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Thursday, April 04, 2013

Don’t bet against NL adopting DH

The baseball purists are going to scream to the high heavens.

There will be National League owners fighting it, knowing their payrolls will swell.

But it’s inevitable that change is coming.

The designated hitter, born in 1973 to American League parents, eventually will be adopted by the National League, too.

No decision has been made, or even formally discussed, but it’s going to happen, most likely after Commissioner Bud Selig leaves office in 2014.

“I think we’re going to see the DH in the National League,” Chicago Cubs President Theo Epstein told USA TODAY Sports. “Hopefully we’re just a few years away.”

Barry`s_Lazy_Boy Posted: April 04, 2013 at 01:22 PM | 90 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: dh, national league

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   1. SG Posted: April 04, 2013 at 04:25 PM (#4404594)
This is a topic I've never seen discussed here before. How do NL fans feel about the DH?
   2. Drexl Spivey Posted: April 04, 2013 at 04:28 PM (#4404599)
“I think we’re going to see the DH in the National League,” Chicago Cubs President Theo Epstein told USA TODAY Sports. “Hopefully we’re just a few years away.”


Nice. I love it when opposing teams say repulsive things. Baseball is so much more enjoyable when there's a villain to actively root against.

   3. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: April 04, 2013 at 04:31 PM (#4404603)
Nice. I love it when opposing teams say repulsive things. Baseball is so much more enjoyable when there's a villain to actively root against.

You needed more evidence to know Epstein was a villain? Hint: anyone described as a boy-genius is probably evil.

I'm rooting hard for continued Cub suckage.

Edit: Oh, and Jed Hoyer, F*** him too.
   4. Flynn Posted: April 04, 2013 at 04:33 PM (#4404606)
If NL owners are going to fight it because it costs more then that's a pretty convincing argument for why it won't happen.

Money talks, and the NL owners make more money by not having a DH.
   5. Barry`s_Lazy_Boy Posted: April 04, 2013 at 04:36 PM (#4404609)
If the NL owners feel they have a long term competitive issue by not having the DH, they may change their minds. But I see the status quo remaining.
   6. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: April 04, 2013 at 04:37 PM (#4404612)
If the NL owners feel they have a long term competitive issue by not having the DH, they may change their minds. But I see the status quo remaining.

They only really compete against other NL teams. Even if it lowers their World Series odds by 5% the 1 year in 15 they expect to get there, that's going to pale besides spending real money every season.
   7. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: April 04, 2013 at 04:44 PM (#4404621)
Are "the NL is going to adopt the DH soon" articles more or less recent than "baseball is a dying sport" articles? I feel like these articles have been getting written as long as I can remember.

Frankly I love the status quo.
   8. John Northey Posted: April 04, 2013 at 04:50 PM (#4404635)
This type of article has come out annually since 1973 I suspect. For 40 years people have been waiting and the NL still likes to have pitchers hit. Checking the stats awhile ago it seems pitchers aren't that much worse today as hitter than they were in the 50's and 60's (stats are available at B-R) so it seems the arguments wouldn't be any different today than then. Unless pitchers offense drops off to such a degree that it becomes a total joke (say, an OPS of 200 or something) I don't see it happening.

Doing a quick check for ML pitchers hitting...
2013: 132/175/211 17 OPS+ (just 89 PA)
2012: 129/162/166 -8 OPS+
2002: 148/179/192 0 OPS+
1992: 137/166/170 (pre-interleague) -3 OPS+
1982: 151/184/191 6 OPS+
1972: 146/184/184 (last year pre-DH) 11 OPS+
1962: 150/196/192 9 OPS+
1952: 161/202/203 17 OPS+

so a fairly steady drop from barely positive to slightly negative over the years it seems. Should be interesting to see if it improves with AL'ers having to hit throughout the season instead of just in brief periods.
   9. Heinie Mantush (Krusty) Posted: April 04, 2013 at 04:51 PM (#4404639)

They only really compete against other NL teams. Even if it lowers their World Series odds by 5% the 1 year in 15 they expect to get there, that's going to pale besides spending real money every season.


This calls to mind a question: how many owners in MLB today really prioritize winning over profit? How many owners are there who would take a loss (by, say, adding a high priced vet at the deadline) if it meant really having a chance to bring home a championship?

The current Yankee ownership probably still fits that bill, or at least will after 2014. The Dodgers ownership certainly does. The Giants ownership would seem to. The Tigers, certainly. The Rangers, too.
   10. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: April 04, 2013 at 04:55 PM (#4404652)
The NL will never adopt the DH. They will simply move every NL club into the American League.*

*-joke stolen from someone on Twitter
   11. Jacob Posted: April 04, 2013 at 04:56 PM (#4404654)
I'd throw the Angels in there too.
   12. Dan Posted: April 04, 2013 at 04:57 PM (#4404657)
Unless pitchers offense drops off to such a degree that it becomes a total joke (say, an OPS of 200 or something) I don't see it happening.


Pitchers' offense isn't a total joke when their collective OPS is in the 300s? But at 200, it suddenly is?
   13. depletion Posted: April 04, 2013 at 05:32 PM (#4404708)
The only reason changing the NL rules makes sense is if they think they are going to make more money. We can debate the aesthetics all day, but the product is only tangibly improved if it generates more cash. Has the trend been that profit is increasing more for AL teams than NL? Since the MLB books are closed I don't know if that is answerable.
   14. Walt Davis Posted: April 04, 2013 at 05:33 PM (#4404714)
This type of article has come out annually since 1973 I suspect.

Sure, but we've seen two in just the last week! At this rate of growth, the internet will be nothing but "NL will adopt the DH" articles in 10 years. Think of the porn industry!

I actually speculated on this a couple weeks ago in that it makes a few of the long-term buyout contracts (esp Votto, I considered it with Posey) look more sensible. It's in that context that not having the DH "hurts" the NL -- the risk attached to a long-term contract for a slugger is higher. It also hurts the players.

The key to ever seeing it is that latter point -- the players will ask for it in exchange for something the owners want. But it hasn't been a big point for the Union for the last 40 years so they must not care too much.
   15. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: April 04, 2013 at 05:39 PM (#4404717)
The only reason changing the NL rules makes sense is if they think they are going to make more money. We can debate the aesthetics all day, but the product is only tangibly improved if it generates more cash. Has the trend been that profit is increasing more for AL teams than NL? Since the MLB books are closed I don't know if that is answerable.

Agreed.

I've seen no evidence the AL is doing better. NL attendance is better: ~32,000/G vs. ~29,400 for the AL.
   16. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: April 04, 2013 at 05:40 PM (#4404719)
The NL teams are at a competitive disadvantage in obtaining and getting full contractual value from aging sluggers, and with the new 15 team leagues, AL teams are going to be playing important late September pennant race games under NL rules (and vice versa), while their competitors are playing under AL rules. That cannot and will not be baseball's equilibrium state.

By 2015, the NL will adopt the DH. It might even happen next year.
   17. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: April 04, 2013 at 05:42 PM (#4404723)
The NL teams are at a competitive disadvantage in obtaining and getting full contractual value from aging sluggers

Then do the smart thing and don't sign sluggers to contracts that run into their senescence. Everyone they compete with is at the same disadvantage.
   18. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: April 04, 2013 at 05:48 PM (#4404726)
This type of article has come out annually since 1973 I suspect.


Maybe, but this is the second or third article with the same basic premise I've seen this year. And when that happens, it's usually less idle speculation and more "trial balloons" from friendly journos, looking to gauge public opinion.
   19. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: April 04, 2013 at 05:51 PM (#4404730)
“I think we’re going to see the DH in the National League,” Chicago Cubs President Theo Epstein told USA TODAY Sports. “Hopefully we’re just a few years away.”


I hope you get cancer, Epstein.
   20. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: April 04, 2013 at 05:52 PM (#4404733)
It's probably more than even trial balloons. It's "this is going to happen, let's let everyone know so they can get all the bad thoughts out of their system before it actually does."
   21. Greg K Posted: April 04, 2013 at 05:56 PM (#4404737)
This type of article has come out annually since 1973 I suspect.

It seems more like "weekly", since "a couple weeks ago".

Cokes all around.
   22. GuyM Posted: April 04, 2013 at 05:58 PM (#4404741)
Of course this will happen. It's simply the final step in the destruction of the leagues. The league offices and umpires are gone. Interleague play will now happen nearly every day, and is sure to increase in future years. In a few more years, if you tell a young fan that you are a "National League fan" (or AL fan), they will look at you like you have two heads. How many NFC football fans, or Eastern Conference NBA fans, are there? It will be the same in baseball. And in that world, having different rules for one league will just seem bizarre.

I think this is perhaps Selig's worst crime, but I don't see any way to deny he has pulled it off...
   23. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: April 04, 2013 at 05:59 PM (#4404743)
It's probably more than even trial balloons. It's "this is going to happen, let's let everyone know so they can get all the bad thoughts out of their system before it actually does."


That too. I've been trying to teach people to love baseball instead of that debacle of a horror they do in American League parks for years now, but this certainly has more of a propaganda initiative feel to it than previous entries into the debate.
   24. GuyM Posted: April 04, 2013 at 06:10 PM (#4404758)
It's not clear to me that adding the DH will increase NL payrolls. If I'm an NL owner and I have money to spend to buy wins, I have plenty of opportunities to do that right now in the free agency market. And we're only talking about shifting less than 6% of PA from pitchers to, basically, a 4th OF. Why do people think it will increase payrolls?
   25. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: April 04, 2013 at 06:16 PM (#4404766)
I assure you Brian McCann wants this to happen next off-season.
   26. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: April 04, 2013 at 06:21 PM (#4404775)
   27. Dan Posted: April 04, 2013 at 06:25 PM (#4404778)
Think what you may of Epstein, but I don't think he'd be touting the likelihood of this happening if he didn't have good reason to believe it.
   28. cardsfanboy Posted: April 04, 2013 at 06:28 PM (#4404780)
I am in the boat that says it's inevitable that it will happen. But as many people have pointed out, it's been 40 years and hasn't happened yet. Sure the game is moving to more centralized rules, the uniqueness of the leagues is fading out, interleague play is encouraging it to happen, but at the same time, interleague play has been going on for over a decade, there is no real pressing need to make it happen now, nor has then been an event to spark interest in making it happen.

I think it will happen before 2030, but not sure it will happen before 2020.
   29. Dan Evensen Posted: April 04, 2013 at 06:43 PM (#4404801)
I see no reason to believe that this is any more likely to happen next year than it was in 1974. I also don't see any reason to believe that it will take place in 2030, 2050 or 2100. This doesn't strike me as the sort of development that becomes more inevitable or more likely over time.

I think we're seeing all these articles because the DH was adopted 40 years ago.
   30. Steve Treder Posted: April 04, 2013 at 06:53 PM (#4404808)
I see no reason to believe that this is any more likely to happen next year than it was in 1974. I also don't see any reason to believe that it will take place in 2030, 2050 or 2100. This doesn't strike me as the sort of development that becomes more inevitable or more likely over time.

I think we're seeing all these articles because the DH was adopted 40 years ago.


I'm inclined to agree. But on the other hand, sensibility hasn't always been the guiding principle in MLB decision-making.
   31. valuearbitrageur Posted: April 04, 2013 at 06:59 PM (#4404811)
Let the home team decide before each game whether the DH is used, and only let the DH hit for a specified player. When the player/pitcher being DH'd for is removed from the game, the team loses the DH for remainder of game.

Both leagues compromise to meet in the middle.

The DH is still used, but not as much and rosters have to be more balanced to prepare for both possibilities.

DHs become much more valuable if they can play in the field at all.

Good hitting starters retain their extra value, teams can let them hit to use the DH for a poor hitting position player and get extra DH ABs since position players stay the entire game.

Bad hitting starters will always be DH'd for if the DH is available, so fewer awful ABs from awful hitters.

Both leagues have the same rules again, and the World Series is fair again.
   32. Lassus Posted: April 04, 2013 at 07:11 PM (#4404822)
The worst thing about this article is it provides no backup for the quoted premise. FFS what are the reasons for its inevitability? Did I miss it in the article?

I read Maury's too. I like Maury, but his reasoning for the same inevitability sounds like "because":
But, if the NFC-AFC merger in the NFL can happen, well, it’s a precedent that somewhere, someone is bringing up to make a case for the DH in the National League.


I disagree with Sam above. I don't think these articles are proof that it's being bandied about anywhere but by people looking for things to write about and - even good-naturedly - people to troll. Because, seriously, Maury quoting Marge Schott as being against the DH? That's not trolling? Sure.
   33. Joe Kehoskie Posted: April 04, 2013 at 08:44 PM (#4404882)
I disagree with Sam above. I don't think these articles are proof that it's being bandied about anywhere but by people looking for things to write about and - even good-naturedly - people to troll.

National League general managers already weren't happy with the trend of free agents moving from NL to AL because of AL teams' ability to offer longer contracts because they can DH players who become defensive liabilities. The new schedule, with interleague play occurring on a daily basis, has compounded that unhappiness, hence the increasing calls for the NL to adopt the DH. (If I was an NL GM, I'd want the DH adopted yesterday.)
   34. flournoy Posted: April 04, 2013 at 09:00 PM (#4404894)
The worst thing about this article is it provides no backup for the quoted premise. FFS what are the reasons for its inevitability? Did I miss it in the article?


This is how I remember the second Wild Card and the Astros moving to the American League. It seemed as though all of a sudden, there were a bunch of articles discussing how much sense it made and how it was practically inevitable, despite not providing any reason to believe either. Then it happened.
   35. Drexl Spivey Posted: April 04, 2013 at 09:06 PM (#4404896)
This is how I remember the second Wild Card and the Astros moving to the American League. It seemed as though all of a sudden, there were a bunch of articles discussing how much sense it made and how it was practically inevitable, despite not providing any reason to believe either. Then it happened.


The difference: The level of backlash to an NL DH change would be incredibly loud.

Paging Dr. Vlad...
   36. Pops Freshenmeyer Posted: April 04, 2013 at 09:53 PM (#4404929)
The difference: The level of backlash to an NL DH change would be incredibly loud.

Yeah, I can see how NL front offices might feel they are at a competitive disadvantage and be annoyed by the difference but...

Unlike interleague play, expanded playoffs and other Selig innovations, what segment of fans would be drawn in by NL DH baseball? People who hate watching pitchers hit already have an accessible option so it seems the net result would be to piss off a bunch of fans for no popularity gain.

When the AL adopted the DH way back when, how much outcry was there? My baseless guess is that it was smaller than an NL adoption would be today since there are generations of fans who have had many years to align their sensibilities against an extant "other" kind.
   37. Baldrick Posted: April 04, 2013 at 10:10 PM (#4404936)
The type of music I grew up listening to is intrinsically superior to every other type of music.

Also the food my culture eats is the objectively best kind of food, and things that other cultures eat are gross and offensive.

Unrelatedly, the way baseball is played on the team I grew up rooting for is the only appropriate way for baseball to be played.
   38. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: April 04, 2013 at 10:20 PM (#4404939)
Also the food my culture eats is the objectively best kind of food, and things that other cultures eat are gross and offensive.

No, Italian food is the best. No one cares what culture you are.
   39. The Yankee Clapper Posted: April 04, 2013 at 10:28 PM (#4404943)
I think this is perhaps Selig's worst crime . . .

Although there is much to be lamented in the demise of the leagues, the owners have certainly made a lot more money during the time the leagues/owners have been full partners rather than competitors.
   40. Walt Davis Posted: April 04, 2013 at 11:26 PM (#4404962)
Also the food my culture eats is the objectively best kind of food

The food of "my culture" is "food prepared and cleaned up by others, usually in exchange for money" and I'd say that is easily the best kind of food.

The exceptions are my mom's (meat) spaghetti sauce, mac and cheese and turkey stuffing recipes.*

*None is anything that dramatic yet I've never had any at a restaurant or cooked by anybody else that was anywhere near as good.** That's not nostalgia really -- mom's chili was nothing special and I've had and made better.

** Also cranberry sauce. Really people, the recipe is right there on the freaking bag and it requires sugar and boiling water and checking it every couple of minutes. A million times better than that jar/can crap.
   41. Bhaakon Posted: April 04, 2013 at 11:52 PM (#4404972)
God, this is reminiscent of the extra wildcard discussion from about 18 months ago. It went from "no way" to " maybe in a couple seasons" to "it's happening right now, deal with it" in about ten minutes.
   42. Drexl Spivey Posted: April 05, 2013 at 12:01 AM (#4404977)
The type of music I grew up listening to is intrinsically superior to every other type of music.


"This rock music has existed forever; however, it is inferior to my techno music. I'm going to force techno music on you!"
   43. bigglou115 Posted: April 05, 2013 at 12:05 AM (#4404978)
Unrelatedly, the way baseball is played on the team I grew up rooting for is the only appropriate way for baseball to be played.


The difference is, you can buy oldie CDs or whatever food you want. If the NL adopts the DH then I have no ability to watch my preferred style. Just because you view a preference as irrationally formed doesn't mean it isn't a preference.
   44. Walt Davis Posted: April 05, 2013 at 06:14 AM (#4405011)
If the NL adopts the DH then I have no ability to watch my preferred style.

Creating a niche for the WWBL where only pitchers bat.
   45. bobm Posted: April 05, 2013 at 06:39 AM (#4405015)
[40] Also cranberry sauce. Really people, the recipe is right there on the freaking bag and it requires sugar and boiling water and checking it every couple of minutes. A million times better than that jar/can crap.

Can crap? Slices of chilled canned cranberry sauce are a delicacy of my culture!
   46. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: April 05, 2013 at 07:08 AM (#4405018)
Let the home team decide before each game whether the DH is used, and only let the DH hit for a specified player. When the player/pitcher being DH'd for is removed from the game, the team loses the DH for remainder of game.

Both leagues compromise to meet in the middle.


When a guy who wants to eat a turkey sandwich and a coprophage "meet in the middle", you end up with a sandwich that's half turkey and half ####.

Feel like taking a big bite? You first.
   47. JE (Jason) Posted: April 05, 2013 at 07:53 AM (#4405024)
FTA:
And then, there are the Detroit Tigers, who will be closing their season without a DH, playing their final three games in Miami.

Yeah, that screaming sound you hear is from Tigers manager Jim Leyland, who hated interleague play even when it was limited to two time blocks. Now, his team's playoff fate could be decided with Victor Martinez, a key cog in his lineup, reduced to a spectator.

I get Nightengale's point, but Jeez Louise, does he really think Leyland is pissing in his pants because he might not have his DH play against a bunch of call-ups on a team that has already lost in the neighborhood of 100 games?
   48. GuyM Posted: April 05, 2013 at 09:08 AM (#4405061)
I see no reason to believe that this is any more likely to happen next year than it was in 1974.

Conditions have changed in important ways. Pitchers hit less often today, only 2 PA per game, vs. closer to 3 PA back in 1973. So to the extent there are fans who want to see pitchers hit, there is less being given up. The futility of pitchers as hitters has also grown: they now strike out in 37% of PA, up from 30% in 1973 -- soon it will be 40%. Their OPB is .162, down thirty points since 1973.

The advantages to NL owners are small, but they are there: ability to keep popular aging sluggers, level playing field in interleague and postseason play; reduced injury risk to pitchers at the plate and on bases; a few extra innings out of your good starters in close games. For MLB as a whole, I imagine they see the disparate rules as adding unnecessary confusion as they try to create new generations of "baseball fans" (rather than "NL fans" or "AL fans") both domestically and internationally. And they probably think replacing two near-automatic outs with PAs worth watching will, on the margin, be good for ratings and attendance in the long run.

As for a "backlash," it will be wicked here at BBTF. And a bunch of columnists will shriek a bit. But it will have zero impact on attendance, and in most quarters the whole controversy will be forgotten about 8 days into whatever season this happens (I'd guess within the next 3-4 years).


   49. JJ1986 Posted: April 05, 2013 at 09:10 AM (#4405066)
And then, there are the Detroit Tigers, who will be closing their season without a DH, playing their final three games in Miami.

Yeah, that screaming sound you hear is from Tigers manager Jim Leyland, who hated interleague play even when it was limited to two time blocks. Now, his team's playoff fate could be decided with Victor Martinez, a key cog in his lineup, reduced to a spectator.


It would be a much easier solution to stop having interleague play.
   50. bunyon Posted: April 05, 2013 at 09:32 AM (#4405076)
As for a "backlash," it will be wicked here at BBTF. And a bunch of columnists will shriek a bit. But it will have zero impact on attendance, and in most quarters the whole controversy will be forgotten about 8 days into whatever season this happens (I'd guess within the next 3-4 years).

The earlier conversation got me to thinking about attendance. I have no data - am not sure anyone has data - but it sure seems to me that when I go to games, albeit minor league games, there are very, very few people there because of baseball. They're there to drink, hang out with friends and listen to loud music and soak up the rays. It could be a cricket game or rugby match and those folks might well be there.

Point is, what percentage of MLB attendance is that of "baseball fans" and how much is it a well-marketed social event. I have no problem with either answer. Hell, I suspect going to games, in person, has historically been more social than fandom. It's just that, I wouldn't expect DH/no DH to have any real impact on attendance either way.
   51. spycake Posted: April 05, 2013 at 09:33 AM (#4405077)
The level of backlash to an NL DH change would be incredibly loud.

I have no doubt there would be much consternation expressed on this site and others, but I would be willing to bet that if such a change occurs, it will produce no discernable effect (positive or negative) on attendance, TV ratings, or franchise values.

Some here will argue that no discernable positive effect on the bottom line means owners will never do it. But more likely, I think that seeing no negative effect on the bottom line, owners may go ahead with it to satisfy other concerns only loosely related to profit, as Joe K mentioned upthread.

Again, I don't necessarily want it to happen, nor is this a prediction that it will happen (that might be complicated by union give-and-take), but I think the reasons for it are far more likely than the owners deciding against it for fear of fan backlash.
   52. depletion Posted: April 05, 2013 at 10:42 AM (#4405129)
If the NL adopts the DH I will go to fewer games, if not zero games. However, there may be a point to the conjecture that the population that objects to the DH most fervently is dying off. I will have money to spend on something else and time to spend doing other things. All good things come to an end.
   53. GuyM Posted: April 05, 2013 at 10:58 AM (#4405153)
If the NL adopts the DH I will go to fewer games, if not zero games.

Really? Your decision on whether to spend $30-50 and devote 3-4 hours of your day attending a major league baseball game hinges on whether or not you get the chance to watch 4 plate appearances by pitchers, who will mainly strike out or hit weak grounders? I would gladly bet $100 that your actual attendance will barely be impacted at all.

In any case, the total attendance impact will be zero, or slightly positive. In the games I go to, the concession lines get longer when the #8 and #9 spots in the lineup are due up. That should tell you something.....
   54. OsunaSakata Posted: April 05, 2013 at 11:03 AM (#4405157)
I have this vision of the future where people look with quaintness on amateurs playing "non-DH" baseball, they same way we look at those guys who play 19th century-style baseball today.
   55. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: April 05, 2013 at 11:09 AM (#4405165)
I have this vision of the future where people look with quaintness on amateurs playing "non-DH" baseball, they same way we look at those guys who play 19th century-style baseball today.


They'll look back at the quaint AL where they didn't have pure offensive and defensive sides, like football taught us was the only way to play a sporting match.
   56. Heinie Mantush (Krusty) Posted: April 05, 2013 at 11:21 AM (#4405183)

They'll look back at the quaint AL where they didn't have pure offensive and defensive sides, like football taught us was the only way to play a sporting match.


This is utterly accurate. Genuine starting pitchers will be few and far between, and two-way players who can play both offense and defense at a league average level will attract a price premium. Defensive specialists, 3 IP relievers, and a lineup of DH's. Welcome to the future.

This might be better baseball in a technical sense (better fielders, hitters, and more dominant pitchers), but it certainly will lose much of its charm.
   57. depletion Posted: April 05, 2013 at 11:22 AM (#4405186)
I would gladly bet $100 that your actual attendance will barely be impacted at all.

I don't bet, certainly not with strangers on the internet. Nor should you bet on things you know nothing about: in this case, me.
You're missing the point about the aesthetics of the game. I don't like baseball for "action".
   58. depletion Posted: April 05, 2013 at 11:26 AM (#4405191)
Have a 4 man line-up of sluggers, 8 all glove wizards in the field, 6 pitchers that can be rotated in and out freely. What's not to love?
   59. Pops Freshenmeyer Posted: April 05, 2013 at 11:44 AM (#4405200)
Have a 4 man line-up of sluggers, 8 all glove wizards in the field, 6 pitchers that can be rotated in and out freely. What's not to love?


Who wants to watch a bunch of fat sluggers run the bases?
   60. Drexl Spivey Posted: April 05, 2013 at 11:54 AM (#4405208)
I have this vision of the future where people look with quaintness on amateurs playing "non-DH" baseball, they same way we look at those guys who play 19th century-style baseball today


I have this vision where people listen to music from Mumford and Sons instead of the "quaintness" of the likes of Jimi Hendrix.

Not all change is good change.
   61. GuyM Posted: April 05, 2013 at 12:00 PM (#4405214)
I don't bet, certainly not with strangers on the internet. Nor should you bet on things you know nothing about: in this case, me.

I wasn't offering to bet you -- that would give you a financial incentive not to attend games, and I might actually lose my bet! I'm simply saying that I think there is a much greater than 50% chance that your prediction is wrong. I'm sure you are making it sincerely, but I think the probability you are accurately predicting your own behavior is less than 50%.
   62. Styles P. Deadball Posted: April 05, 2013 at 12:37 PM (#4405250)
"This rock music has existed forever; however, it is inferior to my techno music. I'm going to force techno music on you!"


Whoa, whoa, whoa. I was cool with the changing definition of marriage, but let's not get friggin carried away here.
   63. Robert in Manhattan Beach Posted: April 05, 2013 at 01:16 PM (#4405284)
God, this is reminiscent of the extra wildcard discussion from about 18 months ago. It went from "no way" to " maybe in a couple seasons" to "it's happening right now, deal with it" in about ten minutes.

Indeed. This is how all the bad ideas get introduced. It's starting to feel inevitable now. Wouldn't be surprised if they do it next season. It's a shame of course, but this game has gone under one destructive change after the next in the past decade and it will probably survive this one too. All this while the real scourge to the game, pace of play, continues to go completely unaddressed.

Hope you all enjoyed the Clayton Kershaw opening day game, could be the last of it's kind.
   64. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: April 05, 2013 at 01:28 PM (#4405293)
This might be better baseball in a technical sense (better fielders, hitters, and more dominant pitchers), but it certainly will lose much of its charm.

This has already happened in a different guise, with the dramatic decrease in the number of balls put in play in major league games resulting primarily from better technical understanding of the true value of strikeouts and walks.

It's happened in basketball as well, which is now almost entirely a battle of three-point shooting and rim attacking as the inadvisablity of shooting long 2s has become evident.

Knowledge isn't always everything it's advertised to be.
   65. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: April 05, 2013 at 01:32 PM (#4405297)
What baseball should do is adopt a whole bunch of other necessary rules regarding pace of play with the NL DH. It would be the perfect time and perfect excuse to limit pitching changes, for example. It can be pitched as "updating the game for a new era."

Minnesota used 7 pitchers yesterday, four for less than an inning. Three pitched 1/3 of an inning. That's absurd and should be eliminated from the game.
   66. GuyM Posted: April 05, 2013 at 01:36 PM (#4405302)
#64: Leagues have a way of fixing these problems, if not always as quickly as we want or in the way we would choose. If Ks continue to rise, baseball will move the home-mound distance to 61', or change the seams on the ball, or shrink the strike zone, or find some other way to give hitters a chance. If NBA players stop taking long 2s, the 3-point line will be moved out.

These tweaks are inevitable. As talent rises, there is no guarantee that it will be symmetrical in all parts of the game. In general, pitchers have steadily gained an advantage over hitters for at least the last 50 years. So MLB changes things periodically to help hitters. Tweaks will always be needed.....
   67. GuyM Posted: April 05, 2013 at 01:44 PM (#4405312)
Hope you all enjoyed the Clayton Kershaw opening day game, could be the last of it's kind.

Yeah, a 2:25 game never happens anymore. After all, MLB hadn't seen a game thrown that efficiently in almost six hours! (Nats-Marlins)

   68. Dr. Vaux Posted: April 05, 2013 at 01:45 PM (#4405313)
In general, pitchers have steadily gained an advantage over hitters for at least the last 50 years.


There was that whole thing with the home runs and so forth. Remember that?

Now things might be back to normal and people want to "give hitters a chance"? Dear God.
   69. GuyM Posted: April 05, 2013 at 01:53 PM (#4405325)
There was that whole thing with the home runs and so forth. Remember that?

Yes, it was achieved by juicing the ball. And before that they shrank the strike zone. And before that they lowered the mound. None of which would have been necessary if pitchers weren't gaining relative to hitters. Not sure what your point is.....
   70. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: April 05, 2013 at 02:01 PM (#4405332)
Really? Your decision on whether to spend $30-50 and devote 3-4 hours of your day attending a major league baseball game hinges on whether or not you get the chance to watch 4 plate appearances by pitchers, who will mainly strike out or hit weak grounders?


Yes. I like baseball, and I don't like DH-ball.

Also, who the hell spends $30-50 to go to a baseball game? You can get tickets here on StubHub for $5-10, and park for another $5 if you're willing to walk a couple of blocks.
   71. spycake Posted: April 05, 2013 at 02:02 PM (#4405333)
n the games I go to, the concession lines get longer when the #8 and #9 spots in the lineup are due up. That should tell you something.....

Maybe they should have more empty spots in the lineup, to encourage concession sales? (Although concessions are slightly less expensive at stands than from aisle vendors...)

Oh, and they should play more music too, very loudly.
   72. Nasty Nate Posted: April 05, 2013 at 02:02 PM (#4405334)
Also, who the hell spends $30-50 to go to a baseball game? You can get tickets here on StubHub for $5-10, and park for another $5 if you're willing to walk a couple of blocks.


Why do you think that is a universal option?
   73. spycake Posted: April 05, 2013 at 02:06 PM (#4405339)
Also, who the hell spends $30-50 to go to a baseball game? You can get tickets here on StubHub for $5-10, and park for another $5 if you're willing to walk a couple of blocks.

I sense that there may be significant overlap between the fans who find the DH most objectionable and the fans who are the cheapest (yours truly included). That may not help our case with MLB...
   74. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: April 05, 2013 at 02:07 PM (#4405340)
Why do you think that is a universal option?


It IS a universal option. To the best of my knowledge, PNC Park will sell tickets to just about anybody who wants to buy them.

Sure, things cost more in New York or Boston, but nobody's holding a gun to your head and forcing you to live there, right?
   75. Nasty Nate Posted: April 05, 2013 at 02:15 PM (#4405358)

It IS a universal option. To the best of my knowledge, PNC Park will sell tickets to just about anybody who wants to buy them.


What about the vast swaths of PNC seats whose face value is over $30? Don't you realize that most people buy their tickets directly from the team, and not the secondary market?

But if you are in the mood for other stupid hypothetical questions, here's some you can chew on:

Who the hell spends $20,000-$25,000 on a new car?
Who the hell spends more than $15 for a pair of jeans?
Who the hell pays $60-$80 to go to a concert?
Who the hell pays more than $20 for a restuarant meal?
   76. GuyM Posted: April 05, 2013 at 02:18 PM (#4405364)
Yes. I like baseball, and I don't like DH-ball.

And again, I'd happily wager $100 that, once the nightmare of "DH ball" engulfs the NL, you will continue to give StubHub $5-10 and attend just as many games as you did before.

Attendance wasn't hurt by strikes. Attendance wasn't hurt by roids. Attendance wasn't hurt by wild cards. Basically, attendance isn't hurt by d*mn near anything -- except losing. The idea that taking away two plate appearances from pitchers will have any attendance impact is wildly implausible.
   77. Kurt Posted: April 05, 2013 at 02:29 PM (#4405383)
Also, who the hell spends $30-50 to go to a baseball game?

People whose teams have been to the playoffs in Bryce Harper's lifetime.
   78. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: April 05, 2013 at 03:42 PM (#4405498)
What about the vast swaths of PNC seats whose face value is over $30? Don't you realize that most people buy their tickets directly from the team, and not the secondary market?


Actually, a lot of those are bought as part of discounted plans, or placed on resellers directly by the team. Hardly anybody pays face value for seats at Pirates games, except for fireworks nights or opening day.

And of course, there aren't even all that many seats at PNC Park with a face value of over $50 available for single-game purchase. See the chart here. You're pretty much limited to the Lexus Club seats directly behind home plate, the suite-level tickets in Club Cambria, and the upper-level seats with access to the Pittsburgh Baseball Club. For all three of those, you're paying more for the stadium amenities than for the baseball itself.

Advance purchase seats in the first row behind the dugout are $48, and a single seat in 116L or 117L (directly behind home plate, maybe 20 feet behind the catcher) is only $38. That's if you buy from the team, remember - the most expensive possible way of getting tickets. If you want seats for the next home game, one week from today against the Reds (free shirt Friday!), you can sit in 116L or 117L for as little as $31.15.

And again, I'd happily wager $100 that, once the nightmare of "DH ball" engulfs the NL, you will continue to give StubHub $5-10 and attend just as many games as you did before.


And you'll lose $100. I hope I never get the chance to take your money, though, because I like baseball.

Attendance wasn't hurt by strikes. Attendance wasn't hurt by roids. Attendance wasn't hurt by wild cards.


You can't know that attendance wasn't hurt by strikes, PEDs aren't actually a bad thing for the game, and the wild card doesn't damage the structural mechanics of the game itself and as such isn't a good comparison.
   79. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: April 05, 2013 at 03:42 PM (#4405501)
People whose teams have been to the playoffs in Bryce Harper's lifetime.


Joke's on them. I get to see playoff teams all the time!
   80. Nasty Nate Posted: April 05, 2013 at 04:09 PM (#4405540)
I get to see playoff teams all the time!


Well team - not 2 at once....
   81. depletion Posted: April 05, 2013 at 04:17 PM (#4405553)
Guy, nobody is claiming baseball will dry up if the NL goes DH. It willlose some fans, at least two anyway, and will gain some other fans who like the DH. Vlad and I are just saying we don't like it and might stop going and watching on TV. (pardon me for speaking for you, Vlad). How the heck can you claim to know what brings each of us to the park anyway?
   82. Barry`s_Lazy_Boy Posted: April 05, 2013 at 04:50 PM (#4405604)
I hope the NL adopts the DH just to see d-bags like Vlad and depletion never visit this site or go to a baseball game ever again.

   83. GuyM Posted: April 05, 2013 at 05:20 PM (#4405637)
Guy, nobody is claiming baseball will dry up if the NL goes DH. It willlose some fans, at least two anyway, and will gain some other fans who like the DH. Vlad and I are just saying we don't like it and might stop going and watching on TV. (pardon me for speaking for you, Vlad). How the heck can you claim to know what brings each of us to the park anyway?

Obviously, I don't know anything about you or Vlad personally. And I assume you both are completely sincere in making these claims. But I think -- actually, I know -- that people often do a poor job of predicting their own behavior. Especially under theoretical conditions they have never experienced.

Most people who say they will stop going to games if "X" happens are bullsh!tting -- maybe not consciously, but they are. (Unless they already had other reasons to cut back on attendance.) Maybe you and Vlad are exceptions. But I like my odds.

We'll know soon enough.....
   84. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: April 05, 2013 at 05:25 PM (#4405642)
I thought Vlad would be so overjoyed by Bud Selig's wise decision to no longer have six teams in the NL Central, that there might be a grace period for his wrath on this topic.
   85. Walt Davis Posted: April 05, 2013 at 05:41 PM (#4405667)
Don't get too worried by all the "trial balloons". Some of this is just that it's the 40th anniversary of the DH.

Who the hell spends $20,000-$25,000 on a new car?
Who the hell spends more than $15 for a pair of jeans?
Who the hell pays $60-$80 to go to a concert?
Who the hell pays more than $20 for a restuarant meal?


Just about anybody outside the US. (Well, if they buy a new rather than used car)
   86. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: April 05, 2013 at 06:10 PM (#4405693)
I hope the NL adopts the DH just to see d-bags like Vlad and depletion never visit this site or go to a baseball game ever again.


And I, in turn, hope I continue not giving a pope #### about what you think.

That said, you might get half of your wish, if this place continues its slow transformation into Men's Rights Think Factory.

I thought Vlad would be so overjoyed by Bud Selig's wise decision to no longer have six teams in the NL Central, that there might be a grace period for his wrath on this topic.


"For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?"

Who the hell spends $20,000-$25,000 on a new car?
Who the hell spends more than $15 for a pair of jeans?
Who the hell pays $60-$80 to go to a concert?
Who the hell pays more than $20 for a restuarant meal?


I think it's kind of crazy to pay those prices for any of those things, but if you want 'em, it's your money.
   87. Ivan Grushenko of Hong Kong Posted: April 05, 2013 at 07:04 PM (#4405743)
Have a 4 man line-up of sluggers, 8 all glove wizards in the field, 6 pitchers that can be rotated in and out freely. What's not to love?


Who wants to watch a bunch of fat sluggers run the bases?


Right. Sprinters in position behind the HP umpire off with the crack of the bat. Fouls are false starts. The more I think about it the better it sounds, except if the batter doesn't have to run the bases I'm not sure why we need four of them. Just let the one guy keep batting till he gets tired like we do with starting pitchers. Some guy could calculate Batter Abuse Points. RF would be a pretty boring position if you never had to actually bat. They could let some lucky fan play there based on a contest. Also there should be a Designated Thrower in the outfield so we never have to see Juan Pierre or Coco Crisp throw the ball. After Juan Crisp makes a catch he lobs the ball to the DT, and only then can the runner take off.
   88. Robert in Manhattan Beach Posted: April 05, 2013 at 07:27 PM (#4405759)
Hope you all enjoyed the Clayton Kershaw opening day game, could be the last of it's kind.


Yeah, a 2:25 game never happens anymore. After all, MLB hadn't seen a game thrown that efficiently in almost six hours! (Nats-Marlins)



Wow, you went through all the trouble to find the box score to look up the length of the game and then still missed the point. That's impressive.
   89. GGC don't think it can get longer than a novella Posted: April 07, 2013 at 12:02 PM (#4406641)
Men's Rights Think Factory?

Wasn't that just one thread?

SBB or someone mentioned basketball and how it changed with the three point shot. Football has also changed. I think there should be more rushing instead of passing, but the rules changed things.
   90. GGC don't think it can get longer than a novella Posted: April 07, 2013 at 12:15 PM (#4406650)


They'll look back at the quaint AL where they didn't have pure offensive and defensive sides, like football taught us was the only way to play a sporting match.


Ahhh, football. The sport where the Falcons curbstomped the Niners.

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