I was listening to a sports radio talk show a week or two ago and I will not mention the radio personality out of disrespect, but he made me laugh and not because he was funny. He said if the National League approved the DH it would create jobs and therefore be a good thing. The funny thing is that I heard the same argument when the DH was first coming into existence.
Huh? Can anyone count?
Neither of the two other talking heads on the talk show challenged his math, so let me explain for those who don’t know. Each American League team, the league with the DH, has a 25-man roster. The National League, without the DH, has 25-man rosters. With or without the DH each team in each league have 25-man rosters. There are no jobs created. If anything, you lose a pitcher and add a hitter, but that is not a given.
The argument about the National League adopting the DH surfaces every year about this time because football is over, college basketball has yet to get to March Madness, and the NBA is followed by Star People in another galaxy. And since baseball talk is warming up on radio shows, the DH comes up as topics are hard to find.
Another argument that has no merit about the DH is that it does not change strategy. I have heard this argument and I fail to see the logic, primarily because it is inane. It obviously does change how a manager manages a game. An American league manager only has to watch his pitcher and decide when to switch to a reliever. In the National league, there is much more strategy involved as all who follow both leagues know.
And for the record the National League outdrew the American League in 2015 by over 4 million fans. So much for the DH.
I confess at the outset I grew up, or rather grew older, during the years preceding the DH which was invented by Satan. Naturally being old school I prefer National League play, though I am cursed to live in an American League city. Another trick of Beelzebub.
I understand the younger folk prefer the DH because they want more offense and most pitchers can’t hit. However, baseball at its best is a thinking mans game, one for the literate, the intelligentsia. I read an article years ago in the New York Review of Books about famous writers who were baseball fans. The list was extensive, ranging from Mark Twain to John Updike. Of course they grew up during real baseball. But from Twain to Updike, baseball, with it’s myths and legends, so close to myth in fiction-another long article for another time-baseball has been like a siren luring writers of every generation to the diamond.
It won’t do me any good to bring up the argument that the National League has more strategy, more options, more to think about. If you want offense watch Arena football, the only sport to rival soccer as boring. One has no scoring, or rather it has nil scoring, the other has scoring on every play. Both are dull for the dull witted.
The best thing for you future geezers is to wait until the last of us baby boomers has passed from the scene, then change and ruin the game the way you want. Of course those of us who love real baseball will come and haunt you no end. And there are thousands of us.
However, if it can’t be done and the DH is adopted by the National League, then the best thing to do, is to eliminate the pitcher all together. If all you want is offense, then set up a 21st century pitching machine that can throw all types of pitching. It can even toss a rosin bag and walk around the mound when the electronic umpire’s calls do not go the robotic pitcher’s way. If the DH is in both leagues what is the need of a pitcher anyway? He has become pointless.
You young folk are just weird.
There are car nuts who love shopping at wrecking yards for car parts. I am a baseball nut, not a car nut, but I assume it is cheaper to buy parts on the scrap heap then at an auto parts store. The Mariners remind me of wrecking yard shoppers. This offseason they signed Logan Morrison and Corey Hart, both of whom missed significant time last season with injuries. They came off the scrap heap. Today they are both on the disabled list.
Last season the Mariners tried Aaron Harang and Jeremy Bonderman from the pitchers scrap heap. They also gave Michael Morse and Jason Bay a shot. None of them worked out. Now they have signed Xavier Nady, a right handed hitter.
Nady has played for eight teams; the Padres, Mets, Pirates, Yankees, Cubs, D-Backs, Nationals, and Giants. He is in extended spring training and will be assigned to Tacoma to get some at bats.
Manger Lloyd McClendon refers to Nady as a professional. That is a true statement because baseball players who are paid are professionals. McClendon said Nady got off to slow start with the Padres, his second tour of duty with them. He hit .135 in 22 games before being released. But he only hit .240 in 19 games with the Giants in 2013 and .157 in 2012 with Washington in 40 games. Nady is 35 and clearly on the downside of an average career.
Hart missed all of 2013 and went he went on the DL he was hitting .209 with 5 homers. He might return around the all-star game. Morrison hit .150 in 8 games before straining his right hamstring. He is currently rehabbing in Tacoma and is 7-21 (.333) with a homer run. At the moment the wrecking yard sale hasn’t helped. But Chris Young who missed all of 2013 and only pitched in four games in both 2010 and 2011, after starting 20 in 2012 and who has not won more than 4 games since 2008 when he won seven with San Diego is 4-2 with a 3.30 ERA.
I doubt if Nady makes it to Seattle will be any better. The Mariners favorite thing is to say, it can’t hurt, it’s worth a shot. But how many true bargains to you get at a wrecking yard?