This is a non-statistical blog - simply the opinion of an avid baseball fan - feel free to stop reading now if you're looking for stats to illustrate or highlight the text below - I work fulltime and go to school and unfortunately have little time for the extra research.
It's 2011, enough with this purist non-sense of having the NL play without a DH.
Let me pose this question to all of the purists out there who are against the DH. What other professional sport forces its multi-million dollar athletes to perform a function that they A. are not good at or B. do not specialize in or practice?...Give up? the 64,000 dingleberry answer is: NONE except the NL forcing its pitchers to bat!
Making MLB pitchers hit a baseball is sort of like if the NFL made QB's kick 20 yard field goals. Yea, they can do the physical motion and probably make one now and then but they're not any good at it and certainly people shouldn't have to watch it or pay to see it. Having an automatic out allows pitchers like Halladay to dominate lineups and keep baseball offenses off-balance throughout entire games resulting in one-sided low scoring snoozers.
Seriously, we've all seen these pitchers' pathetic hitting stats where a .225+ OBP is celebrated! (stat research would come in handy here, what are pitchers' batting stats averaging for last 3-10 yrs)
How many rallies die automatically game after game the second a pitcher steps to the plate? The NL basically plays with 8 batters and an automatic out. Who enjoys watching a pitcher bunt? It seems that's what they do the majority of the time they step to the plate and more than half cannot even bunt properly (Research would be handy to know the percentage of time a pitcher bunts vs. swings the bat vs. succesful bunts). Personally, when a pitcher comes to bat it's my cue to get up for a beer and a hot dog or to go join the masses at the urinal line.
Let's face it, in this day in age where MLB is competing to draw young baseball fans and compete against high action sports like the NFL, MMA or the NBA the last thing it needs is kids watching an awkward, insecure looking pitcher flailing a wooden stick at pitches he's got no chance at touching. (Stat research would be useful to gauge AL attendance vs. NL attendance excluding interleague games).
Don't get me wrong, I'm not advocating the 4 hour offensive slugfests that take place in the AL every other day but there has to be a balance... and in this fan's opinion, the NL is way off-balance right now. With the diminishing role of steroids in baseball, offense is already down so it's safe to say that the overwhelming offensive effect of the DH coming to the NL is already somewhat nullified.
What are the arguments for? Because not having a DH brings in so-called "strategy" and double-switches? Yes, we all enjoy watching bench players get into the game and managers make moves but when you weigh that enjoyment vs the pure dull boredom of watching a pitcher bat, I say forget the bench players and give me an overweight 39 yr old slugging DH that can't run or field but can still whack a fastball into the left field bleachers.
Imagine if the Mets had a DH spot available now, not withstanding the current front office's frugal stance towards FA's, we could possibly be looking at signing a Vladimir Guerrero to anchor the lineup - How awesome would that be - sliding a Vlad type into the 7th hole?
Right now, HOF caliber players like Jim Thome, Manny Ramirez & Vlad Guerrero can only spend the twilight of their careers in the AL while we get to watch RA Dickey and Barry Zito step to the plate with 2nd & 3rd and 1 out. This is true madness and completely unfair to NL fans who have to see their favorite hitters' exodus into the American League simply due to silly outdated MLB rules. Do we really have to watch David Wright wearing an Oakland A's uniform in his final seasons only so managers have the opportunity to make more in-game decisions while doodling into their scratched out lineup cards? This is simply mad.
Come on NL, it's time to put the silly purist notions to bed. I dare to state that every major progressive change that has come to baseball in the last 60 + years has been for the better. Jackie Robinson integrated baseball, the Wild Card was added, the playoffs expanded...and now it is high time for the DH to become a permanent part of the National League - Get this done Mr. Selig and history will gaze kindly and amorously upon your name for centuries to come.
Needless to say there's a dozen other reasons to bring in the DH (injury probability, AL/NL power balance, FA market expansion) those I haven't touched upon for the sake of brevity - feel free to add to my case and or of course, make yours against.
Should the NL adopt the DH?
YES! LONG LIVE EDGAR MARTINEZ! (37 votes)
NO! I WANT TO SEE TIM LINCECUM GET BEANED! (167 votes)
SOMEDAY BUT NOT NOW! (6 votes)
I DON'T KNOW, I THOUGHT DH WAS DON HENLEY (13 votes)
223 total votes