designated hitters
(Chris O’Meara / The Associated Press)

Roundtable: Do Designated Hitters Belong In Baseball?

49 years ago today, Major League Baseball implemented a very controversial practice. It allowed a fatass to sit on the bench practically the entire game and only come up to the plate. With the exception of 2020, the American League has embraced this practice. Since the 70s, however, there has been a push for designated hitters in the NL as well.

Many pros and cons exist with DHs. Many argue that they save pitchers from injury and running the bases. They also allow pitchers to focus solely on pitching. On the other side, people say that the National League requires more strategy with a guy who bats .150 on the season at the bottom of the lineup.

My take? Well, as fun as it is to watch someone like Bartolo Colon hit a home run, having a pitcher bat is ridiculous. In an era where baseball needs to develop some sort of entertainment to compete with Football and Basketball, having a designated hitter would add more offense. This equates to more entertainment.

Also with no DH, you don’t have your David Ortizes, Edgar Martinezes, or Frank Thomases pounding the shit outta baseballs. There’s an element of fun too with an out-of-shape player being able to hit a ball 500 feet. In a way, it’s like how punk rocker Sid Vicious played bass for the Sex Pistols without any knowledge of doing so.

In the COVID-Shortened 2020, we baseball fans were blessed with a universal DH. It was fun too. The Braves scored 29 runs in a game. In 2021, they reverted back to AL-only, which may have been the last season ever to do it.

Having the National League add this may inspire more kids to play the game no matter how big or small you are, just like how Vicious inspired kids everywhere to play bass. This is my take, but here’s what my colleagues think.

“Love the rule. i don’t enjoy watching a pitcher go up there and try to just bunt every time. some of the best hitters we’ve ever seen (David Ortiz, Frank Thomas,  Edgar Martinez) were DHs for much of their career” – Evan Kinsay @EvanKinsay

There are so many reasons for MLB to put the universal DH into the game. From the double switch rule literally designed to prevent pitchers from hitting to simply needing the game to have unified rules. There is really no reason to not have the DH.” – Trey Daubert @treydaubert

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