When MLB commissioner Rob Manfred spoke back in 2018 about the possibility of adding a designated hitter to the National League, revealing that the dialogue “probably moved a little bit,” MLBTR readers responded in what was probably the most evenly-split poll we’ve ever conducted here; among 13,118 respondents, there was a 50.07 to 49.93 percent result ever so slightly favoring the status quo and keeping the DH to the American League only.
Circumstances have changed in 2020, to say the least. Over the weekend, Joel Sherman of the New York Post reported that the proposal the league is preparing to present to the Players Association includes a designated hitter in both leagues for the 2020 season — a measure aimed at keeping pitchers healthier during a shortened schedule that could include an abnormally brief ramp-up period, increased doubleheaders and/or fewer off-days.
If such measures are put in place this year, that will surely serve as a litmus test of sorts for a more permanent implementation of the rule. Adding a DH in the NL has been a hotly debated and oft-discussed topic for years now, as NL purists lament the potential loss of strategy while those in favor of the DH point to the general futility of pitchers at the plate.
The primary reason the league would favor the change, in the long term, would be to increase the regularity of balls in play. Pitchers batted a combined .128/.160/.162 last season in 5173 plate appearances (a negative-18 wRC+) — and that was their best offensive showing in the past five years. But that was also due in part to a BABIP spike, it seems, as pitchers struck out at a woeful 43.5 percent clip — their worst mark ever. Conversely, the league-average non-pitcher hit .256/.327/.443 with a 22.4 percent strikeout rate. Dropping pitchers for even league-average bats in those DH spots would have resulted in about 1100 fewer strikeouts over the course of the season (plus another 606 bunts).
On the other side of the coin, fewer double-switches would occur, and managers would be spared the occasional decision of whether to let a hot pitcher hit with runners aboard in a close or scoreless game. Those decisions are among the most cherished strategic elements of the game for many fans — particularly those who grew up up in NL cities or prior to the implementation of the DH entirely. We just passed the four-year anniversary of Bartolo Colon’s iconic home run, and there’s nary a more universally rejoiced oddity than watching Big Sexy’s home run trot against the audio backdrop of an elated Gary Cohen roaring, “Bartolo has done it! The impossible has happened!” Highlights of that nature are rare, but it’s that very scarcity that makes them such instant classics and treasured memories.
With all that in mind, and recognizing the unprecedented circumstances under which the league and union are working to put together some semblance of a season, let’s check in on some thoughts regarding the addition of a DH to the senior circuit. I know many in the anti-DH crowd would vote to remove the DH in the American League. However, it doesn’t seem that either the union or league would have cause to prefer that route, so I opted not to include it as an option — but feel free to voice it in the comments (link to poll for Trade Rumors mobile app users).
Easy yes for DH all around,
Its dumb never been like that. Yall are crybabys. Forget that they are taking the fun outta everything. Every sport, basically no more less kick returns, in bball wanna move or do something. Ugh college sports are better
Watching pitchers hit is boring and kills scoring opportunities. It’s is one of the reason I do not like National League team play.
Counter: Watching America League managers is boring and doesn’t require as much strategy. It’s one of the reasons I do not like Anerican League play.
It’s not simply about pitchers hitting. It’s about when to pull pitchers, make defensive switches, sac bunts…etc. The DH adds excitement in the form of more offense. Some, like me, feel it takes away a lot of thinking, strategy and nuance from them game.
I love that we have both options right now. It’ll be a shame when the DH is forced upon the NL, but it’s likely.
Disagree completely – I do not like watching effective pitchers get pulled because a team is trailing….if you like National style games then watch National league. I do not and no argument you make can change that. I do not watch baseball to “watch a manager manage” as too often they make question moves.
Alex Cora may have been great in club house, 2019 showed how dumb he was on the field. I watched every game through various medium and he gave away easily five or six games…..did not matter since they were not going to make the playoffs he may have thought….
No also ! 4th outfielder will be next ! Just say no.
Well the point is the National League will be getting the DH. I never said anything about changing the AL. I think the system is fine as is. We hsve real baseball in one league and bowling with bumpers in the American League. I’m totally kidding by the way. Bith have their flaws and merits. I prefer the NL, but the DH is coming. Can’t fight it.
People against a DH love to see pitchers strike out
dynamite drop in monty
Looks like the majority agrees with us.
49% is not the majority
the greater number.
“in the majority of cases all will go smoothly”
1 the greater part or number; the number larger than half the total (opposed to minority): the majority of the population.
2 a number of voters or votes, jurors, or others in agreement, constituting more than half of the total number.
3 the amount by which the greater number, as of votes, surpasses the remainder (distinguished from plurality).
No to the NL DH, ever!
Also, a ‘majority’ would be 51%. This poll is going to be a bit skewed too. Some folks who hate the DH would begrudgingly accept it in 2020, if it’s the only path to baseball in 2020.
Yeah there’s more than one definition.
Monty wasn’t wrong. Majority agree with having a permanent DH.
no, the definition of majority is greater than half. the DH vote is a minority position, but it’s carrying a plurality of the vote in the poll because the anti DH vote is split between two options
Lmao per Merrian Webster
the group or political party having the greater number of votes (as in a legislature)
the greater quantity or share
Per Cambridge dictionary
the larger number or part of something:
Lmao. Yes there are more than one definition.
Cool that you cited YOUR definitions to back up what you think. But dictionary’s say you’re wrong bucko. There are other definitions of majority and Monty used it correctly.
Darkside and Monty both used majority correctly in the way they used the word. Which is possible to do so.
Margin of error means it could very well be.
When you add up the “2020 only” plus the “never for any reason” groups, you have 51%. 51% of the poll respondents to this point don’t want the NL to have a DH past this one weird 2020 (hopeful) season. The majority doesn’t want the DH in the NL past this season, if at all.
So guys leaning towards trying the DH out in 2020 CLEARLY align with guys who don’t want the DH ever…..uh huh. Sure. Whatever helps you all convince yourselves youre correct I suppose.
In reality, if people are voting to try it out in 2020 they’re a lot closer to accepting it than they are spending their lives opposing it.
It’s the weed argument all over again.
…..Well alright only for medical purposes only. Just only those with medical needs……couple years later….Ya know what nothing bad happened so why not legalize it.
Those voting for DH in 2020 for the NL are more likely to vote FOR DH going forward than AGAINST DH when they see their teams offense spike and see it drop in 2021 without the DH.
But sure. They’re on the we don’t want a DH ever side. Uh huh. Keep telling yourselves that.
Poll option, verbatim: “I’m fine with it for 2020 and 2020 only- whatever it takes to get a season played.”
“Only” is a very key word there. The way it’s presented, the poll is asking can you deal with it if it’s a hurdle toward getting a season in. These folks would accept a DH if it’s a part of the path to baseball, as it is worded- but it in no way suggests they want a DH.
It’s somewhat akin to taking some nasty tasting medicine. You don’t want to savor the flavor, but most will do what they have to in order to achieve the desired outcome.
To your point about moving forward, yes, you may see some converts.
Right now though, this minute, the wording of the option would suggest they’re more anti-DH than for it.
I think PLURALITY is the word we are looking for here.
Why is anyone even bothering to cite a majority opinion anyway? We don’t live in a democracy and majority doesn’t rule here. If it did our president’s name would be Hillary.
The DH is more exciting than watching a pitcher strike out 4-5 times a game.
And I am an NL fan, lifetime fan of 35 years.
Time for change.
as of right now the yes DH vote is pulling 48%, so no it’s not a majority. the anti-DH vote is being split among the other two options so the DH vote wins a plurality, but I’m guessing if they did a runoff of the top two vote getters the all DH option loses
Two of the three options- the two with the most votes- includes a DH.
“DH in 2020 and 2020 only” Those voters are definitely not in favor of the DH overall. So no dh is the majority…
You misspelled “plurality”
Ya’ll wanna know what I think?
No, they do not.
And if you only looked at the votes cast by the group of fans that will be effected by this change, National League fans, you would find that less than a third want to see the DH rule expanded.
Forcing the DH on National League teams would be immensely unpopular. I can’t see MLB shooting themselves in the foot by doing something as dumb as that.
Good point, Jqks. I’m sure nearly every AL fan is voting pro-DH. It’s the AL style. I don’t fault anyone for liking it, same as I don’t care if you love ugly sweaters. Do you. I do not want to wear ugly sweaters though.
NL fans are the ones most affected here, and their voice should hold more weight.
There is another group that is affected with the DH. It is the group that is like Jim Abbott. You know, the pitcher that only have a left hand. He lost his right hand. You really want to see him bat again, with just one hand?
It’s actually a pretty even split. Add together those that don’t ever want the DH and those that would like it only for 2020. It’s almost 50/50.
2 out of 3 of the options in this poll seem to be anti DH. So numbers seem skewed.
Fourth option, for 2020 and forward:
Teams have the option to use their ‘DH’ spot as a DH or Pitcher. No team would be ‘forced’ one way or another. Teams would be able to make this change on a per game basis
With all of the rule changes MLB has made around pace of game and trying to make the game more exciting it only makes sense to incorporate the DH in the NL as well. I feel the pain of the pitcher who can handle the bat that wants to hit. I also feel the same pain when the guy who’s batting .011 comes to the plate in a close game with 2 outs and runners on. I want my pitchers to pitch, and my hitters to hit. Gives managers an option to rest players who they want in the line up still. I see to many pros and not enough cons to the NL DH. I was against it for years and years, it just makes sense. Pros- protects your pitcher so he can pitch, adds to the line up, gives manager and players flexibility, opens up NL market to DH type free agents. Cons- takes away from tradition of game, pitchers who can hit .250 no longer get to do so. So if I got this straight the only thing that’s really holding it back is a small handful of gifted pitchers and tradition (which with all the rule changes already doesn’t really matter)
I’m in favor of my username, but this is the next best option.
I’m not against this one either. Although, There are many fans and outsiders that love heavy hitters.
I’d like to see the traditional game stay alive. Home team chooses wether or not DH is used for the game. You’ve got Ohtani or Greinke pitching today? No DH. JDM on your team? Gonna want the DH. Keeps both sides happy without throwing away the old school.
I fear if they go full DH in another 60 years teams will be like football with an offense and defense teams, no 2 way play at all.
You’re massively overrating how good some pitchers may be at hitting. Ohtani is elite but thats it. Everyone else would choose a DH over a pitcher hitting.
But what about keeping the other teams DH out of the lineup as an advantage for your team?
Lorenzon in Cincy is a good hitter and 2 way player … he started some games in OF last year.
Right. If you had a good hitting pitcher you’d probably choose no DH for both teams to eliminate the other team’s DH.
How’s he a good hitter? Career .235/.279/.432 which is good for a pitcher, but terrible for a hitter.
You don’t have to use a DH in today’s game. You can choose not to. Teams don’t do it because it’s a significant disadvantage.
whitesox fan jack
Exactly, Oh. It’s not as if they haven’t been handling this since the beginning of Interleague play, and that round wheel has worked just fine.
I wish they’d just do away with Interleague play altogether, but another poll for another day perhaps?
That’s an interesting idea. Pitchers will be facing most impact from any move made regarding DH. With your suggestion, they will be facing talented hitters more times than bunch of number 9 hitters. By adding DH, comparison is between number 9 hitters and pitchers hitting. From pitchers’ perspective, adding DH might be better than removing number 9 hitter completely.
fs54 – in an 8 man batting lineup you remove the DH/pitcher, not likely that the DH was the 9-hitter. The 9-hitter (e.g. the 2nd baseman) will get moved up to number 8 and you likely lose someone from your 3-4-5 hitter, so actually the lineup in total is weaker typically.
However, the hitters that remain will cycle back more often, so if you have lots of good position players and a less stellar DH, you, as an offense, might prefer more at bats for Trout and less for Pujols, but that’s a different argument.
8-man will never happen though because it would throw off the symmetry of 3’s and 9’s in baseball. Although, it might be more tense watching a pitcher polish off a perfect game facing the 3-hitter for a fourth time instead of the 9-hitter. So in this case, from pitcher’s’ perspective, adding DH might actually be better than removing number 9 hitter completely.
DH in the NL, the team that gains the most is the Mets
Absolutely. The Phillies benefit a little bit being able to have Cutch and Bruce split time there to save their bodies but not nearly as much of a benefit as the Mets being able to fit their sluggers in the lineup. The Reds can put Castellanos there and avoid having his glove in the field. I think they will benefit most besides the Mets
I agree with you!!
absolutely the Reds are the biggest winners with Castellanos and that OF logjam.
Reds, Braves, Dodgers, Mets in that order probably benefit most from DH in 2020
Nope. The Dodgers far and away benifit the most with their ridiculous depth.
I really hope they won’t add the DH. But I dont feel like it’ll have a major impact on plans to have a 2020 season. I feel like it might be a thing in 2020 to get it to happen permanently whether you like it or not.
I’m afraid they might make it permanent if things go well this year. By now, I’m fine with one in AL and none in NL, but I do not want to get rid of another unique quality of the game by having a DH in the NL. It would be so weird but I have a feeling it will happen this decade regardless.
yeah I suspect this is what they will do also. never let a crisis go to waste.
I don’t think there should be a DH at all AL or NL. I wish the AL would adopt NL rules and have pitchers bat.
Terrible idea my friend. This won’t happen.
Terrible idea to play the game the way it was meant to be played? To add a little strategy to it? Or remove a haven for one-dimensional players?
The DH is an abomination. It’s pathetic. Give me the variations of having a pitcher and/or pinch hitter bat.
Some might say having pitchers hit is basically letting a one dimensional player hit too.
The original rules had only one baseball being used the entire game, pitchers being allowed to doctor the ball, and batters being able to request where they would like the pitch. Now THAT’S the way the game was made to be played! Or are you just prior to 1972 rules?
The way the game was suppose to be played. Home Run Baker once hit 12 HRs. In the 70s players hit 32 HRs and led the league in HRs.
The game is changing far too often for anyone to know how the game is “meant” to be played.
The game was originally played without jock straps as well.
Change isn’t always bad.
@fs54: the pitcher is in the game regardless. Having him bat forces him to be less one-dimensional than just having him pitch.
@stymeedone/@Halofan/@Stevil: pre-modern era rules were changing constantly; the game was evolving on a year-to-year basis as they experimented and found out what works best. The game was codified in the early 20th century, with the last major change being the ground-rule double in 1931. Since then we’ve had one major change: the DH in the AL, which doesn’t make any sense. Why is the pitcher different from anyone else? He fields a position, he should have to bat as well. Why not have a DH for any fielder who isn’t very good with the bat?
Dark horse, you’re entitled to your opinion, but so is everyone else.
For me the line is anything robotic. But better hitters and less stress on pitchers is something I welcome.
Tom E. Snyder
If “playing the game the way it was meant to be played” is your goal then you didn’t go back far enough. We need to at least remove gloves and catcher’s protective gear from the game.
@Tom E. Snyder see my post above. Both those changes were pre-1900 additions (and I would also say that catcher’s gear doesn’t have the same fundamental impact on the rules of the game as the DH does).
@Stevil as much as I think there should be no DH at all, I’m actually fine with keeping it the way it is. Having a league on each side of this question allows all fans to enjoy baseball the way they like it.
Just don’t bring your DH to my National League.
Fs54 – …..or zero dimensional players who can not hit for power, contact, move a runner over, or even bunt. Most pitchers are automatic outs…., but on the bright side it helps the opposing pitchers strikeout totals, and it speeds up the game by killing rallies…..
It’s going to happen, regardless of what either of us think. It’s just a matter of time.
I’ve always followed the Mariners and Braves closely, plus a handful of other teams. Game first, teams second.
I’m a fan of the DH, but realignment and expansion is more important for me.
I totally agree I think it takes a fun, funny element out of the game to have a DH and I think some pitcher like having that extra challenge
Please god yes. #killtheDH
Although I do admit this isn’t a very likely option, it’s the correct, and best, option
Why would you want a more boring playstyle shoehorned into the AL? I understand wanting to keep the NL the way it is since the DH rule is essentially the only key difference between the two leagues, but the DH undoubtedly makes for more exciting baseball. Look at Howie Kendrick’s performance in the ’19 postseason, we never would have gotten half of those highlights without his spot in the lineup as DH. Having the pitchers bat only adds a minuscule amount of strategy since 90% of the time they’re such easy outs. Alternatively, they can just let pitchers be the DH if they’re good hitters (Ohtani) and leave them out of the lineup if they’re not.
Watching a pitcher hit is as exciting as watching paint dry. As long as MLB is having interleague play, the DH needs to be in both leagues.
Blue or red paint?
Nice, so is Hockey going to introduce the 2 point line now and call it the purple line?
The origins of basketball was to have a jump ball after every made basket. How would that go over to basketball fans? Games are made to grow and evolve. I have watched and followed baseball since 1965. I follow an American League team. I quickly got used to the DH rule. Now with interleague play, I hate watching games from NL cities. Watching NL pitchers bat is boring, but watching AL pitchers who do not hit all year except for these games is really boring. Just my thought and opinion.
I agree. They need to get rid of both the DH and interleague play.
I take it you haven’t seen Bartolo Colon hit a home run? XD
I want to see the DH become universal, but as long as it isn’t, I wish they reversed the rules with inter-league play and had NL rules in AL parks and vice versa…. mix things up a little bit.
The obvious solution here, then, is to ditch interleague play.
Which, if we’re being honest, isn’t terribly compelling to fans for most matchups. For every Yanks-Mets series, you’ve got a Tampa Bay-San Diego series out there to induce yawns.
Why do you assume all pitchers cannot hit, and only pitchers?
I can find PLENTY of Catchers without big league level bats, but no one is clamouring to take them out of a batting order.
I agree: And that’s where the logic of the DH goes next: If you’re looking to yank generally weak positions out of the lineup to juice offense, how long will it be before you do it with catchers, too?
I think it would have been done by now, if the DH had conquered the NL at the same time it did the AL.
I don’t ever again need to see another pitcher batting in an MLB game.
Of course, if a manager wants the pitcher to hit, let him!
Bring on the DH!
D) I would be OK with it for 2020 if I didn’t think it would lead to it’s permanent elimination.
If pitcher’s hitting goes away, no matter the circumstances, it’s not coming back.
stan lee the manly
Agreed. DH is on the way in and it’s a shame
If it’s on the way it’s only on the way because people keep saying it’s on the way. It doesn’t have to be.
You know what would be better? 9 DH’s. And designated pinch runners. That would be awesome. Make it so.
the San Diego rec league I played in had all dh lineups as long as wanted (no less than 9) and 2 non runners. allowed way more people to contribute and enjoy playing. one dimension is all you need. rec is fun, lil different from pro ball
i dont see the need with the current proposal, but if that is what it takes then whatever. however if this is a stepping stone to making it permemant than no, id rather not have the season.
The current proposal has teams from the AL and NL east playing each other, AL and NL central playing each other, and AL and NL west playing each other. What do you mean you don’t see the need?
why not treat them like normal interleague games them?
You’re going to hate the next CBA then, because universal DH is absolutely going to be in there.
that’s just not true
I don’t like the DH. I’d rather it be gone completely, but that won’t happen. I’d also rather have 1 set of rules. So ok, lets have the DH in both leagues.
let pitchers hit, you cant complain about pitchers cant hit when you have guys like chris davis, jeff mathis, Stassi, etc…
if you don’t want to see pitcher’s hit don’t watch the NL. that’s why there’s an AL.
Elbow, Then end interleague games. It is very unfair to expect AL pitchers to hit during those games. As long as their is interleague play, we need the same rules in both leagues and in the playoffs. Watching pitchers hit is just boring and a real rally killer.
its part of the game. AL pitchers have to deal with a game or two as a hitter while NL teams have to find a sutible DH option when playing in AL parks. those aspects make the game more fun and interesting id say.
So finding “a suitable DH option” is as difficult as AL pitchers dealing “with a game or two as a hitter”? I doubt many would think these are equal problems.
How about when an AL team plays the final season of the series in an NL park and can’t use their big bat? What if they are in a pennant race?
Same rules for both leagues, either option.
Rally? What’s a rally anymore? It’s all either strike outs or home runs.
It’s not unfair. Most NL teams use a 4th outfielder as a DH when playing in AL parks, but you rarely hear people bellyaching about how unfair it is that NL rosters are constructed for more positional flexibility than having an aging sluggerto come off the bench.
The staring left fielder is likely to be slotted as the DH, and a younger, more defensively skilled player will take his place. Huge advantage to NL teams.
They’re not paying that 4th outfielder the way AL teams pay their DH.
Let’s end Interleague play please! I hate it, and if it does away with this DH to the NL talk, even better.
I don’t want to see pitchers hit, and so as a Braves fan I shouldn’t watch them. Got it. Dumbest take on here.
Noooooooooo!!! Don’t bring that stinky DH around the NL. I love watching relief pitchers get at bats and very rarely, get hits.
middle relievers rarely get abs
Yes to permanent DH
I’m all for using DH as a strategy. Allow the home team to determine if a DH is used or not. Allows teams with guys like Ohtani, Greinke, MadBum, etc to hit while they pitch and keep the other teams DH out of the lineup. I think in most cases the DH would be used as most pitchers can’t hit, but would add another element of strategy for the purists to talk about with lineup creation for game to game. I would miss the strategy of the game but wouldn’t miss watching a pitcher be a rally killer near every time up.
I’ve always liked this idea. It would also help smaller markets because they wouldn’t be paying for a 10th starting player. Or starting a guy that is just marginally better than a pitcher while the other team had a David Ortiz or jim thome
Would hate to miss the opportunity for Ohtani to pitch and hit in the same game, which Joe Maddon mentioned could happen at some point.
vincent k. mcmahon
If the NL gets the DH rule, it will give either players who don’t get opportunities to play that often or someone who is only a DH guy like JDM, N.Cruz a chance to play longer. The only pitchers I really would like to see hit are Kershaw, Waino, and MadBum.
that cheater Cruz doesnt need any morw chances to play.
You frisco people kept “that cheater” Bonds in as long as possible. You a satanist like the other frisco cronies?
i live in Pennsylvania…
No DH for me….but then again I still have a horse driven buggy……
If they are mixing the leagues for the regional scheduling, they will have to use the DH. And once they do, they’ll never go back. I’m resigned to it.
They won’t really have to use it, that just gets repeated over and over enough that people start to uncritically accept it as a fact.
Not using it would give the NL an advantage and cause AL teams to reshape their rosters, putting several veterans out of work. The Union will never go for that.
I’d rather not watch if it comes to this
This is a little extreme, but if the DH is forced on National League teams I know I will be pissed off every single time I see a DH come to the plate in every single Reds game for years and years.
I will still be a fan, but crap like this is exactly what drives me a bit more away from the game over time. And I am far from alone. Why would MLB do something like this? Unless they are actively trying to drive fans away from the game it makes no sense at all.
Universal DH for me. I get tense when I see a pitcher hit for fear of a career ending injury.
Agreed! It seems like pitchers get hurt much more on the base paths or just running to 1st trying to leg out a ground ball.
Much more than what pitching?!?
I’d keep the DH to just the AL, and seriously think about ending inter-league play.
I already don’t agree with DH in the Al, so don’t you dare add it in the nl. at least not permanently
I would be upset at this as a Reds fan since NL teams didn’t know they were going to have a DH ahead of time, but the Reds signed Castellanos and Moustakas. They have such a glut of OF’s and this allows for plenty of playing time for Castellanos, Senzel, Shogo, and Winker. It also allows them to keep Ervin and either Jankowski or Mark Payton. I still think Aquino is in AAA.
It would be a win-win for y’all, considering you got Lorenzen. And wasn’t Hunter Greene considered a two-way player at some point? If he gets to the bigs, that would be another way for him to provide value.
DH in both leagues yes. There’s a lot of non defensive players and some old timers that can still hit but can’t be on the roster.
That’s what the AL is for. The NL is for guys like Bartolo Colon to hit dingers!
The DH for both leagues should be a “yes”; but MLB should change the DH so that if the DH takes the field, it should not be lost for the game. For example, if a pinch-hitter is utilized for the left fielder, in the following half-inning the DH should be allowed to play left, while the pinch-hitter can remain in the game as the DH. It would increase the strategy decisions, allow the best defender at any given time to be on the field, and would be a welcome strategic change. The rule change would require an adjustment such that a pitcher could not be used as a DH in the middle of the game because that would allow said pitcher to be removed as a pitcher, and then reinserted to face a subsequent hitter. And both leagues would have to adjust to a rule change, rather than just the NL.
This poll needs another option.
Don’t care either way but both leagues should be the same rule.
Why not make mandatory the starting pitcher batting in both leagues and then when a relief pitcher enters the game, both leagues can put a Dh in that turn for the rest of the game. That will make a lot of interesting strategies pitching-wise.
What about teams using “the opener”? They could remove the pitcher after throwing an inning or two before he even hits. I like where your heads at though in terms of keeping strategy involved
Maybe if Manfred wasn’t making the rules for two way players more strict we would see some pitchers start taking hitting more seriously. I think by far the best option would be letting national league pitchers take hitting more seriously.
2020 Only. If pitchers no longer hit in baseball, why have two way players at all? Why not have free substitution on defense with a dedicated offensive lineup?
I voted no for the DH, but I think that the DBacks have something to gain by having a DH #freekevincron
I am all for a permanent DH. For guys like Otani and the Bumgarners of the world, they should be allowed to hit if their manager wants them to.
What is the collective batting average of pitchers since the DH rule came into affect? I’m willing to bet it’s probably somewhere in the mid .100s.
Should be a DH in both leagues or neither. There should only be ONE set of rules.
The leagues have always been different so I see no problem with the way it is
DH will create jobs and veterans will be able to prolong careers.
That’s what the AL is for
well, no, it doesn’t create jobs. rosters are still the same size in both leagues.
the DH can extend the careers of some old guys, but the opposite is true also, namely that lack of a DH can open up roster spots for defensive specialists and younger players that can play multiple positions.
How about a modified DH? Since most starters go 7 or less, why not allow one AB for the starting pitcher per game that allows for jim to continue pitching? Just one. Adds offense and keeps strategy on play.
I don’t care one way or the other as long as everybody plays by the same rules! With inter league play happening every day, uniformity in the rules of the game should be key.
Pitchers hitting isn’t as fun for the passive fans who get their baseball from ESPN highlights. Watching games are a lot more fun with NL style play. It brings a lot more strategy and gamesmanship.
I have been a baseball fan since 1965 and I support the DH. I am a passionate, not passive fan. Watching pitchers bat is outdated.
I like the current situation. I’m a Mariner fan and like the DH just fine. But when the M’s go to a National League park, it’s really fun to see baseball strategy at play. And the occasional legendary hit by a pitcher such as Felix’s grand slam against Johan Santana and the Mets, Bartolo’s homer, etc, would be lost forever with the DH in both leagues. The DH rule has extended the careers of some greats such as Tony Perez, Orlando Cepeda, David Ortiz, and many others. Why not leave it as is? Baseball fans get the best of both worlds.
Yes, I have to agree there, it is the best of both worlds, and even though I am pro-DH, I do enjoy the moments you get from pitchers hitting.
How about a “Both leagues play by the same rules” choice?
Avoids the “No DH anywhere” choice, but might gauge the level of fan’s support for universal rules.
Sid Bream Speed Demon
If they don’t adopt the DH rule in the NL, I would like to eliminate interleague play. It is a huge disadvantage for the NL to have to throw in a DH 20 or so times per year.
Worn out players on bad contracts coming to an NL park near you.
The DH is baseball’s version of politics and religion. Arguing about it is pointless because probably nobody will ever be convinced to change their position.
But if anyone is still open-minded about this, an additional factoid to consider is that pitchers seldom swing a bat more than twice in any game in the NL. As a result the statistical differences between the leagues are just about as small as you should expect if you’re thinking about the numbers. It’s in the low single digits. The game was altered in the AL for only that much result.
I would sooner like to see only 8 batters than the boring DH.
A DH is like the guy in slow pitch who is super out of shape, can barely move, but lofts out homer after homer. Snore!
It’s lazy baseball.
Lazy baseball is watching pitch after pitch go by, hoping the AB can be over with so you can go pitch again.
Any rule say that the pitcher can’t be the designated hitter? Look at the stats from last year, some pitcher’s where better hitters than the utility players on some rosters.
I dont need to see a pitcher hit. Actually, they swing and miss for the most part.
Watching a pitcher hit has never bothered me, though I suppose I’m biased.
DH in both leagues just makes games more exciting for fans. It’s cooler seeing Max Muncy come up with the bases loaded, two outs, bottom of the ninth. Rather than Alex Wood come up, get pinch hit for with Austin Barnes, and he grounds out.
I disagree. Having the DH just makes it more boring for fans. It’s cooler to think about possibilities from pinch hitters, more tense having a guy have one at bat to make a difference. Total do or die. The DH gives you the same nine hitters day in and day out. It’s bland. AL coaching decisions don’t have as many consequences.
Yes, I understand the strategy behind the pinch hitter, and it is more strategic than the AL, but here’s another thought. If an NL fan favorite got older, and didn’t have the ability to play the field anymore, then are you going to let go of the fan favorite just because he can’t play the field anymore? No, you’d stick him on the bench and he could pinch hit, right? But if you had DH he could slide in there, and still be able to play every game. (Plus it’d probably bring up ticket sales if he’s that close to so many milestones)
I guess I would say that, unfortunately, if he can’t hack it, he can’t hack it. If you wouldn’t make the same exception for a young kid starting out who can’t field, you shouldn’t make one for an old guy finishing up who can’t field. This is the highest level of competitive baseball in the world. As much as I hate seeing a Griffey, Rolen, Jeter, Nomar, or Ichiro go, and now as Zimmerman gets up there, when it’s their time, it’s their time. Sure, if he wants to, have him pinch hit ’til he can’t anymore.
Wood is a better hitter then Barnes to be honest
Parhaps then since we can’t agree, keep it the same. When you’re in an AL park the DH is in play, in NL parks it isn’t
After the 5th or 6th inning pitchers are pinch hit for anyway might as well just make a universal Dh
Here’s an alternative proposal: instead of making the DH mandatory, could it be brought in as an option on a game-to-game basis? That way, if a team (or a pitcher, they should have a say) wants to have Lorenzen, Bumgarner, or any other pitcher hit, they’ll be able to do that. If not, then use the DH. In fact, let’s open up this option to the American League as well, for equity’s sake. To me (an American who is probably brainwashed by the ideas of rights and free will), it doesn’t make sense for “America’s Pastime” to be dictated by imposing rescrictions that limit the abilities of any team or player. This is an opportunity for Manfred to prove that he is the commissioner of baseball, not the Czar of baseball. After all, individualism is supposed to be celebrated in the US, right?
why is the question always in the affirmative? Why can’t MLB play real baseball and eliminate the DH for everyone?
For 2020 only. The DH takes the strategy out of the game. I like the double switches. Those are crucial for late inning games.
Eliminate the DH entirely.
Rather than changing the rule because pitchers can’t hit, get injured while doing something they don’t normally do, or allowing defensive butchers to just hit, why not have coaching staffs teach these things in ST?
Its not like these players didn’t bat, pitch, and probably play at least 1 other position growing up.
Why not consider some other options?
1. Pitcher can be skipped/batted for once per game without being removed (this would solve a lot of the issue for starters since many don’t go more than 5 innings regularly anyway).
2. Absolutely no “regular” DH. Every team must rotate their DH on a game by game basis.
3. A pitcher must bat once per game, prior to the 8th inning. Any pitcher on the roster can be chosen, but as with regular pinch hitting scenarios, whoever he bats for is removed from the game. Teams are not allowed to list a player who is obviously not a pitcher as one just to circumvent the rules. Or, said player must pitch the next inning.
Just a few ideas off the top of my head.
I’d rather not have a DH in the NL, but I’ve accepted that the chances it gets implemented are very high at this point.
I’m a Pittsburgh Pirates fan. I’ve watched National League Baseball my entire life, and I am in favor of a universal DH.
Not only would I rather watch a DH hit instead of a pitcher like Joe Musgrove just stand in the box, but I would like a franchise like Pittsburgh to have their own opportunity to find an Edgar Martinez or David Ortiz.
Plus, regardless of the size of rosters for this truncated 2020 season, the rosters were already planning to expand from 25 to 26. What are you going to use that extra man for anyway?
Great post! Yes, it gives opportunity to great players like Edgar Martinez. I’m a Mariners fan and every time Edgar came up you sat on the edge of your seat, expecting something to happen, because he was such an awesome hitter.
Let’s get a DH, expand to 32 teams, and realign. It’s time.
Just get rid of the DH entirely. Playing baseball means hitting, catching and throwing. Train pitchers to hit and pitch at every competitive level.
This obsession with 3 outcome hitters just saps away actual gameplay, making it harder to attract new fans.
LOL, a poll that shows that roughly 50% of fans are AL fans and 50% are NL fans. The difference between the NL fans that are ok with it for this year vs. not at all is interesting though. Seems like 2020 needs to prove its better baseball to the majority of that middle bucket and possibly some of the latter before this gets the majority of fan sentiment longer term.
I am a fan of a national league team and i voted for dh. Would be interesting to see a poll though to see the breakdown of the fans from each league and how they voted on dh.
Season is meaningless. Put jugglers in the stands too.
Be honest… how many of you so dead set against the DH are under 50 years old? The DH has been a thing for more than half the lives of most baseball fans, even older ones. It’s not some new fangled thing. There are folks who are grandparents today who weren’t alive when the DH was implemented.
I’m under 50 years old and I’m dead-set against the DH.
I am under 50 and against it. I explain my reasoning below. Regardless of age, so many fans fail to appreciate the intricacies of the game.
I’m over 50, and dead set against pitchers hitting.
My instinct is that I want more offense. I don’t like pitchers that completely suck at offense, including small ball. They should be able to move the runners and hit a sac fly. So I prefer to just get rid of it if they won’t develop. However, there’s another aspect how the NL game is very different because it forces the manager to use his bench. Getting rid of it will take significant dimensions of the game away and make the game less interesting.
The majority of those who need pitchers to hit in the NL (not sure why) are over 40. That crowd will eventually dissipate. It’s the same mentality of hating the three point line in basketball. Every sport adapts, baseball included. Very few “fans” have stopped watching the game because of wild card formats, replay integration, etc. Real fans stick with the sport through and through and the casual ones still show up to games to sip a few beers or hang with the family. I LOVE bunting and the strategy behind it. However, it isn’t worth the cost of dread when a pitcher is up in a key situation with 2 outs, when the pitcher is at any risk of injury or fatigue in the following inning, or strictly from an entertainment standpoint, watching him flail at pitches. Open up some jobs for new blood in the league. Expand the rosters a little. It keeps not only the players, but the entire game fresh from a fans perspective.
Yeah “all old people have the same view and their terrible ideas will die.” That’s absolutely foolish and irrational thinking. Young people can have an educated view of how the NL has a very different style of play that changes roster construction.
And some of us “older ones” can see how idiotic it is to have pitchers try to hit. Everyone wants to make it about strategy, which usually involves replacing your pitcher with a pitch-hitter, so the pitcher isn’t hitting anyway. I don’t want to watch pitchers trying to hit. It’s embarrassing.
Now Nelson Cruz can have 30 suitors instead of 15.
Totally no to dh- takes all statagy out of the game – and slows the game down- remove dh from American League
Some Pujols/Cabrera contracts coming to the NL.
I am firmly against the DH in the NL (baseball to me is how well you hit AND play defense as a player, and the decisions therein) but I don’t really notice it when I watch AL games. Its also a question now of when rather than if, and Im certain I’ll adjust to it when it happens. Wont keep me from watching, thats for sure.
I am uneasy of using it in a year where there will be regular interleague play and no NL team had a chance to sign a DH….but it seems like a good time to experiment with it on paper.
There should have been another option for this poll, to wit:
“I see the pro’s and con’s of either style of baseball – but at end of the day, I really enjoy the game under either circumstance – though I would prefer that it be all the one or all the other.”
I think a lot of fans feel this way.
Actually, having the AL with DH, and the NL without does have some interest to it, just that the Leagues have a definite difference, and it’s intriguing when there are interleague games
Well, to each his own. I don’t find it intriguing, I find it skewed and unbalanced – a net negative. But it doesn’t stop me from enjoying those games, I just consider it a minor irritant.
I find DH games basically unwatchable. The flow of the lineups is gone. The strategy of when to remove a pitcher and when to pinch hit is gone. It’s a different sport, a lesser sport.
I think having pitchers hit is idiotic. Their hitting has gotten worse and worse. It’s no different than making your left tackle start at QB, or the ball boy start at power forward.
MLB is a professional sport. Hitting is not a pitchers profession. I’m very conservative when it comes to making changes in sports but watching pitchers try to hit is painful, (and boring) and I am usually embarrassed for them.
DH would allow for some of your favorite players to keep on keeping on. Instead of limiting them to 1/2 the league for a DH spot, you’ve got a roster spot for a dude that can rake, but can’t man the hot corner or 1B or OF anymore and he doesnt just sit on a bench as a PH. Like I would have loved to see Jim Thome as a DH for the Phils and not just a PH. Hitters hit, pitchers pitch. Watching pitchers bat is like watching a QB try to make a tackle on a turnover. Trainwreck 90% of the time.
thats it fort pitt
I don’t want the DH ever, but if it does get universally implemented, NL teams need some time to figure out how they would man the position, maybe even a couple years to develop prospects as strictly DHs, but at least one season to re-evaluate the in-place personnel and financial markets for potential free agent DHs.
Say YES to the DH.
The MLBPA is pushing the universal DH. NL owners are dead set against it because it will raise payroll by $7 million per team on average. Manfred is caving on this issue because he wants the players to take less money for 2020 even though they have guaranteed contracts.
Most of the small market teams are in the NL. Padres., Brewers, Reds, Pirates, Marlins, Diamonbacks, and Rockies are 7 of 10 smallest media markets in baseball.
I’d like universal DH, at Home Field discretion, but the home team has to declare for the series, not game by game. Let’s the visiting team prepare for the series and not have to necessarily make roster moves all weekend.
Would allow lower revenue AL teams like Oakland and Tampa to not have to pay an extra every day player, and could help them neutralize an advantage higher market teams have of throwing another 20M at a slugger. Would also allow an NL club like the Reds, with extra bats and a hitters park, to make the most out of their current situation. And, if a slugger gets hurt, gives a team like the red Sox another way to respond to the injury. Perhaps going no dh is the better play for a series or two if JDM is day-to-day.
I absolutely cannot stand the DH and I think it takes a lot of managerial strategy out of the game, but it also seems inevitable.
I was always against the DH in the NL but with the DH in HS, it’s getting to the point where some of these ML pitchers haven’t swung a bat in a live game since Little League.
It matters ALOT. I have been a rampant fan of MLB since the early 80s. The universal DH bothers me as a Mets Fan. I get ALOT of enjoyment watching pitchers hit. I know many others find it “boring”. But I definitley will find a universal DH boring. After almost 40 years of eating and sleeping baseball I may just give it up.
My personal preference is no dh either league. If one league has the dh then the other should as well. I do not like the the advantage the dh confers to AL teams. Al teams can offer longer contracts knowing they can transition an older slugger to dh for rest and comfortably add extra years to a players contract. That same player in the nl would be getting a seasons pay to mostly ride the bench in the Nl at the end of his career providing lesser value to a nl contract for the same price. For this reason and others i voted for universal dh.
Chris the Great
I suggest two DH’s per team. One as normal the other would be used to remove a light hitting all defense player. This would open a world of in game changes that could be made by switching players.
As a lifelong Jays fan under 50, all I ever knew was the DH. Didn’t play video games as an NL team and it seemed dumb to me to have pitchers hit. Then I was in Arizona when Archie Bradley hit a wild card triple against the Rockies. To the guys complaining watching a pitcher hit being embarrassing, is it any different than a steroid user who’s too bulky to move properly hitting balls to the moon? I’ve seen Edwin Encarnacion field and that’s embarrassing. I’ve seen guys wish for more time for Ortiz and Cruz to play, all connections to baseballs infamous cheating past. Both sides have legitimate arguments and no clear advantages for either. I saw the year of the long ball this year and I was not a fan of the overall inability for players to put the ball in play. More DH’s doesn’t change that as there is only a ~10% difference in a pitchers ability and DH’s ability to put the ball in play. Status quo is fine with me.
I wonder what a poll of mlb pitchers would say?
The DH is the stupidest controversy in all of MLB history. Have it, don’t have it. The purpose of pro sports is the provide entertainment, no more or less. Whether the DH is in one league, both leagues or neither is inconsequential in terms of entertainment value and ought to be put aside once and for all so they can get down to dealing with some of the sport’s actual problems. I for one am just sick of hearing the debate about it. Both sides at this point sound like idiots for making it such a big deal.
It does not matter. Period.
It matters ALOT. I have been a rampant fan of MLB since the early 80s. The universal DH bothers me as a Mets Fan. I get ALOT of enjoyment watching pitchers hit. I know many others find it “boring”. But I definitley will find a universal DH boring. After almost 40 years of eating and sleeping baseball I may just give it up.
If that is what would make you give up a sport that you allegedly devoted 40 years to, then I have to call the level of your actual fandom into question.
Regardless of what bums like us think, it’s going to happen. Seemingly most, if not all parties that actually matter are into the idea. The players association is in favor, as it creates more jobs and protects pitchers from undue risk in the box , and (theoretically) on the base path, and the owners are also in favor of player health, as well as the potential for more runs being scored. Us debating the issue, while fun, is really unnecessary.
If a manager really wanted a pitcher to hit, he could still pinch hit them, and then subsequently put them on the mound next inning.
If we’re really going to consider having the DH in the NL, and we’re really going to seek input from fans – or players or managers – then it strikes me we should only be seeking that input from those affected this: those in the National League.
Yes, there’s interleague series, but that’s a small part of the schedule. And if non-DH really bothers that many AL fans, then just find a way to restructure the schedule to eliminate interleague.
This afternoon there was a comment on here linking to a Public Policy Polling study that showed that 65% of baseball fans were against the addition of the DH. Has it been taken down for some reason?
Hate the DH. And the same people that want it also want to shorten the time of the game. Adding the DH will make the game even longer. Leave the game alone or bring back the play at the plate. Or breaking up a double play at 2nd base. Let’s play baseball the way it was meant to be played.
If you can’t walk out and field a position….you have no business being in the batting order.
I’d much rather have 8 man batting lineups than the DH.
it’s simple who ever has better league hitting stats dh’s or pitchers wins…so DH both leagues permanently the only other choice i’d be happy with is when nl plays al just let both teams use their normal lineup
make the DH optional. Teams don’t really employ traditional DH’s these days anyway so if you have a pitcher who can actually hit let him hit if he wants.
In the future you should ask what people prefer:
1. DH both leagues
2. DH only AL
3. No DH either league
I think the “purist” crowd is pretty evenly split among the latter two.