By: Rob Schardt
Alright so as all baseball fans know, there is an ongoing debate that Major League Baseball “needs” to do away with the Designated Hitter rule, but I totally disagree with this statement. This past weekend baseball fans saw some extraordinary things from some pitchers across the league. Phillies starter Vince Velasquez was drilled in his pitching harm with a line drive and he dove for the ball and threw the runner out with his left arm. The guy literally threw about an 85mph dart across the diamond with his OPPOSITE arm and I was in awe of this. Next we had Reds pitcher Michael Lorenzen crush a pinch hit grand slam to put the Reds ahead, who ultimately won the game. Lorenzen has 3 homeruns in his last 3 official at bats and this I think is so special and awesome to watch. What I found so interesting about this was that a few days prior Reds pitcher Anthony DeSclafani also hit a grand slam. As a baseball fan, I think there is nothing better than watching pitchers who can hit. I mean how could not want to watch Bartolo Colon get an at bat. Watching Bartolo’s homerun was one of the best moments in all of sports history and if there was a DH in the NL, we would not have the opportunity to witness history.
If you believe that the National League should have a DH, you just need to reevaluate your thinking because there is no reason to do away with it. Alright, yes I know an injury can occur, but pitchers ARE athletes too don’t forget that. I have played baseball all my life and the best players on my team and played against were most of the time two players. Recently in the baseball world we are seeing the rise of two way players including Hunter Greene (another Red) and Shohei Otani. Personally, I think this is better for the game because I believe more fans enjoy watching a pitcher throw 95 mph, then get up and crush a homerun.
Throughout the years we have seen some of the league’s best hitting pitchers that include Carlos Zambrano, Dontrelle Willis, Zack Greinke, Madison Bumgarner Yovani Gallardo and Clayton Kershaw. So if you want to try telling me that the National League needs a DH, watch some of the highlights in their hitting careers and then talk to me. The MLB, I believe is also going in the wrong direction with all this launch angle and homerun stuff because it is taking away from the action. Yes, homeruns can be fun to watch, by pitcher, but by regular positon players, not so much as strikeouts have increased and extra base hits, minus homeruns have decreased.
There is nothing better than some old fashioned baseball where there are runners on 2nd and 3rd with 2 outs towards the end of the game and the manager has to figure out who to pinch hit for the pitcher. In the playoffs, I think this is the most interesting because it takes a lot of thinking to figure out who is a coach’s best option off the bench to help a team win. In the American League, the DH takes away from it, so I find it very interesting in the World Series, to see an American League team go without a DH. The rise of more skill and 5 tool players have helped managers out, but still there is nothing I want to see more than pitchers hitting every day. I am even in favor of the MLB creating a pitchers homerun derby because seeing guys like Bumgarner, Syndergaard and Greinke hit homers 400 feet, there is nothing like it and so many people would watch. There is so much strategy that goes into baseball without the DH, so hey let’s just get rid of it once and for all.
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