You may have noticed or not that I’ve been away from my blog for awhile, not because I want to, but circumstances just sometimes get in the way. But in the Wall Street Journal this morning there was an article that made me want to pound the keys again.
Referring to the Designated Hitter, Houston Astros Pitcher Gerrit Cole says this ~ “I don’t want their pitching and their talent to be affected by having to do something they’re really not comfortable doing.” Well, excuse me, but boo-hoo, grab a binky and get comfortable …… please. With the MINIMUM salary a MLB Baseball player earns being in the $500,000 Range and taking into account a pitcher only plays once every 4-5 days, if he’s good, it’s hard to sympathize with this DH thing.
Official Rules of Major League Baseball. 1:00 Objectives of the Game. 1:01 1st Sentence. Baseball is a game between two teams of nine players each ………. and so it goes. And so it was from the beginning until 1973 when the American League decided to adopt a new rule, Rule 5.11. This rule allows teams to have one player, referred to as the Designated Hitter, to bat in place of the Pitcher which obviously means that team will have 10 Players listed on its Roster for that game. This rule has never been adopted by the National League, even though efforts to force them to do so have been made regularly since 1973. And this year is no exception.
So, you say, what’s the fuss all about? Baseball teams play 162 games each year, and the average player plays in most of them. Compare this to football, basketball, hockey, soccer where games are rarely played back-to-back. And there’s no time limit in a baseball game compared to these other sports. A baseball game can last from 2 hours to 5, 6 hours or even longer. The common inference is that baseball is a slow, lazy game so there’s not the physical exertion required in other sports. But when you play 4 games in a row, sometimes two in one day, that argument loses some credibility.
Why has there never been an argument for a DC, Designated Catcher? Can you imagine squatting for 9 innings? The catcher is probably the most athletic person on the field and most of them are pretty good batters.
My point is this. The average MLB Pitcher probably pitches maybe 40 games per year? And he’s only on the field maybe half the time? These are professional athletes and they should be hired not only for their positions on the field but “especially” for their ability to bat, to hit the ball. You want to pitch in the Majors? Then pick up a bat.
Because Baseball is a game between two teams of nine players each.
That’s the game. That’s what it is.