Major League Baseball and the Major League Baseball Players Association are kicking ideas back-and-forth at each other right now for the 2019 season. Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic notes more than a few of the proposed ideas between the two parties. One of the ones of note is that the players are pushing for a universal designated hitter beginning in the 2019 season.

Since the 1973 season the designated hitter has existed in the American League. The National League has never used it other than in the World Series road games, and in interleague road games during the regular season.

It’s incredibly strange that the two leagues have different rules. To the point that the two games are played very differently. Rosters are built very differently. Teams can even approach free agency differently. All because one league has a designated hitter and the other simply does not.

As I write this to fans of a team that plays in the National League, I’m sure there will be some pushback on the idea of a designated hitter in the National League. There must be some excitement gotten from intentionally walking someone to face Aaron Harang that I never understood. Or maybe watching a pitcher lay down a bunt, or trying to lay down a bunt that gets your engine revving. Maybe the double-switch to put in a lesser hitter into the lineup because you want a pitching change does it for you. Perhaps you like the “let’s think six moves ahead” kind of thing. If that’s you, well, you confuse me, because this particular writer simply doesn’t get it.

Several things on the table are to “speed up the game”. We’ve seen things in the past like an introduction of a “pitch clock”. That would give pitchers 20 seconds between pitches or a ball would be awarded to the hitter. There’s a lot of ideas that have been kicked around over the past few years. There hasn’t been many that have taken hold, though. While Major League Baseball is trying to talk things out with the players association, it isn’t necessary. Rob Manfred does have the power to make the changes without them.

Put yourself in the shoes of the Baseball Czar. You get to change a rule or two that is currently on the books, but it’s got to be realistic. That means you can’t get rid of the designated hitter in the American League. Sorry. What changes are you planning to make? And why are you making that move? What is the benefit?

235 Responses

  1. Craig Foster

    Since we have Votto until he’s 57 years old I like the idea of the DH in the NL.

    • R Rode

      Why should a pitcher get a “pass” when it comes to hitting? Are they not one of the 9 guys in the field? The others don’t skip their time at bat. Hitting is part of the game of baseball so when it’s your turn – HIT!

      • CP

        I think the idea is to give fans a “pass” from having to watch pitchers hit.

      • Eddie

        I agree. Everyone should also have to pitch since they are one of the 9 guys in the field.

      • jon

        Why?If you were an owner paying a pitcher 20-25m a year and he gets hurt batting maybe you would feel different.

      • tservo

        Jon – Star players get hurt on defense more often than pitchers get hurt batting. If you want to avoid that, might as well just have designated hitters bat and designated fielders play defense.

        CP – You’re not wrong…

        I still think that baseball was the one sport where you have to be well-rounded to be considered great. To me, that’s why guys like Otani and Lorenzen even Greene are intriguing; I’d honestly love to watch a guy strike out 12 in 8 innings while going 3 for 4 with a home run and 3 rbis in the game. Makes me wish I could have seen the Babe in his pitching prime.

        Having never been that great at any sport, I admittedly ask this question from ignorance: why is it that pitchers generally can’t hit? Do they spend so much time on practicing pitching that there aren’t any hours left in the day for the batting cage? What do they do on the rest days between throwing sessions? Can they not use their throwing arm at all?

      • ohiojimw

        RE: Eddie’s comment about everybody should pitch. Check out cricket, pretty much everybody does end up taking a turn at “bowling” as they call the pitching position. If you have cable or a streaming service long on sports channels, there is probably a channel which carries almost all cricket all the time. It has helped me get thru a winter or 2.

  2. CP

    Well this is going to be a fun thread.

    I’m all for it. I will miss Homer Bailey’s lifetime .160/.187/.182 line. Super exciting stuff.

  3. paul c Reichert

    Doug,
    My issue with the designated hitter is, that it shouldn’t exist at all.

    • Eddie

      Cheez Whiz shouldn’t exist either but I love it.

    • Colorado Red

      It should never had existed.
      Remove the DH from both leagues.
      The strategy is better in both leagues, double switches and the like.
      I HATE THE DH.

      • Craig Foster

        Nothing is more exciting than the double switch. They should hire Dusty Baker to be the designated double switcher.

      • Ghettotrout1

        I Agree with Colorado Red. I feel like if you have the DH it just removes another wrinkle of strategy to the game. The three true outcomes is already becoming extremely boring.

      • Portland Dave

        I’ve always been a traditionalist who argued against the DH. That being said, I recall Bill James, in one of his Baseball Abstracts probably in the late ’80s, setting out to see if the DH-reduces-strategy argument held water. He measured the standard deviation of things like pinch-hitters used, sacrifice bunts attempted, etc., the thinking being that a higher standard deviation in such things would be evidence of a larger “strategy factor” for one side or the other. His conclusion: there was more variation of strategy employed in the AL, that most of the “strategic” moves created by the pitcher having to bat were no-brainers that virtually every NL manager robotically called in like manner. Maybe the data today would be different; I don’t know. And it didn’t change my mind about the DH. But it did cause me to soften my stance a little, and I stopped using the strategy argument to support my position.

    • Ghettotrout1

      I agree. Baseball is already turning more and more into a thoughtless game. The steal is nearly non existent, bunts no longer are really used, and now if you take another in game situation to manage out of it, we might as well just let the front office set the line up and then watch everyone swing for the fences and either hit a bomb or strike out. Might as well just have home run derbys every night. Or better yet just drive down to Rumpke or Schmidt or Riverside and watch beer league softball.

      • Craig Foster

        Bunting is going away because, unless you’re talking about very narrow use cases, giving up outs is stupid.

      • William

        Imagine the Reds could have used Junior at DH as he aged instead of playing him in RF… and repeatedly losing him to injury.

        But you’re probably right, watching pitchers strike out and (fail to) put down bunts so that we can have a double-switch in the 8th is SO much better.

      • TR

        Like giving up outs is stupid with at least 90% of pitchers hitting in the NL.

      • Patrick Jeter

        “Thoughtless” is the opposite of the truth. It turns out that more “thought” has been given to the value of specific actions on the field. Actions that often don’t lead towards your team winning are going by the wayside.

        The game is far, far more thoughtful now than it ever was. It’s merely less “traditional.”

      • greenmtred

        An element of strategy that would mostly go away with the DH, and that might not show up in James’ evaluation: The starting pitcher is pitching very well, not running out of gas, in a tie or one-run game. His spot in the batting order rolls around in the later innings with a couple of guys in scoring position, What to do? You’ve been watching the game and seeing this develop and enjoying the suspense and enjoying considering how you’d decide. Thsi is just the sort of situation that, if not unique to baseball, is unusual in other sports.

      • greenmtred

        Patrick: That’s a good point and clearly true. It doesn’t really support or indict the DH rule, though.

      • lwblogger2

        @Greenmtred

        I think you nailed the hardest decision that would be eliminated by the introduction of the DH in the NL. That said, I’m not sure how often the situation comes up. This seems especially true in the modern game where the starter giving you just one more inning doesn’t seem to matter as much.

    • Roger Garrett

      Preach Paul.Everybody should play the field and hit.Simple enough to understand.Ask the kids playing in the back yard.

  4. JoJo

    I’d like a hard cap that evens the playing field. I’m tired of the size of the City determining the amount of money they get to spend. The other major leagues have a system.

    • Joe Shmoe

      The other Major Leagues have completely different economic structures. Tom Brady, Ben Roethlisberger, and Peyton Manning have represented the AFC in 16 of the last 18 Super Bowls. LeBron has been in the last 8 NBA Finals, 4 consecutive against GSW. How would you like that inevitability in MLB? Each sport is unique and you can’t use the same system across leagues.

  5. Sandman

    Good hitting pitchers are still rare. I’m all for the DH in the NL. More offense in the lineup is a good thing.

    • greenmtred

      I don’t have very strong feelings about the DH, either way, but your point about specialization gets to the heart of it, for me. It’s a matter of preference, nothing else, but I dislike over-specialization. I prefer to watch multi-faceted players.

      • Sandman

        Greenmtred,
        I just get tired of knowing that 9 times out of 10 the 8-hole hitter is going to be walked so they can face the pitcher who is usually a sure out which can kill a rally (if one is happening).

        I love the Reds but I’ve always hated the National League and how it lets the pitcher bat. To me, it’s why the AL has been the better league in interleaved play. I don’t know what the record is, but I think the AL is winning the majority of the games.

        I know that the NL gets to use the DH in AL parks and AL teams have to bat the pitcher in NL parks and that seemingly should’ve evened the playing field (so to speak), but yet the AL still is winning a majority of the games in IL play and the only thing I can attribute that to is the fact that the AL uses the DH all season long and whatever strategies having a DH encapsulates are just so good that it permeates every fiber of their being so that when they have to bat their pitcher in NL parks, that it doesn’t handicap them too much (if at all).

        Now, maybe I’m wrong and the AL’s dominance over the NL is to do with something else. Maybe the NL adopts the DH full-time and the AL still wins a majority of the games. What then? I wouldn’t have the slightest idea as to the reason why.

        But, what it all boils down to for me is that the DH allows an extra hitter into the lineup who is usually a better hitter than a pitcher which can only make the lineup stronger.

      • Doug Gray

        I’d say it’s as simple as this: The AL has real designated hitters. The NL uses crappy players as their designated hitters, or if they slide a good hitter to DH for a “rest day”, they just replace that guy in their lineup with a crappy hitter who can play defense. It still gives the AL an advantage. In an NL park, the AL simply evens the playing field by also having an atrocious hitting pitcher hit. But their pinch hitting option later in the game is going to be their usual DH in some of those games, and they’ve again got the advantage over the NL team, who has a pinch hitting option who is probably a .675 OPS guy who is known for his glove instead of his bat.

      • Andrew

        I think AL teams do better because they staff their roster with a much better player/hitter with the intention of using him at least part time as a DH. NL teams are not going to usually do that with a player(s) who doesn’t expect to see regular playing time, especially if they are someone who’s no longer making league minimum salary or the like.

        Therefore, the AL team holds a distinct advantage in home games, while losing nothing or far less in away games at NL parks.

      • greenmtred

        No argument, Sandman. What we’re discussing here is personal preference in our choice of entertainment. I can see getting bored by the near-inevitability of the outcome of the pitcher hitting, but I also can see being terminally bored by a game that tilts overwhelmingly to offense. Personal preference, as I say, and yours is certainly as valid as mine.

  6. BK

    I am ready for the DH. MLB is more specialized than ever. Time to make the change.

    I would establish a soft salary floor to match the soft cap eith comparable penalties for multiple offenders. I want to eliminate tanking over multiple, consecutive years.

    More revenue sharing to tighten the gap between the soft cap and floors. Make teams more similar in monetary resources for payroll to enhance competition.

  7. Datdudejs@yahoo.com

    I don’t understand why you can’t get rid of the DH in the American League. Your point about watching bad hitting pitchers hit instead of a Dh just doesn’t make sense to me. They are on the team, they are in the game, then they need to be in the lineup like everyone else. I never understood why pitchers got special treatment in the first place. I’m sure Billy Hamilton would love to have a dh, he would be and extremely valuable player if all he had to do was play defense and someone else could hit for him but that’s not how the game was made

    • Doug Gray

      Because the union simply isn’t going to allow it.

      • Datdudejs

        Why? I think a lot of pitchers would actually prefer to not have a dh. It makes it easier to pitch and I’m sure it’s enjoyable to punch out an opposing pitcher or get a hit against the opposing pitcher. Bragging rights sort of thing. Add in the fact that there are actually quite a few pitchers who are decent hitters and it adds value to them, which can only help during contract negotiations

      • Doug Gray

        Why? Because they’ve been fighting for decades now to make it so the DH is in both leagues. It extends players careers. It creates a few extra jobs.

        99.5% of the pitchers in baseball are atrocious hitters. And no, teams aren’t paying more money to pitchers who can OPS .600.

      • Bob Purkey

        To satisfy the union to get rid of the DH and the salary difference between a washed up & over the hill(not all the time), can’t run, can’t field, over-paid hitter vs. a 22 year old back up middle infielder or 12th man in the BP making the minimum, how about increasing the roster size from 25 to 26? adds more jobs, creates more $$ for the pension fund and reduces the game time?

      • ohiojimw

        Or the fans. There is no way the genie goes back into the bottle after going on 40 years. There are several generations of AL city fans who know nothing but DH baseball and would revolt over it being removed. That the DH concept has also gained as much acceptance as it has in recent years with NL fans says the writing is on the wall.

      • I-71_Exile

        The DH does extend some hitters careers, but it doesn’t add a single extra job. The rosters are the same size regardless.

      • Ken

        How did the DH originate in the AL? Seems like team owners would rather just have to pay 9 starting players than 10? Does having a DH really increase attendance and tv ratings that much to cover the extra cost (I assume salaries of DH is higher than extra pitcher in the bullpen)? If the DH didn’t already exist, and was proposed by the players union today, do you think MLB and the owners would support it?

      • Bob Purkey

        Doug: How does it create extra jobs? Don’t you still have a 25 man roster? Does anyone think that the DH will speed up the game? If that is a concern of MLB, then they are mistaken-look at the differences in game times between the NL and AL now.

      • greenmtred

        There was a very considerable period of time when fielders had gloves and there was no DH. I understand that your point is about opposition to change because it’s change, and I agree, to a point, but change is not automatically good. Changes need to be considered on their own individual merits. The reason for the DH seems mainly to be that it adds offense to the game. Does that come at the expense of balance? I don’t really know, but a three-outcome sort of game–if it actually existed–would be crushingly boring to some. Like cotton candy: Good at first, sickening after a while. Also, how much of the frustration being expressed is coming from watching OUR pitchers hit? Do you mind when the other team’s pitcher comes to the plate?

      • VaRedsFan

        Bob: So many more pitching changes in the NL…That’s a lot of boring, dead time…more TV commercials….more Kiss Cams or Presidents races at the park. Pitching changes lengthen the games.

      • Oldtimer

        To BP above. One of the changes proposed is a 26 man roster with a limit of 12 P. That would create 1 job per team.

  8. Frogem

    There’s an underlying richness about managers working to figure out how to get past the pitcher’s spot in the batting order. In this, they hone their craft, and it’s just one of the many exceedingly unique aspects of baseball that provides a ton of entertainment for me. I think yearning for the DH is like a kid shopping in a candy store. It looks so good on the outside. But, what you end up with is not quite so good as it first looked. The NL is a more cerebral, challenging, and uniquely entertaining league. The DH makes it less so. Please, let’s not reduce the NL that way.

    • BK

      I really used to by into the notion that the NL had more strategy. I’ve come to the conclusion that pulling a pitcher for a PH or asking a lousy hitting pitcher to bunt are no brainer moves. To me the NL’s strategy advantage has dwindled.

  9. Eric

    “I believe there ought to be a Constitutional Amendment, outlawing AstroTurf and the Designated Hitter…”
    — Crash Davis, Bull Durham

    • Eddie

      He also believes in long, slow, deep, soft, wet kisses that last three days.

    • Bob Purkey

      “Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose, sometimes it rains. . .think about it”

      • ToBeDetermined

        Eddie,
        Your makin me blush 🙂

  10. Charlie Waffles

    What a stupendpusly stupid idea to bring the child of baseball into the NL. Why not make the AL do away with it instead if you want the same rules?
    What is next? Designated runners? Catchers Can’t be expected to bat anymore can they? Let’s get a second DH for Catchers, all in the name of offense.
    American League baseball is very stale and homogenous. AL games always last much longer than NL games, in the name of offense. That seems to counter the idea of speeding up the game for these over medicated millennials that Can’t sit still for 9 innings.
    Just leave things be. Millennial are a strange breed. They love a 1-0 soccer game but are bored with a 3-2 baseball game. Go tinker with or fix soccer and leave baseball alone.
    American League baseball is an inferior product compared to National League baseball. Change American League baseball if change is warranted.
    These crybaby millennials want the whole world to cater to their every whim. Not this time bucco.

    If you couldn’t use a word in 5th grade without being written up for it, you can’t use it here.

    • rhayex

      Yikes. Not going to comment on your millennial rant, but I definitely think that the DH should be allowed in the NL.

      It’s nuts to me that people are so against the DH because of tradition. Other sports are willing to make massive rule changes every offseason; why is baseball treated like it was perfected in the 1920s with regards to its rules?

      • Doug Gray

        Not to mention that they change the rules all of the stinking time.

      • Frogem

        rhayex, my preference with not bringing the DH into the NL has little to do with tradition. It has far more to do with preferring more strategy than less. More craftiness and thought required of managers than less. Preferring chess over checkers. I don’t agree with Mr. Waffles rant about millennials, but I do see much of his point regarding “American League baseball is very stale and homogenous.” All that said, what are your specific reasons for wanting the DH in the NL?

      • Eddie

        Traditionally they didn’t let blacks play either. What would Babe Ruth think about Mexicans playing in the majors?

      • greenmtred

        Some of the opposition has to do with tradition, and some of it has to do with other concerns. I’m not personally motivated by any desire to make baseball more like any other sport.

      • Sanantonefan

        Eddie, Babe Ruth wouldn’t think anything–he is dead. 😉

    • Doug Gray

      Would you like to complain about millennials anymore? Or do you feel better now?

      • Charlie Waffles

        You drew first blood with your condescending attitude and words towards people who enjoy the National League brand of baseball. Your condescension sucks. What makes your opinion the correct one?
        NASCAR changed their scoring rules to accommodate the millennials who were crying about things. Now they change the scoring rules every other year to try to make racing more interesting. It has backfired immensely. NASCAR attendance is over 50% less than it was 15 years ago. Their tv ratings are almost non-existant. All in the name of making the sport more attractive to millennials.
        Lesson to learn from NASCAR, Don’t forsake your longtime fans to attract more millennials by constantly changing the rules to have more scoring.

      • Doug Gray

        If you are 50-years-old you literally don’t remember a time in which Major League Baseball hasn’t had the designated hitter. That’s nowhere near a millennial thing. And let’s be very clear here: I didn’t insult people, I said I don’t understand it. I didn’t start calling people who liked it overmedicated, or a strange breed, or crybabies, all based on the year in which they were born. You, however, did do that. And I’m sure it’s got a lot to do with something else, and not baseball. You’ve clearly got some built up anger against people born between 1982-1996 for some real strange reason.

        Others have disagreed with the NL adopting the DH here. You know what they didn’t do? Go on wild tangents about an entire group of people based around something no deeper than “well, you were born in these years, so clearly you are (insert your insults here)”.

      • Colorado Red

        I just wonder what the age difference for people of different opinions is?
        I do remember when neither league had the DH, and was opposed to it on day 1.
        Other grew up with it.
        I wonder if that drives the opinion.
        Of course, I still think it is poor, and runs the game.

    • Rich H

      Hey Charlie Waffles: take off the tinfoil hat and stop yelling at clouds.

      This might sound like a conspiracy theory to you, because it contains facts, but the DH was adopted before millennials were born. Games are about 35 minutes longer (20+ percent) than they were when the Big Red Machine played, and have been increasing steadily since roughly when the oldest millennials were born. They aren’t old enough to have screwed any of that up. Besides that fact, Mike Trout is a millennial. Joey Votto is a millennial. Chances are most or all of your favorite current players are millennials. So maybe they aren’t an evil force trying to ruin ‘Merica?

      Also, as Doug and countless others have written or pointed out, taking away the DH is not an option, as the MLBPA will not allow it to go away.

      • B-town fan

        Hey with all this talk about Millenials all of us Gen-Xers here are feeling a little left out.

      • CI3J

        As a fellow Gen-Xer, I think I speak for all of us when I say:

        Oh well, whatever, nevermind.

    • Ghettotrout1

      I’m a millenial and I agree LOL most millenials I know are whiny and do want to be catered too.

      • Doug Gray

        Who the heck doesn’t want to be catered to? Who is the psycho out there that is like, nah, I don’t want to be catered to?

      • Old-school

        Doug- you may have your 2019 “most responded” post by February. Who doesn’t want to be a GM for the Reds? Now one gets to be MLB commissioner? Big news coming out of MLB. Sure beats Tim Adleman as a nonroster invitee.

        ESPN has their way too early All star team. Yasiel Puig and JT Realmuto make it for the Reds.

      • Doug Gray

        I’m expecting the most responded post of 2019 to come at the end of October when we are all popping our bottles of champagne. But, I’m a romantic.

    • Westfester

      From Wikipedia: A total of 114 Series have been contested, with the NL champion winning 48 and the AL champion winning 66.

      The DH works.

      • Oldtimer

        AL has been the better league with more talent for some time now.

      • greenmtred

        The outcome of interleague play is not in question. The cause for the disparity is, though. Yours is an unsupported conclusion.

      • greenmtred

        I should have added that if scoring runs is all we’re taking about, the DH is clearly just the thing. Of course, you could determine who wins every game with a coin toss, but I suspect that almost all of us care about the process, not just the outcome.

    • jazzmanbbfan

      I’m 64 so I am not a millennial, but I can tell you from 57 years of watching baseball and many less watching soccer that, for me, a 1-0 soccer match has a lot more action and excitement than almost any baseball game I’ve attended. And I love both sports. However, I now go to far more soccer matches than baseball games and feel like I get more entertainment bang for my buck at soccer than baseball. I’m meh on the DH but think both leagues should use the same format. It seems clear that the DH isn’t going away so it’s only a matter of time, and likely a very short time, before we see it full time in the NL.

    • lwblogger2

      It isn’t all about millenials. And while there isn’t much action in soccer the crowd environment is very different than a baseball game. I know some diehard baseball fans from the younger generation and folks my age who love their soccer.

  11. WVRedlegs

    “Take your DH and shove it, we ain’t paying here no more.”
    A DH in the National League is just plain stupid. And you can’t fix stupid. Not even the Commish.
    Instead of games being over by 10:00pm they will last until after 11:00pm. Sure, that is what MLB wants.
    What a collosally ignorant idea.

    • Matt WI

      WV… as opposed to all of the extra pitching changes required by knowing your reliever has to bat? I don’t think the DH extends the game.

      • lwblogger2

        I don’t know. The pitching changes still happen. The mid-inning changes are what eat the time up. Most the changes due to the pitcher having to bat happen between innings or as part of a double-switch that only takes a few more seconds than a normal pitching change.

        The DH creates more offense which actually makes games take longer. It’s why AL games average longer playing times. More offense isn’t necessarily bad but if MLB is trying to shorten games, applying the DH to the NL probably won’t help.

      • Matt WI

        Fair enough… I concede to the data showing that AL games take longer.

    • greenmtred

      I’m a little surprised that nobody has mentioned the interminable reviews of challenged calls, so I’ll do it. They certainly haven’t made the games shorter.

      • LWBlogger2

        Ugh, no they haven’t. I think they should only be allowed to challenge scoring plays.

  12. Seadog

    Kemp—Did the Red’s front office have an idea?? Just sayin

    • Doug Gray

      I doubt it. I think Kemp is here for one reason: Homer Bailey.

  13. Daniel Kitchens

    Doug Gray, in my opinion, the idea of having no DH in the National League adds a totally different dynamic to the game. A manager in the NL has to weigh many different decisions an AL manager simply may never even think about. An NL manager has to decide when to pinch hit for pitchers, when to substitute pitchers (in the case of how soon the pitcher comes up in the lineup a half inning later), the idea of a double switch, etc… These are aspects of the game that mostly do not exist in the AL. These are important aspects that add a lot of pressure and intensity to a game (in my opinion). Consider the example:

    It’s Game 7 of the NLCS and a your team’s ace pitcher has completed 6 strong innings of shutout ball, and you come up in the bottom half of the innings, and your team manages to load the bases with 2 outs, with your ace coming to the plate. Your team’s offense has been dead silent for 3 games straight. Do you pull your ace for a pinch hitter, to give your team a legitimate chance to finally score? Considering the team has been unable to score, this may be your best chance.

    One of the moments, that many games can be remembered for, are these pressure situations for managers. From this past NLCS, several of the moments or memories I remember is how Craig Counsell managed his pitchers, and how he started Wade Miley in Game 5 to face 1 batter, as a trick, then saved him for the next game. These are the kinds of decisions that really make the NL more dynamic (in my opinion again), and really add a lot of drama and pressure to the game. If enforce the DH in both leagues, then these pressure situations are mostly eradicated. You add a DH, and there is no question, leave your ace in, and let the extra hitter hit. Easy. I believe that simplifies the game quite a bit. Some will say this simplification is necessary. But I think it would take a lot of drama and excitement out of these sort of situations.

    Anyway, I believe keeping the NL how it is allows for a totally different dynamic than the AL currently has. Although I am not saying you should change the AL. It has it’s own set of interesting aspects as well.

    • Eddie

      It feels like baseball should be the same in all divisions is the MLB. Or they should let the home team pick if they want to use the DH or not.

    • lwblogger2

      Like Greenmntred before you, you hit the heart of the toughest part of NL strategy when it comes to the pitcher hitting. What I’m wondering is how often a situation like that comes up and how often does the manager actually leave the pitcher in to bat under those situations?

  14. jiminoz

    I do not like the idea of the DH in the National League. I was against it when instituted in the AL, even though I was just kid, and I still hate it. It is primarily a players association desire to keep a few older guys playing longer perhaps to the detriment of young players.

    Without the DH, there is a least a little more strategy with player moves on the field and double switches. There is some intrigue about when to yank a pitcher. I know it limits offence a little. But a pitcher laying down a good bunt, getting a walk, or even more importantly a hit is exciting. Probably the best thing about the 2018 Reds was when Michael Lorenzen came to the plate.

    Baseball, more than other sports has been a game of tradition. While I am all for the analytics and other metrics that define today’s game I do not like the DH (or the instant replay.)

    • PhP

      Agreed, I want to watch athletes, not some 38 year old out of shape hitter who can no longer run or field – this isnt professional softball.

      I’d rather the specialization of pitchers end if baseball doesn’t want an easy out having to bat. These players bat all the way through high school so it’s not like they’ve never picked up a bat.

  15. Oldtimer

    I think NL is the only professional baseball league without DH. Not 100% sure.

  16. Chris

    I am just a Reds fan….always have been always will be.I love the NL without the DH.Baseball will never seem right to me with a DH.

  17. Old-school

    Absolutely bring the DH to the NL. Joey Votto Matt Kemp and scooter could rotate. Nick Senzel becomes even more important as does Jonathan India.

    • greenmtred

      But in the long run it adds no competitive advantage, since all teams have the same opportunity to use one-dimensional players. It would be unlikely to level the playing field, either, since the Cubs, Sox,Yankees et al could afford better one-dimensional players.

      • VaRedsFan

        It was a disadvantage when the Reds were using Xavier Paul, or some equivalent as a DH. Now that the Reds have some good hitters on the bench, it is much more of an advantage

      • Dan

        Agree with VA Reds Fan – Reds would be very well positioned in the NL if DH implemented. I’m saying this as someone who is against the DH.

    • Sanantonefan

      Isn’t Ken Griffey Jr still drawing a salary??? Bet he could still hit. HAHA

  18. Old-school

    Radical changes being discussed for implenetation now. . I like the elimination of the Loogy – with the rule possibly of pitcher facing a miminum of 3 hitters. It does appear a phase in of the DH could start in 2019- with All interleague games , including home NL games, then adopting the universal DH in 2020. That would be huge for Joey Votto’ s career and contract. If suarez can’t improve his defense, Senzel becomes a 3b and Suarez moves to 1b. It also allows Jose Siri to be the CF in 2020 without worrying so much about his bat. He could hit 9 th if needed.

  19. Hoosierdad

    Why stop with the DH? Why not an EH, extra hitter? Why not a DF, designated fielder? Heck, why not emulate the NFL and have an offense and a defense? After all, who wants to watch Scooter field balls or Billy bat?

    • Bill J

      Goodnight point, are you old enough to remember when in the NFL a lot of players played both offense and defense?

  20. Mark Moore

    I’ve made and supported the “purist” arguments for a long time. But I’m ready for a more uniform game that includes the DH across the board. I think the benefits outweigh the so-called managerial strategy and it simplifies things.

    I also think 162 is too many, rosters should expand to 26-28 players, and a few other crazy things. All that and I’m in my mid-50’s.

    Can we just start playing ball already?

    • greenmtred

      Why does the game have to be uniform? It’s a big problem to make it so, if only because the different ball parks aren’t.

    • andybado

      I’m with you on everything but the DH. Reduce the games played to 150 and add more planned double headers to shrink the length of the season (i.e. start the season in April; end the World Series in October). Expand the rosters to help reduce injuries. 25 is a nice round number, but in today’s game players are expected to be stronger and faster and use max effort more and more. A 28-man roster would certainly help by giving players more rest — for example, more bench options to come in in non-competitive games.

      I’m on the fence about the DH still. I like the strategy of double switches and the importance of the job of pinch hitters. I like looking at box scores with more than 9 batters listed and trying to figure out who came in when. It adds a wrinkle of complexity and in-game strategy that is absent from many AL games. It’s not overly complicated and can actually be a rather simple choice sometimes. But that in game-strategy and getting more guys in the game is central to the appeal to me. It also makes the managers position a bit more important and active in-game. To compare it to other sports, this difference between leagues tilts the NL closer to basketball (where you strategize about matchups and player combinations in the game) while the AL is more like soccer (where substitutions are infrequent and you often just ride with the guys who are out there).

      I see the other side of the DH argument, too. I just tend to favor nostalgia and in-game strategy over seeing specialized hitters and pitchers.

      • Chris Miller

        I love baseball. I would never want the season shortened. Also, I love the unique quality that baseball has with stats. Dropping the season back to 150 games would absolutely destroy stat comparisons over generations. I do love the idea of bringing back Double-Headers though. A few would shorten the season by a few days, and that’s fine, or it could give the players a few more off days.

      • VaRedsFan

        So with more doubleheaders, now you have the star players sitting out many of the 2nd games, or”nightcaps”. 150 games further dilutes how many times you are seeing the stars. AAA pitchers called up for 1 day to pitch the 2nd game…ect. diluting the the quality even more.

      • andybado

        Chris Miller, do you think any less of Babe Ruth (or any hitter pre-1962) because he only played in 154-game seasons (and some 140-game seasons at the beginning of his career)?

        VaRedsFan, with an expanded roster, you wouldn’t have to call up a AAA pitcher for the 2nd half of a double header.
        The 162-game season drags on for everyone — for fans (especially casual fans and young fans, who MLB is struggling to keep) and for players too. Going to 150 games gives 12 extra days and adding 1 double header per month gives 6 more. That allows you to take away all March games; make the last game of the year September 23 instead of September 30; and it gives 7-8 remaining days to give teams extra breaks throughout the season, that’s an extra 1-2 days off per month that I’m sure would be welcomed by players. Maybe they could actually get 2 days off in a row once a month.

        MLB has such an archaic schedule! What other professional sport in the world has teams that basically play every night for 1/2 the year? You talk about diluting your product — the schedule is built to squeeze every ounce of energy & fame out of these players to get more money. They are physically and mentally run ragged! It is absolutely not built to maximize health and highlight peak talent and ability. Expanding rosters and reducing the number of games will provide more physical and mental breaks, promoting better all-around health and therefore encouraging better performances on the field.

      • Chris Miller

        No, I don’t think any less of Babe Ruth. Having said that, the lesser amount of games he played did indeed come into play when Maris and Mantle were chasing his HR record. Overall though, at this point, the game has been very much the same for about 60 years, as to number of games played. Secondly, yes MLB is a unique sport, and NO, it should not be like other sports. The long season is one of the great attributes that is does indeed have. The lengthy schedule is what makes the ultimate outcome so amazing. Teams have to battle through a long season to finally win it all.

        People point to last year’s attendance drop, and for some reason, that means the game has to be changed. Personally, I disagree with that. Baseball may be losing fans at the games, but it is generating much larger tv contracts. The problem with baseball is that it is the “EVERY American’s sport”, and it is pricing the average American out of the equation. Baseball tickets have always been affordable, but now the average ticket is $60+. The game isn’t the problem; the cost of a ticket is, and no changes to the game is going to change that factor.

      • Doug Gray

        The average ticket to a Reds game is $21. Tickets in New York or LA are a different animal – but so is the cost of living. Baseball in Cincinnati is still pretty affordable.

      • Chris Miller

        Doug, that’s true, but the Reds bring another variable into the mix. 4 straight seasons of less than 70 wins. With that said, more people are watching them on TV. I would suggest cost is a factor; a big factor. Baseball is supposed to be (traditionally anyway) an inexpensive form of entertainment.

      • Doug Gray

        Even when the Reds were winning in 2010-2013 they had insanely cheap ticket prices. Fact is, Cincinnati isn’t a city where you can charge crazy prices. The cost of living simply isn’t high enough/people don’t make enough money. You can charge a little more if you are winning, but heck, I paid $16 to watch a movie on Monday night. For the ticket by itself (it was an IMAX movie). I can buy a Reds ticket for that all day long to just about any game I want, even when they sell 30,000 seats.

      • lwblogger2

        I like your point about how in the NL more of your roster will have a role in each game. That’s an area to consider for sure.

  21. Andrew Lykins

    I am in favor of the DH. I’ve always thought the AL had an unfair advantage in many different aspects. The only concern I have is the fact that it’s so close to the start of spring training. Isn’t this something that could have been decided a little bit sooner in the off-season to give NL teams a chance to build their rosters with the knowledge that they would be using a DH this year?

    • lwblogger2

      Against the DH myself but see the writing on the wall. It is going to happen. I strongly agree that doing so at this point in the off-season would throw a wrench into roster construction for some teams. If it’s agreed on to happen, it should start in 2020.

  22. Bill

    In general I don’t like the DH, but will accept that it is not going away in the AL. In order to have the same rules NL is going to have the DH eventually. While I would prefer it goes away altogether it is not the end of the world and I can live with it.

    From a fan perspective we should get more runs scored, better defense, and the ability to see some great hitters prolong their careers.

    Looking strictly at the Reds situation and having a DH in 19.
    – There is no reason not to find a spot for Senzel’s bat and glove.
    – Winker, Gennett, and Votto’s defense becomes less of a concern.
    – Lorenzen’s value decreases
    – Extending Gennett might make more sense

    The Reds will have multiple candidates to put in the DH role. Senzel could play in the OF with Winker as DH, 2B with Gennett as DH, or 3B with Suarez at 1B and Votto DH. The DH could also clear up the OF situation, with the current four corner OFs; Puig, Kemp, Schebler, and Winker.

    • PhP

      I agree, I don’t like it either and wish it didn’t exist. But from a pragmatic standpoint it could benefit the reds this year and going forward with Votto

  23. Drrobo

    The only thing more boring than watching a pitcher attempt to hit is watching a manager think. Most can’t even bunt anymore. DH requires fewer pitchers (good 4 reds), something else to do 4 Lorenzen. Baby Boomer 4 DH. Good point regarding player with skill set like Hamilton. Designated bunter? Designated runner already attempted…Ralph Garr. Designated double switcher? I knew the Millenials were a political plot. I guess that made my father (WW II POW) a designated warrior. Holy Batstuff. Lighten up, it’s baseball

  24. Bill J

    How about if the players have a union make it a real union where each position has a set salary, I’m sure some players would like that. I believe I read once where players said they would like a shorter schedule and would be willing to take average per game pay cut to have one.

    • VaRedsFan

      I’m not sure where you heard players would take a pay cut….they might want lose games at the same salary rate. No way are they taking guaranteed money off the board.

  25. Jeff

    The DH in the NL is long overdue. There’s nothing exciting about all the reasons for the status quo. It’s just what y’all like. People don’t go to the park or turn in the TV for that stuff. If pitchers hit at all levels and were prepared to hit in the bigs and could at least hit .200 then maybe. A hitting pitcher is not a complete player when he’s batting .085. Put someone at bat who is not an automatic out. And just because a couple pitchers are ok hitters is not enough reason to keep it.

    • Matt WI

      Agreed… why is it better for the game to have what is inarguably a compulsory “out” each time through the lineup? People get excited for pitchers doing something strictly because it’s so unexpected. The best way to win a game is to make as few outs as you can. Why concede 2-3 a game before you start pinch hitting?

  26. mark l

    I didn’t read all of the comments, but I did read through some. But I have a couple of points on the DH subject and speeding up the game. Soccer is popular with Millennials because it never stops moving. Baseball needs to understand that and make appropriate adjustments. If Millennials don’t watch the games and buy tickets, the game will eventually die.

    I think a pitch clock is a great idea. We might need to reduce the time and maybe give a time out or something if a pitcher needs to regroup. But, you don’t need anywhere near 20 seconds to throw a pitch. It might not be a bad idea to adjust the strike zone to encourage more balls in play. I’d also lower the mound. There is lots of research that points to this reducing injury in addition to getting more balls in play. Millennials aren’t obsessed with scoring, it is more about action. If we get more balls in play and less meaningless delays, we improve the game, imo

    In addition, if we want new fans, DH needs to be in the national league. Specialization is not an issue for younger audience, but seeing a guy who has no idea how to swing a bat is. Also, the idea that this is a strategic difference equivalent to chess vs. checkers is confusing. The NL moves that revolve around the pitcher are almost all obvious. The complexity of this game is not a selling point for either league.

    just my thoughts.

    • Chris Miller

      If it’s all about pure action, then why is football doing so well? In reality there is VERY LITTLE action in football, from an actual time standpoint.

      • Bob Purkey

        I just read where there is actually an average of 18 minutes per game of actual play in an NFL game. Pleanty of time to go to the john and buy a $12 beer!

      • mark l

        The NFL is struggling with Millennials. But even though that is true, the perception is that football has more action than baseball. The only major sport gaining non-generationally (is that a word) influenced young fans is soccer.

        Baseball just needs to increase balls in play. I would be in favor of backing the fences up because I don’t think this is about homeruns or runs scored, it is about action. IMO

      • Chris Miller

        Mark, baseball’s problem is it’s cost. It’s the ONE sport that is supposed to be affordable for everyone, and it no longer is. The game is no less than it ever was; the price to see it is the problem.

  27. Matt Hendley

    Defenatly against expanding the DH to the NL totally. However in the intrest of making the game more interesting, how about this. Invert the inter league games. When at a NL park in a inter league game have a DH, and at an AL park, have the pitcher hit. Fans get to see something new and interesting, the over all balance is maintained, purists are still left happy and the world goes on . But IMO there are few more singular awsome at bats when a non hitting pitcher suddenly makes massive contact and hits a homer.

  28. Bob Purkey

    Ralph Garr as a designated runner? Surely you are thinking of someone else. Garr hit .306 and 1500+ hits over a 13 year career. Herb Washington, maybe?

    Ralph Garr is more noted for filling out a work application in MLB where they asked “Church Preference” (of course it would be illegal today), he filled in “White Brick.” They should have put that line in Bull Durham, too!

  29. Basil Legg

    Just allow a pinch hitter for the pitcher, with pitcher staying in game, but pinch hitter is out of game.
    Add one more player to roster.
    More strategy, more scoring, more fun.
    Problem solved.

    • ohiojimw

      This is an interesting sounding middle ground. The immediate issues I see are that the typical pinch hitter isn’t going to be as good as the typical DH; and they all will bat only once a day, DH caliber and mediocre alike. Both of these factors say even the best among them aren’t going to get paid as much a DH now. So, I have my doubts the players’ association would see the addition of a roster spot as a fair offset. Now maybe if it were 2 roster spots and the guys were designated as pinch hitters only, that might help support a slightly higher salary for those 2.

  30. gusnwally

    One thing I have never understood. How does the DH create jobs by keeping aging players from retiring. I would rather watch Ronald Acuna, Juan Soto and victor Robles than an 14 year veteran who now hits 269 with 12 HR’s. All it does for me is take up a place that a young star should holding. How about if in a basketball game we have a DFTS. Yea, the designated free throw shooter. A 62% FT shooter gets fould. We take him out. Put in the 87% shooter who could not play defense on me. I’m 71 and 250 lbs. The National league is real baseball.

    • VaRedsFan

      Maybe you want to check out the stats of the AL DH’s last year…not many .269, 12 HR guys

  31. Ethan L

    To answer your question (What changes are you planning to make? And why are you making that move? What is the benefit?), I would propose the following: end the wildcard completely and have two divisions per league. That would mean a two round playoff like olden days. This would end the manufactured drama of the wildcard and emphasize the regular season more.

    Other, more radical changes would be 7 inning games and 120 games per year.

    Right now, the attempts to speed up the game are feeble and merely lip service.

  32. Tom

    I grew up playing sports like football, baseball, and rugby – in the mud, the rain, the heat, and the cold. Watching a football game on AstroTurf is a turnoff. Watching a game played in a dome is a turn off.

    I also prefer baseball, played outdoors, on real grass.

    Baseball has amazing measurements. When someone beats out an infield hit, they’ve done something because of the rythmn of the sport. In baseball, we celebrate the rare and live to see those moments. The triple play. The immaculate inning. The suicide squeeze. A pitcher hitting a grand slam. Baseball isn’t a production line – it’s a novel with twists and turns that you read all summer long. We have conversations in the slow moments. Our hearts skip a beat in the exciting moments. I don’t remember much from 2018 even though I watched or listened to nearly every game. But I remember Lorenzan’s homeruns. I remember Disco’s grand slam.

    The DH is bland to me. It further separates pitchers from their real title – baseball player. It leaves a player to sit on the bench, only to contribute when their turn in the lineup comes around. It reduces the pressure on the batters knowing that the pitcher is coming up. And it changes a rhythmn I greatly enjoy.

    My entire lifetime has included a DH in the AL. I’ve seen that sanitary brand of baseball countless. I could root for it if I choose. Yet, I’ve remained a diehard national leaguer. As a fan, I have always had the choice. We all do.

    • Bob Purkey

      There was ONLY ONE REASON that the DH was implemented in the AL – it was massively declining attendance in the AL and they wanted “more excitement” brought to their league and it helped prop up its attendance.

      Well now that paid attendance is pretty much maxed out(unless they expand once again which will reduce mediocre pitching of today even more & making the games longer than they already are!), they get their money from TV. However, with the length of the games and the pace of the games, World Series games ending at 12:30 on the east coast, TV revenue will eventually decline as viewership does. The younger fans do not have the attention span to watch 9 innings, much less 5.

      IF you include the DH in the NL the games will get even longer, the viewership will eventually decline and then where does the money come from? $20 beers?

      • VaRedsFan

        So the average time of a baseball game last year was 3:00.
        In 1985 it was 2:44. So all of the kids are now not watching baseball because it is 16 minutes longer than 33 years ago????????
        You are fabricating cause and effect.
        Kids aren’t watching like they (we) used to, because there are so many more options now than back then. More channels…internet…video games…more sports to play…ect.

  33. SultanofSwaff

    Everyone on here complaining about the use of the DH in the NL. And yet, not a single word about LOOGYs. Either you want specialization out of the game or you don’t. Pick a lane. I for one welcome the 3 batter minimum rule they are proposing.

    • Matt WI

      Here, here! I can get with that. I also liked the proposal about penalizing teams draft pick status if they don’t demonstrate improvement over a cycle of years to mitigate tanking.

      And also, while we’re at it: For the love of all things, automate the strike zone.

    • Bob Purkey

      Maybe that or limiting the size of a pitching staff. Some have 13. That’s nuts. Make it 11 or 12 max.

  34. CFD3000

    I accept that there will always be a DH in the AL, and that it’s the players’ union that will keep it that way. But I don’t understand why. If the DH extends the careers of a few aging hitters (who, BTW, are almost universally extremely wealthy by that point), but does so at the expense of a roster spot for some young player who is not yet established, or rich, I’m not sure I see the appeal.

    The argument is that the DH creates more jobs, but the AL still has the same 25 man roster as the NL so – not more jobs. And I’d be willing to bet that the average number of players used per game by NL teams is higher than for AL teams. If so, that’s more players getting used (as opposed to just paid), and more players with a chance to establish themselves for a longer MLB career. So no, sorry, I don’t get the business fascination with the DH. Put me down as one who prefers NL style baseball AND who would rather see Alex Blandino making a case for more playing time than Matt Kemp at DH (assuming the rules are the same for all NL teams of course).

    As for other rules, I’m no a huge fan of the LOOGY, so the three batter minimum is intriguing. And I like the expansion of rosters to 26 if it means more non-pitchers. The union should love that one too. I’m not a fan of the pitch clock, though if it’s restricted to bases empty situations then I’ll acquiesce. Finally, I hate the “start extra innings with a runner on 2nd” proposal. So much that I’d accept all the other changes together, even an NL DH, to prevent that one change. Awful. To be honest I’d rather they just called those games a tie and adjusted the standings accordingly than suddenly switch from baseball to backyard whiffle ball (or dodge ball or HORSE or whatever that would be). Hard no.

    • VaRedsFan

      You kind of answered your own disagreement for the DH. If the Reds were an AL team right now w/ the DH, Matt Kemp isn’t taking Blandino’s spot because he is old and the outfield spots are full. He is in the DH spot because he is many more times better than Blandino.

      The fulltime AL DH’s can hit, or they wouldn’t be in there every day. If there was a younger guy that could do the job better, they would force the weaker player out.
      Nelson Cruz is not losing his spot just because you think some youngster deserves a chance. You earn your spot, just how it should be.

  35. BigRedMachine

    I know I am on the losing side here but I really don’t want a DH in the NL. Doug, to help you understand why, it’s a combination of tradition and that I don’t find “the unions want it” as a compelling argument.

    I’ve also read the unions don’t want to play extra innings–what, I play more and don’t get paid more? The suggestion is to replace extra innings with something else, most commonly a home run derby of some sort. Now I love (college) hockey as a sport and as far as I understand it they have shootouts because players physically can’t keep playing indefinitely. But baseball is different and the idea of home run shootout instead of extra innings is sad to me.

    There are lots of ways to add more offense to the game but can someone explain why that is a good thing in general? We could remove one fielder and that would definitely add offense.

    There are a lot of things about baseball that are laughed at as traditional but it makes it a unique game. Take the substitution rules for example. How many sports have it where if you leave the game you can’t come back in? Why is that rule sacred? I mean Billy Hamilton was super exciting on the basepaths. What if he was allowed to pinch run for a player multiple times in a game but that player could come back in and hit each time? That would definitely add offense and excitement into the game and create jobs for people like Billy.

    • VaRedsFan

      It’s not really about adding offense. That is just a byproduct. It is about not having to watch pitchers batting .089 come to the plate every 3 innings, or try to execute a bunt, which they are not very successful at either. It keeps pitchers off the base paths where they are injured on a yearly basis.

  36. AllTheHype

    Reds bench, including Kemp, Connor Joe, possibly Schebler and/or Winker some days, make DH an advantage for them this year, particularly if Senzel wins the CF job. I’m for it.

    • g

      Instituting the DH because it might help the Reds in 2019? You aren’t the only one to bring this up.

  37. ohiojimw

    Pretty much overlooked so far (as well as I can tell with a quick look) is that the situation opening the door to DH in the NL was created by over specialization on the pitching side of the game which has occurred in recent years.

    I’ve about had my fill of 3 or 4 or 5 pitchers in an inning because of match up baseball. I don’t see the glory in having many games settled by the last man on the bench facing the last man in the bullpen because managers have played themselves into that corner with matching up.

    How many folks that don’t want the DH are willing to go back to the days of a 10 man pitching staff where there is maybe 1 RH specialist, 1 LH specialist and 1 “finisher” (the beginning evolution of the closer) to augment the starters and would be starters who filled the gaps as needed? If you are not, in my opinion, you are being a large bit hypocritical.

    • Bill

      I saw one of the proposed changes was a minimum three batter rule for pitchers

  38. Drrobo

    My earlier comments were more tongue in cheek but let me a little more serious. I have been a baseball fan for more than 60 years. In theory I like the NL way of playing or how they played at one time. I lean toward the DL for a couple of reasons, one being my age group will not be around to defend “real” baseball. Real baseball will be what my grandchildren will grow up watching. My son loved playing the game and was good at it but getting him to watch it was entirely different. He really didn’t want to go to games with me. Times are changing and fans change. It is a difficult task to defend something the younger fans do not know about and have been a part of. The other reason for going the route of the DH is even in the NL, no one bunts except to beat shift (should be modified) and who steals bases anymore? Pitchers who can bunt are all but gone. Not because they can’t or couldn’t if they put their mind to it but because bunting for a sac requires squaring around and putting your face near the ball or wrapping a hand around the bat. They are not going to do that for fear of getting hurt. Now is the time for change. The shift for the DH but that sounds like a win win for players. There must be concessions wanted by MLB to get movement on these issues. The DH in NL is going to happen. Me, let’s play two.

  39. Chris Miller

    Doug, you are better than this. Your article started out much like someone who apologizes, but precedes it with I’m going to be the better man, and apologize. You may not like the DH, and that’s fine, but some of us like the REAL game of baseball. You know, where if a guy plays the field, he actually gets to bat. Some of us have the ability to enjoy the game from a cerebral perspective, and actually DO LIKE the decisions that need to be made 6 moves ahead. Some of us do think a bunt is valuable at certain times by certain players, rather than continually watching the swing for the fences mentality of each hitter in an American League lineup. I personally HATE the American League brand of baseball; it’s nothing like that of the National League. But then again, I LOVE the REAL game of baseball.

    • Matt WI

      So do you all not watch football unless players play both sides? Do you find it inappropriate when a basketball coach subs in defense for offense back and forth? If the DH was going to break the game, it would have broken in the 70’s.

      Heck, if you want to think about it… pitchers are akin to goalies in hockey. Their main role is to stop the other team from scoring. Goalies don’t leave their spot and try to score goals. And most pitchers going out to bat is the baseball equivalent of a goalie trying to skate full boar with his pads on and keep pace with the best in the world. That doesn’t make for a better game.

      • Chris Miller

        Matt, Baseball is not Football, nor is it Hockey. Baseball is different than virtually all other sports. So I’d have to reject your comparisons that you are suggesting me to respond to.

        Doug, real baseball stopped being real baseball in 1973, when it was decided that one player would only play the field, while another one would only bat. It got even worse a few years ago, when it was decided that a runner couldn’t run over a catcher at the plate, and that a catcher could not actually block the plate. It continued on it’s wayward path when a runner was no longer able to take out a 2nd baseman or SS when trying to break up a double play. Then we started with the pointing a finger to the umpire to intentionally walk a batter. As a Reds fan, I’m surprised that I need to tell you all this; you did watch Pete Rose play, didn’t you?

      • Matt WI

        But why should it be compulsory that each player on the baseball team take part in the complete aspect of the game? Other sports demonstrate that fine competition can occur even if a player is specialized. Of course baseball isn’t hockey… but the concept isn’t invalid. Team sport, a different role for a different kind of player.

        Maybe if it was reasonable that pitchers got regular hitting practice so that they could adequately perform the task, but they don’t. Teams don’t even let them practice, why should we expect them to perform the task? Again, if we regard it as a compulsory out– it’s saying “baseball is a better game because of the decisions that go into having a compulsory out in your lineup (non-Willy Tavares edition). Having a regular out is one of the worst decisions a team can make if they are trying to win a game.

    • Doug Gray

      Can you specify when real baseball stopped being played? I’m very curious what rules we’ve adopted since then that no longer qualify as real baseball.

      • greenmtred

        Your point is well-taken, Doug. The argument can’t be about “real” v. “unreal” baseball. It’s about what we prefer to watch.

  40. The Duke

    If I can make some unilateral changes as supreme MLB dictator, I mandate revenue sharing from all MLB TV deals into a giant pot. It’s a fixed % that is the same for all the teams, and the % ends up by whatever is necessary to fully fund every teams payroll set by a hard salary cap. That cap will be a fixed % of league revenues, of which I will arbitrarily choose 46% (it was higher, but you will see why it’s a little lower below). I then also institute a salary floor that is 90% of the cap. This will greatly increase the amount of money mid level free agents get.

    I keep the team control years the same, however, arbitration starts after 3 years, but as soon as a player plays 1 play in the big leagues, that counts as a year. No more service time manipulation. If they are ready for the show, get them up there. The exception is September call ups, those will not count as a year, unless the player also plays in the playoffs.

    As an incentive to players in their first 3 years, 2% of all league revenues annually will be used as bonuses for those players who outperform their contract. This brings total revenue going to players up to 48% once added to the 46% salary cap. That would be over $200 million using figures from 2019, and this money also comes from the revenue sharing pot. All players are ranked on their yearly performance and it is paid out accordingly. Underperform and you will get no additional bonus (i.e. – Robert Stephenson wouldn’t have got jack above the minimum in 2017).

    I also institute the Franchise tag like the NFL uses giving the player the average of the top 5 salaries at their position on a 1 year deal. However, the Franchise tag can only be used on a player twice in their career. This way a team like the Angels could have guaranteed they had Trout for at least 8 years. It still incentivizes them to work out a long term deal, because if a player doesn’t want to get franchised, but then does, good luck resigning them after that. Some will argue this is too favorable towards the team as most players don’t hit the bigs until age 23-24 or older, thus removing the ability to sign that long term deal in their prime. I don’t care, this is for the small market teams to be able to have stars and the players will still get paid. Remember these franchise tags with the increasing cap are likely going to be $30+ million a year, if not $40 million plus since it immediately adds about an 8% increase of total revenues back to the players.

    No free agent contract can be longer than 5 years. Teams have to spend money now, no more paying guys into their 40’s when they suck.

    That’s all for now. You benevolent leader has spoken.

    • BK

      All good Duke …I think there’ are a couple of simple ways to stop the service time manipulation with minimal rule changes:

      Option #1: add a player not on the 40-man roster to the 25-man roster during the first 20 days of the season, then they receive retroactive credit until the beginning of the year. This treats them the same as if they were optioned as players recalled within 20 days of being optioned receive service time credit.

      Option #2: same concept, but extend the timeframe through 30 April.

      Simply push the # of games to the point that the opportunity cost of winning games in the current season exceeds the value of holding a player in the minors that is ML ready.

    • Bob Purkey

      Duke: The only problem that I see with your theory is that some teams might have a pay some players more money than they deserve to get to the minimum, or you might have to sign some inflated FA more than deserved to get the same thing.

      I guess it all depends upon what the minimum is. . .

      • The Duke

        …..Or you could extend current players, or reward pre-arb players with bonus money, or just have to overpay someone to meet that threshold. I honestly don’t think it’d be much of an issue. Personally, i’d get rid of guaranteed contracts and that would grant more flexibility to sign guys and not carry dead weight. It’d be worked out.

  41. David Moore

    There must be some excitement gotten from intentionally walking someone to face Aaron Harang that I never understood. Or maybe watching a pitcher lay down a bunt, or trying to lay down a bunt that gets your engine revving. Maybe the double-switch to put in a lesser hitter into the lineup because you want a pitching change does it for you. Perhaps you like the “let’s think six moves ahead” kind of thing. If that’s you, well, you confuse me, because this particular writer simply doesn’t get it.

    Just want to say that I love this site and have been coming here for several years. You guys are my go to site for all things Reds. But..

    Doug, you seem like a really nice guy, but this writing style, or technique, or whatever you guys in the business call it, is pretty condescending. You have to know that some of your readers, and visitors to this site, like having the pitcher in the batting lineup. So why would you choose to basically insult those readers. It’s like you’re saying ‘I’m smarter than you, and the style of baseball you like is stupid and boring’.

    I understand your point about having the DH in the National League, and personally, I’m fine either way. I can see advantages to both. But you should really think about how your readers will react when you write something. If your ‘customers’ feel insulted, they probably won’t hang around long..

    Just my 2 cents.

    • WVRedlegs

      It appears to me that Doug has blurred the lines between his personal twitter account and the lines here at RLN. This is a disturbing trend. He is very, very condescending on his twitter account and puts people down often to show them that he is smarter than they are. He is less inclined to do that at his redsminorleagues site, but it happens more often than it should.
      However, some of that condescending is bleeding over to here at RLN. It is not a good look to insult people who do not agree with your point of view. And Doug is very good at that on his twitter page, somewhat at redsminorleagues, and now here at RLN.
      Many times when Doug gets frustrated, he threatens to turn off the comments sections. That is all fine and dandy for his personal twitter account and over at RML if he so chooses. But that would be a very, very bad day for RLN. It would more or less kill this site. I don’t want to see it come to that.
      Doug, I like your articles for the most part and learn from some of them. I like to comment on them. I like learning about new prospects from you. But attacking people who have different opinions or views than what you do is silly and misguided. You do seem to get some satisfaction out of that, especially on twitter. Maybe that is just twitter. Do what you will on twitter, but you shouldn’t bring your twitter persona to RLN. It is not a good look, for you and RLN. Sorry to take you to task, but I had to agree with David.

      • Doug Gray

        When I get frustrated and want to turn off comments on websites, it’s not out of frustration over different opinions.

        Trust me when I say this: You don’t know the stuff that comes through sometimes that is just outright insane. Personal threats to other users. Made up things about players. Political garbage thrown into posts. Usually that stuff doesn’t stay up long, so you don’t see it. I see it all.

        Just yesterday there was a guy talking about a Reds player being on narcotics and that’s why they aren’t good. The evidence? Well, of course there was none at all. But that stuff happens more than most people see because it gets deleted rather quickly.

        Could I do better interacting on twitter? Yeah, probably. It’s a work in progress. But there’s a weird line to walk between “I want to interact with people, so I read notifications” and “holy jeebus, I get 300 tweets at me a day, and some of them are by totally insane people” – and eventually, those insane people put you in a situation where you just have to say something to remain sane. I’m not perfect, by any means, but there’s a very big difference between dealing with 400 comments a day (me) and dealing with what a normal person does. There’s a reason that almost every sports writer is “snarky” at times with their readers. It’s the only way to stay sane short of just not interacting with anyone on social media. I hate that it’s that way, but it truly is what it is.

        But, there is no “twitter persona”. There’s me. It’s me here. It’s me on twitter. It’s me in real life.

      • wkuchad

        I understand some snark in Twitter and even in the comments section herein, but it’s another thing when it’s that heavy in the actual post/article for anyone that disagrees with you.

      • Steve Mancuso

        I’m not going to delete this comment because Doug has already responded to it. But I’ll tell you now it’s the last one I’ll tolerate as a moderator where you attack people – not viewpoints – of writers, commenters or owners on this site. Look around, you’re the only one who does it. Seriously, stop it, whether you like it, agree with it or not. If you don’t, you won’t have to “quit” the site for the nth time.

      • Chris Miller

        I’ll say this, I think Doug writes some outstanding articles, and I love both this site and the Reds Minor League site. Don’t know Doug on Twitter; not much of a Twitter user. Having said all that, David’s post above where he quoted the paragraph from Doug, is exactly what caused my earlier reaction and post a few sections above. I personally felt that paragraph was a complete dig at those of us who disagree with his thinking. Other than that it’s all good. I would just suggest if you are going to take sort of blind-sided shots at those whom may disagree with you, expect some feedback in kind.

  42. Jay

    Got to admit some of the responses were so long I didn’t read them all. About the jobs, it’s not the number of jobs overall, but the number of higher salaried jobs that the DH increased. Replaced a minimum wage guy with a quality hitter. I think it helps the Reds and doesn’t really effect the strategy to the point of making the game less interesting, so do it. And yes, I remember when there was no DH. I like the 3 batter rules for the pitchers, but I would add, or the end of an inning. Nothing more boring than watching the Cardinals change pitchers 3 times in the 9th to matchup when up by 5 runs.

  43. Capt. Phreddie Pizazz

    I’m not sure if I agree with this idea, but here is a thought:

    1) Expand rosters to 35 players.

    2) Have a defensive team, an offense team, and a pitchers team (kind of like the NFL.) Players that are good enough can play both ways if so desired. This system puts the best players on the field at all times, thus creating a more enjoyable experience for the fans.

    The player union would be in favor because of expanded rosters. Although more players would require higher payrolls, team could capitalize on increased merchandising revenue and lower overall salaries, especially for marginalized players.

  44. Dbob

    I don’t have a strong preference for the DH, I would like the option to get Winker, Kemp, Scooter, Votto & Senzel more at bats during the season for our current team.

    If I was in charge, I would go to automated balls/strikes. Watching a rookie get squeezed, pitch framing, umpire biases/make up calls, etc. is just annoying to me. Anything to take the umpire Influence out of the game. I would be curious to know how much this might speed up the game as well. Batters not stepping out and looking around mumbling about the last pitch call, pitchers going to rosin bag to blow off steam after a bad pitch call. Just get rid of it. Watching the tv broadcast and seeing them get it wrong and it impact the game is frustrating. Then just display the strike zone graphic on the screen at stadium.

  45. WVRedlegs

    I have to preface this by saying I hate the DH. I hate the DH rule. Studies have shown that the American League games have been on average about 5 to 6 minutes longer. They are longer and there is evidence to show it.
    The MLB Commissioner’s legacy is going to be reducing the time of games, in both leagues. Adding in a DH to National League games seems to counter everything the Commissioner is trying to do. Therefore, he will have to implement other changes to offset the increase in game times the DH will (partly) cause. More runs per game will also increase game times.
    Looking at the B-R chart below, and it is pretty evident why the discussion of a DH in the NL is coming about at this particular time. Overall in-stadium game attendance.
    From 2012 to 2018, MLB has lost 5.2 million fans who bought tickets. The average attendance for all 30 teams in 2012 was 30,806 per game. There were 2430 games played that year. Total attendance was 74,859,268. In 2018, the average attendance was 28,659 in 2431 games played. Total attendance was 69,671,272.
    Someone up above mentioned the real reason the AL went to a DH, a decline of in-stadium attendance. Here we are seeing it again.
    My guess is that tanking by teams to re-build are causing the decrease in attendance. Just look at the Reds average attendance of the last decade. In 2009, attendance was 1,747,919 for an average of 21,579. In 2013, attendance was 2,492,101 for an average of 31,151. In 2018, attendance was 1,629,352 for an average of 20,116. In Cincinnati, that seems to correlate to winning and losing baseball games and what kind of team is being fielded. I am sure the same thing has happened, or is happening, where teams have gone through a re-build.
    Looking at the chart, there isn’t some big increase in runs per game, PA’s per game, and batters per game. However the number of pitchers used per game has a large increase and the number of pitchers a team uses per season has a dramatic increase.
    It would seem the Commissioner is misguided by this DH implementation into the NL. The bigger problems he faces are pitcher usage and tanking by teams to then go through a long, slow, arduous rebuilding process. Adding a DH to the NL doesn’t seem to mesh with the Commissioner’s goals of speeding up the pace of play in games and rescuing in-stadium attendance. He has bigger fish to fry than the DH in the NL. I am sure the Commissioner doesn’t want to piss off and alienate a good portion of National League fans. However, if he does he will suffer the consequences. Major League Baseball will become a much less interesting product with a DH in the NL. I know for certain that I would go from a fervent baseball fan to a casual baseball fan in no time.
    Really now, is there anything so drastically wrong with having a DH in one league and not in the other league??

    https://www.baseball-reference.com/leagues/MLB/misc.shtml

    • BigRedMachine

      I think you can add the undeniable effectiveness of the analytics approach to your list.

      There is no doubt that filling a batting order with players with good eyes that can take pitches, get walks, and of course take swings at the good pitches will result in more runs. Every time someone does get a hit the basepaths will be–dare I say it?–clogged. But it also makes for some boring baseball.

      Doing heavy shifts in the field in response to a batter that has proven he cannot hit to the opposite field is again very effective. When a laptop tells a manager where to position every player every play and that young phenom starts lining out every at bat it makes for some boring baseball.

      When a team lets a player go because statistics show that no player ever has recovered after the age of 33 when their ABCXYZ123 stat was less than 0.5 the previous season it is the right call for the team. And it kills any hope of people defying the odds. Billy Hamilton never learned how to hit a baseball at a major league level. The analytics strongly suggested he never would. But it was fun to hope every spring that this year might be the year. Misguided but fun. Accepting the cold hard facts is the prudent thing to do but runs counter the hope springs eternal mantra of baseball.

    • Bill

      I agree with you that attendance is tied to performance. No one wants to pay the high ticket and concession prices to watch a 100 loss team, but I also believe there is just less interest in baseball in general that is playing into the decline. I think one of the major ways to get more people to the park is making it more family friendly. What I mean by that is families aren’t going to bring children to a game that ends at 10:30 on a school night. In addition a shorter season would help with per game attendance. If I am only going to go to a couple of games a year I have 81 to choose from, reduce that number and the average game attendance should increase. The question is how would less games affect overall revenues.

      One of the other changes being proposed is a three batter minimum for pitchers, which would address your pitching change concern.

      I don’t think fans are going to stop watching because the DH is implemented. If they do I would guess they are the older fans, who while still buy tickets are probably not the demographic MLB is concerned with. As I have mentioned I would prefer no DH, but I am sure there is someone smarter out there correlating more offense with higher interest in the sport.

    • ohiojimw

      My compliant with NL ball which has led me to favor the DH is that I hate all the time wasted by the constant switching of pitchers late in the game.

      I suspect that while the AL games are marginally longer, fans are a lot less likely to notice, complain and become disenchanted with the game from watching balls fly out the park, fireworks going off, guys running around bases than by managers and players standing around twiddling their thumbs while pitchers parade in and out with each taking his warmup tosses.

      Borrowing a bit from my own life experiences, college basketball was at one time right up there with baseball among my favorite sports; but, it has probably been a decade or more since I’ve watched a college game on TV.

      What killed the sport for me? Not the trey; not the shot clock. I even put up with changing it into a game of 10 de facto four minute periods due to commercial breaks, although that was the beginning of the end. However the last straw was when it began to take 20-30 minutes to play the last several clock minutes because the game was stopped after nearly every possession for coaches to huddle up the teams and impart strategies and counter strategies.

      I suspect the constant stoppage for switching pitchers is accomplishing the same sort of disenchantment among many baseball fans,

    • VaRedsFan

      @WV: You mentioned…”However the number of pitchers used per game has a large increase and the number of pitchers a team uses per season has a dramatic increase.”

      With the DH, there would be less pitching changes… the starters (and relievers) could go longer as they would no longer be lifted for a pinch hitter. Plus you avoid a lot of the mid-inning matchup pitching changes, because the opposing team is not having to remove his own pitcher.

  46. David

    I’ve been against the DH since day one but now I’m ready to adopt in NL. Baseball has changed tremendously since the 70’s and holding out against the DH just doesn’t bother me any more. That is my preference but I can’t get worked up about it either way. While it might take away some of the in-game strategy it adds to the roster strategy. But again, my preference. I just don’t have the “old school” traditionalist concerns about the game.

  47. Are

    I think Charlie Waffles and 1 or 2 other writers above had it right in arguing that the DH rule does not go nearly far enough. Who cares to see pitchers hit, or try to bunt? Who wants to see a defensive specialist like Billy Hamilton try to hit? Or a catcher try to run the bases? We need unlimited substitution as in football. Once a hitter is on base, put in a designated runner to speed up the game. And, in the forthcoming of specialization and faster games, if there remain a few players who take the time and exercise the self discipline to develop offensive and defensive skills, they will be allowed to bat, run, pitch, or play other defensive positions.

  48. matthew hendley

    Less games is a non starter, I have already left the DH comments above. I could understand Weekend Doubleheaders, to offset the length of the season as well. Service time manipulation needs to be corrected. minus September, if you are up then you are up for the entire year. penalize teams for tanking.

  49. SaveTheFarm

    Can we admit that maybe the game pace hasn’t changed nearly as much as people’s attention span? If they add a DH doesn’t that cut down on the number of “easy outs” and thus potentially extend the time of the game? Minutes I’m sure, but still. Making each pitcher face at least 3 batters cuts down on pitching change time, but a left handed specialist might get rocked by right handed hitters thus possibly extending the game. These two changes seem to benefit the offense, offense doesn’t speed up games…..good pitching and good defense does. I blame all of this on Tony LaRussa, he changed pitchers way too much and walked way too slow to the mound. HAHAHAHA Lastly i was born in 1981….goes that mean i’m not part of the problem?

  50. D Ray White

    I’m conflicted about the DH. Using it would allow the Reds to shift inferior fielders who hit (cough, cough, Scooter/Kemp) or players who need a rest (Votto) into suitable roles and dislodge the Senzel logjam.

    However, the thought of pitchers hitting appeals because: 1) They’re baseball players, and should be able to do so, and 2) Making pitchers hit limits the potential for headhunting and Clemens-esque behavior. It’s harder to pull that crap when you’ll be digging into the box next inning with a bullseye on your back.

    • D Ray White

      Also, AL games run longer on average than NL games. Cutting the DH would, in theory, speed up the games. Good luck convincing the players’ union.

      • Doug Gray

        The only games that run longer are ones that involve the Yankees and Red Sox. No other AL team has games that run longer than NL teams. Those two, however, skew the entire league. Someone linked an article above in the comments that demonstrates this.

      • Roger Garrett

        For the Yanks and Red Sox its just the bully game within the game.Both teams want to be the bully and posturing always is taking place.From the hitter stepping out to the pitcher stepping off to the stares on a close pitch or the batter watching too long on his homer etc etc etc.Its just these two teams have extra testosterone added to the water cooler in each dugout which makes them all talk in a deeper voice when they play each other.They holler and yell at each other just because it puts people in the seats.Probably in their contract to man up when they play each other

  51. Old-school

    Baseball needs to evolve to improve the game and preserve it’s place as the National Pastime. Change is necessary.

    It was necessary in 1968 when entire teams couldn’t hit. They lowered the mound in 1968 by five inches and added the DH in 1973.

    Theyve made safety changes- from mandatory helmets to slide rules on double plays and blocking the plate.

    They’ve added teams , rearranged divisions and altered playoff formats to grow interest in the game. They also adapted to PED use in the 1990’s with drug testing and penalties that protected the integrity of the game.

    Change is needed now to speed pace of play , address unfair service time manipulations , give players a fair share of the pie and eliminate the reward for intentional losing.

    1.) Bring the DH to the NL.
    2.) 3 batter minimum for a pitcher and limit mound trips more.
    3.) Penalize teams for 100 losses.
    4.) Adopt rules that incentivize teams to play young prospects when they are ready.
    5.) Increase the # of playoff teams to 6 per league. Top 2 teams get a bye.
    6.) Cut the season to 154 games. Start when it’s warmer and play the World series in mid October. No cold baseball.
    7.) No post season games or All star games starting after 8 pm EST.

    I don’t care much for time clocks. Let the umpires take care of it.

    • ohiojimw

      Per #3, I’d borrow a page from international football (soccer) and apply a type of relegation by dropping the teams with the 5 worst records (30-26) to the bottom of the first round in the draft and adjusting their signing money pool to match those spots thru the entire draft. I’d lead off the draft with the next 5 teams from the bottom (25-21) but have them pick in inverse order of their records (better records first. i.e. 21-25) with signing pool money thru the draft based on 1st round position.

      Almost every game would then mean something to nearly every team.

      • old-school

        Baltimore cant be rewarded for going 45-117.
        Nor can teams who lose 100.

      • VaRedsFan

        Their reward is that they will get the #1 pick, that might not be able to help them for 5 years if at all as so many baseball prospects do. Not really rewarding if you ask me.

    • ToBeDetermined

      I think Teams are penalized for 100 losses.
      It’s called low attendance.
      The fans can only get so excited by only so many “bobble heads”.

  52. Cbus

    No to the DH. Commissioner must know it would anger a whole slew of old-school NL fans and lengthen games, I don’t see him allowing this. The risks here out way the reward to making the rules the same in both leagues imo.

    I also don’t hate watching pitchers hit. Disco and Lorenzen home runs were amazing because they were unexpected, it’s like watching a kicker in football make a tackle, it’s rare but that makes it more fun when it happens.

    I still remember the Danny Graves home run from years ago, it was so awesome because it was so unexpected.

    Language reminder: If you would get in trouble for using a word in your 5th grade classroom, you can’t use it here.

    • ToBeDetermined

      “Language reminder: If you would get in trouble for using a word in your 5th grade classroom, you can’t use it here. ”

      May I ask, Why ?

      • Doug Gray

        Because this site doesn’t allow cursing.

  53. Matt Esberger

    The initial purpose of the DH 45 years ago was to 1) create more offense 2) keep starting pitchers in the game as long as possible which is why guys like Palmer, Hunter & Ryan always had records like 23-15 and threw for 300 innings every year 3) extend careers which worked for the likes of Yaz, McRae, Edgar Martinez, & most recently Big Papi. Fast forward to now and #1 held true but starting pitchers in both leagues are now averaging about 5-6 innings per start and most AL teams don’t really employ a full time DH anymore (Encarnacion, Gattis, JD Martinez, Morales in Tor are few that I can think of they play the field a few times a week) I am a baseball fan first and enjoy both brands but have wanted to see both leagues employ the same rules (be like the NBA not having 3 Pt line in the Eastern Conference) and installing the DH in the NL makes more sense. Can see guys like Muncy, Schwarber, Thames & Winkler really benefiting from this.

  54. DocProc

    All I know is that if the DH comes to the NL this year and we put Matt Kemp in that slot, the already terrific trade with the Dodgers looks even better.

  55. WVRedlegs

    Just a FWIW or FYI thing, but Fish Stripes is a Miami Marlins fan blog like this one or Red Reporter. They analyzed the top prospects from teams still involved in the Realmuto sweepstakes. Here is the article on the Reds. Interesting to see the opposing view point. The writer did a fairly good job and has interesting answers in the comments section. It is also easy to link up with the articles they did on the other teams as well, SD, LAD, ATL and TB. I believe the Reds article was done on 02/01/19 and the other teams the following 2 days. They are recent but a couple of days old though.
    Not much of anything new on Realmuto from them or anyone else right now. Miami has their FanFest on Saturday and all players on their 40-man roster are required to attend. So, it is believed they will have something completed before Saturday. Maybe.
    Spoiler alert: They like India if Santillan is attached. But India + Barnhart + 1 lesser prospect doesn’t excite them. It will have to take more.

    https://www.fishstripes.com/2019/2/1/18206151/jt-realmuto-trade-rumors-marlins-cincinnati-reds-top-prospects-package-centerpiece

    • BK

      Thanks for pointing out this post; always interesting to see the other team’s fan viewpoint. I don’t know if the Reds get Realmuto, but I think a lot of Marlin fans will be disappointed. lMO, India and Santillan is an equitable trade, but it really leaves the Marlins without a ML catcher. I also don’t see the Reds being thrilled with trading Santillan as he is so close to being ML ready.

      So, India and Barnhart becomes more likely. I could see a prospect like Beltre as a throw-in. The Marlins will need to decide if they want prospects or a mix of good prospect/ML catcher. I think the Reds match up very well if they want the latter. If they want prospects, I think India, T.Stephenson, and Vlad Guttierez would be a solid and fair offer.

  56. Westfester

    I’ve heard this argument before and, frankly, I didn’t buy a ticket to watch the Manager think he’s a genius. I bought a ticket to enjoy watching two teams try to score more runs than the other while drinking a beer I would pay for half price outside the stadium.

  57. Matthew

    I like the idea because it means Scooter can DH and Senzel can play 2B.

    • Steve Mancuso

      Hadn’t thought of this, but ding-ding-ding.

  58. Big Ed

    I like the 3-batter minimum for pitchers within an inning, although I think a 2-batter minimum would probably serve much the same purpose, and may be the target for MLB as it negotiates.

    I would change the actual baseball, back to what it was in the 1970s and 80s. Pitchers now will tell you that the ball is much harder now than it was. And perhaps raise the seams a hair, to make breaking pitches more effective. This would address the 3-true-outcomes issue. (For that matter, I would have at least AA and AAA use the same ball as the major leaguers. It makes no sense to me that MiLB uses a different ball, with higher seams, than MLB does.)

    I am convinced that the pace of play issue is 98% dilly-dallying by hitters and pitchers. Hitters adjust their gloves and privates 18 times between pitches, and pitchers, especially Boston and NYY relievers, take ridiculously long times between pitches, with closers especially susceptible to odd-ball staredowns before throwing the ball 20 seconds late.

    So, the umps should be graded on time between pitches, which means exercising their discretion to allow pitchers to throw a pitch while the hitter dilly-dallies. The umps can speed up a game, and they should.

    Finally, I would allow the small-market or losing teams to have a 26th player.

  59. ToBeDetermined

    How is having the DH and speeding up the game (basically the entire time that the game takes) on the same page ?
    Won’t DH games take longer ?

  60. Ron Payne

    I have never been a fan of the DH, but I admit that it would definitely benefit the Reds with their current roster. If it happens, it happens.

    Some changes I would like see:
    1 Put a deadline on trading and free agent signings in the off-season. The Machado and Harper saga is ridiculous. Everybody is “in the mix” and then they’re not. Give teams two 21-day periods when deals can be made. (Nov 1 – Nov 21 and Jan 2 – Jan 22) This would get gm’s, agents and players off their butts and actually get deals done.
    2 Shorten spring training. Put a limit on how many players each team can have in camp. 40 or 45 should be plenty. Bringing 60-65 players into spring training is a waste of time.
    These changes wouldn’t affect games during the season, but it would make for a more tolerable off-season.

  61. James

    I hate the idea of the DH rule myself, so I get you guys that are against it. But if you really want to watch someone bat .220/.230/.240 (and I’m guessing that all pitcher at-bats last season would add up to worse than that), let’s make it fun. Each team has to select a non-professional, non-collegiate 18-20 year old from within their greater metro are to serve as DH. Cause I would rather watch a kid just out of high school who wasn’t good enough to get drafted or play college ball try to hit than these pitchers.

    Moving into reality, I have a rule change that Manfred might like. You don’t see the manager go out to remove a batter for a pinch-hitter, so why the show of walking to the mound to take the ball? And why the warm up pitches (with commercial break)? They should be ready to go. I believe most teams have batting cages under the stands. So set up a mound in there, and just call time and send the pitcher out just like you would a pinch hitter. Use closed circuit tv in the dugouts so each manager knows who is warming up. Now THAT is how you speed up pace of play!

    • lwblogger2

      Biggest reason for warmup pitches for a guy who has already warmed up in the pen is to allow him a few tosses off the game mound. Each pitcher is different and it takes a couple throws to get the rubber and landing area how they want it.

      • greenmtred

        Good point, LW. Shortening the games is a reasonable goal, but it’s worth remembering that baseball has never been a hurrried sport, and that is part of its appeal for some people. This probably doesn’t relate at all to the DH, except that it, too, involves tradition.

  62. jreis

    fun comments and topics. honestly what would bring more excitement to the game is designated runners. this would also cut down on injuries quite a bit. Imagine putting Billy Hamilton on first every time Joey Votto got a walk. this would create more scoring without really lengthening the game.

    • jreis

      also I think this would do more to cut down on the brutal 18 inning 1-1 games that we are becoming accustomed to, than the dh would

  63. Gonzo Reds

    DH – No thank you

    If a player isn’t good enough to play in the field then they should find another profession. No full time DH should be in the HOF although we have one already, he certainly wouldn’t have gotten my vote.

    Make the managers earn their money. AL managers do little if anything.

  64. IndyRedsFan

    I’ve scanned the comments, and from this my belief that God has wired us all a little differently is confirmed. There is no right or wrong answer to the question, only a difference in preference.

    Those who argue in favor of the DH love the game for the action, and enjoy seeing skill against skill. Best hitter against best pitcher.

    Those of us (myself included) who don’t like the DH, enjoy a differnt aspect of the game. Namely, the decision making and thinking along with (or ahead of) the manager.

    Situation: Your ace pitcher has pitched 6 very strong innings but trails 1-0 in the bottom of the 6th and is due up with 2 out and 2 on. Your bullpen has been heavily used the last few days.

    Decisions to be made with DH…..
    ….do I let him hit, or do I pinch hit for the DH. (probably not) That’s it.

    Decisions to be made without the DH….
    …..do I pinch hit for the pitcher, or leave him in?
    ………If I pinch hit, who do I use?
    …………Left hander or righthander?
    ……………..best bat on the bench, or 2nd best bat on the bench? (saving the best bat for later in the game)
    ….If I use a LH pinchhitter for the platoon advantage, and the opposing manager brings in a LH reliever, do I then pinchhit for the pinchitter?
    ……..If I pinchhit, which reliever do I use? LH or RH? How long can I use him for? Which releiver?…the guy that pitched two innnings yesterday? or the guy who pitched 1 Inning the last 3 days?
    ….how do I cover the 8th? the 9th?
    ….etc
    ….etc
    ….and so on.

    I enjoy this aspect of thinking about “what would I do?” in these situations. Without this, the game seems pretty boring to me……but again. To each his own.

    I do wish those of you who advocate the DH would not be so dismissive and say things like “boy, you sure must like to see double switches.”
    As I attmepted to lay out above, there is a lot more to it than that.

    • Big Ed

      It is certainly true that a NL game will involve more strategic decisions, but there is a flip side to that: All of the extra strategy hinges on one player (the pitcher) being utterly incompetent at one facet of the game (hitting). If more pitchers could hit like Madison Bumgarner or Michael Lorenzen or Don Drysdale or Earl Wilson, then the NL game would be much better than the AL game. Alas, most of them hit like Garo Yepremian or Mork from Ork.

      I prefer the NL rules, but I don’t care all that much, anymore. The change is inevitable, because these pitchers just can’t hit.

      I do believe, though, that Otani and a few others are the start of a trend to two-way players.

  65. Nate

    Not a fan of the DH but if it is implemented, they should’ve kept Billy and DH’d for him instead of the pitcher.

    The one rule I would change every team would have a 1 mandatory Double Header on either a Saturday or Sunday. And not a Day/Night header, a true double header with 1 ticket for both games and a 30 minute break in between. I don’t think it’s all the unrealistic. Tickets sales money lost blah blah blah. People at the park will buy more concessions and a small ticket increase (Reds already do this for the Cubs & Cardinals and other select games) and I would bet they would actually come out ahead.

    In the immortal words of Ernie Banks: “Let’s play two”

  66. Shchi Cossack

    The Old Cossack reclines as a proud baby boomer with no affinity for the DH simply because that’s not the way it was done when I played ball. With that said, I am fed up and frustrated after the past 5 years of miserable, pathetic, losing baseball for the Reds. The players failed to perform as a group. The on-field management and coaches proved to be virtually clueless. The front office and ownership were both clueless and incompetent. After the addition of multiple player upgrades, a complete turnover in the on-field management and coaches, a front office with a clue and plan for moving the team and organization into the modern era of MLB and ownership that has apparently separated itself from baseball operations, we have something more than just hope going into ST, for the 1st time in 5 years.

    The DH is coming to the NL; the only question is how soon. Moving past the losing and inept management trumps the way it was back in the day when baseball was baseball. The Reds would benefit as much as any team in the NL, and more than most, by the immediate implementation of the DH in the NL for the 2019 season.

    129 wRC+ / .850 OPS / -17.4 Def => Hoskins (PHI)
    128 wRC+ / .836 OPS / -11.0 Def => Winker (CIN)
    122 wRC+ / .821 OPS / -12.6 Def => Martinez (STL)
    122 wRC+ / .818 OPS / -9.6 Def => Kemp CIN)
    112 wRC+ / .768 OPS / -14.7 Def => Bell (PIT)
    109 wRC+ / .777 OPS / -7.5 Def => Schebler (CIN)

    Despite the apparent agreement to sign Zack Duke (no official transaction has been completed), the idea of requiring a pitcher to face at least 3 hitters or finish an inning has merit for the Reds, with a bevy of multi-inning relievers available. With a DH in place, no offensive black holes in the lineup and the defensive flexibility of multiple players, the role of pinch hitters would be significantly reduced to the occasional rest and respite for the starters. This would require just 1 utility OF (capable of playing all OF positions), 1 utility IF (capable of playing SS) and 1 utility C on the 25-man roster, leaving room to possibly carry a rule-5 acquisition (Conner Joe for 2019) with an 8-9 man bullpen. What could DB and DJ do creatively with an 8-9 man bullpen stocked with muliti-inning relievers?!

    Moving forward (probably after the 2019 season):

    Implement an automated strike zone as soon as the 2020 season!

    Move the season back to a 154-game schedule.
    Schedule 16 intra-division games (8 home & 8 away) with all teams.
    Schedule 6 inter-division games (3 home and 3 away) with all teams.
    Schedule a 2-game series between every NL and AL team with the home team alternating every season.
    Establish day/night double headers on selected Saturday schedules around scheduled Thursday off days.

    Incorporate a 3-game or 3-team wildcard play-in series .
    Incorporate a 5-game division series.
    Incorporate a 7-game league series.
    Incorporate a 7 game world series.

    No games played prior to April or after October, with early April games scheduled for home teams with warmer climates or enclosed stadiums, preferably utilizing the inter-league games and inter-division games.

    Move the all star break to the last week of July and move the non-waiver trade deadline up to midnight prior to the all star break.

    Include MiBL players along with MLB players under the CBA. Once a player is signed by a MLB organization, the player should be covered by the CBA. There is too much money available in MLB to not provide the MiBL players with a reasonable living salary. This will require concessions by both MLB players and owners, but rather than quibbling over how to divvy out the millions of dollars among a select few, take care of the players needed for the future, knowing that the vast majority will never share in the millions of dollars available to the select few. That could be as simple as establishing a defined player salary for each level of MiLB that provides a reasonable living wage for every player and could incorporate the bonus structure for the rule 4 draft and restricted international FA signings.

    I really like the idea of providing an additional compensation pick to revenue sharing teams with winning records. Also link any compensation picks for revenue sharing teams to an established minimum MLB player payroll for the prior season.

    • lwblogger2

      Gee Cossack, you haven’t thought about this at all have ya? 🙂

  67. Matt Hendley

    JTR to phillies, for real this time it seems,sixto alfredo, some other bro. Waiting on medicals

  68. Matt WI

    It occurred to me that strategy wise, more often than not a pitcher is not even allowed to catch a stinking fly ball. Because, well, no good reason, but they don’t. So it makes even less sense to have them perform an important, active aspect of the game that they aren’t given an adequate chance to practice when it comes to hitting.

    • Ken

      I agree with not having pitchers bat, but I’m not sure why there needs to be a DH if pitchers don’t bat. Is there something fundamental that requires 9 in the batting order? Something magical about factor of 3 in baseball (e.g., 3 strikes, 9 innings, 3 bases) that if there was 8 in the batting order a curse would be unleashed? Hard to imagine that one less batter in the lineup would make the players that more tired because they would have more plate appearances (even this term doesn’t imply strenuous activity), right?

  69. David Taylor

    I hate this idea. I would actually rather see them do away with the DH in the AL. Make the pitchers hit.

  70. Matt Hendley

    Zack duke and the worlds longest physical are finally done. Its a major league deal 2mil. Jose lopez was DFAed.