Rob Manfred is going to get his way and install the designated hitter into the game for the next two years and then magically it will be in the CBA and that will be that. National League fans know this, and most despise the idea of it. Manfred grew up an American League fan and I think that plays into his quest to make this happen. Most fans haven’t been complaining about this or calling for this, he’s had this on his agenda and he’s going to steamroll it through, the same way he tried to force-feed the 48-game proposal to the players.
National League baseball is about strategy. The minute you add the DH you have taken a lot of late-game strategy out of the game and that will make it more boring for fans that like it. The “extra” hitting you get out of it doesn’t make up for the mental loss for some viewers, trust me. If you like the DH and think the extra hitting is more exciting, let’s see how that plays out before you do a victory dance.
National League baseball was still the purest form of the game dating back to the beginning. Now with some of the new rules, and this, baseball will all be homogenized. The same as a perfect Big Mac coming off the assembly line just the way corporations like it. Baseball had gone too corporate under Bud Selig and this will be the point of no return for the sport.
Manfred has largely ignored the fans during this whole “negotiation” to get back on the field. He’s was wielding all the power right until he took a flight to Arizona to see if he could salvage a season that he has put a big damper on. The players have their part to play but that signed deal wasn’t for 48-games, the owners have always tried to pay the players less in this whole equation. They wanted a savings over the savings.
Most loved seeing Bartolo Colon hit a home run, that’s not going to happen now. Maybe a pitcher gets to pinch-hit in a game where a team runs out of players, but a lot of pitchers I’ve interviewed like hitting. They’re athletes and not all of them are perfectly fine with not hitting and running the bases. They didn’t grow up doing that in the early stages of Little League. Imagine the day where 10-year-old players have designated hitters in the game. The thought of that turns my stomach.
Where is this sport going? I ran a Twitter poll asking if fans were still looking forward to this season and 72% weren’t. It’s a small sample size but most of my followers are sports fans and a lot of them baseball fans.
Let’s see how this all plays out for 2020, but one thing is certain, the league is going to change the National League forever. It started with not having the Reds being the first game on Opening Day, then the Sunday night game before Opening Day, and one by one this sport has traded its identity for more money and now we are going to see a sport that will just resemble the game it used to be
photo by del Tufo