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NLaloosh
05-21-2011, 12:02 AM
http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/vault/article/magazine/MAG1184199/index.htm

I found this to be a very intersting story about today's DH position. Do you agree or disagree with this?

geofitz
05-21-2011, 09:38 AM
I attribute the decline in DH pay and performance due to the fact that most teams added an additional RP to the roster mix. In turn, that requires bench players to have some defensive ability. With only a dozen position players on a roster it's difficult to carry someone without a glove.

downstairs
05-21-2011, 12:55 PM
I'm in favor of the DH, but I agree with the article- which is really just stating facts, not an opinion.

I don't mind the change from the DH being your "big bopper" to more of a slot to use strategy game-to-game.

I don't want to see pitchers hit. They suck, and everyone knows it.

Brian26
05-21-2011, 02:15 PM
There are never any guarantees that a player will make an easy adjustment to DH—everyone from Dave Winfield to Jason Giambi to Pat Burrell has struggled with making the transition. Dunn has gone to his new first base coach for advice, though Baines says he doesn't have much wisdom to offer.
Somehow, that doesn't surprise me.

soltrain21
05-21-2011, 05:04 PM
Somehow, that doesn't surprise me.

Awesome coaching staff is awesome.

khan
05-21-2011, 05:26 PM
My first thought after reading this article was, "Thank GOD that Mark Kotsay could stand at 1st base [the easiest position to play], and provide a league-average glove to go along with his utterly ****ty bat."

My second thought was, "Geezing geezers everywhere will try to tell us that watching pitchers suck a horse's ass at hitting is a good idea, because 'that's the way they did it in MY day,' which is naturally better than today, because I'm an old fart."

TDog
05-21-2011, 07:59 PM
I watch a lot of Giants games, and it's not uncommon for pitchers to come to the plate with higher batting averages than Adam Dunn. It is uncommon to see pitchers who strike out at a higher rate than Adam Dunn. Watching Dunn suck at the plate is worse than watching Madison Bumgarner suck at the plate because Madison Bumgarner, in his last few starts anyway, is doing something to keep his team into the game.

Slow players who can hit still have to run the bases even if fans would prefer seeing players with more speed. I've always been a White Sox fan. I watch a lot more American League baseball than I do National League baseball. I really enjoyed watching Harold Baines and Frank Thomas DH for the Sox. But I see the DH diminishes the checks and balances inherent in baseball. You can force your opponents ace pitcher out of a game by holding the other team and forcing a pinch hitter that removes him from the game. It's rare that a pitcher throws at a hitter if it's likely that pitcher will be coming to the plate. Bob Gibson and Don Drysdale used to pitch inside, but they also held their own at the plate. I also think it helps pitchers to know the fear that a hitter feels at the plate.

By NCAA rules, starting pitchers often serve as their own DHs and can continue to hit after they are removed from the he game defensively. And many do. Bobby Thigpen was an All-American DH, but he had only plate appearance in more than 400 major league games. It isn't like kids who grow up pitching well lose their ability to hit. But John Danks, unlike Madison Bumgarner who hit quite a bit in the minors, never had to hit professionally before coming to the White Sox. It wouldn't surprise me if he never had to hit in college. The American League ruins pitchers for hitting. The more I watch baseball, the more I've come around from being a supporter of the DH to a believer that it diminishes the overall quality of the game.

Of course, that is irrelevant to the discussion because the DH isn't going anywhere. The question is whether a fixed DH is better than a more flexible DH with a bat off the bench. More and more, I think that is the way to go. I have always believed signing Adam Dunn was a mistake, that the White Sox would do better strengthening their outfield defense and using a bat off the bench as their DH. I believed that in February and nothing has happened since to inspire me to feel otherwise.

If the Sox were DHing Frank Thomas in his prime, I likely would be inspired to feel differently.

SI1020
05-21-2011, 08:21 PM
I watch a lot of Giants games, and it's not uncommon for pitchers to come to the plate with higher batting averages than Adam Dunn. It is uncommon to see pitchers who strike out at a higher rate than Adam Dunn. Watching Dunn suck at the plate is worse than watching Madison Bumgarner suck at the plate because Madison Bumgarner, in his last few starts anyway, is doing something to keep his team into the game.

Slow players who can hit still have to run the bases even if fans would prefer seeing players with more speed. I've always been a White Sox fan. I watch a lot more American League baseball than I do National League baseball. I really enjoyed watching Harold Baines and Frank Thomas DH for the Sox. But I see the DH diminishes the checks and balances inherent in baseball. You can force your opponents ace pitcher out of a game by holding the other team and forcing a pinch hitter that removes him from the game. It's rare that a pitcher throws at a hitter if it's likely that pitcher will be coming to the plate. Bob Gibson and Don Drysdale used to pitch inside, but they also held their own at the plate. I also think it helps pitchers to know the fear that a hitter feels at the plate.

By NCAA rules, starting pitchers often serve as their own DHs and can continue to hit after they are removed from the he game defensively. And many do. Bobby Thigpen was an All-American DH, but he had only plate appearance in more than 400 major league games. It isn't like kids who grow up pitching well lose their ability to hit. But John Danks, unlike Madison Bumgarner who hit quite a bit in the minors, never had to hit professionally before coming to the White Sox. It wouldn't surprise me if he never had to hit in college. The American League ruins pitchers for hitting. The more I watch baseball, the more I've come around from being a supporter of the DH to a believer that it diminishes the overall quality of the game.

Of course, that is irrelevant to the discussion because the DH isn't going anywhere. The question is whether a fixed DH is better than a more flexible DH with a bat off the bench. More and more, I think that is the way to go. I have always believed signing Adam Dunn was a mistake, that the White Sox would do better strengthening their outfield defense and using a bat off the bench as their DH. I believed that in February and nothing has happened since to inspire me to feel otherwise.

If the Sox were DHing Frank Thomas in his prime, I likely would be inspired to feel differently. For the most part I agree with this post. I would also like to add that since the complete game has almost gone the way of the dodo bird, and teams carry 11 or 12 pitchers, AL managers are really in a straight jacket when it comes to options as the game progresses.

Dub25
05-22-2011, 01:25 AM
I'm in favor of the DH, but I agree with the article- which is really just stating facts, not an opinion.

I don't mind the change from the DH being your "big bopper" to more of a slot to use strategy game-to-game.

I don't want to see pitchers hit. They suck, and everyone knows it.

Agreed, not only that, baseball is a speciality game. Fans of the NL like to say the DH is not real baseball. Well, the 5 man rotation and our team's 6 man is not, along with lefty specialist to get a lefty hitter out and even the closer seeing how the save was not recorded as a stat until the 70's. Oh yeah, the set up man to get to the closer is not "real baseball".

TheVulture
05-22-2011, 03:42 AM
I disagree. If Dunn or another DH is hitting 40 HR and .400 OBP, he is not going by the wayside. These guys sound like losers, honestly. Cust talking about how he's completely disconnected from the game when he's in the fricking lineup! Correct me if I'm wrong here, but wouldn't you often see Thome on the edge of his seat on the bench following the game action? Why don't these morons take the example of a real professional?....and Dunn talking about being a DH means he has one foot out the door, just after signing a four year contract with our Sox to DH?! These guys are supposed to be professionals, they sound like they are letting their loser mentality replace the ethic to do the job the best you can.

The author talks about cut rate deals for Thome, Manny and Matsui. Cut rate, or going rate for guys in decline? Actually, maybe a cut rate for Thome, but what do you expect for Manny and Matsui at this point? Cust? He's not that good...Cust says Dunn had to struggle to get a multi-year deal? Give me a break.

russ99
05-22-2011, 09:35 AM
I disagree. If Dunn or another DH is hitting 40 HR and .400 OBP, he is not going by the wayside. These guys sound like losers, honestly. Cust talking about how he's completely disconnected from the game when he's in the fricking lineup! Correct me if I'm wrong here, but wouldn't you often see Thome on the edge of his seat on the bench following the game action? Why don't these morons take the example of a real professional?....and Dunn talking about being a DH means he has one foot out the door, just after signing a four year contract with our Sox to DH?! These guys are supposed to be professionals, they sound like they are letting their loser mentality replace the ethic to do the job the best you can.

The author talks about cut rate deals for Thome, Manny and Matsui. Cut rate, or going rate for guys in decline? Actually, maybe a cut rate for Thome, but what do you expect for Manny and Matsui at this point? Cust? He's not that good...Cust says Dunn had to struggle to get a multi-year deal? Give me a
break.

Interesting point, but even the best hitters have a struggle with the mental aspect of doing something that they've never done in their baseball lives, which is play the game and not play a position in the field.

I think players like Thome and Thomas were exceptions, because were such great hitters and mentally tough to begin with. I recall even Frank struggling with it a bit, and by the time Thome came here, he was used to it.

I also am not opposed to using a non-slugger in the role, but the guy has to hit. Case in point: the Jones/Kotsay platoon. Those of us in favor of it initially were expecting career averages from these guys, and neither delivered.

SI1020
05-22-2011, 10:07 AM
Agreed, not only that, baseball is a speciality game. Fans of the NL like to say the DH is not real baseball. Well, the 5 man rotation and our team's 6 man is not, along with lefty specialist to get a lefty hitter out and even the closer seeing how the save was not recorded as a stat until the 70's. Oh yeah, the set up man to get to the closer is not "real baseball". Football is a speciality game. There were times in the 50's that the Sox used a 5 or a 6 man rotation. The AL's adoption of the DH was born out of weakness and fear. Between 1963 and 1982 the AL won exactly 1 All Star game. Additionally football had overtaken baseball as the true national pastime and pitching had become predominate in the late 60's. Even after the mound was lowered the AL was seen as the much weaker and duller of the two leagues. So in order to prop up its sagging fortunes the DH was adopted. Charlie Finley, the owner of the A's, signed track star Herb Washington as a designated runner and wanted to use orange baseballs. It's all the beginning of the NFLization of MLB. Fans like the DH and enough teams in the playoffs to have baseball on Thanksgiving Day so that's just the way it's going to be.

Railsplitter
05-22-2011, 02:17 PM
Agreed, not only that, baseball is a speciality game. Fans of the NL like to say the DH is not real baseball. Well, the 5 man rotation and our team's 6 man is not, along with lefty specialist to get a lefty hitter out and even the closer seeing how the save was not recorded as a stat until the 70's. Oh yeah, the set up man to get to the closer is not "real baseball".
The save was made official in 1969.

Relief pitching isn't something that popped up after World War II or with expansion. The nickname given Johnny Murphy, the Yankees' relief specialist of the 1930's was "Fireman", suggesting the a relief picther was brought in in an emergency situation.

Nor is the righty-lefty thing new. Casey Stengel platooned with the Yankees in the 1950's and on one occasion a White Sox skipper put a pitcher in the outfield for one batter so as not to use three different picthers for three diferent batters. There used to be long relief, middle relief, and short relief. IIRC, Tony La Russa devised the set up man with Oakland in the late 80's because he had two good short relief men.

TDog
05-22-2011, 06:54 PM
Agreed, not only that, baseball is a speciality game. Fans of the NL like to say the DH is not real baseball. Well, the 5 man rotation and our team's 6 man is not, along with lefty specialist to get a lefty hitter out and even the closer seeing how the save was not recorded as a stat until the 70's. Oh yeah, the set up man to get to the closer is not "real baseball".

Baseball is not a specialty game. If a hitter reaches base, you can't send in a base stealer to take his place without disqualifying the hitter from participating further in the game. Everyone in the lineup plays both offense and defense except for leagues that allow for a hitter to be designated for one player (it's not always the pitcher and sometimes it only allows the pitcher to remain in the game to hit even after he is no longer in the game as a pitcher). If you put in a weak-hitting shortstop our centerfielder for defense with your team leading in the ninth and the other team ties the game, you can't put the better-hitting fielder he replaced back into the game. If you have a left-handed pitcher who gets every left-handed hitter out, you can't bring him into the game whenever there is a tough left-handed hitter. Once he is out of the game he can't return. (Technically, you could rotate the tough southpaw and the tough right-handed pitcher on the mound if you alternated them at, say, second base, but in leagues that have DHs for the pitcher, you would lose your DH.)

Football is a specialty game. You have different people playing on offense than you do on defense. The numbers NFL players wear tell the officials where and when they are supposed to be on the field. And some offensive and defensive players only play on specific downs. I don't watch football, so it's irrelevant for me to suggest that football might be a mildly interesting game if players played both ways and couldn't return if they came out of the game.

If baseball were a specialty game, you would have free substitution. Baseball is a game where specialists have evolved with managers managing to limit exposure of players where they are weakest. Some leagues have adopted the designated hitter rule, which allows for more pitching specialization because it generally separates pitching from any offensive considerations. At first, good starting pitchers just stayed in the game longer. The first year of the DH, when there were only 12 American League teams, there were a dozen 20-game winners in the American League. (Only one pitched for the White Sox.) There were two 20-game losers. (Of course, both pitched for the White Sox.) Half a dozen starters pitched more than 300 innings. Wilbur Wood faced more than 1,500 batters. Before September, no one carried more than 10 pitchers, and a couple of teams carried less. Including September callups, the Orioles only used 12 players as pitchers all season long.

The DH wasn't instituted in the American League because baseball was a specialty game. Rather, many players, particularly American League players, are developed as less complete, specialty baseball players because of the DH, combined with fewer kids playing baseball.

With pitching specialists taking up more roster spots, it minimizes the number of specialists who can affect the game offensively and defensively. That doesn't even take into consideration the effect on a team of paying big money for a full-time DH when that DH adds minimally to the defense while limiting the team's defensive options, which is more to the point of the article that inspired this thread.

You can say you don't want to see pitchers hit and pitchers weren't meant to hit professionally, even though they are often the best hitters on their scholastic teams. (I read that the hitter who broke many of Robin Ventura's hitting records at Oklahoma State is now pitching in the American League, but his name escapes me.) But if your argument is that the DH is a superior change in the game because baseball is a specialty game, you lose the argument.

And if you're one of those people who don't watch baseball unless the White Sox are playing, I don't think you have any credibility or any standing to discuss the engineering of the game.

khan
05-23-2011, 01:19 PM
I really appreciate your passion for this issue, even though I believe you are on the wrong side of it.

Baseball is not a specialty game.
Exactly what in the world does this mean?

So, if this is a sport of "generalists," then it would be OK to put Paul Konerko in at CF, and have him leading off. Or it would be a good idea to try Beckham at catcher. Or to have Buerhle be a pinch hitter, because he hit a HR in Milwaukee. Or to have a middle infield of Adam Dunn and Ramon Castro. [You'd vote for Castro at SS, and Dunn at 2nd, right? :tongue:]

Sorry, but the game IS a game of specialization. Players are [usually] deployed to maximize their strengths, and to minimize their weaknesses. The DH naturally takes this specialization to the question of watching ****ty hitters hit. Utility infielders, defensive replacements, pinch runners, the entire bullpen, and the way batting orders are constructed are all examples of specialization in the game.

Heck, the platoon system was INVENTED in baseball, which is a type of specialization.

If baseball were a specialty game, you would have free substitution.
Incorrect. Free substitution has little to do with it, honestly. Even in other games that do not have free substitution, there is a highly-developed degree of specialization.

For example, in soccer, the backup GK is not also asked to come into the game to score a game-tying or game-winning goal late in the match. Lionel Messi is not asked to play a defensive role, because he's not as good at it as he is scoring goals. Each position, and every role has been specialized in soccer, despite not having free substitution.

The same is true about specialization in baseball, as you prove with the following statement:
Baseball is a game where specialists have evolved with managers managing to limit exposure of players where they are weakest.
I thought you said this wasn't a specialty game... :scratch:

Some leagues have adopted the designated hitter rule, which allows for more pitching specialization because it generally separates pitching from any offensive considerations.
Correction: The OVERARCHING majority of professional leagues, both in the US and in other countries utilize the DH. Using the DH is now much more a part of "real baseball" than not using the DH.

ONLY the NL and one of the japanese leagues fail to use the DH. Pretty much everywhere else, the DH is employed:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Designated_hitter#The_designated_hitter_outside_Ma jor_League_Baseball (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Designated_hitter#The_designated_hitter_outside_Ma jor_League_Baseball)

[I]..."The DH is used in most professional baseball leagues around the world. One notable exception is the [I]Central League (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Central_League) of Japan, where pitchers bat as they do in the National League. Japan's Pacific League (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pacific_League) adopted the designated hitter in 1975. However, when teams from different leagues play against each other in Japan Series (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Japan_Series) or interleague games, the DH rule is adopted if the Pacific League's team hosts the game. Unlike the AAA in America, minor team games in NPB adopted DH rule regardless of teams."


At first, good starting pitchers just stayed in the game longer. The first year of the DH, when there were only 12 American League teams, there were a dozen 20-game winners in the American League. (Only one pitched for the White Sox.) There were two 20-game losers. (Of course, both pitched for the White Sox.) Half a dozen starters pitched more than 300 innings. Wilbur Wood faced more than 1,500 batters. Before September, no one carried more than 10 pitchers, and a couple of teams carried less. Including September callups, the Orioles only used 12 players as pitchers all season long.
Indeed. We appreciate your view of history.

At the same time, many ballplayers were fat slobs that smoked. Very few players bothered to workout, lift weights, or to take care of their bodies. Many minorities weren't allowed to play for decades, and players from overseas were a rarity. The soft contact lens wasn't readily available decades ago, which could have inhibited a player from seeing well enough to hit, since many ballplayers were too vain to wear glasses. The microcomputer, internet, satellite TV, and video recording weren't available for hitters to analyze pitchers, and vice-versa.

In other words, it was ridiculously easy for pitchers to get fat, smoking slobs with poor vision, and no direct visual scouting report on them out. Since then, the world changed for the better, and the game changed for the better.

With pitching specialists taking up more roster spots, it minimizes the number of specialists who can affect the game offensively and defensively.
You're really contradicting your previous statement that "baseball isn't a specialty game" here.

That doesn't even take into consideration the effect on a team of paying big money for a full-time DH when that DH adds minimally to the defense while limiting the team's defensive options, which is more to the point of the article that inspired this thread.
DING! DING! DING! DING!!! We've got a winner!!

When I was a kid, Chet Lemon was my favorite player. I didn't understand why the SOX were dumb enough to trade him away at the time. Then, one of the old-timers in the neighborhood told us kids, "Whenever you don't understand why something happens, it's usually about money."

It is the money that is a reason to not want to pay a DH. [Which is ridiculous, because good players should be paid well.]


You can say you don't want to see pitchers hit and pitchers weren't meant to hit professionally, even though they are often the best hitters on their scholastic teams.
Exactly what does that have to do with anything in the professional game? There are any number of valid explainations for this, not limited to:

1. The biggest kids usually pitch, and the biggest kids usually are the best hitters from little league into college.
2. Aluminum bats make it simplistic to hit in scholastic teams. The "sweet spot" on an aluminum bat is gargantuan.
3. The best athletes usually pitch in little league,high school, and into college, and the best athletes can become the best hitters at that level.


But if your argument is that the DH is a superior change in the game because baseball is a specialty game, you lose the argument.
Actually, you yourself have backpedalled from your "baseball is not a specialty game" statement. You've contradicted yourself here, on several occasions.

No one wants to watch failure. Pitchers trying to hit at a professional level is the definition of failure. You yourself have not explained why watching pitchers fail to hit makes for a superior game.

And if you're one of those people who don't watch baseball unless the White Sox are playing, I don't think you have any credibility or any standing to discuss the engineering of the game.
Ah yes, the "I am rubber, you are glue" argument. We haven't heard that one before.

It's cute for people who are unemployed, underemployed, or retired to admonish others for "not watching enough games." Some of us do not have unlimited time, unfortunately. But, I'm certain that those who only watch the White Sox have a good understanding of the game.

FielderJones
05-23-2011, 02:29 PM
This article is essentially saying that Ozzie was right in not having a dedicated designated hitter. As I have learned from WSI, that cannot possibly work and you must have an every day, slugging DH with high OPS. Therefore the article is bogus.

SI1020
05-23-2011, 03:17 PM
This article is essentially saying that Ozzie was right in not having a dedicated designated hitter. As I have learned from WSI, that cannot possibly work and you must have an every day, slugging DH with high OPS. Therefore the article is bogus. I don't think people were saying that at all. All I got from the controversy last year is that if you're going to have a designated hitter then he should be at least able to you know, be a decent hitter.

BringHomeDaBacon
05-23-2011, 03:38 PM
In other words, KW was bidding against himself for Dunn's services. Have fun paying him $30 mil for his age 33 and 34 seasons.

khan
05-23-2011, 03:41 PM
In other words, KW was bidding against himself for Dunn's services. Have fun paying him $30 mil for his age 33 and 34 seasons.

Perhaps. I see it more as a reactionary approach to stupidly not signing Thome @ ~$2.5M/yr after 2009.

Dumb and bad decisions generally come back to haunt a club for years to come. [Damn, wouldn't the ~$9.5m/yr or so look good being used to retain Putz and for other needs right about now?]

SI1020
05-23-2011, 03:41 PM
Indeed. We appreciate your view of history.

At the same time, many ballplayers were fat slobs that smoked. Very few players bothered to workout, lift weights, or to take care of their bodies.

I doubt you appreciate his or mine or anyone else's view of history. Once again I am reminded of why my career as a history teacher was so short and unhappy. If you get drivel like this from otherwise intelligent students what are you going to get from the average student or worse? Talk about a sweeping generalization. Too many of you view the past from some weird prism that combines condescension and a jaded sense of moral superiority resulting in a completely unreliable and inaccurate approach to understanding what really happened way back. It gets worse with each passing year. In the meantime it's great that all ballplayers today pump iron, eat granola, digitally analyze their swings and throws and are all in buffed shape like Prince Fielder and his father.

khan
05-23-2011, 03:49 PM
I doubt you appreciate his or mine or anyone else's view of history. Once again I am reminded of why my career as a history teacher was so short and unhappy. If you get drivel like this from otherwise intelligent students what are you going to get from the average student or worse? Talk about a sweeping generalization.
DING! DING! DING! DING!! We have a winner!

That's exactly what MY generalization was intended to be in response to Tdog's generalization.

Like it or not, I believe it to be very true that the overarching majority of players today are in much better shape than the overarching majority of players back then. Do you disagree?

At the same time, as smoking rates in society were much higher in the decades before the advent of the DH, there were also many more players that smoked back then. Again, do you disagree?


Too many of you view the past from some weird prism that combines condescension and a jaded sense of moral superiority resulting in a completely unreliable and inaccurate approach to understanding what really happened way back. It gets worse with each passing year.
This is cute. But, the questions remain:

Were ballplayers in worse shape back then than they are now? Did hitters suffer from the "we never saw this guy before" deficit, due to not actually having seen an opponent before? [Due to no video, internet, or TV to watch games from out of town.]

In the meantime it's great that all ballplayers today pump iron, eat granola, digitally analyze their swings and throws and are all in buffed shape like Prince Fielder and his father.
Indeed. Nothing quite like the "notable exceptions to the rule" argument. Thank you.

TDog
05-23-2011, 05:17 PM
I really appreciate your passion for this issue, even though I believe you are on the wrong side of it. [I am more than open to change my view, if your argument were at all compelling.]

...

I have no idea how anyone can look at baseball as a specialty game. Players have different roles and skills, but the manager doesn't always have the option of putting them into games in situations where they can get the most of those skills, as a coach would in football or basketball. There are specialists in the game, in some cases because of diminishing overall skills among people coming up in baseball, but managers have to use them use sparingly and situationally because they cannot re-enter the game after leaving even if the opposing manager counters with a specialist that nullifies the first specialist's skills. Rosters have not expanded to allow for baseball to be a game of specialists. The increasing number of pitchers who can only get out specific hitters limits the number of specialty hitters and defensive replacements a team can carry. That is more to the point of the discussion than whether the designated-hitter rule is good or bad.

Far from being a specialty game, baseball is the most democratic of American sports. In baseball, everyone bats in turn except for the pitcher in the American League and minor leagues that have adopted the American League rule. In most leagues with two National League affiliates playing each other, the pitchers hit. Pitchers seem to always hit in the games in Fresno in the PCL. In NCAA games, pitchers sometimes hit for themselves and remain in the game after they come out of the game defensively because the pitcher is the designated hitter. Even when they don't hit, another pitcher sometimes is being used as the designated hitter. In some leagues, you can designate a hitter for the catcher or shortstop or any other non-pitcher while the pitcher hits.

Seriously, I don't see how someone could not be looked at as having major league potential as a hitter if he broke many of Robin Ventura's hitting records at Oklahoma State, regardless of his potential as a pitcher. Ventura was one of the most honored players in NCAA history because of his hitting. Bobby Thigpen was the designated hitter on a team that featured both Will Clark and Rafael Palmiero. Before the White Sox drafted him, he was one of the leading hitters in a wood-bat summer league where he played first base and didn't pitch an inning. LaMarr Hoyt was being scouted by five major league teams at five positions. He ended up not hitting because he ended up a pitcher in the Yankees farm system. There are pitchers out there who would be decent hitters in the Gary Peters or Ken Brett mold if they had continued to develop their skills professionally.

I really like baseball. I used to be an advocate for the DH. The decrease in roster spots for position players and the fact that I find after all these years that I really enjoy non-DH baseball has changed my way of thinking. I like the fact that there are checks and balances to the game that don't exist with the designated hitter.

Particularly with the Sox going down the Adam Dunn road, and even before he turned out to be weaker at the plate than even I expected (people told me the strikeouts wouldn't matter, that the low batting average wouldn't matter etc., because of all the home runs), I have thought the White Sox would be a better, more entertaining team in a league without the DH, but maybe that changes if Adam Dunn goes on a tear.

Regardless, if you only watch White Sox baseball, if you don't like baseball enough to watch other teams play, it's irrelevant whether you dislike seeing the pitcher hit. You would be watching the White Sox whether they had a DH or not, and if they didn't have a DH, there wouldn't be an appreciable difference in their offense, despite the high salary going to a DH. It isn't like you are watching the Orioles and Mariners over the Rockies and Giants because the NL doesn't have the DH.

Find a replay of Sunday's A's-Giants game, played without a DH. That game stacks up against any played with a DH all season. (I mention it because it was probably the best game played Sunday. (Saturday's best game was between the Brewers and Rockies, and that will probably work, too.) The Sunday Giants-A's game in particular likely would have been diminished if it had been played with a DH.

khan
05-23-2011, 06:05 PM
I have no idea how anyone can look at baseball as a specialty game.
You keep saying this. But then, you undercut your own position by stating the following:

Players have different roles and skills, but the manager doesn't always have the option of putting them into games in situations where they can get the most of those skills, as a coach would in football or basketball. There are specialists in the game, in some cases because of diminishing overall skills among people coming up in baseball, but managers have to use them use sparingly and situationally because they cannot re-enter the game after leaving even if the opposing manager counters with a specialist that nullifies the first specialist's skills.
The bolded parts are examples of specialization in the game.

Again, you keep stating things that go counter to your original statement against baseball's specialization. Below are some more examples of you undercutting yourself:
Rosters have not expanded to allow for baseball to be a game of specialists. The increasing number of pitchers who can only get out specific hitters limits the number of specialty hitters and defensive replacements a team can carry.
Everything that you wrote [and I bolded] are more examples of specialization, not generalization in professional baseball that you yourself have provided.

That is more to the point of the discussion than whether the designated-hitter rule is good or bad.
You haven't made a compelling argument against the DH, other than "I think it's a better game."


In baseball, everyone bats in turn except for the pitcher in the American League and minor leagues that have adopted the American League rule.
See, you keep stating some variation of "only the AL and AL minor league affiliates use the DH," but every time you state this, it is factually incorrect. The overarching majority of professional leagues, both domestic and foreign, utilize a DH.

Seriously, I don't see how someone could not be looked at as having major league potential as a hitter if he broke many of Robin Ventura's hitting records at Oklahoma State, regardless of his potential as a pitcher.
And there must be reasons why they aren't major league hitters, right? I'll leave that to the scouts among us.

That said, who gives a rip about what happens in the NCAA, with metal bats? What does that have to do with the DH in the overarching majority of professional leagues?


I really like baseball. I used to be an advocate for the DH. The decrease in roster spots for position players and the fact that I find after all these years that I really enjoy non-DH baseball has changed my way of thinking.
I attribute your preference to nostalgia, coupled with the watering down of quality in depth due to MLB's expansions. Anyone who appreciates excellence would be against watching pitchers flail hopelessly in their AB.

MLB tickets are too expensive, and life is too short to watch some clown make themselves look like a 70 year old grandpa in their AB. If I wanted to watch that, there are plenty of 7 year olds in little leagues everywhere in America that can provide that to me, only for free.


Particularly with the Sox going down the Adam Dunn road, and even before he turned out to be weaker at the plate than even I expected (people told me the strikeouts wouldn't matter, that the low batting average wouldn't matter etc., because of all the home runs), I have thought the White Sox would be a better, more entertaining team in a league without the DH, but maybe that changes if Adam Dunn goes on a tear.
The SOX played without a DH in 2010, but stayed in the league that uses one.

I will agree that Dunn isn't making it look good, but part of that was his injury, part of it is him learning a new league, and part of it is his stupid manager putting him [and the team] into a position to fail.

Regardless, if you only watch White Sox baseball, if you don't like baseball enough to watch other teams play, it's irrelevant whether you dislike seeing the pitcher hit. You would be watching the White Sox whether they had a DH or not, [B]and if they didn't have a DH, there wouldn't be an appreciable difference in their offense, despite the high salary going to a DH.
So you REALLY want to debate a pitcher's abilities at the plate vs. a professional hitter?

See, I do watch plenty of baseball. And I HATE watching a pitcher strike out or ground weakly to the 2nd baseman. I HATE watching the 7th hitter get on base w/2 outs, the 8th hitter walked, and then the pitcher get struck out on 3 pitches.

In this example, a pitcher neutralized two spots in the lineup: the 9th, through his utter suckiness at the bat, and the 8th, through the intentional walk. Only a double play ball can do as much to stop the opposing offense.

I don't watch games to watch stupid managers make stupid decisions. I go to watch guys do things [hit/pitch/run/catch] that I and the other fat slobs in the stands CAN'T do.

Any one of us can look useless at the plate. But when you're paying good money, and investing good time in a game, the product had better be good. Pitchers trying to hit isn't good, no matter how you spin it.

Find a replay of Sunday's A's-Giants game, played without a DH.

That game stacks up against any played with a DH all season.
A single datum does not indicate causality. The quality of play has nothing to do with a single position. And a single game cannot speak entirely for or against the DH.

There are a lot of reasons why a game is "good" or not.

mzh
05-23-2011, 07:43 PM
All of these paragraphs are making my eyes hurt :stars:.

It's a 2 way street. Personally I am on the fence about the issue. I do think that the fact that one league has it and the other one doesn't, while a relatively recent addition, is a great example of the nuances of baseball you don't find in other sports. On the other hand, some of the same National League 'enthusiasts' who claim the NL is 'purer' baseball may also be the same ones crying foul when their star pitcher breaks a leg on the basepaths. Again, it's a 2 way street. Just my $.02

TDog
05-23-2011, 08:16 PM
...

There are a lot of reasons why a game is "good" or not.

Yes, there is. Removing the pitcher totally from the offense, removing the checks and balancing of having starting pitchers who throw inside accountable by sending them to the plate, removing the possibility of forcing a pitcher who can't help his team offensively in a scoreless game to be removed from a pinch-hitter diminishes the overall quality of the game. Having a lineup with a full-time designated hitter with questionable defensive skills diminishes the overall quality of your roster especially today when there are more late-inning pitching specialists who limit team's flexibly.

Baseball is not a specialty game. There are specialists who have evolved and can be used sparingly in the game's non-specialization context. But the designated hitter limits a team's ability to improve its defense with players off the bench. Even defensive replacements often come to bat in key situations in extra-inning games.

The A's-Giants game was such a good example of how good baseball can be because Nate Shierholtz pinch-hitting for the pitcher, which is what happens when you don't have the DH, tied the game in the eighth with a home run. Shierholtz isn't going to be a DH, not because he isn't a good hitter -- he has as many homers now as Adam Dunn -- but because he is a great defensive right fielder. In the last week, he has won at least two games against the Dodgers and A's with his glove and arm, throwing out runners. If he's DHing, he won't be coming out on defense. The winning run was scored by Darren Ford, the fastest man in baseball, who hit a pinch-single, stole second and scored on a hit by the defensive-replacement at shortstop.

Friday night, the Giants beat the A's after forcing Cahill out of a tie game in favor of a pinch-hitter. Saturday, the Giants fans cheered when Tim Lincecum came up to hit in the eighth with a 3-0 lead because they knew he was going out for the ninth to complete his shutout. I doubt any Giants fans were complaining that they would rather see Adam Dunn hit.

If you want a compelling argument for baseball without the DH, watch more baseball.

GoSox2K3
05-23-2011, 09:44 PM
I don't think people were saying that at all. All I got from the controversy last year is that if you're going to have a designated hitter then he should be at least able to you know, be a decent hitter.

Thank you!

Funny how people are reading that article to be a "vindication" of the Kotsay at DH fiasco.

khan
05-24-2011, 01:06 PM
Yes, there is. Removing the pitcher totally from the offense, removing the checks and balancing of having starting pitchers who throw inside accountable by sending them to the plate, removing the possibility of forcing a pitcher who can't help his team offensively in a scoreless game to be removed from a pinch-hitter diminishes the overall quality of the game.
I re-read this a few times, and in effect, you're trying to spin this as:

If you keep a guy who sucks at hitting from hitting, it makes the game worse. Huh? Then why have a professional game at all? Why not pay money to watch fat slobs who can't hit? There are plenty of games in the Cook County Forest Preserves for you.

As for the rest of us who enjoy watching excellence, the DH is the way to go.


Having a lineup with a full-time designated hitter with questionable defensive skills diminishes the overall quality of your roster especially today when there are more late-inning pitching specialists who limit team's flexibly.
Two things:

1. There's that bolded word again. You once again undercut your own view of baseball being a game for generalists.

2. Given the choice between a HOF hitter like Thomas or Thome and another ****ty utility IF in the roster, I'll take the HOF hitter. If you get your jollies from watching a ****ty player play, again, you can head over to the forest preserve to watch ****ty baseball all you like.



Baseball is not a specialty game. There are specialists who have evolved and can be used sparingly in the game's non-specialization context. But the designated hitter limits a team's ability to improve its defense with players off the bench. Even defensive replacements often come to bat in key situations in extra-inning games.
There you go again: Undercutting your own credibility with stating one thing, but PROVING the opposite.

Baseball is very much a game of specialization.


The A's-Giants game was such a good example of how good baseball can be because Nate Shierholtz pinch-hitting for the pitcher, which is what happens when you don't have the DH,
HUH? :scratch:

The DH in effect pinch hits for the DH full time. What are you talking about? :scratch:

Basically, not having the ****ty hitting pitcher hit is what pinch hitting and DHing are all about. You again have undercut your own position, and proved that the DH is superior. At a minimum, you've proven that watching pitchers suck at hitting is a waste of time with this example.


Shierholtz isn't going to be a DH, not because he isn't a good hitter -- he has as many homers now as Adam Dunn -- but because he is a great defensive right fielder.
Given a dumb enough manager, Shierholtz could be "tremendous" as a DH.

I think the SOX had a "tremendous" DH last year, didn't they?

In the last week, he has won at least two games against the Dodgers and A's with his glove and arm, throwing out runners. If he's DHing, he won't be coming out on defense.
And if the pitcher has to hit for himself, his team loses. Or, at a minimum, you're treated to watching the equivalent of a 70 year old at the bat, while having to pay MLB prices for the priviledge.

The winning run was scored by Darren Ford, the fastest man in baseball, who hit a pinch-single, stole second and scored on a hit by the defensive-replacement at shortstop.

Friday night, the Giants beat the A's after forcing Cahill out of a tie game in favor of a pinch-hitter.
1. There's that "specialization" thing again.
2. This does nothing to further your view of watching ****ty hitters hit being a good idea.

Saturday, the Giants fans cheered when Tim Lincecum came up to hit in the eighth with a 3-0 lead because they knew he was going out for the ninth to complete his shutout. I doubt any Giants fans were complaining that they would rather see Adam Dunn hit.
And the Texas Rangers fans also got to see their SP go out for the ninth for their CG shutout. And this, despite the DH being utilized by both managers What's your point?

If you want a compelling argument for baseball without the DH, watch more baseball.
I watch plenty of baseball. I merely haven't seen a compelling argument on your part:

1. You claim that this is a game without specialization, but then you undercut yourself with a laundry list of examples of specialists in the game.

2. You claim that you like to watch pitchers hit, but then your example of how it is so great [the As-Giants game] you throw out examples of PINCH HITTERS substituting for the pitcher.

3. Lastly, you employ the "I am rubber, you are glue" argument by claiming that others should watch more baseball. This argument didn't work in the 2nd grade, and it doesn't work now.


I'm open minded enough to try to see another's point of view. But, your view is poorly-supported, and not at all compelling.

TDog
05-24-2011, 03:47 PM
I'm not trying to put any spin on anything. I used to be an advocate for the DH, going back to the 1970s. I am expressing an opinion, telling you why I have changed my mind. People would rather see professional hitters hit than pitchers. I get that. But it's an oversimplification on the effect of the DH. The DH changes the game. The DH changes player development. That is the point I am trying to make as you take apart everything I write and dispute it out of context.

When you have the pitcher batting in the order, you don't always have the pitcher hitting. Late in the game you have pinch-hitters. A DH isn't someone who always pinch-hits for the pitcher. If he were (and the way it was according to first drafts of the proposed rule at the beginning of the 1970s), he would be batting ninth. Pinch-hitters were (are in the case of good National League teams) generally players with defensive skills as well. The Giants can assemble a better defensive outfield from their bench late in the game than the White Sox can put together from their roster. Sometimes Shierholtz starts, and he has been a much better left-handed hitter for the Giants than Dunn has been for the White Sox this year (Aaron Rowand has been a better hitter than Adam Dunn this year, but he's right-handed). When Shierholtz doesn't start,,he comes in for defensive when the Giants have the lead after six.

Part of my increasing disdain for the designated hitter is that the Giants, my nearby National League team, have devolved into a great team. They play the most exciting baseball I've seen in years, although fans sometimes complain about the lack of offense and manager Bruce Bochy being an idiot. The A's, like the White Sox, have an overpriced underachieving DH who adds little to the team, although he did win a game with an extra-inning home run (not unlike Chris Sabo when he was DHing for the Sox).

And perhaps the major reason I have come to loathe the DH is that the White Sox made a multi-year commitment to a player I have never liked as a hitter. And he's only a hitter. He doesn't help the team when he starts on defense. Build a strong team, and you can find a DH off the bench. That's the direction the White Sox should have gone instead of signing Adam Dunn. Build a team around a DH, at least around his bloated salary, stifle development of minor leaguers by bringing them through the system as DHs (that's something I don't know the White Sox are guilty of, though), and you stifle player development.

And maybe if there were no DHs in Monday night's White Sox-Rangers game, the Sox would have won and the game would have been more exciting. Certainly it couldn't have been any worse.

It really isn't the point that Dunn is better than Mark Kotsay was last year. Really, he isn't. Kotsay was hitting about .200 with four home runs, a couple of them game-changing in eventual one-run wins, at this point last year when people were demanding him out of the lineup. The point is that I have changed my views on the DH because of the way the DH has changed the game.

The DH isn't the natural order. It isn't the way we grew up playing baseball (although many people who grow up playing baseball now only do so on a game console, so maybe I'm ambitious with the we stuff). It has affected player development negatively, and it has changed the dynamics both of team rosters and the game between the lines.

I actually watch both American and National League baseball. I simply have come to believe I prefer to see the pitcher's spot come up in the order than the way American League baseball has evolved with the DH.

Frater Perdurabo
05-24-2011, 03:58 PM
NL-style baseball may be more aesthetically pleasing. It's a matter of taste. Reasonable people can agree to disagree. However, as a man-made creation, the game of baseball has no true "natural" state. It may have an "original" form, but lots of other changes have been made as well since it's "original" incarnation.

Sticking a poor defender who hits great at DH can work and has worked in the past.

Using the DH to rotate starting position players who also are good hitters can work and has worked in the past.

Obviously the DH doesn't work well when your poor-fielding slugger doesn't slug well (Dunn, 2011 Sox).

Obviously the DH doesn't work well when you let a player who otherwise wouldn't crack the starting lineup be your primary DH (Kotsay, 2010 Sox).

khan
05-24-2011, 04:12 PM
I'm not trying to put any spin on anything. I used to be an advocate for the DH, going back to the 1970s. I am expressing an opinion, telling you why I have changed my mind. People would rather see professional hitters hit than pitchers. I get that.
OK. We understand each other.


But it's an oversimplification on the effect of the DH. The DH changes the game. The DH changes player development. That is the point I am trying to make as you take apart everything I write and dispute it out of context.
Look, I'm not trying to make you feel badly, but you didn't argue your view persuasively. You did not support your view with good examples, and your rhetoric was driven more by nostalgia than by what is happening today.

While the DH changed the game, I've already accepted that the world changes over time, and so does the game. We will never go back to the way the world once was.

As such, we have two choices:

1. Accept change for what it is, or
2. Wish/hope the world would be what we want it to be.

The A's, like the White Sox, have an overpriced underachieving DH who adds little to the team, although he did win a game with an extra-inning home run (not unlike Chris Sabo when he was DHing for the Sox).

And perhaps the major reason I have come to loathe the DH is that the White Sox made a multi-year commitment to a player I have never liked as a hitter. And he's only a hitter. He doesn't help the team when he starts on defense. Build a strong team, and you can find a DH off the bench. That's the direction the White Sox should have gone instead of signing Adam Dunn. Build a team around a DH, at least around his bloated salary, stifle development of minor leaguers by bringing them through the system as DHs (that's something I don't know the White Sox are guilty of, though), and you stifle player development.
OK, then your disagreement shouldn't be with the position of DH. Your disagreement should be with the bad and dumb decisions on the part of OG and KW in recent seasons.

What I mean is that the DH should have been a platoon of Thome v RHP, and someone else v. LHP. The savings in salary [vs. paying Dunn] could/should have been used to acquire/retain/extend important pieces of the puzzle. Meanwhile, Viciedo could have been groomed as the heir apparent for Thome or Konerko.

Instead, OG decided that a ****ty 4th OFer was a good idea for a primary DH, and then KW reactively replaced the ****ty 4th OFer with the expensive Adam Dunn.

So, what could have been "solved" in-house for a relatively meager amount was instead solved by paying Dunn with big money and paying Washington with draft picks. In turn, the organization was harmed, in both the near and long term. [Full disclosure: I was and am in favor of Dunn being here, but ONLY after those morons decided to use Kotsay and to not re-sign Thome.]


The point is that I have changed my views on the DH because of the way the DH has changed the game.
I can understand this. But, given the alternatives, I prefer the DH.


The DH isn't the natural order. It isn't the way we grew up playing baseball (although many people who grow up playing baseball now only do so on a game console, so maybe I'm ambitious with the we stuff). It has affected player development negatively, and it has changed the dynamics both of team rosters and the game between the lines.

I actually watch both American and National League baseball. I simply have come to believe I prefer to see the pitcher's spot come up in the order than the way American League baseball has evolved with the DH.
Fair enough.

TDog
05-24-2011, 06:52 PM
My disagreement with the DH is because I don't like how it has changed the game.

Monday night, for example, if Josh Hamilton can't play the field, the game is scoreless and both teams probably pinch-hit for their starting pitchers before the Rangers run up the score to 4-0. Whatever, Monday night's game would have been different.

My disagreement with the DH is stronger because the White Sox, instead of building a better roster from which to select rotating DH duties, signed a multi-year deal with someone who to this point of the season has underperformed Mark Kotsay.

If Kotsay is an example of why the team needs a full-time slugging DH because he only hit .208 with 5 home runs through May, Dunn, who is going to be paid an average of $14 a year to do nothing but hit for four years and with a week left in May is hitting under .200 with 4 home runs in a season where his lack of hitting was an issue in a divesting April slump, would have to be an example of why a team should avoid a full-time slugging DH.

Build a strong team with a strong bench with the money you save by not paying for a full-time DH and you can play winning baseball regardless of whether your league plays with the DH. Teams are better off being able to rotate their DH.

That was the crux of my argument when I posted my hope that the White Sox wouldn't trade for Dunn mid-season last year. That was the crux of my argument when I expressed disappointment over the Dunn signing. That, I believed, was what we were discussing here before this thread became a matter of people who don't watch non-DH people talking about how they don't like the DH.

khan
05-24-2011, 07:05 PM
My disagreement with the DH is because I don't like how it has changed the game.
So, this is borne out of nostalgia, yes?

I hate to break it to you, but the world has changed, and it isn't going back to the way it once was. Some of this is good, as in not having segregation in MLB. Some of this is not as good, as in the prices to watch MLB games.

But, like it or not, the world has changed.

My disagreement with the DH is stronger because the White Sox, instead of building a better roster from which to select rotating DH duties, signed a multi-year deal with someone who to this point of the season has underperformed Mark Kotsay.

If Kotsay is an example of why the team needs a full-time slugging DH because he only hit .208 with 5 home runs through May, Dunn, who is going to be paid an average of $14 a year to do nothing but hit for four years and with a week left in May is hitting under .200 with 4 home runs in a season where his lack of hitting was an issue in a divesting April slump, would have to be an example of why a team should avoid a full-time slugging DH.

Build a strong team with a strong bench with the money you save by not paying for a full-time DH and you can play winning baseball regardless of whether your league plays with the DH. Teams are better off being able to rotate their DH.

That was the crux of my argument when I posted my hope that the White Sox wouldn't trade for Dunn mid-season last year. That was the crux of my argument when I expressed disappointment over the Dunn signing. That, I believed, was what we were discussing here before this thread became a matter of people who don't watch non-DH people talking about how they don't like the DH.
TDog, all of these 'graphs, particularly the bolded parts have little-to-nothing to do with your view of the position of DH, in all honesty. If Dunn were hitting anywhere near his career norms, you wouldn't be making any of those arguments.

That said, all of these graphs [particularly the bolded parts] speak more to your disappointment at KW's job performance than the DH position itself.

I happen to agree that bad, dumb, and expensive moves are stupid, wasteful, and harm an organization over the long term. In any case, all of your gripes with "building a better roster" could have/should have been solved by retaining Jim Thome for ~$2M/yr after 2009.

In other words, retaining the DH that they had, instead of making a stupid decision for "flexibility." [Or for WHATEVER dumb reasons they chose Kotsay over Thome.]

TDog
05-24-2011, 10:39 PM
So, this is borne out of nostalgia, yes?

I hate to break it to you, but the world has changed, and it isn't going back to the way it once was. Some of this is good, as in not having segregation in MLB. Some of this is not as good, as in the prices to watch MLB games.

But, like it or not, the world has changed.


TDog, all of these 'graphs, particularly the bolded parts have little-to-nothing to do with your view of the position of DH, in all honesty. If Dunn were hitting anywhere near his career norms, you wouldn't be making any of those arguments.

That said, all of these graphs [particularly the bolded parts] speak more to your disappointment at KW's job performance than the DH position itself.

I happen to agree that bad, dumb, and expensive moves are stupid, wasteful, and harm an organization over the long term. In any case, all of your gripes with "building a better roster" could have/should have been solved by retaining Jim Thome for ~$2M/yr after 2009.

In other words, retaining the DH that they had, instead of making a stupid decision for "flexibility." [Or for WHATEVER dumb reasons they chose Kotsay over Thome.]

Jim Thome likely wouldn't have helped the White Sox win more games if he got off to the same weak start with the Sox that he got off to with the Twins. Both only had five home runs through May. The White Sox didn't need Jim Thome to win in June and July, and Mark Kotsay was a .300 hitter in August when the bullpen collapse cost the White Sox the division.

My view on the DH has nothing to do the point of the article. I pointed out in my original point in this thread that my view on the DH was irrelevant because the DH isn't going anywhere.

But if you want compare the American League layering a gimmick on to baseball to improve attendance which was lagging well behind the National League's in the early 1970s to integrating baseball, you lose.

The DH has changed the game just as AstroTurf changed the game. Outdoor parks were being built with it four decades ago. Old Comiskey even had a synthetic infield in an effort to increase attendance. Fortunately, the traditionalist sentiment that held it had a negative effect on the game won the day.

People who go to National League games are not clamouring for the DH. Even the kids in the crowd seem to like seeing the pitcher in the lineup. There will be more major league games played without a DH than will be played with a DH, and it wouldn't surprise me if they are better attended.

Baseball is a different game with the DH, not because people have to endure the boredom watching a pitcher go down weakly (perhaps instead of seeing Adam Dunn strike out), but because it has a ripple effects beyond the pitcher having to hit.

The thing is, it's a purely academic argument. The American League isn't going to drop the DH (although in the current financial climate, American League owners probably would give it up if they could). The National League isn't going to adopt it, not only because the fans are against it, but because it would increase the salary of many bench players. I believe that for financial reasons, if the leagues merged, major league baseball would discontinue use of the DH. But that is only speculation, and, like my views on the DH, is irrelevant to the discussion.

I was disappointed the day Kenny Williams signed Adam Dunn. Frankly, I don't think that anyone who cheered the Dunn signing really has any grounds to complain about his performance.

Procol Harum
05-25-2011, 11:26 AM
My second thought was, "Geezing geezers everywhere will try to tell us that watching pitchers suck a horse's ass at hitting is a good idea, because 'that's the way they did it in MY day,' which is naturally better than today, because I'm an old fart."

Not this Geezer--the utter ineptitude and futility of seeing pitchers bat has been a long-time goad to my backing of the DH in the face of (usually National League fans') insistence on the need to ban the DH. To my mind, it's like the NFL insisting that for every 3rd down play the placekicker must be inserted at QB and must pass.

On a related aside, I heard Les Grobstein comment (and seriously) the other night about the White Sox' great knuckleballer Wilbur Wood having wielded a good bat--nothing could be further from the truth!! Wilbur Wood was maybe the worst hitting pitcher I ever saw back in the day. Grobstein is usually great with his memory and factoids but I don't know what the heck he was talking about with that--according to Baseballreference.com Wood had a lifetime ba of .084...

SI1020
06-13-2011, 08:11 PM
This one's for you khan. I lifted it from Dump Jerry's post on another thread.

http://sports.yahoo.com/mlb/blog/big_league_stew/post/Photo-Todd-Coffey-8217-s-throwback-uniform-war?urn=mlb-wp9304

He's far from the only one in baseball today.