A recent poll has revealed that 65% of MLB fans prefer having the pitchers hit instead of having a designated hitter.
I’ve been pretty clear and consistent about where I stand on this. And yes, I understand that my favorite team is an American League team, so I have a bias. However, I truly believe I’d feel the same way if I grew up as a fan of a National League team. But who knows? I’m sure the kids who are growing up during this point in Mets history would fight to the death to prevent the DH from coming to the National League later in life. I know I probably would, if one of my fondest childhood memories was Bartolo Colon hitting a home run.
But the fact of the matter is that I didn’t grow up with Colon hitting a home run being one of my fondest childhood memories, or Noah Syndergaard going deep twice in the same game. That didn’t happen for me. Since I was a freshman in high school, I’ve gotten to watch the greatest designated hitter of all-time play for my team. I also grew up watching one of the greatest pitchers of all-time pitching for my team. But I don’t think I ever looked forward to a Pedro Martinez at-bat in my life. It just looked weird to me. Weird is probably the wrong word. It was actually terrifying. I wanted my best pitcher to be able to pitch. If he got hurt on the base paths, I would’ve lost my mind, because, to me, he’s not even supposed to be up there in the first place. Pitchers don’t hit. At least, not in the league that I grew up watching, they don’t. There’s a reason why they all look so awkward and out of place when they’re at the plate.
That being said, I can totally see where KFC and other National League fans like him are coming from. I get it. If I had a lovable fat guy on my team, who is miraculously still pitching like a 28-year-old when he’s 42, but is also the most ungraceful presence that a batter’s box has ever seen, and he finally hits the first home run of his major league career in his nineteenth big league season, I would go nuts, too. It’s fun, it’s exciting, it’s comedic, and it’s just an all around feel-good moment. Those are the moments that baseball fans live for.
So, I can totally see where you guys are coming from. But you know what the best feel-good moment is that a baseball fan can experience? Winning a World Series. How do you win a World Series? You have to score runs. You know what helps you score more runs? Having a designated hitter instead of a pitcher hitting in your lineup. It’s true.
But listen, I know that National League fans like the in-game strategy in the National League, and the double switch, and all that other fancy shit you guys do. I’m not knocking it. I just think that I’d rather see my DH hit a home run 30+ times a year than my pitcher hit a home run one time in their entire career. I recognize that it’s exciting, because it’s so rare, but that’s why having pitchers hit is so stupid in the first place. The home runs and overall offensive production is so rare, because they’re not hitters. They’re pitchers.