27 February, 2014

Dh

A few questions about the Designated Hitter. What was the reasoning behind starting the DH? Why is it only in the AL. Was this a decision in the beginning, or something they were planning on testing in the AL first. . If yes, why not both leagues. Well, I have your answer. The DH was originally brought into the league to increase scoring in a misguided attempt to increase attendance. (Funny how the most popular game in the world, Soccer, has basically played with the same rules since its' inception. ) At the time that the DH was first used, it was only used in the AL because they were the league that instituted it in the first place. In those days, although there was a Commissioner of Baseball, there also were separate governing bodies for the National and American Leagues. IN addition, each league had its' own President. This changes after the 1999 season, when the 2 league offices were closed, and everything was switched to being simply a Major League office. At this time also, the MLB umpires became one group, as opposed to previously being employed by either the National or American Leagues. As to why, in the years since 1999, baseball has not decided one way or the other on the DH, I have no idea. While I hate the DH rule, what drives me really nuts is having 2 different rules, particularly during the World Series. The idea that a pitcher who hasn't touched a bat in a game perhaps since high school has to bat during a World Series is just plain silly. And it's certainly painful to see the poor AL pitchers hit during inter league as well.

This is why we love dh like and fav for more part 4 song- Iron Maiden – The Trooper.


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2 Comments

  1. Mindy Eaddy February 24, 2014 at 12:00 am #
    In the late 1960's pitching dominated baseball and the DH was talked about as a way to generate more offense. It was actually experhymented during spring training in 1969 but it was not used past spring training. Oakland A's owner Charlie Finley was a big proponent of the DH and he convinced the other owners in the AL to try it. The owners agreed 8 to 4 to give it a 3 year trial run starting in 1973. They liked it so much they're still using it.
  2. Wizard February 24, 2014 at 3:08 am #
    The DH has been suggested since the late 1800s, off and on. In the mid-1960s, Al Lopez suggested it (as a 'designated PINCH hitter' because the mighty Yankees had just won 5 straight pennants, and his White Sox were 2nd 4 times (and won the pennant the year before the streak). He had very little hitting, but he DID have the Babe Ruth of pinch-hitting, Smokey Burgess. He wanted to be able to use Smokey more than once in a game since the Yankees had tons of hitting. He didn't get his way, of course. But Mickey Mantle was slowing down. Hank Aaron, Willie Mays, and Frank Robinson also seemed capable of giving Babe Ruth a run for the all-time home run leader. So MLB thought about it and finally decided to try it on a strictly experhymental basis in the early 1970s, too late for the Mick. It stuck, but no one knows why. It is a sucky rule. But it is one that can be tinkered with and fixed. So, that's a little of the history, anyway.