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The DH Rule
I believe it is finally time to institute the DH rule in both leagues. With the money and resources that teams now spend on pitchers, do you really want to see orbital fractures like A.J. Burnett suffered last week? ThereÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s nothing exciting about watching an NL pitcher struggle through the lineup, then get off the hook by getting a weak hitting pitcher batting in the 9th spot. LetÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s take the pitchers out of the batterÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s box and off the basepaths and let them focus on what they are paid to do.
IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ve historically been a traditionalist on this front, but with the Astros moving to the American League next year we will see interleague play every day of the season. The playerÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s association will never agree to remove the DH from the AL, so letÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s play by the same rules in both leagues.
Miscellaneous NL Central Notes
–Speaking of the Astros, theyÃ¢â‚¬â„¢re taking Brett Myers, one of their better starting pitchers of the last two seasons, and moving him to the closerÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s role this year. Myers was the clubÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s opening day starter last year.
–Obviously, the hits and runs donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t starting counting until April and everything the pitchers surrender are blown off as “just getting their work in”, but I love seeing the Reds offense flowing like this. TheyÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ve pounded out 39 hits and 26 runs in their first 3 games of the preseason.
–Ryan Madson is scheduled resume his throwing program today.
–Reds minor leaguer Daniel Corcino received rave reviews after his start in a “B” game yesterday
He’s drawn some positive comparsions to countryman and Reds ace Johnny Cueto.
“He’s always playing catch with Cueto,” Baker said. “He hangs with Cueto. I call him “Cueto Jr.” He’s pretty proud of that too, really.”
“I really like how Corcino throws,” Cueto said. “He looks like me. He’s got courage. He started the same way I did. I hope soon he’ll come up here and help in the big leagues.”
–The Pirates inked Andrew McCutchen to a long-term deal today very similar to Jay BruceÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s extension last year. Per ESPN:
Andrew McCutchen, Justin Upton and Jay Bruce all signed extensions. All are outfielders, and all from the same draft class. They also all signed with very similar service time. How do the extensions compare? Andrew McCutchen Contract Comparables Signed At Similar Points in Careers When Signed Terms 7th-yr Option?< >Club option for both McCutchen and Bruce
–The Brewers are losing key players to injury early in Spring Training. Starting pitcher Shaun Marcum was scratched from his scheduled start over the weekend with Ã¢â‚¬Å“lingering shoulder stiffnessÃ¢â‚¬Â. Rightfielder Corey Hart is recovering from arthroscopic knee surgery and is expected to miss the start of the season. While the Brewers offense was better known for their combination of Ryan Braun and Prince Fielder last year (1st and 3rd in NL OPS, respectively,) Hart finished the 2011 season ranked 17th in NL OPS.
UPDATE: The DH Rule
Tom Verducci must be a reader of Redlegnation because he has posted a long article today on this very topic. The full article is worth a read and well represents both the pros and cons of changing the current DH rule.
No one on either side among the owners and players believes the AL will drop the DH. There is no way the union will forfeit a position that pays well and creates jobs for players who never had or have lost the ability to play defense. Owners like the fan-friendly offense the DH provides.
“It’s worse for National League teams,” said one GM. “When we go play in an American League park, they have a power guy as their DH hitting in the middle of their lineup. We have a fourth outfielder or backup infielder as our DH in the bottom of the lineup. You don’t build a National League team the same way.
Traditionalists prefer the game without the DH because that’s the way the game originated. But the DH has become a tradition unto itself — it began in 1973 — while baseball continues to change how the game is played, i.e. the addition of wild cards, interleague play, four rounds of playoffs, instant replay, 26-man rosters, centralized rather than league-based umpiring and administration, etc. With the exception of 49-year-old Jamie Moyer, every major league player today grew up regarding the DH as a normal part of baseball. It is used at every amateur level.
Twenty years ago the idea of a DH in both leagues was unthinkable. But the game has evolved so much in those 20 years that if you extrapolate the trends for another 10 years the loss of baseball as we knew it becomes, at the very least, a possibility. I thought about the possibility of an all-DH major leagues when I first heard about the move to 15-team leagues. But it was just theory. I was taken aback when I heard the prediction with such conviction of the 10-year window.