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VIVA LA DIFFERENCE

BY MISS BASEBALL


Just before all the inter-league games started, it seemed every announcer was bemoaning how the Designated Hitter was awful, terrible, the worst thing ever. Particularly the Fox announcers specifically Chip Caray and Bob Brenley.

Way back when Connie Mack made the suggestion of the Designated Hitter, noting that a pitcher is usually the poorest hitter on the team, and the game would be benefit. At the time it was not adopted, however an amateur league, the Bushrod Winter League of California, in 1940 used the Designated Hitter, soon other amateur leagues were using it too.

In 1973 the American League voted to adopt the Designated Hitter. And the “purists” have been belly aching ever since. The purist claim that nothing in baseball should ever change. That just isn’t very realistic. EVERYTHING changes. Baseball has changed incrementally since the beginning. In fact if nothing changed there would be no baseball, it would have never evolved from its origin of Rounders or Townball.

If nothing changed, there would be no gloves, no catcher’s gear, no batting helmets, and a dead ball. Baggy uniforms without numbers, no radio or television coverage (oo no ignorant announcers now that’s a concept).

“Strategy” cry the anti-DH folks. OOOOO that double switch is so hard to figure out. I am sure that any manager who knows that 2 runs are better than 1 can figure out the double switch. Oh yes it does eliminated the tension filled moment when you wonder if your inept pitcher can lay down the bunt to move the runner along. The DH also rob us of the laugh filled moment of watching the pitcher actually swing away, now that’s a sight, as the pitcher confidently holds the big end of the bat, wearing his warm up jacket (until the UMP reminds him to take it off). The catcher sniggers until the pitcher holds the bat from the appropriate end. He steps up to the plate, makes 3 weak swings and heads back to the dug out, or more likely out to the mound because he is the 3rd out, and the number 8 hitter was walked just to get to the pitcher. Now that is strategy!!

If the DH didn’t work it would have been gone a long time ago.
Miss Baseball says let the National League keep the pitchers flailing away and let the American League keep the DH, just quit whining about it

“yes we have coupon”
----Edgar Martinez, Designated Hitter

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