Major League Baseball Is Headed Towards An AL-only DH Again And That Would Be A Travesty

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Reports have surfaced that Major League Baseball plans to return to an AL-only DH, like in years past. According to LaVelle Neal of the Star Tribune, the players union and MLB will need to come to a bargaining agreement to stop the reversal. People have criticized the inconsistent application of the rule for years between the two leagues. The problem now isn’t inconsistent application, it’s the rule itself. All of Major League Baseball need a DH, not just the American League.

Compared to the NBA, baseball enjoys respectable ratings. Some of this audience interest may come from an increase in runs thanks to full-time DHers, but the first post-pandemic season isn’t the time for a trial run. Commissioner Rob Manfred shouldn’t attempt to fix what isn’t broken.

Though they were moderately successful at bat when the average fastball barely topped 90 MPH, pitchers nowadays struggle at the plate because their peers on the mound are just too good. They can dish it out, but most of them can’t take it.

And there appears to be a correlation between the number of runs scored and the level of social media interactions about MLB. The MLB should try to put players –including pitchers — in a position to give us the best show possible.

Watching a dude whose job is to pitch take three worthless cuts is nothing but an excuse for those at the game to go grab a hot dog and for those watching at home to change the channel. Forcing pitchers to bat does the players and the fans no good.

Can baseball afford to take a step back?

The answer is simply, no. Baseball is a thinking man’s game in an era of constant distraction. Generation Z, Millennials and Baby Boomers all have many different activities to do at any given moment. Commissioner Manfred knows he’s engaged in a never-ending battle for our attention.

Baseball is a game that already takes time to develop. Having a pitcher embarrass himself at the plate is a time suck that no one needs.

It remains to be seen whether MLB will make sure the DH sticks this offseason. It certainly should be a concern. Losses in revenue due to lack of fans could potentially dampen any urgency they would’ve had to keep the DH, but they should make it a priority anyway. Fans and pitchers everywhere are counting on it.

Written by Gary Sheffield, Jr

Gary Sheffield Jr is the son of should-be MLB Hall of Famer, Gary Sheffield. He covers basketball and baseball for, chats with the Purple and Gold faithful on LakersNation, and shitposts on Twitter. You can follow him at GarySheffieldJr


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  1. This article makes me so happy. I’m a Red Sox fan, so naturally I love the DH. I have heard the traditionalist argument against the DH and I simply can not accept it. In the NL, when the pitcher comes to the plate, its nearly an automatic out. To the point that if there are players on base, fans of that team hope the pitcher strikes out to avoid a potential rally-killing double play.

    To put this in a different context, this would be if the NFC had a rule that on every 9th play on offense, regardless of the quarter, regardless of the length of the drive, the offense has to put in the punter at QB. Doesn’t matter if you are on your own 20 or its 3rd and goal from the 5 yard line. And it was like this for the last 50 years. And you keep doing it, even though it KILLS your offense 99% of the time because its tradition.

  2. Disagree on this one. NL baseball is real baseball. We’ve focused grouped movies to the point they have no charm. The quirkiness of baseball is a blessing, not an albatross in need of consultants saying the DH will bring more fans.


  3. I feel with the advent of the age of homeruns and strikeouts which is where MLB is literally – there is a freshness in NL baseball. It’s strange to say because I hear the arguments on the pitchers not being that competitive at the plate, OK – no argument there – but I guess I am a baseball purist at heart. I look at an AL score of 14-9 and that doesn’t really do anything for me. NL baseball preserves on some basic levels the old-time strategy of thinking through a pitching change and the batting order in the 7th inning and MLB, I would guess, isn’t ready to part with that.

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