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Monday, March 23, 2020

Vince Velasquez and why the NL shouldn’t adopt the DH rule

In general, I like to think of myself as a forward-thinking person. I wouldn’t use the word “hip,” but I don’t get stuck in my ways. I’m only in my early thirties, so get back to me in a decade and see if I’m still this way. I want to be a capable and up-to-date old person, sort of like a boomer right now who knows how to fix his own router.

That being said, the one way in which I’m retrograde is my lack of support for the DH rule. The pro-DH arguments are convincing and, I admit, rationally correct. However, I irrationally love watching pitchers hit and, in rare circumstances, play other positions. I believe I can blame Mitch Williams for this. The former Phillies closer delivered a walk-off single at 4:41 AM against the Padres back on July 2, 1993, ending the second game of a doubleheader at Veterans Stadium. As a young Phillies fan who had chronic insomnia and loved the heck out of baseball even back then, I watched the entire game, the memory of which was seared into my brain.

There were many other non-traditional performances from Phillies pitchers in the time since. Robert Person hit two home runs, including a grand slam, and nearly missed a third homer (another grand slam) against the Expos on June 2, 2002. Randy Wolf hit two homers against the Rockies on August 11, 2004. In Game 4 of the 2008 World Series against the Rays, Joe Blanton became the first pitcher since Ken Holtzman in 1974 to hit a homer in the Fall Classic. Don’t worry, I’m not going to stop listing examples.

Another great Phillies-related example was when starter Roy Oswalt played left field in a 16-inning loss to the Astros on August 24, 2010 because third base umpire Scott Barry picked a fight with Ryan Howard and ejected him. The Phillies had no bench players left, so Oswalt had to take the field. Naturally, the first ball in play went right to him, which he caught easily. The Citizens Bank Park crowd erupted in applause and Oswalt flashed a [crap]-eating grin. Oswalt came to bat with the potential to tie the game or even win the game in the bottom of the 16th. He made contact, but grounded out to end the game.

Well, now’s as good a time as any to reopen this can of worms…..

 

 

QLE Posted: March 23, 2020 at 12:37 AM | 1 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: designated hitters, national league, vince velasquez

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   1. stevegamer Posted: March 23, 2020 at 10:34 PM (#5932969)
I was at the Velasquez game in question, and his play in the outfield was excellent. Easily one of the highlights of the Gabe Kapler managerial era.

I was also at the game the year before where we saw a pitching change unlike anything I've seen since little league: Pitcher & Shortstop switch roles with Kingery & Quinn trading places. There were a decent number of Mets fans near us, and they were having fun, as were we, as the level of absurdity was fun - and laughing at "Dunce Kap" was always good.

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