If you want to see the ultimate in knee-jerk reaction than I give you Major League Baseball. Two pitchers in the National League both went down with injuries and both did so while batting. Cue the “We need the DH in the National League” screams.
In St. Louis, Cardinals’ fans are dealing with the loss of star pitcher Adam Wainwright. He is out for the season with an Achilles’ injury suffered while legging out a struck ball to first base. His injury is far worse than that of Washington Nationals’ pitcher Max Scherzer who suffered a sprained thumb while batting today against the Miami Marlins.
“If you look at it from the macro side, who’d people rather see hit: Big Papi or me?” Scherzer told CBS Sports. “Who would people rather see, a real hitter hitting home runs or a pitcher swinging a wet newspaper? Both leagues need to be on the same set of rules.”
Actually, Scherzer has it backwards. What I’d like to see is pitchers actually take hitting more seriously and I’d like to see the American League do away with the designated hitter altogether.
God forbid we actually force American League managers to have manage a game rather than just send guys up to hit bombs all the time. That may be a stretch but I think you know exactly what I’m talking about. Look at Joe Maddon for example, the new skipper of the Chicago Cubs. He came over from Tampa Bay which is an American League team.
He’s already batted pitchers in the eighth spot rather than the traditional ninth in order shake things up increase the chances of an actual fielder in the ninth hole serve as a “second lead-off man.”
Another reason you have pitchers bat is to shorten games. Ya I know, time is money right? The longer fans are at the ball park the more beer, soda, food and merchandise they buy. Well count me as one who would much rather watch a 2 hour and 30 minute game than a three or four hour slugfest. I’m probably in the minority on that but too bad. I get more out of watching a good 4-3 game then I’ll ever get out of 10-7 one.
Want to eliminate the Kansas City Royals and Chicago White Sox brawling every other game? Get pitchers up there in the box. I’m not saying for one minute that pitchers batting would eliminate benches clearing or guys getting beaned but I would be willing to bet that you’d see a drastic reduction in such actions. Teams are not going to sacrifice one of their starting arms just for “revenge.”
At the end of the day, I get it; chicks really do dig the long ball don’t they? I’ll bet they’d also dig being able to get out of the stadium in under five hours too.
MLB a Month In – With baseball about a month old, here’s what I’m seeing so far in the early season.
Biggest Surprises: Tampa Bay Rays, New York Mets and Houston Astros. Did you see any of these three teams leading their divisions even this early?
Biggest Disappointments: Washington Nationals, Seattle Mariners and Cleveland Indians. It’s early, but there are some disturbing trends already emerging with these teams.
Manager on the Hottest Seat: Matt Williams, Nationals. This team was basically penciled in as the NL East winner from day one and many experts had them winning the World Series.
Best Offseason Acquisition: Alfredo Simon, Tigers. With Justin Verlander still not ready to go, Simon’s 4-0 record has been a welcome sign for the Central leading Tigers.