The Designated Hitter: Coming Soon to a NL Park Near You

Why shouldn’t it?

Are you really going to use the tradition card on this? Traditions fall all the time to make way for progress or advancements to a situation. From the players perspective it may buy some of them more years in the league which translates into millions more in salary.

It’s Everywhere

 

But the DH is now accepted in every significant league from the high school level through the professional level—except the NL and Japan’s Central League. In Double-A and Triple-A, NL teams are allowed to have pitchers hit, but AL teams use the DH, and the DH is required by all teams at levels lower than those.

 

Cardinals general manager John Mozeliak said, “I do feel like there were times when I could look all you in the face and say it’s a non-starter, it’s not being discussed at the owner level or (among GMs), but over the past year, it has (been). I’m not suggesting you’re going to see a change, but I definitely think the momentum has changed.”

 

“I know it is on the agenda every meeting,” said Hall of Fame manager Tony La Russa, now the chief baseball officer of the Arizona Diamondbacks. “For a long time, people have discussed the need for one set of rules for both leagues. The purist wants the National League to maintain, but the young fan wants more runs scored.”

Why would the Players Want it? 

There is a viable reason that the discussions on the DH could become a bit more serious in the coming months.

The DH in the NL could become a bargaining chip the players could be offered in an effort to get adjustments in the schedule or even look for ways to add some restraint on arbitration. It does, after all, provide increased longevity for veteran players who are limited physically in regards to playing in the field but can still provide offensive production.

Just the Facts Ma’am

  • The AL has won 24 of the 42 World Series since the adoption of the DH in the AL, and the AL has a winning record in interleague play in 15 of the 19 years of its existence, including each of the past twelve.
  • The AL has outhit the NL, .264 to .258, in its 43 years with the DH.

 

La Russa managed 1,320 games in the AL and 1,408 games in the NL , enjoyed the challenges that he faced in both leagues.

So What Do You Say Tony?

“It is a tough call,” La Russa said of whether it is more difficult to manage in the NL than AL. “Both leagues have their unique situations.”

 

NOTE:

After we make that equal let’s do some scheduling that evens things up a bit.