Disclaimer: I realize Clem just blogged this. I had the blog 95% written but was asked to go do a time sensitive video with Mush so that delayed me from publishing. I also have the opposite take of Clem so I figured I'd still hit publish. Whatever, you'll likely hate what I have to say anyways so enjoy!
You hear that? It's the National League purists freaking the fuck out because their "fun" idea of strategy might be going away for good. I see both sides of the argument, but have a strong opinion of what should happen moving forward.
What makes baseball unique and equally as stupid is that there are different sets of rules for each league. There's no other sport like it. Imagine if in basketball there was a 4 point line in the Western Conference and just a normal 3 point line in the East? It'd be chaos. Since 1973 the DH has been a thing in the American League while pitchers continue to hit in the NL. Baseball is trying its best to change and become the best version of itself which has led to more and more discussion over the recent years for a universal DH being installed. Now take that Bowden report with caution because it's Bowden, but for the sake of discussion let's trust him.
Listen, Bartolo Colon's home run was one of the best things that's happened in baseball in the last 15 years. It was such a pure moment that it was impossible to not enjoy, even as a Yankees fan. The good news is that we'll always have that moment. We don't have to wonder what would have happened if Bartolo Colon homered in a game. It happened. Nirvana was achieved and we can always hop on YouTube and smile about it.
Now it's time to put our heads on straight and correct the game. For as cool as Bartolo's homer was, it's just as horrible to watch pitchers with no idea how to handle the bat try to make contact. Enter Mike Foltyznewicz.
This is the kind of baseball you get when you have pitchers hit. Do we really need to keep the DH out of the NL just to see the 0.1% of the time something crazy happens? How is that worth it? NL fans will say they love the strategy of having to leave a pitcher in or take him out if he's due up in the next half inning. The double switches are what get them off. I get the "fun" in that, but it's also wildly unnecessary. In 436 total at-bats, Milwaukee's Ben Sheets collected three extra-base hits and struck out 206 times. Like what are we doing here?
Another strong point for the universal DH is the job opening aspect. Right now if you're a DH who can't field you're stuck in the American League, with your opportunity of employment shrunk in half. Take a guy like Kyle Schwarber? For majority of his career he's been forced to the outfield where he's a massive liability. He's a great bat so the Cubs are forced to bite the bullet and stick him out there. If the Cubs were able to use the DH that would open up a whole new world for him. Same can be said about the Yankees third baseman Miguel Andujar. I love Miggy and think his bat is incredible. His problem is that he's one of the worst defensive third baseman in baseball and is coming off a big injury. Obviously the Yankees have the DH so they can use him there, but eventually Giancarlo Stanton is going to need to occupy that role permanently to preserve his body. That would leave Andujar position-less unless he magically gains the ability to play a decent first or left field. Andujar's name has bounced around in trade rumors this offseason, although it appears he'll be around for 2020. My point is that if the NL was allowed to use the DH that would open up 15 more teams that could use his services. A universal DH would create 15 more jobs for players like Andujar or Schwarber so that they're not liabilities on the field and can still produce with their talented bat.
I think the universal DH is a no brainer, but NL purists will disagree. They find the once in a blue moon Bartolo homer worth it as they sit through pitchers come to the plate and take 3 strikes down the middle or do whatever Folty was doing in the above video. That just doesn't add up to me. How is that good for the game? How is that good for the sport? At the bare minimum you need to install a rule that is universal. We can't have an American League and National League continue to have different rules. It's insane. Give me the universal DH.
P.S. The only thing that makes me want to keep pitchers hitting is when they're on base and have to put on their big jacket to keep warm. That's funny every single time. Watching a pitcher try to score from first on a double down the line as they run with a jacket on is just hilarious.