John: I’m talking about whether or not the National League should adopt the DH: where a team uses a "designated hitter" to bat in place of the pitcher. I say yes, the American League has done it, it’s worked pretty well and it doesn’t make the manager overmanage and overthink. It has the manager fill out the card and do what he needs to do as far as pitching changes and lefty/righty, but it’s not as complicated as the pitcher bat. Plus, [if] you have the pitcher bat, you risk the pitcher getting hurt. That’s why you need the DH. That way you keep the pitchers healthy, you don’t burn out the bullpen too.
Russell: I was split half-and-half, but I’m against it right now because some of these guys in the American League, their batting averages are too high. Pitcher’s got to go to bat, just like everybody else. But in the American League, it’s not like that. They get a lot of at-bats, they’re scoring a lot of runs, but if the pitcher had to bat, I don’t think it’d be that way. You got bases loaded and you got two out and then the pitcher comes to bat, that’s a guaranteed out. In the American League, no no! You got a man come to bat, you get 35 homers, 100 RBIs. Pow! Bases! Mitts get thrown! I don’t agree with it.
Donald: I agree with John, designated hitters do take away from the heavy stuff that’s on a pitcher’s shoulder. In the National League, they leave a lot of weight on their pitching and they look for strikeouts. It’s good to have a designated hitter; even though he’s hitting 30, 40 home runs, you do need that extra hitter sometimes. That’s a go for the designated hitter for the National League. The American League does win more games because of their pitching, because of their designated hitting.
John: The one thing that’s confusing about American League and National League parks is, if you go to an American League park in the World Series, you have the DH rule when it’s the National League against the American League. We see how the Cubs are against American League ballparks, they actually kick butt. In the National League ballpark, their pitchers have gotten back from the American League. Once and for all, the National League should have the DH, or if the National League doesn’t want the DH, then American League should go back to pitching. When they have one league do DH all the time and the other league doesn’t, it’s sending a mixed message.
Russell: I agree with you, John. The DH is not bad, it’s nice to have, but it depends. I watch the game on CBS: bases loaded, here comes the pitcher up to bat. Bam! Strike out. It’s okay, it is what it is. You’ve got a point, the Cubs did kick some butt in the World Series. Three of the games were on the road in a DH hitter’s ballpark. I still say there’s too much hitting in the American League.
Donald: The American League’s batting averages are astronomical compared to the National League. They do need a designated hitter, because a designated hitter not only slows them down and brings their averages down, but it helps them to concentrate more on the game. You’re not losing a lot of wear and tear on pitching. That’s the bottom line, you got to have your pitchers. It worked for the American League, so it’ll work for the National League.
John: It also works in the National League because a couple guys, one of them Yasiel Puig for the Dodgers and the other for the Cubs, Kyle Schwarber: those would be your classic DHers. Those guys would not have to field, they could basically play every game. Even as Schwarber’s gotten better as a fielder, I’d still rather see him bat four times and then hit the bench.
Russell: One thing about the National League, sometimes pitchers can’t hit, so that’s a good thing. If it’s our ballpark, we catch it and are going to strike that man out!
Donald: Go ahead and do it! Let’s try it out.