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Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Dayn Perry: Big idea: The designated hitter compromise

Leaner, meaner, faster, smarter, outlier…The Big Idea with Dayn Perry!

With that out of the way, here’s what I propose: Make the DH rule the prerogative of the home team. Yes, I hereby propose that in advance of each regular-season and postseason game, the home team should be able to declare whether the DH shall be used for the contest in question.

Per MLB rules, batting lineups aren’t exchanged until five minutes before game time, so there’s plenty of time in the course of the standard run-up to the first pitch to make the decision and allow the visiting manager to react accordingly. Want to force David Ortiz to wield a glove or luxuriate on the pine? The home manager can opt not to DH. Want Stephen Strasburg to hit opposite a pitcher who’s less skilled with the bat? Opt not to DH. Got a right-hander on the mound and an opponent without a quality left-handed bat to slot in at DH? Force the issue by invoking the DH rule for that game. Does your team employ a manager with an orthodox and throbbing-neck-vein hatred of the DH? Take the NIMBY approach and never allow it on your hallowed traditionalist grounds.

First and foremost, the “home team chooses” system would, a) reduce significantly the number of games in which the DH rule would be in force; and b) add another layer of managerial strategizing (and fan kvetching) to a sport that’s typically a bit light on managerial strategizing (but not fan kvetching). I also envision a handful of other consequences that can be viewed as generally positive ...

...This new structure would of course require the consent of the players union, and they’d likely want give-backs elsewhere, since this would likely result in a downward market correction insofar as primary DHs are concerned. But this effort embodies, I think, the sensible middle ground between getting rid of the DH altogether (again, not a plausible aim) and allowing the status to remain quo.

So, in summary, the home team gets to decide whether the DH rule applies. Given the breadth of my opinion-shaping powers, I expect implementation posthaste. Or not.

Repoz Posted: March 12, 2013 at 05:03 PM | 104 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   101. Fernigal McGunnigle Posted: March 13, 2013 at 04:06 PM (#4387827)
I consider myself a traditionalist, but I'd love a geographic realignment of MLB. Lots more games one could see with less travel.


Part of me would love geographic realignment, because it would bring back a little bit of the mystery of pre-interleague days. An East Coast team would only play 10 home games against western opposition, and with the time difference that fan won't see vast numbers of games from out west. So when the Pirates play the Padres in the World Series, the Padres players would be even less familiar to Pirates fans than they are now. This doesn't work as much for fans in the other three time zones, but it still works a little bit.

Hell, expand by two, realign based on geography, and ditch interleague. That could really allow for the two leagues to develop different cultures. Also, I want a pet unicorn.
   102. Rennie's Tenet Posted: March 13, 2013 at 04:21 PM (#4387835)
I'm just going to have to get over my love of baseballs 3/9/27 symmetry, huh?


I don't recommend this for every day, but I think the All Star Game and World Series games should bat both the pitcher and the DH, and be ten innings long. 3/10/30 isn't bad.
   103. cardsfanboy Posted: March 13, 2013 at 04:30 PM (#4387842)
I don't recommend this for every day, but I think the All Star Game and World Series games should bat both the pitcher and the DH, and be ten innings long. 3/10/30 isn't bad.


I have a non-DH preference, and I think that there is no reason, ever, for the all star game to have the pitcher hitting. Of course I'm in the camp that thinks the All-Star game should be treated as the exhibition that it is, allowing free substitution of position players etc.

As far as the World Series is concerned, the only fair way to do it, as long as there are separate rules, is to allow the homefield rules to determine the DH. Anything other than that is unfair to one team or another.
   104. Jack Carter, calling Beleaguered Castle Posted: March 13, 2013 at 06:54 PM (#4387907)
With that out of the way, here’s what I propose: Make the DH rule the prerogative of the home team. Yes, I hereby propose that in advance of each regular-season and postseason game, the home team should be able to declare whether the DH shall be used for the contest in question.


So, if your immobile slugger tweaked his ankle last night, no DH? This is kinda like allowing the home team to decide in advance of each game where to put the fences. If David Wright and Ike Davis are hurting, move the fences at Citi out. If your guy is a GB pitcher and theirs isn't, move the fences in.
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