Had to Google that Curt, and now I remember it. Every time I read any Frost I wonder why I’ve never gotten into him. Most poetry is lost on me, to be honest, but him and Dickinson I think I can get. Oh, and Neruda.
While I don’t necessarily “want/like” to see a pitcher hit, everybody is supposed to be a ball player. Ball players throw the ball, catch the ball and hit the ball.
I HATE the DH.
It was a ploy to get people to watch the AL when no one cared about anything but the “senior circuit”. They took aging players that could no longer play the field in the NL, but had name recognition and could swing a bat (if that is all they had to do) and put them in the line-up.
Today, it robs the strategy from the game. Not the just the “do I bunt him over or not” but managing the game stratgey – the “do I pinch hit for my well throwing starter in the bottom of the 5th to try to take the lead in a tie game or do I stick with him because of his pitching and hope the rest of my O will take over”?
Look at the Twins/Braves WS
Twins manager Tom Kelly said going into the three games in Atlanta that managing without the designated-hitter rule was “right up there with rocket science.”
In the first game in ATL, substitutions and double switches were used by both teams into the twelfth, when Minnesota manager Tom Kelly used up his entire bench and had to send reliever Aguilera to pinch-hit for the active pitcher, Mark Guthrie, who had never had an at bat in his major league career.
Baseball strategy is about trade-offs. Do I put the guy who can really pound the ball but has no apperent reason to wear a glove in the line-up? Do I bat for the pitcher that is throwing 0s on the opponets scoreboard for 6 innings since I have bases loaded and two outs in a 0-0 game?
Does the production outweigh the liability? The DH removes this issue for all the pitchers and a large number of the batters. I HATE IT!
“everybody is supposed to be a ball player. Ball players throw the ball, catch the ball and hit the ball.”
The pitcher doesn’t. He can’t hit. I mean, sure, he can go up just like you or I could and, with enough training hours (wasted when he could have been perfecting his pitching game), he can learn how to make the fact that he can’t hit harm his team as little as possible, but he can’t hit. Hitting a baseball at the MLB level is one of the most specialized skills in all of sports. Pitchers, by and large, perform this in the most ungraceful, ugly fashion. In short, they’re not really doing it at all.
So, if you already have one guy who’s designated just to pitch (in reality), it’s acceptable to have a guy who’s designated just to hit. It’s the most semetrical, logical, and elegant solution. The DH is perfect in almost every way except that it’s not as traditional, i.e. that they didn’t think of it for a while.
If you just want the game to be harder and uglier than it already is, just so you can have strategy, I can contrive for you a hundred silly things that will make players look just as dumb as a pitcher hitting. And then, whoa nelly at the strategy we’ll have.
Let me ask you this: has the strategy required by this most ungraceful dynamic in the game produced a group of uber-savvy managers? Has the game provided us with 30 master chess players? Do most games even come down to how this awkward eye-sore is managed? Nah, the hitters hit and the pitchers pitch and most games are won by how well they do that. And managers, God bless ‘em, they use about as good a judgment on this “strategy” as an intelligent blogger. Okay, I can’t prove that, but I know it in my bloggedy soul. And you do, too. These guys just ain’t that sharp.
Would you do any of them – why or why not (trying to get back to Braves centric discussions…)?
1. Adam Jones and Jason Esposito for Jair Jurrjens and Randall Delgado
2. Corey Hart for Jair Jurrjens
3. Jason Bay for Randall Delgado
4. Ichiro Suzuki for Jair Jurrjens
5. Jose Bautista for Randall Delgado, Brandon Beachy and Zeke Spruill
6. Michael Morse for Jair Jurrjens
I must say that #5 intrigues me (but I was posting my desire to have him in ATL a season or two ago)… And I fear Beachy long term as he seems to be a “fly ball” guy who doesn’t miss enough bats… I am afraid his strikeout numbers from last year can’t be sustained…
#3 is interesting if the premise in the article is true, in that he is a player that was a 100 RBI guy before New York and would probably be again if he got out of there – as an example of “played better out of NY”, I site Javier Vazquez…
#1 could get us a third baseman (which we don’t seem to have in the minors) that should be ready by the end of Chipper’s contract as well as a CF should Bourn walk and a good LF is he doesn’t… Plus we don’t deal with Boras over JJ…
#4 is just plain interesting… Would the Japaneese following that the Braves would pick up because of him add any value to the team that might get Liberty to loosen the purse strings? Probably not, but having him in LF, playing behind Bourn… both of them setting the table… shoudl be fun to watch… just plain interesting… plus the Boras/JJ thing…
As for #2 & #6, I just don’t know enough about either of them to make a decision… I would probably err on the side of caution…
Mark @58, I just don’t think double-switching and sending up pinch-hitters is all that fascinating or adds anything to the enjoyment of the game. I think having nine guys come up that are going to put together at least moderately good plate appearances is more entertaining.
With a shortstop prospect, we might say, “well, he has a great glove but will he hit enough?” But we never say, “well, he’s an awesome pitcher but will he hit enough?” Because people don’t go to baseball games to watch pitchers hit.
For those opposed to the DH in the NL because it takes the strategy away from the game, let me remind you that Fredi Gonzalez is the manager of your favorite team. Do you really want him to strategize?
“Yes,” Gonzalez said when asked if he was concerned by the 1-5 start. “In the grand scheme of things you want to win ball games. I don’t care if they are in the Grapefruit League or an inter-squad game back on Field No. 2. You want to win ball games. We are playing some good baseball and the winning will come. We are getting some people on base. … It’s coming. It’s still early. The number one thing right now is being healthy.”