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Should the DH (designated hitter) be used in both baseball leagues?

Asked at Five Guys Burgers and Fries, 2040 W. 31st St. on May 22, 2009

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Photo of Travis Paustian

“No. I believe that the pitchers should have to bat in both leagues.”

Photo of Jessica Baker

“No. It shouldn’t be in either one.”

Photo of Fred McCreary

“Definitely, so it’s balanced out.”

Photo of Glo Morton

“Yes. I think it’s only fair. You have to keep things even.”

Comments

Practicality 4 years, 10 months ago

In an attempt to be humorous, I will post this article on a study that says Democrats favor the DH while Conservatives don't. It is a serious article too. You be the judge.

http://artsci.wustl.edu/~jgill/papers/qjps.zorngill.pdf

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camper 4 years, 10 months ago

jhawks1234. Good point about throwing inside. But in the NL most opposing pitchers choose to strategically place there retribution on a batter that can do harm. For instance, they would rather strike out the pitcher who hit one of there own and throw at the head of the cleanup hitter who they may have wanted to walk anyways to set up a double play.

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jhawks1234 4 years, 10 months ago

If a pitcher is allowed to throw inside then he should have to step in the batters box as well. NO DH!!

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logicsound04 4 years, 10 months ago

"say runners on second and third, with two outs, in the fourth inning and your starting pitcher comes to the plate. Do you sacrifice possible run production for pinch hitting your pitcher, or is it better to take your chances with an obviously inferior hitter to keep him on the mound?"


The idea that a manager would consider lifting a starting pitcher (who I'll assume is pitching well, for argument's sake) in the 4th inning because he is such a bad hitter that leaving him in to hit would sacrifice the team's ability to score runs is exactly why having modern pitchers hit at all is a waste, imho.

Having to choose between starting pitching and production at the plate isn't "strategy", it's guessing.

I think managers in baseball tend to over-manage anyway. It's not like coaching basketball, where you run plays and are constantly adjusting. More than any other major American sport, baseball is a players' sport, in that, once the first-pitch is thrown, the production really lies with the athletes. All the hyperactivity when it comes to in-game managerial decisions are basically guesswork anyway.

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camper 4 years, 10 months ago

I would not object to them geting rid of the DH rule and inter-league play (another topic). This MLB season seems to be different and it is easy see the game might be changing back right in front of our eyes. I truly believe that home-run hitters of the recent past are trying to figure out how to keep it going while coming off the steroids they have subjected themselves too....and in many cases are fading off the charts. Manny Ramirez was detected as having taking a substance to replace testosterone, because it is possible his own body cannot produce it any more at a sufficient level....do to the fake testosterone he may have been taking. Many ex-athletes are experiencing the same health issues such as Jose Canseco.

Amazing, I watched a 1976 ballgame on ESPN classic, and was amazed at how much smaller the players appeared.

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couranna1 4 years, 10 months ago

easy does it go have a drink and shut up

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walkingonwater 4 years, 10 months ago

I know Rick Wise played for the Red Sox, was he with the Red Sox in 74? It is an interesting response from a guy who would benefit from the DH.

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Practicality 4 years, 10 months ago

logicsound04 (Anonymous) says…

"I don't buy the whole “strategy” argument, because I fail to see how having to work around a typically poor hitter in your own lineup is fundamentally any different than having to work around a typically decent hitter in the opposing team's lineup"

The strategy becomes more complicated when you have a possibility to score runs early in the game, say runners on second and third, with two outs, in the fourth inning and your starting pitcher comes to the plate. Do you sacrifice possible run production for pinch hitting your pitcher, or is it better to take your chances with an obviously inferior hitter to keep him on the mound? These are the thoughts that a manager must make a decision on in the National League at least 4 times a game that American League managers do not have to contend with.

"The designated hitter rule is like letting someone else take Wilt Chamberlain's free throws." - Rick Wise (1974)

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logicsound04 4 years, 10 months ago

As much as I'd like to reminisce about the "old days", when pitchers took at bats just like everyone else, the simple truth is that today's game lends itself to player specialization. Therefore having the pitcher bat is just a waste of a lineup spot, except for a few pitchers, like Greg Maddux or Carlos Zambrano, to name a couple.

I don't buy the whole "strategy" argument, because I fail to see how having to work around a typically poor hitter in your own lineup is fundamentally any different than having to work around a typically decent hitter in the opposing team's lineup. Strategy is involved either way, just in different capacity.

But I agree that either way, both leagues need to be the same.

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jonas_opines 4 years, 10 months ago

Do away with the DH. Instead of having the pitcher actually bat, though, have the opposing team's pitcher do their damnedest to bean them with a pitch. They get four tries or the other pitcher walks just like normal. If they hit them it's an out.

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BABBOY 4 years, 10 months ago

I think it should be consistent. I like the DH. But, it is not like I wake up in the middle of night thinking about it.

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sgtwolverine 4 years, 10 months ago

I don't really care which way they go; they just need to make it the same for both divisions. It's ridiculous that two divisions in the same league can differ on such a substantial rule. It would be like the NFL's NFC letting teams have separate placekickers and punters while the AFC required teams to use one player for both duties.

If I had to make a choice on which way to go, I'd say go with the DH. Part of me does want to make the pitchers bat, but most pitchers are so miserably bat at hitting that it doesn't make it worth putting them out there to bat (and it doesn't seem like the NL's requiring them to bat has made them any better at it). The DH makes the game more interesting.

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Flap Doodle 4 years, 10 months ago

No, but they should allow base runners to ride motorcycles.

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prospector 4 years, 10 months ago

It needs a different name, it implies he will get a hit. Just a player having a batting average better than the 2 digits the pitcher has.

I kind of enjoy seeing the pitcher batting and sometime getting a hit. It makes the teams utilize the pitching staff differently, making the strategy more interesting.

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Practicality 4 years, 10 months ago

I am waiting for Obama to tell us what it should be.

Seriously, do away with the DH, it makes the game much more strategic and actually makes a manager have to pay attention, instead of sit in the dugout and spit sunflower seeds all over the place.

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Tony Kisner 4 years, 10 months ago

I suggest that each team has a designated steroid user who would be the DS(steroid)H. He would hit all kinds of long shots for ESPN, and old players who lost all of their signing bonus on a bad restaurant concept could still make enough to retire on.

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classclown 4 years, 10 months ago

I'm with Travis. Do away with the DH altogether.

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autie 4 years, 10 months ago

Yes, both leagues. It makes the game more exciting.

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Multidisciplinary 4 years, 10 months ago

Is the questioner carrying a bat?

TGIF fun:photo gallery of office pranks. Some artistic snarkers out there, good captions too. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/picturegalleries/howaboutthat/5356419/Office-pranks.html

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