Tuesday, May 18, 2004
1. The DH is a relatively recent phenomenon: the National League began in 1876, and DH in 1973, thus people have argued that the NL’s policy of having 9-on-9 is “tradition”. I disagree: it has been thirty years. The DH is de facto tradition now. We are used to it. I couldn’t imagine 1/2 of baseball without it. It began before I was born! When does something become a tradition? When people just accept it as reality, and, with respect to AL fans in particular and baseball fans in general, we just accept the DH. I just think it is time to simply accept the DH as reality in the NL.
2. Tom over at Shallow Center argues that some pitchers hit well. Some do and that makes them terrific athletes. But most couldn't hit a pitch if their lives depended on it. I'd rather see a team's backup outfielder taking cuts than see some pitchers whiff wildly at pitches in the dirt.
3. I know that there is a lot of strategy to deciding when a pitcher gets pulled for a pinch hitter, but I maintain that having an easy / sure out every nine ABs interrupts the flow of the game.
I know that we all hate gimmicky ideas that cheapen the game, that degrade the sacred traditions that we all love. Tradition is what sets baseball apart from the other sports: baseball is basically played the same way for 80-90 years, whereas basketball and football would be virtually unrecognizeable today to fans in the 1920s and 1930s. I love the tradition of the game, and the history of baseball is sacrosanct to me, but I think that the DH has been around long enough that it is accepted and a part of the game.
The Phillies DH alignment:
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