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Sunday, June 26, 2011

Steigerwald: Boston’s Ortiz not a real baseball player if he can’t play the field

Or to quote from that dim novel, “Steigerwalden Pond Scum”...“In the long run, men hit only what they maim at.”

Francona told 93.7 The Fan that it wasn’t fair he had to keep one of his most dangerous hitters and highest paid players out of the game. He also said his batting order is built around Ortiz.

How pathetic is it that Ortiz is either so fat or uncoordinated that his manager can’t find a place for him to play?

Francona also said that the Red Sox had a lot of money invested in Ortiz, and he wasn’t going to be responsible for getting him hurt.

Who is this guy, John Daly?

He’s such a clod that he risks injuring himself simply by stepping on the field without a bat?

Sorry, if that’s the case, David Ortiz is not a baseball player.

Repoz Posted: June 26, 2011 at 02:08 PM | 179 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: hall of fame, history, pirates, red sox, sabermetrics

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   1. Dale Sams Posted: June 26, 2011 at 02:36 PM (#3862618)
I wonder if John still keeps in touch with Frida, Benny, and Agnetha.
   2. Jolly Old St. Nick Still Gags in October Posted: June 26, 2011 at 02:41 PM (#3862620)
Francona told 93.7 The Fan that it wasn't fair he had to keep one of his most dangerous hitters and highest paid players out of the game.


Boston's Ortiz not a real baseball player if he can't play the field


It's hard to say which one of these two wins the prize for the dumbest comment of the year, but it's neck-and-neck at the finish line.

Hey, Terry: When in Rome, you have to do what the Romans do. Deal with it and STFU.

Hey, John: That "not a real baseball player" has a triple crown line of .311 / 17 / 48 in 74 games. I won't stress his 162 OPS+ only because you probably wouldn't know what it means.
   3. Bob Tufts Posted: June 26, 2011 at 02:43 PM (#3862622)
John Steigerwald writes a Sunday column for the Observer-Reporter. His column will not appear next week.


Must be using a DH to take his place.

I await the column when he returns that pitchers in the DH era are not complete players and should not be HOF worthy,
   4. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: June 26, 2011 at 03:02 PM (#3862627)
Even though I'm an AL fan, I'm turning against the DH. It does make sense that everyone should have to field and hit.
   5. Dale Sams Posted: June 26, 2011 at 03:07 PM (#3862631)
Oh the drama! Do you pitch around or IBB (!) Adam Rosales to get to the pitcher, or do you go after Slammin Adam hard to get the pitcher to lead off the next inning? And double switchs galore!!!

Edit: Francona also said it was unfair that people have to work harder as they get older. He seems to be a fan of the word, but he certainly didn't say "IT'S NAT FAIRRRRRRRR!".
   6. Bob Evans Posted: June 26, 2011 at 03:55 PM (#3862651)
Don't even get me started on Peyton Manning not having to play safety.
   7. Tim Wallach was my Hero Posted: June 26, 2011 at 04:07 PM (#3862660)
Boston's Ortiz not a real baseball player if he can't play the field

I'm a NL fan and really don't like the DH. That said, this is just plain stupid. 40 years ago, he would have played the field. He isn't because there's a rule that allows him not to, not because is not a "real" baseball player.

Hey, Terry: When in Rome, you have to do what the Romans do. Deal with it and STFU.


Terry should not have to be in Rome. His team is built for the AL and because of this, it suffers a disadvantage when playing in NL parks.
   8. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: June 26, 2011 at 04:08 PM (#3862661)
Don't even get me started on Peyton Manning not having to play safety.

Don't ever compare baseball to football. It's such a superior game, we shouldn't look to mimic the failures of football.
   9. DA Baracus is a "bloodthirsty fan of Atlanta." Posted: June 26, 2011 at 04:14 PM (#3862662)
I stopped reading after "Steigerwald."
   10. Fancy Pants Handle doesn't need no water Posted: June 26, 2011 at 04:33 PM (#3862672)
FPH: Steigerwald not a real journalist, if he can't even write an article about politics

Seriously, a sports "journalist" complaining that anybody else is not a true example of their profession, is the height of irony.
   11. A big pile of nonsense (gef the talking mongoose) Posted: June 26, 2011 at 04:40 PM (#3862677)
Although considering that politics is at least as replete with corrupt frauds & moral degenerates as the average sports team, & that the reporter-politico relationship is if anything probably even more evocative of that of whore-to-john, I'm not sure that distinction means a damned thing.
   12. Rickey! In a van on 95 south... Posted: June 26, 2011 at 04:42 PM (#3862679)
That "not a real baseball player" has a triple crown line of .311 / 17 / 48 in 74 games.


You realize that this has nothing to do with the writer's point. I mean, I honestly think you realize this. The question isn't whether or not David Ortiz is a good hitter. He quite certainly seems to be. The question is "what does it mean to be a baseball player?" And many of us would answer that question something like "the ability to play a position and take your hacks in the lineup." I realize that a lot of people prefer hitters to fully functioning baseball players. I realize that some folks like specialization over and above all else. Not all of us do, and we don't have to sit around quietly while the rest of you continue to screw up a rather beautiful game with your glorified softball rules.
   13. Curse of the Graffanino (dfan) Posted: June 26, 2011 at 04:43 PM (#3862680)
Also, Ortiz is a perfectly serviceable first baseman, as has been proven in two World Series and many interleague game. The real issue is that putting him at first would bench Adrian Gonzalez.
   14. DA Baracus is a "bloodthirsty fan of Atlanta." Posted: June 26, 2011 at 04:47 PM (#3862683)
His position is DH. If the DH didn't exist he'd be at 1B, he'd suck but there are plenty of fielders who suck but they still get to play a lot.
   15. Rickey! In a van on 95 south... Posted: June 26, 2011 at 04:47 PM (#3862684)
The real issue is that putting him at first would bench Adrian Gonzalez.


Boston has built an AL lineup, with two starting 1B (one of which is defensibly questionable at 1B in anything but short stints.) If Terry Francona wants to field a lineup with two 1B he's going to need to lobby MLB to end interleague play, because in the NL we only have one slot for first base.
   16. Rickey! In a van on 95 south... Posted: June 26, 2011 at 04:48 PM (#3862685)
DH is not a position. You can tell this by looking at the field when the team is playing defense.
   17. DA Baracus is a "bloodthirsty fan of Atlanta." Posted: June 26, 2011 at 04:49 PM (#3862686)
DH is not a position. You can tell this by looking at the field when the team is playing defense.


So the line up doesn't mean anything?
   18. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: June 26, 2011 at 04:59 PM (#3862693)
40 years ago, he would have played the field. He isn't because there's a rule that allows him not to, not because is not a "real" baseball player.


Then why wasn't he in the lineup last night? It's not like JD Drew's .600-ish OPS provided a lot of benefit for the Sox.

Oh, right. Ortiz is a fat, clownish oaf who would (by Tito's own admission) injure himself if the team asked him to spend nine innings in the field.
   19. Rickey! In a van on 95 south... Posted: June 26, 2011 at 05:01 PM (#3862694)
So the line up doesn't mean anything?


"The lineup" isn't a position. A position is, literally, a place on the field when you're playing defense. This isn't some sort of super secret language we're using here. David Ortiz is a designated hitter. He doesn't play a defensive position. He hits for the pitcher in American League parks.
   20. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: June 26, 2011 at 05:05 PM (#3862696)
Also, since we're talking about Sox-Pirates, let me note that Francona totally blew it last night by not having Ortiz PH for Scutaro with two on and two out in the eighth, down two runs. If you've got a top bat on the bench, that's when you use him. Not leading off the ninth against one of the top closers in baseball and the bases empty.

Maybe if Francona spent more time thinking about tactics and less time complaining about the unfairness of baseball's traditional rules, he'd be better at his job.
   21. cercopithecus aethiops Posted: June 26, 2011 at 05:27 PM (#3862703)
If Terry Francona wants to field a lineup with two 1B he's going to need to lobby MLB to end interleague play, because in the NL we only have one slot for first base.

I wasn't aware that NL rules preclude unconventional defensive alignments; I'm pretty sure that you can play two first basemen if you really want to, as long as you abandon some other defensive position.

And the idea that David Ortiz wouldn't be in MLB if it weren't for the DH rule is patently ridiculous. There certainly are a handful of full-time DHs who literally can't play any defensive position at this point in their careers, but Papi isn't one of them.
   22. Rickey! In a van on 95 south... Posted: June 26, 2011 at 05:35 PM (#3862707)
I wasn't aware that NL rules preclude unconventional defensive alignments; I'm pretty sure that you can play two first basemen if you really want to, as long as you abandon some other defensive position.


True. If Francona is so concerned about his lineup "built around" Ortiz he could slap Adrian Gonzalez in left field, play Ortiz at 1B and take his chances. Regardless, this "wah, I have to think about defense now!" whinge is unbecoming a man.
   23. Koot Posted: June 26, 2011 at 05:53 PM (#3862718)
Maybe if Francona spent more time thinking about tactics and less time complaining about the unfairness of baseball's traditional rules, he'd be better at his job.


Whoa... Tito and Co. wouldn't even be in Pittsburgh this weekend if it weren't for Commissioner Bud shitting all over tradition by forcing interleague play. DH in the AL is a whole hell of a lot more "traditional" than having the Red Sox head over to Pittsburgh for a three game series every six years (if the schedule works out that way).

Papi is a perfectly acceptable first baseman and an exceptional athlete. If he was built like Mark Teixeira, this article wouldn't have been written. But, since he has a big belly, it's just easier to assume he can't play first and he's just going to get in his own way if forced to play first base.
   24. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: June 26, 2011 at 05:54 PM (#3862719)
Sorry, if that’s the case, David Ortiz is not a baseball player.

I suppose someone will have to break that to the Major League Baseball Player's Association, which has accepted Ortiz and other DHs as members for decades.

I'm a NL fan and really don't like the DH. That said, this is just plain stupid. 40 years ago, he would have played the field. He isn't because there's a rule that allows him not to, not because is not a "real" baseball player.

Francona's quote does raise the question of whether Ortiz could play the field without injuring himself. There have been guys who moved to DH because they were too injury-prone in the field -- I believe this was the case with Edgar Martinez and Paul Molitor, for example. Without the DH those guys would still have been Major Leaguers, but it's doubtful they would have put up the kind of careers they did.
   25. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: June 26, 2011 at 05:55 PM (#3862720)
There certainly are a handful of full-time DHs who literally can't play any defensive position at this point in their careers, but Papi isn't one of them.


Then why wasn't he in the lineup yesterday? Is he allergic to Jeff Karstens?
   26. Steve Balboni's Personal Trainer Posted: June 26, 2011 at 05:58 PM (#3862724)
I love the Sox, but this is not Francona's shining moment. It's kind of whiny.

And this writer covers the Pirates...and he's talking about who "real" players are and are not? There have been more than a few Pirates who had a glove on their non-throwing hand, standing in the field, over the last 15 years, who were far less of a major-league player than David Ortiz.

Go .500 for a season, then you start talking about other teams' "real" players. Geesh.
   27. cercopithecus aethiops Posted: June 26, 2011 at 06:00 PM (#3862726)
If Francona is so concerned about his lineup "built around" Ortiz he could slap Adrian Gonzalez in left field, play Ortiz at 1B and take his chances.

Right, and it's not like he doesn't have a starting OFer who desperately needs benching anyway.

Then why wasn't he in the lineup yesterday?

On the heels of your comment about Francona's managerial prowess, I'm a bit surprised that you would need to ask this question.
   28. Kurt Posted: June 26, 2011 at 06:04 PM (#3862730)
The question is "what does it mean to be a baseball player?" And many of us would answer that question something like "the ability to play a position and take your hacks in the lineup."

Was Greg Maddux a baseball player?
   29. Dale Sams Posted: June 26, 2011 at 06:16 PM (#3862744)
   30. Scott Ross Posted: June 26, 2011 at 06:16 PM (#3862745)
This is the same writer who said the guy who was beaten into a coma at Dodgers Stadium had it coming--why are we still giving him traffic and oxygen?
   31. Gotham Dave Posted: June 26, 2011 at 06:17 PM (#3862746)
This was a stupid thing for Francona to say even before you factor in the high-and-mighty counter-whining it elicits from NL fans.
   32. akrasian Posted: June 26, 2011 at 06:25 PM (#3862756)
Was Greg Maddux a baseball player?

Poor example. Besides being a great pitcher, he won 18 gold gloves, and had 1812 plate appearances. He may not have been a great hitter, but he did hit. He even got on base 311 times plus had 180 sac bunts (and 2 sac flies). And he was taking his appearances at the plate until his career was over. According to Francona, Ortiz used to be able to play the field, but is too big an injury risk now. That was never the case for Maddux.
   33. willcarrolldoesnotsuk Posted: June 26, 2011 at 06:25 PM (#3862758)
The designated hitter has been in the official rules for almost half a century. Longer than any active player has been alive. If you don't like it, that's fine, but maybe consider the possibility that it's time to stop watching instead of to continue complaining.
   34. willcarrolldoesnotsuk Posted: June 26, 2011 at 06:27 PM (#3862763)
Arithmetic brain fart. Point stands.
   35. Misirlou is on hiding to nowhere Posted: June 26, 2011 at 06:34 PM (#3862773)
Then why wasn't he in the lineup yesterday? Is he allergic to Jeff Karstens?


I agree that Francona's whining was unseemly, but it's nothing compared to the willful ignorance of this statement.
   36. spike Posted: June 26, 2011 at 06:34 PM (#3862774)
I find it particularly odious when writers engage in pejoratives like "How pathetic is it that Ortiz is either so fat or uncoordinated that his manager can’t find a place for him to play?" in the first place, let alone about people who are far more coordinated than they ever hope to be. Maybe Megdal will show up in a minute to say this one is a good guy too, but lord, the sheer jerkiness for no explicative or editorial benefit makes me loathe the breed.
   37. Home Run Teal & Black Black Black Gone! Posted: June 26, 2011 at 06:34 PM (#3862776)
Agree with Sam. Position is where you are positioned. So I guess Ortiz's is "bench."
   38. Nasty Nate Posted: June 26, 2011 at 06:34 PM (#3862777)
The question is "what does it mean to be a baseball player?" And many of us would answer that question something like "the ability to play a position and take your hacks in the lineup."


Whenever inter-league play rolls around, and the NL purists start in about "real baseball players" they always neglect to comment on the scores of National League short-relievers who go months, years, and even careers without a single Plate Appearance as a batter. Why no carping about how these guys aren't real players? E.G. David Ortiz has played the field more recently than the excellent Joel Hanrahan has stepped into the batter's box.

P.S. If I had been born in a NL city, I'm sure I would have become an anti-DH purist too.
   39. Drew (Primakov, Gungho Iguanas) Posted: June 26, 2011 at 06:39 PM (#3862781)
Please don't click.
   40. Kurt Posted: June 26, 2011 at 06:41 PM (#3862785)
Poor example. Besides being a great pitcher, he won 18 gold gloves, and had 1812 plate appearances. He may not have been a great hitter, but he did hit.

His lifetime OPS+ was 5, which goes to my point that the DH didn't create "incomplete" baseball players; it was an acknowledgement that there already were incomplete players who didn't have a major-league ability to do one of the two tasks enumerated by Sam.
   41. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: June 26, 2011 at 06:42 PM (#3862787)
What's really amazing to me is that the Red Sox are one of the few teams that put the proper type of player in the DH role.
   42. SoSH U at work Posted: June 26, 2011 at 06:46 PM (#3862792)
Nevermind, missed the correction.
   43. Misirlou is on hiding to nowhere Posted: June 26, 2011 at 06:53 PM (#3862800)
The designated hitter has been in the official rules for almost half a century. Longer than any active player has been alive. If you don't like it, that's fine, but maybe consider the possibility that it's time to stop watching instead of to continue complaining.


Easy mister. I was born 10 years before the DH rule and I'm not quite 50 yet.
   44. Tripon Posted: June 26, 2011 at 06:54 PM (#3862802)


Whenever inter-league play rolls around, and the NL purists start in about "real baseball players" they always neglect to comment on the scores of National League short-relievers who go months, years, and even careers without a single Plate Appearance as a batter. Why no carping about how these guys aren't real players? E.G. David Ortiz has played the field more recently than the excellent Joel Hanrahan has stepped into the batter's box.


Relievers are a natural part of the game, and has always existed in some form. It took a rule to create the DH. If you left Joel Hanrahan long enough in the game, he will eventually get a PA. David Ortiz will never take the field as a DH.

Put it in another way, it'll be complaining that Pinch Hitters don't take the field sometimes because their managers decided to only use him for one Plate Appearance.

As for David Ortiz not playing in NL parks, the Red Sox and David Ortiz has known for years that they have to play in NL parks for a number of games. This is the solution they came up with, and whining about it is asinine. You don't hear about NL teams whining that they have to use the DH in AL parks.
   45. Rough Carrigan Posted: June 26, 2011 at 07:00 PM (#3862806)
Funny, in game 3 of the 2004 World Series, it was national league pitcher Jeff Suppan who looked fat and uncoordinated, especially when first baseman David Ortiz threw him out at third base.
   46. Rough Carrigan Posted: June 26, 2011 at 07:02 PM (#3862807)
#44. Actually, yeah, NL teams whine about it sometimes, usually to the effect that, gee, we don't have a guy on our roster just for that job.
   47. Stratman01 Posted: June 26, 2011 at 07:12 PM (#3862814)
Steve Balboni's Personal Trainer Posted: June 26, 2011 at 01:58 PM (#3862724)

I love the Sox, but this is not Francona's shining moment. It's kind of whiny.

And this writer covers the Pirates...and he's talking about who "real" players are and are not? There have been more than a few Pirates who had a glove on their non-throwing hand, standing in the field, over the last 15 years, who were far less of a major-league player than David Ortiz.

Go .500 for a season, then you start talking about other teams' "real" players. Geesh.


That's a good thoughtful response to a good debate. What are you 15 years old?
   48. Tripon Posted: June 26, 2011 at 07:16 PM (#3862819)

#44. Actually, yeah, NL teams whine about it sometimes, usually to the effect that, gee, we don't have a guy on our roster just for that job.


Then they should suck it up and plan better next time, just like the Red Sox and Ortiz should do.
   49. Fancy Pants Handle doesn't need no water Posted: June 26, 2011 at 07:17 PM (#3862826)
You don't hear about NL teams whining that they have to use the DH in AL parks.

Somebody isn't paying attention.
   50. Kurt Posted: June 26, 2011 at 08:02 PM (#3862881)
Relievers are a natural part of the game, and has always existed in some form. It took a rule to create the DH. If you left Joel Hanrahan long enough in the game, he will eventually get a PA. David Ortiz will never take the field as a DH.

There are no "natural" parts of the game, which is defined by its rules.
   51. Koot Posted: June 26, 2011 at 08:08 PM (#3862898)
As for David Ortiz not playing in NL parks, the Red Sox and David Ortiz has known for years that they have to play in NL parks for a number of games. This is the solution they came up with, and whining about it is asinine.


The complaint wasn't about playing under NL rules was unfair. The argument is that having to play nine straight under NL rules wasn't fair, since they normally split the NL/AL home series. This season, the Red Sox have to play nine straight interleague on the road. Francona's been saying this for a few weeks now, the concern is with Papi getting out of his groove by not playing regularly for a week and a half.

I know we're not going to let facts get in the way of a good lynching here, but, I thought I'd give this a try.
   52. Lassus Posted: June 26, 2011 at 08:10 PM (#3862904)
If you don't like it, that's fine, but maybe consider the possibility that it's time to stop watching instead of to continue complaining.

I would like to repeat this bit of brilliance, because it's brilliant.
   53. Misirlou is on hiding to nowhere Posted: June 26, 2011 at 08:11 PM (#3862905)
There are no "natural" parts of the game, which is defined by its rules.


Right. The rules used to require the pitcher throw the ball high or low, as requested by the batter. The rules used to require 9 balls for a walk. The rules used to allow pitchers to "doctor" the ball. The rules used to require persons of West African heritage play in a different league. The rules used to require the teams with the best records in each league meet in the WS.

None of that applies now. Why is the DH different? It is only 4 years older than the last rule stated in the first paragraph above.
   54. Drew (Primakov, Gungho Iguanas) Posted: June 26, 2011 at 08:16 PM (#3862910)
I'll ask for the removal of the DH when pitchers prove they can hit.
   55. Drew (Primakov, Gungho Iguanas) Posted: June 26, 2011 at 08:19 PM (#3862913)
If the Red Sox weren't built around having a real DH, this wouldn't be a problem. Or maybe if they accounted for interleague by having their first baseman be talented enough to play LF.
   56. Fred Lynn Nolan Ryan Sweeney Agonistes Posted: June 26, 2011 at 08:26 PM (#3862919)
MLB rule 1.01: "Baseball is a game between two teams of nine players each, under direction of a manager, played on an enclosed field in accordance with these rules, under jurisdiction of one or more umpires."

The DH experiment should therefore be ended because it is effectively unconstitutional: it violates the FIRST rule of Major League baseball.

In the alternative, the Major League Supreme Court should step in to resolve this circuit split once and for all.
Though at the moment there is no such thing, which is a shame. I propose the First Bench include the oldest nine living Baseball Hall of Fame players or managers. I'm fairly sure this crew could also deal quickly and effectively with burning questions like "The All-Star Game: should it 'count'?".
   57. Fred Lynn Nolan Ryan Sweeney Agonistes Posted: June 26, 2011 at 08:27 PM (#3862920)
Double post.
   58. Kurt Posted: June 26, 2011 at 08:30 PM (#3862921)
Right. The rules used to require the pitcher throw the ball high or low, as requested by the batter. The rules used to require 9 balls for a walk. The rules used to allow pitchers to "doctor" the ball. The rules used to require persons of West African heritage play in a different league. The rules used to require the teams with the best records in each league meet in the WS.

None of that applies now. Why is the DH different?


"desginated hitters are icky", or "there were no designated hitters in the Fifties, when America was great."
   59. DA Baracus is a "bloodthirsty fan of Atlanta." Posted: June 26, 2011 at 08:31 PM (#3862924)
"The lineup" isn't a position.


Never said it was. But there's David Ortiz, listed in the lineup. His position? DH.
   60. Howie Menckel Posted: June 26, 2011 at 08:31 PM (#3862925)
The first DH in the AL was Ron Blomberg for the Yankees in 1973 (coincidentally, I saw him bat in the Yankees' Old-Timer's Day today; he looked decent up there).

(edited after seeing 'brain fart' acknowledged)
   61. Tripon Posted: June 26, 2011 at 08:32 PM (#3862926)
No, more like DHs are the 10th man on the team, and are treated as such.
   62. cardsfanboy Posted: June 26, 2011 at 08:56 PM (#3862949)
The complaint wasn't about playing under NL rules was unfair. The argument is that having to play nine straight under NL rules wasn't fair, since they normally split the NL/AL home series. This season, the Red Sox have to play nine straight interleague on the road. Francona's been saying this for a few weeks now, the concern is with Papi getting out of his groove by not playing regularly for a week and a half.


I don't see that complaint being valid next year, there is a very good chance that they will enact a rule to force the home team to play by the visiting team rules in the second game of the series. It may not fix the inherent design disparity of the two leagues, but it should eliminate this particular problem.
   63. Fred Lynn Nolan Ryan Sweeney Agonistes Posted: June 26, 2011 at 09:01 PM (#3862952)
I don't see that complaint being valid next year, there is a very good chance that they will enact a rule to force the home team to play by the visiting team rules in the second game of the series. It may not fix the inherent design disparity of the two leagues, but it should eliminate this particular problem.

Which, if David Ortiz is the best pure DH out there, obviously benefits the Red Sox more than any other team.
Typical East Coast bias.
   64. haggard Posted: June 26, 2011 at 09:06 PM (#3862955)
As a baseball traditionalist, I believe that all games should be played on the East Coast.
   65. Drew (Primakov, Gungho Iguanas) Posted: June 26, 2011 at 09:11 PM (#3862958)
MLB rule 1.01: "Baseball is a game between two teams of nine players each, under direction of a manager, played on an enclosed field in accordance with these rules, under jurisdiction of one or more umpires."

The DH experiment should therefore be ended because it is effectively unconstitutional: it violates the FIRST rule of Major League baseball.


I guess we have to eliminate benches, then. Bullpens, pinch-runners...
   66. Benji Posted: June 26, 2011 at 09:21 PM (#3862963)
I was all for the DH when it was proposed as the DPH. That was announcing a player to be your designated pinch hitter. He would bat for whoever you chose, only once an inning though, as many times as you want, but the player he hit for was out of the game. It would behoove management to try this instead of the DH because you could reduce the roster by at least one.
   67. Rickey! In a van on 95 south... Posted: June 26, 2011 at 09:57 PM (#3862980)
I guess we have to eliminate benches, then. Bullpens, pinch-runners...


If you don't understand the difference between substitutes, and taking players out of the game and replacing them with other players, while maintaining a team of 9 players, versus having a team of 10 players (nine fielders and one guy that sits in the dugout for half the game) then you don't understand baseball.

If we're going to have a slugger replace one of the players just because that player doesn't hit particularly well, why limit it to one position? Why limit it to only the pitcher. Surely the game would be "better" if you could play Rey Sanchez at shortstop but have Barry Bonds hit for him, right? Why not just form up two different lineups. One hits. The other fields. It would be like football. Everyone would only do that one thing. Wouldn't that be *awesome?* I mean, because baseball should be marketed to ADD teenage boys.
   68. mathesond Posted: June 26, 2011 at 10:12 PM (#3862994)
If we're going to have a slugger replace one of the players just because that player doesn't hit particularly well, why limit it to one position? Why limit it to only the pitcher.

I was under the impression that the DH could hit for anybody; they hit for pitchers because generally pitchers are the worst hitters on the team
   69. Rickey! In a van on 95 south... Posted: June 26, 2011 at 10:18 PM (#3862997)
I was under the impression that the DH could hit for anybody; they hit for pitchers because generally pitchers are the worst hitters on the team


Yes, but why limit the awesomeness of professional hitting to just one spot in the lineup? Why not have 9 designated hitters and 9 designated fielders? Surely the most perfect baseball game would be one in which a specialist pitcher with specialist defenders at every position pitches to an entire lineup of specialist hitters, no?
   70. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: June 26, 2011 at 10:22 PM (#3862999)
I'll ask for the removal of the DH when pitchers prove they can hit.


They could hit at one time before many of our grandparents were born, though. If you got rid of the DH and management actually took them seriously by coaching them, pitchers could once again show they could use the lumber. Not that they would excel at the plate, mind you, but they wouldn't have to be automatic outs either.
   71. Tripon Posted: June 26, 2011 at 10:25 PM (#3863002)
No, the rule in MLB is that the DH can only be substituted for the pitcher. Which is too bad because there are some catchers who should never hit.
   72. Rickey! In a van on 95 south... Posted: June 26, 2011 at 10:34 PM (#3863007)
@71 - You're right. I thought the DH could be for any position too.
   73. cardsfanboy Posted: June 26, 2011 at 10:41 PM (#3863010)
I was under the impression that the DH could hit for anybody; they hit for pitchers because generally pitchers are the worst hitters on the team


In some other leagues(don't know which) that is an option, but MLB specifically worded the DH rule to be for the pitcher only.
   74. DA Baracus is a "bloodthirsty fan of Atlanta." Posted: June 26, 2011 at 11:04 PM (#3863028)
The question is "what does it mean to be a baseball player?" And many of us would answer that question something like "the ability to play a position and take your hacks in the lineup."


So are pitchers in the AL not players either, since they don't get to take their hacks in the lineup?
   75. haggard Posted: June 26, 2011 at 11:06 PM (#3863029)
Do you lose the DH if the pitcher moves to another position?
   76. Gotham Dave Posted: June 26, 2011 at 11:06 PM (#3863031)
Sam, would it make you feel better to think of the DH as a substitution rule, in which one designated player is allowed to enter and leave the game in a manner different from other substitutions? It's not like the DH and the pitcher are ever on the field at the same time.
   77. Rickey! In a van on 95 south... Posted: June 26, 2011 at 11:15 PM (#3863039)
So are pitchers in the AL not players either, since they don't get to take their hacks in the lineup?


You're going to go all haywire here, I know, but no. They're not complete players. Baseball players field a position and bat when their turn in the order comes up. That's the game.
   78. Rickey! In a van on 95 south... Posted: June 26, 2011 at 11:17 PM (#3863041)
@76 - No. A player who spends the defensive half inning on the bench is not in the game. The problem with the DH is that it is a substitution rule that allows players (the DH and pitcher) to re-enter the game after being used.
   79. cardsfanboy Posted: June 26, 2011 at 11:24 PM (#3863045)
Do you lose the DH if the pitcher moves to another position?


Yes.
In the bottom of the 8th on July 15, 1993, the Seattle Mariners' Jeff Nelson was moved from the pitcher position to left field. The strategy allowed Nelson to stay in the game while left-handed pitcher Dennis Powell came in to pitch to Mike Greenwell in a game at Boston. By moving the pitcher into a defensive position, Nelson was put into the designated hitter's spot in the batting order while the new pitcher (Powell) was placed into the left fielder's place in the batting order. (It is very uncommon to see this particular move in an American League ballgame due to the DH.) Powell's turn in the batting order came up in the top of the ninth: Pete O'Brien pinch hit for him. Left fielder Nelson was then moved back to pitcher, and pitched in the bottom of the ninth.[22]


from Wikipedia. if you move the pitcher to a position he is put into the dh spot and the new pitcher is put into the position slot removed. Not sure if you are allowed to designate the pitcher as batting in the spot that he took over, I imgagine you couldn't.
   80. DA Baracus is a "bloodthirsty fan of Atlanta." Posted: June 26, 2011 at 11:25 PM (#3863047)
You're going to go all haywire here, I know, but no. They're not complete players. Baseball players field a position and bat when their turn in the order comes up. That's the game.


I would only go haywire if you said they were. At least you're consistent. Of course you're then implying that when they get traded or sign with a NL team, they're suddenly players. Strange stance to take.
   81. Vida Blew Over the Legal Limit Posted: June 26, 2011 at 11:26 PM (#3863048)
Isn't is great that we've completely flipped roles. Now the commenters are generally well reasoned adults with thoughtful dialog and the columnists are complete trolls. I think it's adorable.
   82. Rickey! In a van on 95 south... Posted: June 26, 2011 at 11:54 PM (#3863062)
Of course you're then implying that when they get traded or sign with a NL team, they're suddenly players. Strange stance to take.


I don't think this is a strange stance to take. When Tim Hudson was with Oakland he wasn't a complete baseball player, because he played for a franchise that didn't require him to play baseball. He pitched for an AL team, which is like baseball but not quite. When he was traded to Atlanta he started playing baseball again.
   83. DA Baracus is a "bloodthirsty fan of Atlanta." Posted: June 26, 2011 at 11:57 PM (#3863063)
I don't think this is a strange stance to take. When Tim Hudson was with Oakland he wasn't a complete baseball player, because he played for a franchise that didn't require him to play baseball. He pitched for an AL team, which is like baseball but not quite. When he was traded to Atlanta he started playing baseball again.


And the whole time he never stopped being a complete player.
   84. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: June 27, 2011 at 12:05 AM (#3863065)
I really enjoy watching David Ortiz hit a baseball.
   85. Rickey! In a van on 95 south... Posted: June 27, 2011 at 12:06 AM (#3863066)
He may have been a complete player potentially. But he wasn't playing the complete game in Oakland. He wasn't in the lineup. I wasn't hitting. A DH was.
   86. TomH Posted: June 27, 2011 at 01:16 AM (#3863086)
The Red Sox obviously will be swept in the NL park when they play the WS. Happens every time this millenium....
   87. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: June 27, 2011 at 01:23 AM (#3863087)
I'll ask for the removal of the DH when pitchers prove they can hit.


Pirates pitchers had more RBI during this series with the Red Sox than Ortiz did.

Ortiz did manage to draw a walk and score a run during today's game... which put him on equal footing with the Pirates' SP, James McDonald.
   88. Dan Posted: June 27, 2011 at 01:27 AM (#3863090)
I don't think this is a strange stance to take. When Tim Hudson was with Oakland he wasn't a complete baseball player, because he played for a franchise that didn't require him to play baseball. He pitched for an AL team, which is like baseball but not quite. When he was traded to Atlanta he started playing baseball again.


When the NL adopts the DH, will you stop watching Braves games?
   89. Hugh Jorgan Posted: June 27, 2011 at 01:30 AM (#3863092)
So, after reading many of the posts, Sam, I take it that are not in favour of the DH?

As a baseball traditionalist, I believe that all games should be played on the East Coast

And all contests must be day games played by "true" players that get their uniforms dirty and pitch high and inside all the time!
   90. Tripon Posted: June 27, 2011 at 01:31 AM (#3863093)
If the NL adopts the DH, I'm going to be sad. Kershaw is a better hitter right now than several regulars.
   91. Rickey! In a van on 95 south... Posted: June 27, 2011 at 02:04 AM (#3863102)
When the NL adopts the DH, will you stop watching Braves games?


Completely? Probably not. But I would not follow baseball nearly as closely.
   92. cercopithecus aethiops Posted: June 27, 2011 at 02:08 AM (#3863103)
In some other leagues(don't know which) that is an option, but MLB specifically worded the DH rule to be for the pitcher only.

High School. In college you can only DH for the pitcher, but the starting pitcher can also be the DH (IOW, he can be relieved on the mound without being replaced in the lineup).
   93. bumpis hound Posted: June 27, 2011 at 06:35 AM (#3863188)
One of the most important hits in MLB last year was J. Sanchez hitting a triple off Matt Latos on the last day of the regular season. Turned the game around and led the G's to a Division title. Not sure he'd do it regularly, but still. It was exciting, interesting, dramatic.

Let the pitchers hit.
   94. ptodd Posted: June 27, 2011 at 06:50 AM (#3863191)
Ortiz can play 1B and is not that awful, better than Adam Dunn. But he has hit well as a DH which many players have trouble doing, and the Red Sox have had other 1Bman who are better fielders (Youk and A-Gon).

It makes no sense to have Papi play 1B so you can bench A-Gon (having A-Gon in RF is a horrible idea).

If Ortiz played in the NL he would be a 1Bman, but he plays in the AL, and he is a very good hitter. Guys who can play the field are a dime a dozen. Guys who can put up a 900 OPS with 30+ HR and 100+ RBI do not grow on trees.
   95. Bug Selig Posted: June 27, 2011 at 11:23 AM (#3863201)
The rules used to require persons of West African heritage play in a different league.


No, they didn't. Nobody signed them, but there wasn't a rule that you couldn't.
   96. J. Sosa Posted: June 27, 2011 at 11:27 AM (#3863204)
I usually have been happy having the DH in one league and having the "pure" way in one league. I liked the different styles and watching pitchers hit is is usually only good for comedic value. I've started to come around to disliking the DH though. I was at a couple of the games this weekend with Ortiz sitting. It was incredibly frustrating as a Red Sox fan. (Perhaps it was made more frustrating by Francona choosing to have Ortiz lead off the ninth saturday instead of pinch hitting for Scutaro with two men on. What was the deal with that? With Lowrie out do they not have anyone in the whole of their system that can play shortstop in an NL park for that situation?) Ortiz could generally fake it at first in interleague before Gonzalez arrived, but they are a different team without him in the lineup. I've kind of come around to the idea that if you can't play the field very well you need to be penalized for that as a player by having to wear a glove if you want to play. I think the NL will adopt the DH before the AL drops it though. It would be a shame.
   97. AJMcCringleberry Posted: June 27, 2011 at 11:31 AM (#3863205)
Anyone vehemently against the DH should have to watch a continuous loop of Al Leiter's ABs.
   98. Rickey! In a van on 95 south... Posted: June 27, 2011 at 12:28 PM (#3863222)
The problem with you position, AJ, is that you've already internalized the need for specialization.
   99. Nasty Nate Posted: June 27, 2011 at 12:59 PM (#3863226)
When Tim Hudson was with Oakland he wasn't a complete baseball player, because he played for a franchise that didn't require him to play baseball.


So I assume you also feel that NL relievers who never have plate appearances (Craig Kimbrel etc) are also incomplete because their franchises don't require them to play baseball?
   100. Rickey! In a van on 95 south... Posted: June 27, 2011 at 01:05 PM (#3863229)
So I assume you also feel that NL relievers who never have plate appearances (Craig Kimbrel etc) are also incomplete because their franchises don't require them to play baseball?


A few things.

First, we've already covered this "then relievers aren't players either" bit above. The points made there - namely that relief pitching and pinch hitting are part of the game, but that having a player designated to enter and leave the game only during offensive half innings is something completely different - still stands.

Second, relief pitchers are less well rounded baseball players than starters. That's why they're relievers.

Third, if you want to poke me with Braves relievers, go with Jonny Venters. He's better than Kimbrel by factors.

Finally, a player (such as a reliever) who plays only defense has more claim to being a well rounded, fully formed baseball player than a player who sits in the dugout the entire game, excepting four or five at bats. DH's don't play the game. They sit in the dugout while the game is played, pinch hit for the pitcher, then sit and wait for their next pinch hit at bat. That's not playing the game.
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