I hate the DH. You probably hate the DH. But the MLBPA loves it so we're stuck with the DH.
I also hate two sets of rules for inter-league and World Series play. Most fans and powers-that-be probably agree. We NL fans dread the thought that those powers-that-be might someday force the "AL-Style-DH" on our beloved senior circuit. But should that idea gain momentum, there might be an imperfect compromise that saves the NL from the current DH rule.
This modified DH improves the quality of play on both sides of the NL ball and betters defense in the AL. I'm not 100% sold but it could well be something both leagues would agree on. Here goes:
Each team still has 9 spots in the batting order. Each club gets to use a DH. BUT each pitcher must take his turn at bat in order to remain in the game.
So to use the DH you play one defensive player who does not bat.
Clubs could more easily carry an all-glove/no-hit fielder and an all slug/no glove hitter.
Say we lose Jose, Murphy gets injured again and we're looking at an offensively challenged Tejada/Turner middle infield . . . you could DH Lucas Duda for either Tejada or Turner and have your 4th OFer play right field be it Harris, Hairston, an Endy Chavez type etc.
- Pitchers get better defense behind them.
- Better offense from the 1-8 slots.
- All Slug/No Glove players like Lucas Duda maximize and equalize their value across leagues.
- All managers must master the double switch and know when to pinch-hit or pull a starting pitcher that is due to hit in a close game.
- The players union gets another higher-paying NL roster spot.
- We get uniformity of rules again.
- The NL is protected from the "AL-Style DH"
- Both leagues have to "give something" from the status quo.
- You stunt the offensive development of young Tejada-like players that lose 200-400 PA's a season.
- All glove players might see a decline in their salary which could raise some MLBPA objections.
- It's still a DH - which sucks - but it seems better than the one out there now.
So NL fans - is that a tradeoff worth making in order to ensure the senior circuit never has to adopt the dreaded current DH rule?
* Someone I mentioned this to a couple of years ago said they thought this rule/one like it may already exist in HS ball. It sure didn't way back when I was in HS. I'd love to know if that's the case though and if there are any differences. Thanks.