Let me try one more angle on why I think the DH is appropriate:
Okay, check it. In baseball, there are two highly specialized skills: hitting and pitching.
If you gathered up 1,000 random athletes in great shape, with good eye-hand coordination, how many do you think could be taught in a couple of years to pitch well enough to join the major leagues?
Maybe 1 or 2? Maybe? It’s a freak skill.
Of those same 1,000, how many do you think could be taught in a couple of years to hit major league pitching well enough to join the majors?
A similarly tiny number. Another freak skill.
But how many of them could be taught to play the field well enough that if they could hit, they could stay? Half of them? At least 300? I think so. It’s not a freak skill. Not saying the best short stops don’t have freak skill. But I think the point stands. (I could be wrong, just say so… Curt…)
The point is, there are two freak skills that make a baseball player a very specific kind of athlete. And if a hitter tries to pitch (regularly), it’s going to be as dumb-looking as a pitcher trying to hit. So, it kind of knocks out the “players should be able to do both” argument. Because the real “both” of baseball isn’t hitting and fielding; it’s hitting and pitching.
Hitters shouldn’t have to pitch. Pitchers shouldn’t have to hit. The two skills are too refined to be required of a player who makes his living doing the other.
Bub, I’m just waiting for you to talk yourself out of it…
I think it is a good point, brace yourself, but only because I think really good defense in baseball is not a top priority in many cases. As you note, there are plenty of guys who have careers prolonged because they can hit or because they can pitch in certain situations. How long was Terry Mulholland in the league for Pete’s sake? But there are very few guys in MLB still around because of their defense, outside of catchers. There are plenty of Paul Bakos and Henry Blancos out there, but how many Chris Woodwards are left? Few.
And what lots of teams do is try and hide guys. Stick them in left or at first. If Adam Dunn and Manny Ramirez couldn’t hit would they still be in the league? Mike Piazza? Dear God he was awful. Obviously that’s rhetorical, but why don’t more guys work on their defensive lapses the same way they do to fix hitches in their swing or their wind-up? Because they don’t have to. Yet how many games did Andruw win for us with his defense? And how many marginal RFers (Rhino) could we put out there because of his range. I think a lot of teams prioritize defense in 3 or 4 positions and leave the rest to chance. SS, CF, maybe 3rd.
But you will see, most of the really good teams play really good defense too. The Phils – man I hate them – are a great defensive team.
One last point about the lack of respect for defense, the Gold Glove has become about as arbitrary as the starters for the All Star game. Every year you see guys like David Wright and Derek Jeter winning GGs when they weren’t even close to the statistical leader at their position. Why?
Given my blathering, I believe that the two hardest things in professional sports are hitting a baseball and hitting a golf ball.
I think what I am trying to say is that guys should take defense more seriously. But you don’t make millions because you have a .986 fielding percentage. Kelly Johnson and Matt Diaz have worked very hard to become better defensive players. To mixed results I suppose.
I think teams have no other option than to hide guys. You can’t not play Manny Ramirez because he can’t catch a fly ball. David Ortiz ends up on 1st when they play in Atlanta. It’s part of the game. So, yes, I would have taken hiding Uggla in left to get his bat.
Braves signing Moylan for only $1.5M has about 2M left for someone. Think the Braves will make a move? I still have some hope. If Damon only wants 2 – 3M and he has NO suitors, they have to make a play, right?
I think the hall is for what he did on the field as a player, not as a coach. If he fixed games as a player thats pretty indefensible. But sounds like he had a gambling addiction off the field. Why is that worse than a substance or sex addiction? On my i phone… More l8tr
not to wind you up Curtis, but why? (on the no bust comment). Baseball, apple pie, Charlie Hustle, Big Red Machine. George Foster. We were in elementary school…but I remember those names as much as I do Bob Horner. My old uncle John used to drink too much and curse at Sparky Anderson. Foster hit like 50 home runs and Ted Turner was the manager of the Braves….Memories!
So Rose was a tool, and he lied about being a tool, and then he was even more of a tool by trying to make money by writing a book about being a tool …it still seems like misplaced justice, or maybe even self-righteous vengance to keep the Hall from him as his eternal punishment. Leave that to the man above. (Says one who prays for a light sentence…)
JJ, I don’t like the risk-reward with Damon. We know the reward is pretty small; a big name, good clubhouse guy with a laughable arm who might hit 10% better than Diaz. Or he might not. Also a little speed at the top.
The risk is clogging up the outfield depth with a veteran who won’t be sat down for a better performing Diaz. Remember last year when we got G. Anderson and a few of the players expressed disappointment that we weren’t gonna let the young ‘uns play?
And they were right. Loaf did nothing during the year to prove that notion wrong. And Bobby is soooooo slow to sit a respectable veteran. It could seriously upset the team’s energy and chemistry just for the possibility of, as I said, a relatively small reward.
Then it’s off to see the Giants, where we’ll get Hanson vs. their #4. (Zito? Sanchez?) and KK versus their #5 (they don’t have a #5 listed on their depth chart at all, possibly KK versus Lincecum’s second start? That seems doubtful, but there is an off-day between series for SF if they wanted to go that route.) And then whoever our opening day starter is versus probably Lincecum, assuming the Giants cook up a #5 from somewhere.
It’ll be nice to face two major wild card opponents right out of the gate. Then the Padres, and then another major wild card opponent with the Rockies.
Looks like we’ll know a little something in the first 12 games.
After that, Phillies and Mets. So we should have definite bearings on the ball club after 18 games.
I wish it would have worked out to be Hanson vs. Lincecum, but that seems like the least likely scenario of all. Then again, KK’s an ace-killer.
I know this topic is over but I’m busy ok? I don’t ALWAYS have time for nonsensical conversation. However, if NL adopted the DH way of living I for one would miss the moments good hitting pitchers have to shine. It’s also fun to watch when an AL team comes to town how badly their pitchers flounder.
My friend just had a baby and named him Andrew Reid. Do I tell her that her loving husband (a Philly native) has hood winked her or let it go?