Thursday, May 19, 2011

Real Pitchers Hit

We're almost a month from summer and it still doesn't feel like that in my part of the country.  I'm tired of all the damp, cold weather.  So much for spring weather.  When I think of summer, I think of amusement parks, cookouts, power walking and baseball.  I know the NBA & NHL have their playoffs right now.  I'm not a huge basketball fan and my NY Rangers are no longer in the hunt for Lord Stanley's Cup.  Now I focus on my NY Mets.  For this addition of Thursday Thoughts, I'd like to discuss the main aspect of baseball I despise the most: the designated hitter. 
For those non-baseball fans, the designated hitter a.k.a. the DH is an actual baseball rule that allows managers from an American League team to use another player to hit in lieu of the pitcher.  There are two leagues that make up major league baseball: The American League and the National League.  My beloved Mets play in the National League.  Notice how I said the American League uses the DH.  There is no DH in the National League unless it's interleague play or it's World Series time and those games are played at an American League ballpark.  For the first time starting this year, all All-Star games will have the DH even if played in a National League park.
I'm a baseball purist to a point.  I believe only the nine positioned players (Catcher, 1st, 2nd and 3rd basemen, SS, LF,RF, CF and Pitcher) should be able to come up to the plate and hit.  I don't want to see no stinking DH come up for an American League pitcher.  Go out there and hit and help yourself by advancing the runner and getting a sac fly.  Rumors have it that Connie Mack back around 1906 hinted at a possible DH because he got sick of seeing the pitchers attempting to hit.  Come on.  Babe Ruth started out as a pitcher.  Pitchers can hit if given the opportunity.  The DH didn't enter the rule book until 1973.  The American League used it, but the National League has yet to adopt it.  I hope they don't.
Having the DH is basically like having 10 players.  The DH doesn't even play a position on the field full-time.  Most DH's are back up 1st basemen like David Ortiz or Frank Thomas back in the day.  This player is only used for his hitting.  If you're an aging player who still has pop in his bat, but bad knees or shaky fielding skills you want to go to the American League.  You just sit on your butt the bulk of the game, make your millions and just come up 3 or 4 times and take a few swings.  Boo!!  Since the American League has adopted this rule, their batting averages have been higher of course.  They have scored more runs. 
When I think baseball, I'm more of a pitching girl.  Offense is very good, you need runs to win, but stellar pitching make the game better in my opinion.  I rather see a great old fashion pitching duel like Bob Gibson vs Sandy Koufax over a hitter's duel between Alex Rodriquez & Justin Morneau.  I love it when the pitcher is in a jam, maybe gives up a run, but the manager has faith in him and keeps him in.  The next inning, the pitcher is allowed to bat and drives in a run.  Paycheck well earned!!  Some of these National League pitchers have had a reputation of having some pop in their bat, not of the cork kind: Carlos Zambrano, Jason Marquis and Dontrelle Willis.
I'll deal with the DH during interleague play, the WS and All-Star Game.  It would be interesting to have the AL go a season without the DH so both leagues can be on the same playing level.  What do you think baseball fans?

No comments:

Post a Comment