Hunter Stokes (Featured Writer) Follow @stokes_hunter21
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I have to admit Rob Manfred is at least taking charge at the helm of the MLB. Uniformity of both the American League and the National League may be implemented as early at 2017 – following the CBA talks after the 2016 season.
If Manfred calls for an equalization schedule of all 30 MLB teams playing a level amount of games against their own league and divisions next – I will anoint him the best “Commissioner ever. Hopefully this would be the next step.
Since the progressive leader has made some radical changes in his infancy at the top, like fast play, blackout removals, one fee for individualized teams on MLB.TV – I am hoping he can eradicate team fatigue next.
One of the best cases to made for both the Senior and Junior Circuits to both have the same rules is the recent destruction the AL has done to the National League. They have a 12 year winning streak in Interleague play – with a whopping .550 win percentage in that time from 2004 – 2015.
It seems the Designated Hitter advantage is just too much for the NL to handle on a short term basis.
One also has to look at how inequitable the Free Agency game has been for signing big name players on the open market in recent years.
The AL always has the advantage for the longer term contracts being doled out in the Majors – because they can offer a deal into a guys middle 30’s with the caveat of turning him into a DH eventually as he ages .
Of course you could also say that a lot of pitchers find the National League to be a safe haven to throwers, with ERA’s generally being 0.15 – 0.20 lower in the NL compared to the AL.
Most importantly is the injury factor. MLB Reports has longed talked about the ticking time bomb of a 9 figured salaried pitcher being both knock out for time as a hitter or on the basepaths. Adam Wainwright‘s injury caused the organization to change their stance on adopting the DH in the National League.
I always think of Chien Ming Wang‘s career being derailed in 2009 by blowing up his leg running to 2nd base. He has never returned to prominence in the MLB after fashioning two 19 win campaigns previously.
This is not only smart business for the owners in protecting their pitchers, but should in theory help offense out in the game.
There are sure to be purists that will absolutely despise if this were to ever happen in the National League. I get that.
I am not one to say that I enjoy the strategy of the National League because I don’t. The only problem is that the position of DH is not what it used to be in the height of the steroid era. Adding 15 new hitting slots in the NL will only prove to water down the talent pool even more.
Additionally, this is not going to help the small to mid-level market clubs with adding another offensive player to the fold. Certainly every one can see that paying the 13th man on the pitching staff is way cheaper than another offensive bopper.
I have been beating an idea around for several years and will continue to throw it out. Why not have hit 8 guys and field (with the pitcher).
Oh yeah. Before anyone thinks that would mean eliminating jobs, there would still be 25 player rosters on each squad.
You simply have 9 players in the field and only 8 hit. This concept would spell the worst hitter on each of the 30 MLB teams – and give the top players about 10 – 13% more Plate Appearances every year.
You want offense in the game to go up – have the best hitters have of the game have an extra AB in each game. Hopefully some of the records could be broken from the steroid era.
Of course that would effectively end the DH in the game. In today’s modern age of medicine and strength and conditioning – there is no excuse for not fielding. If a guy is a poor defender than so be it.
This is the ultimate middle ground.
While I agree in principle to the pitchers never hitting ever again, this is the wrong solution in my view. If they want uniformity in both leagues, they should follow this idea for more offense.
*** The views and opinions expressed in this report are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of bbba.work and their partners***
A Big thanks goes out to our featured writer Hunter Stokes for preparing today’s feature post.