Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Should Baseball Get Rid of the Designated Hitter Rule?

Since I was sitting here biting my nails in this 1-0 game where the Indians are leading and Coco just SLOWED DOWN while trying to beat a ball to home plate to tie the game, I thought I'd distract myself.

I found this great site where you can write your opinion on various topics either editorially, or in the form of a debate, completely unedited and get paid to do it! Ok, so you aren't going to make a living off of it, but it's fun and at the end of it all you might be able to buy yourself a piece of penny candy (is there even a such thing anymore?) There are a variety of sports topics you can choose from. One I chose was:

Should baseball get rid of the designated hitter rule?

Of the 141 people who have voted so far, 62% say "No" and 38% say "Yes." What did I say? Well here you go:

Let me start by saying am an American League gal. I love the Red Sox and I do think Big Papi, David Ortiz, should have had a fair shot at MVP, however I am against the Designated Hitter (DH) position overall.

The DH rule was implemented to help strengthen a team's offensive performance during the game. The pitcher has been traditionally the weakest hitter. One theory is because they only get to bat once every five days and are preoccupied with pitching performance so they aren't given enough plate time to excel. Substituting the pitcher with a DH allows someone to be consistently in the batting order and decreases the risk of injury for the team's pitcher.

If every league were using a DH I wouldn't think too much about it but they don't. This gives the home team during an inter-league game an obvious advantage however that advantage seems to be bigger for AL teams. All you have to do is take a look back over the last 10 years and see how many times the AL has won the All Star game and World Series. So, in my opinion, having a DH not only messes with the symmetry of a team (separating batters from pitchers) but it messes with the symmetry of the whole league.

People say the American League (AL) is less strategic since they have a DH. It changes the strategy of when to take a pitcher out of the game in later innings and who should pinch-hit for the pitcher. But think about it, you are replacing a "weak" hitter with a "strong" hitter. There is still strategy there. Do you pitch around the DH and go for a double play? Do you put a shift-on in the field b/c you know where that player likes to hit?

I think players like Big Papi deserve MVP, so stick him at first and see what he does. Then again, I'm also for a salary cap and against artificial turf so what do I know? I just think baseball should be played like it was in the old days. But so long as there are huge paychecks (read egos), steroids and selfish team owners (why else would they charge $7 for a beer at Fenway Park?) Baseball is what it is today.
Do you agree or disagree with me? Why don't you sign up and write your own article? Just email me at SoxyLady33 (at) gmail (dot) com and I'll send you an invite. It's easy and it's fun.

Some other topics?
  • What makes a great baseball park?
  • Do fans hate Barry Bonds as much as the media portrays?
  • The importance of first base and third base coaches
Of course, I'm highlighting some baseball topics because this is a Sox blog, but the categories are practically endless.

Yankees up 2-0. ugh.

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