroe - Oct 23, 2012 at 9:26 AM

        Yeah I don’t think that is true and I don’t think the Player’s Association feels that way either. Putting the DH in the NL creates 15 more high paying jobs, and allows more players to extend their careers. Look I’m not advocating for it but I think its foolish not to see the writting on the wall.

    • mrwillie - Oct 23, 2012 at 9:21 AM

      There is certainly some truth to that. But looking at some recent contracts such as, A-Rod and Pujols, this might not be a disadvantage to the NL.

      I personally prefer my team to assign contracts to players who can play out their contact on both sides of the ball and not overpay just to hope they can still hit when they reach their twilight. Let the AL overpay for guys who want 10 year deals when they are 30. Those monster deals for aging players aren’t going away, but at least keep them out of the NL.

      • pmcenroe - Oct 23, 2012 at 9:33 AM

        Sure its not a problem for the 30 year olds looking for 10 year deals but what about the 26 year olds? Guys like Bryce Harper. Say the Angels offer him $325 mill for 15 years or the Nats offer $225 for 10 years. Clearly this is all speculation, but it becomes a big problem if the Nats get into a bidding war and they are at a very specific disadvantage vs. an AL counterpart.

      • mrwillie - Oct 23, 2012 at 9:49 AM

        If someone is asking for a 15 year deal, then you let them walk.

        You lock them up 8-10 years at a younger age, then the DH does not really come into play. The DH allows for older guys to get bigger money and play less than 1/3 of the baseball that NL guys are playing. I do not see that as an advantage, but of course I am an NL guy.

      • pmcenroe - Oct 23, 2012 at 10:07 AM

        It’s going to be tough to sell tickets if you can’t retain your best player(s). Sure it sucks to overpay for a 38-40 year old but that’s just the cost of doing business if you want to get a superstar player in his 27-32 “prime”. Obv the best practice would be to get them to sign an extension while still arbitration eligible but that’s not going to happen if your agent is Scott Boras.

      • mrwillie - Oct 23, 2012 at 10:47 AM

        You’re certainly not wrong….that’s why it shouldn’t go away though. The debates, the discussions, the differences. That’s baseball, and they should stop bastardizing it.

      • paperlions - Oct 23, 2012 at 12:47 PM

        Let’s test that theory:

        StL in 2011 (with Pujols): 3, 093,954
        StL in 2012 (sans Pujols): 3, 262,109

        The Cardinals also won more games in 2011.

        Milwaukee drew about 240,000 fewer fans in 2012 without Fielder, but pretty much all of that can be attributed to poor play…if they spent most of the year with a sub-.500 record and were sellers at the trade deadline.

        If a team can compete, it doesn’t matter what the names on the back of the jerseys are.

      • pmcenroe - Oct 23, 2012 at 2:36 PM

        @paperlions I never suggested players are the sole reason why fans show up. However clearly the StL situation has WAY more to do with them winning a WS than it does whether or not they have Pujols, plus its StL, fans show up reagrdless. But in markets where the teams have idled at or below .500 for a number years apathy can grow quite quickly. People in Minnesota NOW love to say Joe Mauer isn’t worth his contract, but imagine if he left after 2010 (when they had their best season, out of all the past decade). 2011, 2012 attendance declined bc they were terrible and if they didn’t Mauer they would be even worse and in turn attendance would be even worse.

  6. mjs50 - Oct 23, 2012 at 9:05 AM

    Lance Berkman is the only animated character in this story. You couldn’t handle your playing time in the American League!

    • 18thstreet - Oct 23, 2012 at 10:08 AM

      I think Berkman’s experience in the AL is one of the pieces of evidence that the AL is a stronger league.

      • Old Gator - Oct 23, 2012 at 1:28 PM

        Very much the way I’ve read that army nurses think badly wounded or disabled soldiers make the most skillful lovers, the gimps, inflexibles, dolt infielders and over-the-hill superstars who populate the ranks of designatedhitterball teams make the best number five hitters.

      • 18thstreet - Oct 23, 2012 at 4:26 PM

        There’s no way David Ortiz would play a worse left field than, say, Michael Morse.

    • IdahoMariner - Oct 23, 2012 at 10:20 AM

      I was just thinking that it was hilarious that he said it would extend his playing time, but he just wouldn’t do it. Said it as though he had actually succeeded at all I the American League, and that he was declining as a matter of principle. Lance, you are a funny, funny man.

      • cur68 - Oct 23, 2012 at 11:37 AM

        Them grapes, they be sour!
        -Phat Puma Elvis

      • stlouis1baseball - Oct 23, 2012 at 12:18 PM

        I hear what you are saying Idaho. I truly do.
        But if memory serves…he was ailing and only played in the AL for about 3 minutes.
        I don’t think that sample size is large enough.

    • apmn - Oct 23, 2012 at 11:05 AM

      Three months is hardly long enough to judge that.

  7. yahmule - Oct 23, 2012 at 9:13 AM

    My favorite objection the DH are the people who say, “Well, you obviously can’t have it in one league and not the other!”

    Obviously. Certainly not for the last 40 years.

  8. indaburg - Oct 23, 2012 at 9:23 AM

    I’m not going to argue the pros and cons of the DH. I just want to know who is giving Berkman career advice? Though I appreciate his honesty, saying he hates the DH though it may extend his career seems counterproductive. Wouldn’t a GM hesitate to sign a guy to DH who despises the position? I saw some special on tv about DHs, and It included what they do during the games to stay sharp for their next at bat. It made it apparent that not everyone is cut out to be a DH. Didn’t Berkman, both with his relatively poor performance with the Yanks and his words, just place himself firmly in that camp?

    • stex52 - Oct 23, 2012 at 9:37 AM

      Lance has been talking for some months like he is going to retire and go home to Houston. With the way he is burning bridges, I would say it is a pretty sure thing.

      • Old Gator - Oct 23, 2012 at 1:30 PM

        Great! Let’s meet him over at Otilia’s for a platter of chiles en nogada and a couple of hours of laughing and shitting on the designated hitter.

  9. juanhughjazz - Oct 23, 2012 at 9:23 AM

    He’s right. AL baseball is baseball for dummies. It’s not even baseball. In baseball, every player throws, fields and hits. And this is coming from a Tiger fan. Two changes I’d make for MLB is ditch the DH and take the balls and strikes away from the Umpire. There’s way too much inconsistency depending on who’s making the calls and who’s pitching and catching.

    • 18thstreet - Oct 23, 2012 at 10:09 AM

      The DH has existed for 40 years. Get over it.

      Starting pitchers don’t go nine innings any more. Is that not Real Baseball, either?

      • IdahoMariner - Oct 23, 2012 at 10:27 AM

        Yeah, I think it’s perfect now – whichever you prefer, you have a league for it. I’m cool with the DH but I love watching both leagues for the playoffs…and I think in inter league play, it should be the opposite of how it is now – make the home team do the thing the visitor does (in an AL park, have their pitcher hit, in a NL park, have a DH) so that it really does show the attending fans what the other league is like, and seeing their own players in unfamiliar ways. I would love to see Felix hit at Safeco.

      • juanhughjazz - Nov 30, 2012 at 8:43 PM

        you still only get 25 roster spots. if you want to sacrifice positional players to add more pitchers, that’s the manager’s prerogative. relief pitchers have always been a part of the game. the DH rule is a fundamental change in the game.

    • aiede - Oct 23, 2012 at 11:10 AM

      Yeah, because with runners on second and third with two outs and down by a run in an LCS Game 7, who doesn’t love seeing an .090-hitting pitcher come up to bat?

      • Alex K - Oct 23, 2012 at 11:32 AM

        Because, you know, pinch hitting isn’t allowed.

      • juanhughjazz - Nov 30, 2012 at 8:40 PM

        maybe if pitchers hit from little league to the big leagues, pitchers would hit a little better. the DH just dumbs down the game and allows guys that can’t play baseball to draw MLB salaries.

      • juanhughjazz - Dec 17, 2012 at 8:57 PM

        pinch hit for him.

  10. randygnyc - Oct 23, 2012 at 9:38 AM

    We don’t care for you very much either, lance. My 11 year old daughter refers to you as “fat ass”. Quite the impression you left on New Yorkers.

    • Jeremy T - Oct 23, 2012 at 10:59 AM

      What a charming little girl you’ve raised 😉

      • historiophiliac - Oct 23, 2012 at 11:03 AM

        funny, but probably sexist

    • cur68 - Oct 23, 2012 at 11:40 AM

      Damn man, you mentally ill? What the hell was THAT about? Whatever faults Randy has they don’t extend to this sort of thing. Why don’t you head on over to PFT with the rest of the morons?

    • historiophiliac - Oct 23, 2012 at 11:42 AM

      definitely sexist, certainly not funny

    • stlouis1baseball - Oct 23, 2012 at 12:20 PM

      Don’t be a crude CHUMP franchise. See that line? You just crossed it.

    • cur68 - Oct 23, 2012 at 2:05 PM

      And so what? You’re the webpage cop? You gotta call the guy out, talk shit about his daughter, a minor? You have some right dispensed to you from On High to do this? Are you supposed to be better in some way because you do this? In fact, you seem to make a business of dogging people for no apparent reason. Whatever you have to say about me or Randy it as nothing compared to what your behaviour says about you. And if you wanna dog someone, well shit man, I’m your huckleberry. I reckon if you stay on your medication, make judicious use of The Google, this website, support from others like you and a generous helping of your own base nature, well you got a shot at me. See ya on the funny pages, Ruprecht.

    • historiophiliac - Oct 23, 2012 at 2:23 PM

      I thought those things couldn’t take sunlight…or water…or alcohol…or something.

    • Old Gator - Oct 23, 2012 at 9:29 PM

      Cur, don’t waste your fingertips responding to that lowlife. He doesn’t even know that there is a line. Sociopaths are like that.

  11. butchhuskey - Oct 23, 2012 at 9:48 AM

    I honestly don’t understand this metaphor in the slightest.

  12. pisano - Oct 23, 2012 at 9:58 AM

    The Yankees couldn’t wait to cut him loose, he couldn’t hit his ass with both hands while a Yankee, hell, Andruw Jones was more productive than Berkman.

  13. ezthinking - Oct 23, 2012 at 10:08 AM

    Berkman will be sitting home next year hurt/retired so he shouldn’t worry himself about the DH.

  14. libertynchurch - Oct 23, 2012 at 10:14 AM

    So tired of these made-for-TV gimmicks. Baseball will ultimately suffer for its inability to attract America’s best athletes. Baseball needs to improve its efforts to become relevant again to all of our youngsters, and their families.

    Baseball has caved in to the economic pressures of the networks, and as a result, no one is thinking long-term. Newtorks want Ratings. Now! Owners want Return On Investment. Now! Has anyone considered that we are approaching a day where the family will not be able to watch a game and relate to the strategies of the game? I watched the game with my father. He played the game, and so did I. We watched Bob Gibson, and Mickey Mantle and he told me about Satchel Paige and Jimmy Foxx. Our discussions and debates during the game was the perfect
    counter to the no-action times during the game. Baseball needs knowledgeable viewers.

    Baseball is not a fast sport, and does not attract and hold a casual viewer. Baseball needs to stop worshiping the make-a-dollar changes and think more strategically. Show me some gimmicks that get our youngsters interested in playing.

    And lets be clear. It is the American media, and the American audience that drives the economics of the sport.
    Baseball needs become more relevant to American youth.
    I have three young sons playing ball in Barrio Azul in San Pedro de Macoris, Dominican Republic. I see the differences, firsthand.

    • historiophiliac - Oct 23, 2012 at 2:30 PM

      The box scores from plenty of my grandfather’s games gave playing times of 1-1 1/2 hours. Of course, that was in the 30’s 40’s — when they didn’t have relievers and all that. Still, baseball doesn’t *have* to be a slow game, and you don’t have to be a walking baseball encyclopedia to enjoy it. There’s nothing wrong with people who don’t see it like you do having fun at games too. It’s okay to have some stuff for everyone. Just saying.

  15. Andrew Chapman - Oct 23, 2012 at 10:18 AM

    If the AL is Mickey Mouse, what does that make the NL?

    • proudlycanadian - Oct 23, 2012 at 10:21 AM

      Mighty “Mouth”

  16. ceadderman - Oct 23, 2012 at 10:24 AM

    NL is REAL Baseball and if MLB changes it to a DH system, I’m done with MLB for good. So will my kids and their kids and their kids and so on and so forth.

    They sat on their hands during the infancy of PEDs’ and raked in dollar after dollar and said nothing. Didn’t get their hands spanked for it by the Government and sit idly by while the Government takes it all down and goes after the players they profited from.

    If anyone is the cheat it’s the owners the GMs and the Front Offices that all gained and didn’t once get called into question. Even LaRussa knew. He says he didn’t but c’mon if we sitting in the seats knew, he HAD to know.

    I still love Baseball after all of that but NL Baseball is the purest form of the Professional Game. Everybody takes their cuts. That’s how I learned how to play the game, that’s how I played the game as a kid and that’s how every kid that plays the game is taught all around the world. The only reason an AL Pitcher even takes a swing nowadays is because of Inter League Away games mandate it.

    • historiophiliac - Oct 23, 2012 at 10:36 AM

      Well, then enjoy your football or whatever with your children’s children and so on and so forth.

      • ceadderman - Oct 23, 2012 at 10:58 AM

        I will.

        Enjoy being an ass.

    • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Oct 23, 2012 at 10:52 AM

      NL is REAL Baseball and if MLB changes it to a DH system, I’m done with MLB for good. So will my kids and their kids and their kids and so on and so forth.

      I’m just curious, why is NL baseball the real baseball? It’s definitely not old school baseball. That’s when it was 6 balls for a walk, or the players left their gloves on the field when they went to bat, the players were essentially indentured servants to their owners, oh and minorities weren’t allowed to play the game. That’s real baseball!

      • ceadderman - Oct 23, 2012 at 11:03 AM

        Obviously they paired down the rules to speed up the game. So I won’t even get into old school baseball with you since that is pointless. I’m pretty sure I made my point about EVERYBODY taking their cuts. So what don’t you get?

        Forget the money aspect of it. Remember back to when you were a kid playing for the love and the joy of the game. Back to when you were Willie Stargell, Roger Maris whoever your home team batting champ used to be. That is why we played the game as a kid. There is no other feeling like it in the world. Going DH in both leagues would rob our youth of what we enjoyed as kids. I wanted to be Greg Moon Man Minton when I was a kid. Him or Willie McCovey. When I was on the bump I was the Moon Man. When I was at the Plate I was Willie Mac.

      • Alex K - Oct 23, 2012 at 11:48 AM

        You know having the DH in both leagues won’t preclude kids from wanting to be Bryce Harper at the plate and Steven Strasburg as a pitcher, right? It’s not like you were pretending to be a great pitcher that hits like Willie McCovey

      • stlouis1baseball - Oct 23, 2012 at 2:13 PM

        I am not gonna’ use a term like “real baseball.” I will just state…in my opinion…
        Baseball players play baseball. Baseball involves running, throwing, fielding AND hitting.
        To simplify it:
        You lace em’ up…you take your cuts.

      • seattlej - Oct 23, 2012 at 4:15 PM

        @ceadderman — so, let me get this straight. In your imaginative wandering a, back when you played for the love and joy of the game, you used Willie McCovey to DH for the Moon Man (what a terrible nickname for a pitcher, by the way), but now you don’t wang there to be a DH? If you’re such a purist, shouldn’t you have imagined you were a poor-hitting pitcher when you were at bat? Where’s the consistency here? What kind of an example is that?

    • indaburg - Oct 23, 2012 at 10:56 AM

      So if it’s not your way, you’re just going to take your ball and go home? Deprive generations upon generations of your family of this wonderful sport simply because of one rule change? Seems a bit hyperbolic, but that’s your right.

      I’m a bit confused–what do PEDs have to do with the DH?

      • ceadderman - Oct 23, 2012 at 11:18 AM

        Oh I don’t know where do all the big bomb hitters end up in the AL? Well okay most of the big bomb hitters. That’s right the DH. Who are the most recognized users in the AL? DH. Just sayin. I’m well aware that PEDs were widely used throughout, but more than a sample number of positives were on the DH.

      • indaburg - Oct 23, 2012 at 11:38 AM

        Will you at least admit that PED use was rampant in both leagues? I don’t think either league had (has?) a monopoly on it, and players with no hope of being long ball hitters also used the stuff.

        I do understand where you are coming from regarding the DH, but it’s really not that bad. See, I grew up in the NL, but now I’m a Rays fan. We have 9 batters who can’t hit. It’s just like watching the NL multiplied by 9. Lots of strategy, squeeze plays, double switches, base stealing etc. Maddon has even been known to throw a pitcher into the line-up in an AL game. Granted, it was by mistake, but it happened. (See Sonnenstein, Andy. I believe he got a double in that game. Dammit, I’m arguing against myself again.)

      • ceadderman - Oct 23, 2012 at 11:20 AM

        Nevermind that PEDs’ weren’t my main concern. Only the fact that the Owners, GMs’ and Front Offices profitted off them and should never have been above suspission. 😉

      • JB (the original) - Oct 23, 2012 at 11:43 AM

        Didn’t count, but seems like more than half are NL guys….. (didn’t see many DH’s listed though).

    • ceadderman - Oct 23, 2012 at 11:15 AM

      Oh an who said I would quit watching Baseball altogether?

      There are other leagues after all. The Minors. College. High School. I’ll support those endeavors over MLB if it ever comes to that. Hopefully it won’t but not a single one of you looked at the other options. Stay classy my friends.

      • historiophiliac - Oct 23, 2012 at 11:27 AM

        The minors have a DH, btw…even my team, which is a farm team for the Rockies

      • ceadderman - Oct 23, 2012 at 11:32 AM

        Thanks for the update. Haven’t been to a Minors game in awhile. Boise Hawks and they didn’t have the DH at that time. Farm team for the Angels. Not living near a Giants farm team atm, so I don’t get to follow them.

      • historiophiliac - Oct 23, 2012 at 11:39 AM

        probably depends on the league though

      • Alex K - Oct 23, 2012 at 11:43 AM

        College uses the DH, too. Not sure about HS. Looks like you’re not going to be doing much baseball watching.

        One question…how are you going to make your children’s children and so forth not do something? Will they honestly listen to grandpa (or great gandpa and so forth) tell them to boycott MLB?

      • clydeserra - Oct 23, 2012 at 3:04 PM

        every league in the world had the dh save the national and little

    • cur68 - Oct 23, 2012 at 11:56 AM

      Giving up on baseball if there’s no DH? Hey! That’s MY song! But, its a bit harsh, eh? When Loria gutted my team, The Montreal Expos, I swore baseball lost a fan on the spot. Made up my mind to stop watching baseball. But, know what? I missed it. Like, A LOT. So I started watching The Beaver Men play, there in Toronto, Beaver Town, Canada. And guess what? It was STILL baseball. Only this time a pro hitter came to the dish instead of some determined kid with his first piece of major league lumber (remember Pascual Pérez, old “I-285”, at the dish? Oy vey. The very definition of hapless. I used to watch his ABs and shriek “Your a grown MAN for dog’s sake! Stop looking like frightened kid!). Guy maybe couldn’t field so well, or had nagging injuries that made it hard to run around, but he could hit a little. Then, one day, they acquired this guy who could field AND hit and they kept him fresh by rotating him in and out of the DH and fielding. Know what he did? Hit a WS winning HR. Yeah, you might lose that pitcher hitting, true, BUT you might get that guy…that one guy…

      • koufaxmitzvah - Oct 24, 2012 at 8:48 AM

        You have to admit, though, that Pascual was probably also affected from having been stripped of his 25 lbs of pure gold around the neck by he home plate umpire in the 1st inning. They didn’t have those energy swirling necklaces back in the ’80s. Just hard core metal. Take that away from a Perez brother, and watch them fall down.

  17. laithagha - Oct 23, 2012 at 10:30 AM

    “He doesn’t mention that the DH is probably Delmon Young, but that’s a minor detail,” Calcaterra wrote disparagingly. You mean the ALCS MVP who has a .315 career average in interleague play?

  18. Andrew Chapman - Oct 23, 2012 at 10:33 AM

    I’ve tried to like the NL rules. It would be one thing if pitchers could actually hit. But pitchers (except for a few) can’t hit. Consequently, managers shuffle their lineups because they have a hitter who is so awful at hitting that they don’t want them at the plate in key situations. And we call it strategy. To me, it’s as much strategy as bringing in a position player to pitch in a blowout — that is to say, not strategy at all.

    • ceadderman - Oct 23, 2012 at 10:54 AM

      I don’t disagree with you there too much about hitting, but why is that? Is it more likely due to Pitchers who bounce around between both leagues? I think that is more right than many people will ever readily admit.

      Take for instance the Giants. Lincecum, Cain and the Mad Bum can all hit. Zito can put down a proper Bunt. Lincecum, Cain and Bumgarner have never known an AL season so they work on their hitting just like all the other position players.

      I’m well aware that it’s not just Free Agency but that’s why both Leagues should be DH free. Ruth was a Pitcher and he hit. Plenty of Pitchers hit back in the day. I’m sure if you told Ruth he couldn’t hit he’d either bust you on the chin with solid fast ball or step up to the plate and bust one out to prove you wrong.

      So what the DH has been around 40 years? Someone pointed out that Pitchers don’t go full games most of the time anymore. So the DH is completely unnecessary then ain’t it.

      • Andrew Chapman - Oct 23, 2012 at 11:23 AM

        There are of course exceptions. Some pitchers can hit. Most, though, can’t hit, regardless of free agency or changing leagues.

        I know I’ve picked up a snake with this one, and that I probably won’t change anyone’s mind. So I suppose all I’m hoping for is to get some people to take another look at it for themselves.

      • 24missed - Oct 23, 2012 at 1:54 PM


        I’m not afraid of snakes. So, no worries here.
        I look at this issue different lense than you.

        Some pitchers can hit. The obvious Matt Cain example will be beaten like a drum…don’t like to use phrases including dead animals. Many others are capable of ‘helping their own cause’ as the telecasters luuuuuurve to say. Beckett will tell you any day of the week that he once hit a home run. He really does hit the ball, but he also was in the NL prior to coming to the RS.

        Some just don’t try. I can only speak for the AL. Watching Pedro’s at-bats were something. *He would just hold the bat. Never swing. Not once, not even once, and even his teammates would get a giggle out it. My impression was that he didn’t want to hurt his arm.
        *When Pedro was in the AL.

        Pitchers that are in the AL for a long time might hurt their body and it wouldn’t be worth ruining his real value. I know this is my snake that I’ve picked up. If the pitcher is an easy out and the last out of the game, it would be easy to blame him. I still stand up for saving his body. Another arguement could be made for the rest of the team providing some offense. Another snake came out to visit.

        The DH has served my team just dandy in the past few years, as a hitter. But, still. But, the RS bombed this year, and Ortiz hit like he is paid to hit. They still bombed. Bombed I tell you. This had nothing to do with the pitchers’ inability to hit, rather their inability to pitch.

        With that, Andrew, your hope is my command. I’ll take another look. Why not?
        Debate and discussion is always welcome. Unless of course, it turns cruel and mean and so forth.

    • koufaxmitzvah - Oct 23, 2012 at 10:57 AM

      Sounds like you gave NL ball a real great chance to win you over. To be so attentive to that 9th spot in the lineup, batting after the 8th place hitter whom, we all know, is sitting in the 2nd Cleanup position. Did you miss yesterday’s ballgame, when Matt Cain drove in a run the half inning after the opposing pitcher came inches from knocking in 2? Are those the exceptions you’re hinting at, because there are more NL pitchers who can hit like that. In fact, one o the better in-game competitions was the Dodgers pitchers trying to out-sacrifice hit each other. Kershaw vs. Capuano. It was hard core, and it was fun to watch.

      • indaburg - Oct 23, 2012 at 11:21 AM

        “Dodgers pitchers trying to out-sacrifice hit each other.”

        Sounds… scintillating.

    • clydeserra - Oct 23, 2012 at 3:07 PM

      for strategy, NL managers take out their best pitcher of the day and one of their best 8 position players and put inferior substitutes there. It is making the game you are watching worse.

  19. redbirdfan81 - Oct 23, 2012 at 10:41 AM

    Lance is correct on both accounts – DH & the AL style of baseball is NOT what was intended in the game. Why is the best athlete the pitcher while a young boy grows into a man, yet he hits college & the minors and all of a sudden, he can’t hit? It doesn’t make sense to me. And it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to know how to strategize in the AL whereas in the NL the bunt, the double switch, etc., all make a better brand, more exciting level of play.

    As for Lance, thanks for the WS title last year in St. Louis & I hope if you continue to play, that you do get to DH in the Mickey Mouse league for a couple of years as you were a stud & I wish I was as “bad” as you are now in my prime! You are good for baseball and will be missed.

    • historiophiliac - Oct 23, 2012 at 10:48 AM

      Soooo, the only strategy to the game of baseball is hitting with a pitcher? Daft.

    • Andrew Chapman - Oct 23, 2012 at 11:08 AM

      Are bunts and double switches really that exciting?

      I think where the double switch really shines is when you remove on of your best hitters for a bench player, who isn’t good enough to be a starter, and that hitter comes up to bat in a key situation later in the game or in extra innings.

  20. uyf1950 - Oct 23, 2012 at 10:45 AM

    Berkman would know that the American League is “Mickey Mouse” in his words based on the fact that for virtually his entire Major League career he played for the doormats of MLB the Houston Astos. And considering perhaps the 2 worst MLB teams of all time make the NL Central Division their home the Astros and the Pirates.

    • apmn - Oct 23, 2012 at 11:28 AM

      Did you just start watching baseball 5 years ago? The Astros were perennial contenders in the first half of Berkman’s stint with them.

      • clydeserra - Oct 23, 2012 at 3:09 PM

        did you start watching baseball in the 90s? The Astros were kinda bad for a long while. Save for Jose Cruz era.

      • apmn - Oct 23, 2012 at 9:17 PM

        I remember yelling “Cruuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuz” from the seats of the Astrodome in the ’80’s, so no.
        ‘Stros are pretty much middle of the pack in terms of franchise win-loss record. Not doormats of MLB.

    • stex52 - Oct 23, 2012 at 12:00 PM

      So I guess in uyf’s world, baseball started five years ago.

    • mazblast - Oct 23, 2012 at 11:27 PM

      Astros and Pirates “the 2 worst MLB teams of all time”? Let’s look at the facts.

      By percentage, the worst MLB teams all-time are the Rays (.454), Padres (.463), and Mariners (.467). Pittsburgh is at .503 (11th) , Houston .492 (16th). Among the “original 16”, the lowest percentages are those of the Phillies (.473), Browns/Orioles (.475), and Senators/Twins (.481).

      By number of losses, the worst are the Phillies (10,373), Cubs (10,372), and Dodgers (10,303). Obviously, the fact that the NL is 25 years older than the AL comes into play here. Of the AL franchises dating back to 1901, the most losses belong to the Browns/Orioles (9,121), Senators/Twins (9,011), and A’s (8,908).

      Among the “original 16”, the fewest World Series wins belong to the Phillies, Indians, and Cubs, with 2 each. The Pirates have 5. BTW, none of the 14 expansion teams has won more than 2. The Astros and Senators/Rangers are the oldest of the 8 teams that have never won it all.

  21. koufaxmitzvah - Oct 23, 2012 at 10:51 AM

    In the world of Labor, I feel it’s more cost effective and better for team morale to give the 24th spot of the roster to the cheap option of the 10-year minor leaguer or the fresh face kid who Oooohed and Aaahhed with their chances rather than the more expensive, all-hit-no-glove, gristly veteran.

    • historiophiliac - Oct 23, 2012 at 11:05 AM

      You can run your team however you want.

      • koufaxmitzvah - Oct 23, 2012 at 11:08 AM

        But apparently I can’t express my satisfaction for NL baseball.

        That’s why you rock so hard you’re off your rocker.

  22. psousa1 - Oct 23, 2012 at 10:57 AM

    Let’s see – when Berkman ‘played’ for the Yankees he looked like he was at the end of his career. He was playing like the big kids just got out of school. He went to the NL and hit .300.

    Which league is Mickey Mouse?

    Give me the DH anyday. I would rather see a David Ortiz than a pitcher, who if he hits .180, is considered a good hitting pitcher.

  23. historiophiliac - Oct 23, 2012 at 11:09 AM

    Hands up if you’d tune in to see Verlander hit

    • indaburg - Oct 23, 2012 at 11:26 AM

      I don’t know about that argument. I’m pro-DH by de facto–just the league my team happens to be in–but I wouldn’t mind seeing Verlander do just about anything. Toss a football, shoot a hockey puck, load the laundry, whatever.

      • historiophiliac - Oct 23, 2012 at 11:30 AM

        I’m sensing you have mixed motives here, woman. I get you.

        What if I sub in Valverde instead? Yeah.

      • indaburg - Oct 23, 2012 at 11:44 AM

        My motives are pure, ‘philiac. I just respect Verlander’s athleticism ’tis all. Yeah, that’s it.

      • cur68 - Oct 23, 2012 at 1:40 PM

        Somewhere, someone’s read what you wrote about Verlander to Angel Pagan, ‘Burg (then had to spend about 30 minutes explaining the subtleties of it to him. Probably had to draw pictures and so forth). Likely he is, right now, crying giant baby unicorn tears. I hope you are happy to know this.

      • indaburg - Oct 23, 2012 at 3:08 PM

        My favorite oxymoron has nothing to worry his pretty little head about. Big V’s not my type. However, I do appreciate him as a spectacular specimen of pitching greatness. Two seasons ago, I was awarded two tickets a couple of rows behind the plate at the Trop for going “above and beyond” at work. Corporate owns season tickets and occasionally they award two tickets to some lucky bastard. I was the lucky bastard that night. It was Verlander against my boys. Killed them too, 5-2. When I wasn’t busy cursing him out under my breath, I had to admit that watching Verlander pitch from that vantage point must be what it would be like to watch Michelangelo paint the Sistine Chapel. If V wanted to bat, sure, I would pay to watch. He probably loads laundry nicely too and knows to separate whites from colors and so on.

    • slartibartfast4242 - Oct 23, 2012 at 11:27 AM

      I’d tune in to see if he’s hitting Kate Upton.

      • Alex K - Oct 23, 2012 at 11:54 AM

        While I know what you actually meant I think you may want to clarify…because it could seem to someone that you would like to watch him punch his girlfriend.

    • historiophiliac - Oct 23, 2012 at 3:15 PM

      Please, you go to see him pitch. You tolerate his at bat. You don’t go to see him hit & tolerate his pitching.

  24. bkunza - Oct 23, 2012 at 12:27 PM

    The National League is a pitchers grave yard. Even Kyle Lohse is a star in the National League.

    • stlouis1baseball - Oct 23, 2012 at 5:04 PM

      Yes…but only after Dave Duncan collected him off the scrap heap and taught him how to pitch.

      • bkunza - Oct 23, 2012 at 6:18 PM

        Kyle didn’t learn how to pitch he just went to the National league. If Kyle went back to the American League he’d get lit up like a Christmas tree over and over again like he did last time. Another name Jamie Moyer, case closed!

    • stlouis1baseball - Oct 24, 2012 at 9:33 AM

      The only case this closes is the fact that it is apparent there are (unfortunately) a number of people who fail to look outside the periphery of their respective leagues. By Kyle Lohse’s own admission…early in his career all he did was rear back and throw it as hard as he possibly could on every pitch.
      Further, (by his own admission) ONLY when he started working with D.D. did he learn how to pitch.
      That is what he credits with saving his career. Do your homework. Then the case will be closed.

      • bkunza - Oct 24, 2012 at 1:03 PM

        I’ve done my homework, I’ve been a Twins fan my whole life. Put Kyle back in the American league where you done have a breather (pitcher) and he’d wet his pants. The American league is so far above the National is not even close. All the pitchers go there to close out their careers and find it so much easier they keep pitching for a few years. Jamie Moyer pitched forever, what a joke.

    • stlouis1baseball - Oct 24, 2012 at 2:06 PM

      “I’ve been a Twins fan my whole life.”

      Where did Lohse pitch in the AL? How long ago was this? Rhterorical. I know the answers.
      It explains in great detail why you have the opinion you do.

      Dude also pitched (and was horrendous)…for the Redlegs.
      Again…only after joing St. Louis’ staff and D.D. starting working with him did he turn it around.
      D.D. being the 1st Pitching Coach who is ultimately elected to the HOF by the way. Mark it down.

      • bkunza - Oct 24, 2012 at 5:36 PM

        In the National League!

  25. pisano - Oct 23, 2012 at 12:57 PM

    bkunza….. Good point, but I have one even better, and no one can contest this one, how about AJ BURNETT, in caps so everyone sees it.,AJ is proof in the pudding. Case closed

    • mazblast - Oct 23, 2012 at 11:35 PM

      If you look at Burnett’s career, the only real outlier is his time with the Yankees, and even the first of those three years was decent. His best season probably was 2008 with Toronto (American League), which got him that huge contract with the almighty and all-knowing Yankees.

    • stlouis1baseball - Oct 24, 2012 at 9:34 AM

      What Maz said.

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