To DH Or Not To DH? There’s NO Question

This is how my mind works at times.

I read a simple Tweet… in this case from Joe Posnanski… and the next thing I know, my mind is moving from point A to point B and all the way to about point R.

In the wake of the MLB AllStar Game Tuesday night, Posnanski posed the following question, via Twitter:

So wait because Venters got outs and Quentin made outs, David Ortiz won’t start in 4 World Series games? Still don’t understand.

Obviously, Joe isn’t fond of the practice of awarding home field advantage in the World Series to the representative of the league that wins the AllStar Game. Hardly a revolutionary viewpoint, I know.

But you know what? No matter what method MLB uses to determine home field advantage in the Fall Classic, the result will be the same… whether it’s David Ortiz or Travis Hafner or Jorge Posada or, better yet, Jim Thome… a critical member of the AL representative in the ultimate contest to determine the champion of Major League Baseball is likely to play a reduced role for his team.

If you read my posts here often, you have probably figured out I have limited respect for Bud Selig. The truth is, it’s not just Bud… it’s Bud and everyone else who determines baseball policy that just make me shake my head almost on a daily basis. These people have no clue how to address problems. They’re all about treating symptoms, not finding cures for underlying issues. If these guys had been in charge of polio research, you’d have the best iron lung in the world, but no polio vaccine (blatant “West Wing” ripoff quote).

The problem isn’t that the AllStar Game determines home field advantage in the World Series. The problem is that MLB continues to force two teams who play by significantly different rules to compete against one another to determine the championship.

It’s long past time to put an end to this nonsense. It’s time for Bud Selig to step up and tell the National League that they WILL adopt the Designated Hitter.We all know it’s going to happen eventually. Sure, there was a time when it might have been possible for baseball to turn back the hands of time and force the American League to drop the DH, but those days are long gone.

I know there’s a stubborn resistance to the DH by fans of National League teams. That dumfounds me a bit. It’s bad enough that they seem to enjoy watching pitchers flail helplessly with a bat, but don’t they realize their best hitters are almost all destined to end their careers in the American League? Is that really what they want?

Let’s say you’re a St. Louis Cardinal fan. You’ve got the biggest star in baseball playing first base for your team right now, but he’s coming up on free agency. He expects to get paid fair market value and rightfully so. But that market value is higher in the American League than it is in the National League and, unfortunately, your team plays in the NL.

Albert Pujols will be 32 years old when next season kicks off. An American League team can offer him an eight year contract and figure that, if it turns out that age catches up to him a bit and he can’t continue to play competent defense, he could spend the last few years of that contract DHing. The Cardinals don’t have that luxury.

Bud Selig

So, Cardinal fans, when Albert ends up turning his back on you because an AL team is able to offer a longer contract than St. Louis reasonably can or should, don’t blame Pujols. Don’t blame the team he signs with. Blame yourself for not wanting the DH to “taint” your NL game. Blame your owner and his friends who refuse to adopt the DH.

Or better yet, blame the guy I blame for everything that’s wrong with baseball.

Blame Bud Selig.

– JC