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Designated Hitter in the National League? (Post #63: Proposed for 2019 by MLBPA)


Should the National League adopt the Designated Hitter?
Yes, I am in favor of the DH in the National League. 60%  60%  [ 113 ]
No, I do not want the DH in the National League. 40%  40%  [ 75 ]
Total votes : 188
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Offline  Re: Designated Hitter in the National League? (Post #63: Proposed for 2019 by MLBPA)
Posted: February 07, 2019, 6:01 AM Post
Posts: 53
Bob Skube Snacks said:
I loved the Brewers just fine when they played with a DH until 1997. I’ll love them just fine if they go back to using it.

And the “strategy” in the NL is the most overrated red herring foisted upon us by baseball fans.

Most of it what’s called “strategy” isn’t strategy at all, it’s obligation forced on managers because of a black hole in the lineup. There’s no big brains at work with NL bullpen management either. In the AL, you have to manage your bullpen around the matchups without that black hole in the lineup.

As far as pinch-hitting is concerned? Every manager chooses the right LHP/RHP vs. LHB/RHB split or chooses a player who happens to hit a certain pitcher well.

That’s not strategy. That’s called reading a spreadsheet.

The strategy in baseball takes place on the pitch-to-pitch level. Not in the obvious decisions that anyone with half-a-brain can
make.


You obviously have never played the game, much less managed a team. The AL has almost no strategy other than, as you call it, "reading a spread sheet" as to what pitcher is to face what hitter. In the NL the strategy is timing of using a PH and using your bench accordingly. Does a mgr. hit for the starter earlier if he thinks runs will be scarce. Which hitter off the bench hits early, does he use his best PH or save him for a later situation? If a double swith is made, how does that affect the defense, especially in the later innings. Now days, because of 13 pitchers on most teams, the mgr. has only 4 bench players. One is his back-up catcher who he is reluctant to use in case of injury. He may want to hit for a weaker hitter other than the pitcher too. Does he use a versatile defender who may be his best hitter or does he send up a weaker hitter in a clutch situation early in the game? This is just a small portion of the strategy that a NL manager has to utilize.


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Offline  Re: Designated Hitter in the National League? (Post #63: Proposed for 2019 by MLBPA)
Posted: February 07, 2019, 7:01 AM Post
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Posts: 5594
Can we stop with the "you obviously never played the game" foible? I've seen it several times here over the last month or so, and it never gets less condescending.


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Online  Re: Designated Hitter in the National League? (Post #63: Proposed for 2019 by MLBPA)
Posted: February 07, 2019, 7:44 AM Post
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Posts: 11131
Location: Milwaukee, WI
Joey Meyer Bombs said:
Can we stop with the "you obviously never played the game" foible? I've seen it several times here over the last month or so, and it never gets less condescending.


Well, now it is obvious. You have never played the game either.


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Offline  Re: Designated Hitter in the National League? (Post #63: Proposed for 2019 by MLBPA)
Posted: February 07, 2019, 7:51 AM Post
Posts: 11821
I'm split. I love to see pitchers that take seriously helping themselves with the bat. Brent Suter is a prime example of a guy that can be a tough out. Chacin is another guy who's a threat. In the history of the game, there's been some really good hitters who were pitchers. Best of all time might have been Wes Ferrell who put up a career line of .280/.351/.446 in over 1,300 PA. Ferrell belongs in the HOF too. He won 20+ 6 times and drove in 208 runs. He had a career 49.4 WAR as a pitcher and an 11.7 career WAR as a hitter. Another great hitting pitcher was Don Newcombe. In 1955, big Don hit a cool .359/.395/.632 in 125 PA.

All that being said, regular hitters struggle to put the ball in play these days so to get more offense and action in the game, it's probably time.


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Offline  Re: Designated Hitter in the National League? (Post #63: Proposed for 2019 by MLBPA)
Posted: February 07, 2019, 7:52 AM Post
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Posts: 5594
Brew4U said:
Joey Meyer Bombs said:
Can we stop with the "you obviously never played the game" foible? I've seen it several times here over the last month or so, and it never gets less condescending.


Well, now it is obvious. You have never played the game either.


I feel like I should post something about the Packers here ... [wink]


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Offline  Re: Designated Hitter in the National League? (Post #63: Proposed for 2019 by MLBPA)
Posted: February 07, 2019, 7:59 AM Post
Posts: 1996
Just think of the perks of DH....The biggest being as Brewer fans not having to listen to those Brewer fans who have to complain after every loss about how awful CC is & how he manage. Well they still will, but it’d be reduced a little


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Offline  Re: Designated Hitter in the National League? (Post #63: Proposed for 2019 by MLBPA)
Posted: February 07, 2019, 8:30 AM Post
Posts: 1513
I don't like it because of the focus on offense and because I prefer the strategic element. They want the games to go faster but they also want more offense. I think that's obnoxious.


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Offline  Re: Designated Hitter in the National League? (Post #63: Proposed for 2019 by MLBPA)
Posted: February 07, 2019, 10:35 AM Post
Posts: 473
Aguilar might be a perfect league min DH if it were to come this year or next. The season seemed to wear him out where DHing could save him a bit.


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Offline  Re: Designated Hitter in the National League? (Post #63: Proposed for 2019 by MLBPA)
Posted: February 07, 2019, 11:32 AM Post
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Posts: 946
coolhandluke121 said:
I don't like it because of the focus on offense and because I prefer the strategic element. They want the games to go faster but they also want more offense. I think that's obnoxious.


They don't necessarily want games to go faster - they want games to have better pace. Less time waiting for the next pitch, waiting for the next pitcher to be ready, waiting for the next ball actually put in play, etc. More offense and better pace are not mutually exclusive.

I've resisted the notion of the DH for awhile, but I think I'm over it. I absolutely love the strategy of the NL (and yes it is absolutely "strategy") and would prefer the DH to stay away, but I understand the notion that pitchers suck at hitting so why make them. And I hate watching our pitchers get hurt trying to swing or run or walk slowly.

MLB wants it, the players want it, the players union wants it. It's going to happen, better get used to it.

I am not Shea Vucinich


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Offline  Re: Designated Hitter in the National League? (Post #63: Proposed for 2019 by MLBPA)
Posted: February 07, 2019, 12:19 PM Post
Posts: 89
wntrtxn21 said:
Bob Skube Snacks said:
I loved the Brewers just fine when they played with a DH until 1997. I’ll love them just fine if they go back to using it.

And the “strategy” in the NL is the most overrated red herring foisted upon us by baseball fans.

Most of it what’s called “strategy” isn’t strategy at all, it’s obligation forced on managers because of a black hole in the lineup. There’s no big brains at work with NL bullpen management either. In the AL, you have to manage your bullpen around the matchups without that black hole in the lineup.

As far as pinch-hitting is concerned? Every manager chooses the right LHP/RHP vs. LHB/RHB split or chooses a player who happens to hit a certain pitcher well.

That’s not strategy. That’s called reading a spreadsheet.

The strategy in baseball takes place on the pitch-to-pitch level. Not in the obvious decisions that anyone with half-a-brain can
make.


You obviously have never played the game, much less managed a team. The AL has almost no strategy other than, as you call it, "reading a spread sheet" as to what pitcher is to face what hitter. In the NL the strategy is timing of using a PH and using your bench accordingly. Does a mgr. hit for the starter earlier if he thinks runs will be scarce. Which hitter off the bench hits early, does he use his best PH or save him for a later situation? If a double swith is made, how does that affect the defense, especially in the later innings. Now days, because of 13 pitchers on most teams, the mgr. has only 4 bench players. One is his back-up catcher who he is reluctant to use in case of injury. He may want to hit for a weaker hitter other than the pitcher too. Does he use a versatile defender who may be his best hitter or does he send up a weaker hitter in a clutch situation early in the game? This is just a small portion of the strategy that a NL manager has to utilize.


You are raising what are almost always obvious decisions into some grand alchemy that only the select can figure out. In truth? It isn’t that hard.

Very few managers swerve from their usual tendencies in these situations.
Oh! You mean the Brewers saved Ryan Braun on his day off for the last pinch-hitting situation in the ninth inning! What strategy! I never saw that coming the 50 other times they’ve done it!

Managing decisions like the ones you point out are always a matter of playing the percentages. That doesn’t make it “strategy”.

The strategy of baseball is what pitch to throw on what count, where to move defenders based on the batter, whether to bunt or steal. As I said, pitch-to-pitch decisions or risk management type of things.

None of which are taken out of the game with the DH.

And forget the strategy argument. Baseball is entertainment and I’m not really entertained by the exercise in working around a black hole in the order. It would be like deliberately putting a punter on the offensive line and trying to work around the inherent weakness. What’s the point?

Add in the injury factor and the DH is fine by me. I’ll enjoy the game with or without it, but I’d prefer to have it.


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Offline  Re: Designated Hitter in the National League? (Post #63: Proposed for 2019 by MLBPA)
Posted: February 17, 2019, 11:12 PM Post
Posts: 7611
I'm a fan of either the DH or Doug Melvin's idea of simply batting 8 players. Seeing our luck with Junior Guerra, Jimmy Nelson, and several others getting hurt has changed my tune over the last few years.


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Offline  Re: Designated Hitter in the National League? (Post #63: Proposed for 2019 by MLBPA)
Posted: February 18, 2019, 9:15 AM Post
Posts: 53
DHonks said:
I'm a fan of either the DH or Doug Melvin's idea of simply batting 8 players. Seeing our luck with Junior Guerra, Jimmy Nelson, and several others getting hurt has changed my tune over the last few years.


How about when Cain got hurt running the bases? Or Aguilar, or Braun, or Thames etc... Should there be automatic PRs for every hitter so nobody gets hurt running the bases? Maybe full platoon type baseball where there is offense and defensive players plus automatic pinch runners. If Yelich had missed the season because of a base running injury, the Brewers don't see the playoffs.


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Offline  Re: Designated Hitter in the National League? (Post #63: Proposed for 2019 by MLBPA)
Posted: February 18, 2019, 10:05 AM Post
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Posts: 4766
This should have been addressed decades ago - it makes as much sense to DH one league as it would to allow the 2 pt conversion in one NFL conference, or the 3 pt shot in one NBA conference ..... no sense at all.

The teams are competing for the same prize, so they should play by the same rules - I don't care whether that means DH or no DH, but I know the players will not surrender the DH jobs they've got, so get it over with and bring it to the NL.


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Offline  Re: Designated Hitter in the National League? (Post #63: Proposed for 2019 by MLBPA)
Posted: February 18, 2019, 10:12 AM Post
Posts: 1344
Location: Madison, WI
splitterpfj is 100% right. The MLBPA really puts a huge value on the DH. The owners know that. Hard for me to believe the owners would ever adopt the DH in the NL simply "for the good of the game." It just makes sense that they would save something like this as a bargaining chip in future CBA talks.


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Offline  Re: Designated Hitter in the National League? (Post #63: Proposed for 2019 by MLBPA)
Posted: February 18, 2019, 12:33 PM Post
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Posts: 1823
wntrtxn21 said:
DHonks said:
I'm a fan of either the DH or Doug Melvin's idea of simply batting 8 players. Seeing our luck with Junior Guerra, Jimmy Nelson, and several others getting hurt has changed my tune over the last few years.


How about when Cain got hurt running the bases? Or Aguilar, or Braun, or Thames etc... Should there be automatic PRs for every hitter so nobody gets hurt running the bases? Maybe full platoon type baseball where there is offense and defensive players plus automatic pinch runners. If Yelich had missed the season because of a base running injury, the Brewers don't see the playoffs.


Position players run the bases hundreds of times per season, it is part of the job. For pitchers it is only a small handful of times, a much more ancillary (some would even say unnecessary since over half the pitchers in baseball never have to worry about it) aspect of their job.


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Offline  Re: Designated Hitter in the National League? (Post #63: Proposed for 2019 by MLBPA)
Posted: February 18, 2019, 4:46 PM Post
Posts: 533
Location: Milwaukee
Watching pitchers hit is brutal. Between having a DH or a pitcher hitting nothing changes until the greater 6th inning area. Literally 2/3 of the game is exactly the same. Then there's either a pinch hitter and/or a double switch the rest of the way. WOW. Exciting stuff there. Can't wait to see which of the two moves Counsell makes!!!

Implement the DH already and end this nonsense so the pitchers can do what they're paid to do....pitch. Not put a helmet on and look stupid. Not slow down position players on the bases or prevent someone from stealing. Just go out and pitch.


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Offline  Re: Designated Hitter in the National League? (Post #63: Proposed for 2019 by MLBPA)
Posted: February 18, 2019, 5:35 PM Post
Posts: 1826
DH baseball is a better, more interesting game than non-DH baseball. If baseball had evolved in a way that didn't cause pitchers as a group to be worse hitters by orders of magnitude than everybody else, that would be great, but it didn't.

The argument that non-DH baseball is more strategically interesting, IMHO, misconceives what strategy means. Being forced to do something because of a systematic weakness isn't a strategy; it's a reflex. The absence of the DH causes managers to do things, but those things aren't interesting strategic decisions, they're reflexes. The argument is just odd on its own terms: "It's more interesting to force teams to play a guy who's abysmally bad." If that's so interesting, then let's make the starting 2b hit with a pool noodle. That would be downright fascinating.

Tradition? Very few living fans remember life before the DH. To most fans, a version of MLB where all pitchers hit has no more relevance than the versions where fielding gloves were basically made of wood and where there were no teams in the South or West. If traditions aren't substantively good, they only matter until people get over them.

Variety between leagues? This is the one argument I sort of sympathize with. Having different versions of the game to watch is fun. But if we want variety, why just this one variable? Back in the 70s, a lot of newer stadiums had astroturf. That was genuinely interesting and made for different styles of play. Unfortunately guys' knees started disintegrating, so that experiment had to end. If we really want to promote variety, we should actually promote variety in multiple creative ways, not just back into it by clinging to one difference between the leagues. Also, cross-league variety makes a lot less sense when the leagues play one another. I wish they didn't, but that train has long since left the station.

DH everywhere.


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Offline  Re: Designated Hitter in the National League? (Post #63: Proposed for 2019 by MLBPA)
Posted: February 18, 2019, 6:11 PM Post
Posts: 131
gregmag said:
Very few living fans remember life before the DH.

Having been born in 1972, I certainly don't remember it. However, it really wasn't THAT long ago. People born in the early 60's would almost certainly remember it, and those people would be in their late 50's right now. I think there's more than 'very few' of them still among us [smile]


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Offline  Re: Designated Hitter in the National League? (Post #63: Proposed for 2019 by MLBPA)
Posted: February 18, 2019, 6:15 PM Post
Posts: 53
[quote="gregmag"]DH baseball is a better, more interesting game than non-DH baseball. If baseball had evolved in a way that didn't cause pitchers as a group to be worse hitters by orders of magnitude than everybody else, that would be great, but it didn't.

The argument that non-DH baseball is more strategically interesting, IMHO, misconceives what strategy means. Being forced to do something because of a systematic weakness isn't a strategy; it's a reflex. The absence of the DH causes managers to do things, but those things aren't interesting strategic decisions, they're reflexes. The argument is just odd on its own terms: "It's more interesting to force teams to play a guy who's abysmally bad." If that's so interesting, then let's make the starting 2b hit with a pool noodle. That would be downright fascinating.

Tradition? Very few living fans remember life before the DH. To most fans, a version of MLB where all pitchers hit has no more relevance than the versions where fielding gloves were basically made of wood and where there were no teams in the South or West. If traditions aren't substantively good, they only matter until people get over them.

Variety between leagues? This is the one argument I sort of sympathize with. Having different versions of the game to watch is fun. But if we want variety, why just this one variable? Back in the 70s, a lot of newer stadiums had astroturf. That was genuinely interesting and made for different styles of play. Unfortunately guys' knees started disintegrating, so that experiment had to end. If we really want to promote variety, we should actually promote variety in multiple creative ways, not just back into it by clinging to one difference between the leagues. Also, cross-league variety makes a lot less sense when the leagues play one another. I wish they didn't, but that train has long since left the station.

DH everywhere.[/qu

So you're saying there is no strategy in the game. Every move made by a manager could be a "reflex" caused by a weakness. A pitcher being replaced because he is getting shelled is a true weakness. Bringing in a lefty to face a lefty is a weakness by the former pitcher. Replacing fielders for a better glove is a weakness. For those that love the DH, why not have as many DHs as a mgr. wants to hit. That way weak hitting shortstops or second basemen would never have to hit. How about weak hitting catchers. Think of the how much more "interesting" a game would be if Maldonado would only have to catch and a Kris Davis type could DH for him too. There's no end to how "interesting" you could make the game!


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Offline  Re: Designated Hitter in the National League? (Post #63: Proposed for 2019 by MLBPA)
Posted: February 18, 2019, 7:04 PM Post
Posts: 87
I’m so tired of DH baseball, and no one can stop the ruthless march of the lowest common denominator, so I’m giving in. I’m just going to enjoy this last year or two of real baseball before pulling the plug on 54 years of being a fan. I guess it will be lots APBA and history books on the game. You know baseball used to be number one. Now I just heard that NASCAR actually surpassed baseball in popularity (can’t believe it’s true). Whatever baseball is doing it’s failing. I’m sure the DH for the last 30 teams in America that don’t use it will save it though.


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