The last month or so there had been a lot of talk about finally getting the Designated Hitter installed in the National League, so that both the N.L. and American League are playing the same game.
That simply isn't going to happen, and it shouldn't.
In 1973 the A.L. started inserting an additional batter into the lineup so the pitcher would no longer hit during games.
The N.L., the oldest organized professional baseball league, founded in 1876, has fiercely rejected the move toward pitchers not batting in games.
The current designed hitter rules are this...
In the N.L. the pitchers hit, usually occupying the 9th spot in the batting order, although some managers, like Hall of Famer Tony LaRussa, who would, at times, bat his pitcher 8th.
The A.L. pitchers don't hit when they play other American League teams, and when visiting National League teams play in the A.L. home park.
The N.L. pitcher is replaced by a DH in the A.L. ballpark.
When A.L. teams play on the road at N.L. ballparks, the A.L. must bench the DH, and the starting pitcher is added to the lineup.
The problem, as I see it, is that the American League is always at a disadvantage in Interleague play.
When the N.L. team goes to play in an A.L. park, they simply insert an additional bat into the lineup.
However, the N.L. is never at a disadvantage because the A.L. pitcher must hit on the road, but the N.L. pitcher NEVER has to bat in the A.L. park.
So, the debate rages on, should the DH be used in both leagues, should the DH be abolished, making A.L. pitchers hit, or should the DH remain status quo?
I've got the answer, and, frankly, it's quite simple...
...let the two big leagues play baseball the way they play baseball, in every game, home, or on the road.
That's it...no matter where the Interleague Games are played, in the N.L. or A.L. ballpark, the American League team plays with a lineup of 9 batters in the lineup, and the National League has 8 batters and a pitcher, and that pitcher has to grab a bat and hit.
The A.L. manager continues to run his club the same way all 162 games with the DH, and the N.L. skipper has his pitcher batting, and he can use all the double switch moves he has too make.
Pretty darn simple, don't you think?
No having A.L. pitchers worrying about taking batting practice instead of working on their pitching, no N.L. manager trying to figure out what bench player has to DH one night, and not the next.
Disagree, think I'm wrong...or, do you agree, or have your own solution to the DH issue?
Comment below and please vote in the DH Poll at the upper right of the blog.
If you'd like, hit me up on Twitter, at @freehan11 ...I'll be glad to hear from you.
PLAY BALL! ⚾