Age Old Debates – Chapter 1: The DH

Watching Jorge Posada struggle to hit my weight (when I went off to college) I began pondering the age old (ok, actually since 1973) debate of whether or not there should be a Designated Hitter in baseball.  The theory being that it is more exciting to watch a professional hitter bat rather than a pitcher attempt to hit.  (However, Jorge may be letting the air out of this argument.)  With the implementation of the DH Rule in the American League, older positional players who would normally have been put out to pasture when their fielding skills diminished, could extend their careers while keeping their accountants happy.  But should some new blood have a chance?   Clearly more strategy is involved in  the National League, with the old double switch, the timing of pitching changes and the lost art of bunting, but who wants to see a pitcher take three straight strikes without even twitching at a pitch?  And there is nothing worse than watching a pitcher get hurt while attempting to add to the offense.  Just ask Chien-Ming Wang.

On the flip side, I think all Presidents could use a DH.  While those who sit in the Oval Office think they can do everything (the obvious character flaw in politicians being oversized EGOs) who wouldn’t need a little help in running the country?  Watching President Obama’s lack of business sense filter through the economy, it seems we would be better served if a professional businessperson came in and pinch hit.  President George W. Bush needed a designated speaker so he would never have had to open his mouth in public and record an error.  The DH concept could trickle down right into our homes.  What parent wouldn’t want a professional nanny to come in and discipline their kids when mom and dad were too gassed to continue the inning?  Wouldn’t most families love to have a designated kitchen cleaner for mop-up duties?

The first DH in baseball was Ron Bloomberg.  My favorite was Edgar Martinez, who spent his entire career with the Seattle Mariners.  As a baseball purist, I would dump the DH.  But in today’s ADHD society, the average  fan’s desire to see home runs, and the constant barrage of Top 10 highlights on every sports channel, it’s hard to see it going anywhere.

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