The Fight For The DH
In one of my first posts, which feels like forever ago, I mentioned that MLB has plenty of work to do to better their game for the future. Hall of Fame voting was on the list but higher on said list is the need for the universal DH.
I’m a traditionalist but also a realist. Oh! And I like stats.
The stats are CLEAR and OBVIOUS truth as to why most pitchers should take a seat from swinging the big stick every fifth day. If FanGraphs isn't lying to me, the best hitting team at the pitching position in 2019 (when they last were allowed to hit) was the Oakland A's. How many hits did the AL WEST A's have in 2019. Six. In 23 at bats they had six singles for a mind blowing .286 batting average. See it here.
If I am looking at teams that should qualify in the real world, the Mets hit .166 with 52 hits in 345 plate appearances.
Fast forward to the year of the 'Vid and a short universal DH sample and we see only TWO teams designated hitters have a season average that was worse than the 2019 Mets pitchers. See what I'm looking at here. The best DH spot from 2020 belonged to the Braves, a National League team.
The fact that this is even still a question is ridiculous to me. It's so simple. If a team wants to send a designated hitter to the plate for their pitchers, let them. If Madison Bumgarner or Shohei want to double dip on their days on the bump, let them. Stop pigeon-holing an entire half of your league because of some old rules that can clearly be changed.
The baseball historians that cry "America's Pastime" yet don't want to see it continue because of the lack of vision for the future are a sad, sad group.
Do those history folks want to know the best hitting teams from the pitcher spot back in 2010? The Red Sox crushed a whopping five hits in 17 AB's for .294 average while the Brewers, an actual NL squad hit .207. Not bad. The only thing is EVERY AL TEAM had a better batting average from their DH spot in 2010. So why????? Why the need to keep less hits, thus less excitement in the game? For histories sake? So we eliminate the MadBum wow moments or the Kerry Wood shots??
This next line is specifically for the Commish - you are supposed to continue to improve the business of baseball, right? Then MAKE THIS MOVE! It's so simple. There was a 50 hit difference between the best hitting team from the pitcher spot (BHTFTPS) and the worst hitting team from the DH spot in 2010. Same thing in 2019. The difference between the BHTFTPS and the best hitting team from the DH spot in 2019 is over 200 hits!!!
Goodness my brain is on fire with how simple this is and yet it seems like there is no desire to make the move. I feel like a Celtics fan waiting on Ainge to do something, ANYTHING.
Here is the glimmer of hope for those of you that I convinced and those that were already with me. The CBA at the end of this season. That has to be a big point of the many on the docket so here's to hoping they figure it out.