Crash Davis said it best, "I believe there ought to be a Constitutional amendment outlawing... the designated hitter."
It's impossible to fathom David Ortiz's production without the DH being anywhere close to his stats with the DH. Since joining the Red Sox in 2003, Ortiz has never started more than 45 games in a single season at 1B. Since 2007 he's started a total of 27 games at 1B. Don't get me wrong, I hear Ortiz is a great man and great teammate, but the DH is an insult to baseball players who put in twice the work having to hit and field a position.
Due to the new division alignment and frequency of interleague matchups, it's time for MLB to change how teams use the DH. My proposed change is almost how the DH is used in the minors.
The designated hitter is ONLY used during interleague series, AL vs NL.
There WILL NOT be a designated hitter in NL vs NL or AL vs AL series.
Fans of AL teams will see pitchers hit in their home ballparks for the first time. Conversely, fans of NL teams get to see the DH implemented in their home ballparks. Imagine the hype for Interleague series at NL hitter friendly parks like the Phillies, Rockies and Reds.
I'd be interested to hear feedback from AL organizations. On one hand they may not like losing the DH in their lineup. On the other hand, small market AL teams may benefit from the DH having a lesser role because they won't have to invest as much money at the DH position. It would also force AL managers to master the use of the double-switch. I imagine AL pitchers would rather hit than face an additional hitter.
I think it's a great idea or potentially great idea, but I am a tad bias. Most important, I believe it improves the game of baseball by limiting the use of the DH and making the DH neutral, not an advantage for AL teams. I know Selig is a big fan of interleague play. In college I wrote the comissioners office to suggest they flip the DH during Interleague Play, meaning use the DH at NL parks and no DH at AL parks. Thought it'd entice fans to attend lesser appealing interleague home series to experience a game with or with out the DL.
Let me know what y'all think. I'm interested to hear others thoughts.