Baseball’s Stunt Double
So I made a lot of changes this past season, if you haven’t heard; a different team, moving across the country, trading New York snow for Los Angeles sun… but another thing is switching from the American League to the National League. Now, I’ve heard a million opinions about the differences between the two: the AL’s smaller and home-run-friendly ballparks, the dimensions of the strike zones and varying styles of the umpires, the AL’s tendency toward power-hitting versus the NL’s focus on pitching and running the bases. But of course, the biggest and most obvious different is the AL’s Designated Hitters for its pitchers.
The way I explained the whole DH thing to Californians is that in the American League, the pitcher gets sort of a stunt double. Which is funny, since here I am in the land of stunt doubles, and my NL pitchers will have to fend for themselves at the plate. It’s taking a bit of getting used to again, but I don’t mind. Baseball is baseball. Maybe I’ll just get a stunt double to use at press conferences.
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Joe, Congrats on the Game 3 win. I’m a Phillies fan, but your guys played with a lot more fire in this one.
Regarding the DH, you’ve managed for a long time in both leagues. Do you have a preference? My main complaint with the DH is that the game suffers having two different sets of rules. I used to be a purist and said get rid of the DH, but now I’m a realist and know that doing so after 35 years in the AL isn’t possible. I think the DH should be adopted across baseball. What do you think?
I think having 2 sets of rules is the worst thing about the DH. I like some aspects of having it and not. I would think a compromize would be best. I would lock the DH to the starting pitcher. When the starter comes out the DH is lost. With this modified DH rule a starter that goes 6 innings would get 3 or 4 at bats by a DH instead of the pitcher, but when the relievers come in the Managers have to make the double switches and some hitters on the bench become part of the game again. Also the decision of when to pull the starting pitcher has offensive considerations, but it is in the favor of the starter rather than causing them to be taken out sooner.