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Designated Hitter In The National League – Good Idea?

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Play Ball!

American League baseball as pictured is inferior to the National League

There has been talk lately about the National league adopting the Designated Hitter rule that the American League has been using since the 1973 season. This is a discussion of whether or not it is a good idea.  First of all, let me tell you that I am biased towards the National League rules but will do my level best to maintain objectivity.

I had a hypothesis about why this is bad thinking it would drive up salaries by creating 1 more starting position for the National League. This turns out to be wrong since I compared tram payrolls for the NL versus the AL and the NL has a higher payroll in 2013 and 2014 and slightly less than the AL in 2015. I decided to look at the last 3 years since before that; Houston was in the National League and there were 14 AL teams and 16 NL Teams.   Going back to 2011 and looking at average team payroll for the AL and NL the evidence was not strong that the DH increased payrolls for the AL.

I also looked at the competitive balance between the two leagues and found that since the DH was implemented in 1973 in the AL, they have a 23-19 record in the World Series. That is a .548 winning percentage but a relatively small sample size.  If you compare pre and post DH records the AL is 23-19 or a 54.76 winning % in the post DH era.  They are 41-28 or a 59.42 winning % in the pre DH era.  They actually did worse with the DH.  That is interesting but not reason for the NL to claim the DH hurts competitive balance.  I think the Yankees and their 27 championships are skewing results.  Think about that number for a minute that represents 24.32% of all championships.   The Yankees need to take a few decades off from the World Series.

Since I could not come up with a business reason for the Banning of the DH I decided to ponder this issue a little further. After I thought about it I decided that most of my reasoning was based on tradition and emotion and if those were the only reasons, it might not be fair to support a ban on the DH.

After reconsidering my position I came up with some good reasoning why the DH rule should be banned. See my list below for your consideration:

  • Since 1973 our national debt has increased by 17 Trillion dollars
  • Since 1973 the U.S. steel and automotive industry has been decimated by foreign competition
  • In 1973 full service filling stations were ubiquitous and now are non-existent*. I prefer someone pumping my gas and checking my oil and filling my tires if needed to doing it by myself.  Since it was the norm this was included in the price!     *- except for New Jersey
  • Pete Rose – before the DH is Charlie Hustle after is Charlie Cheater
  • Since 1973 we lost the 1994 World Series to a player’s strike/owner’s lock out and then were treated to the steroid era.
  • Before 1973, Bobby Bonds. After 1973, his son who shall not be named!  I will give you a clue – he was the player before steroids who could not throw out one-legged Sid Bream at the plate in the 1992 NL Championship series. 
  • Before the DH no inter-league play until the World Series was played. After the DH; Detroit plays Pittsburgh every year because they are “rivals”.  I guess the 1909 World Series qualifies as a rivalry?  They never played after that Series until inter-league play began. 
  • Since 1973 the popularity of the game as compared to other sports has decreased which was the reason they put it in as a rule in the first place!

As you can see, the DH has ruined almost everything good and the proliferation of it to the National League could prove to be disastrous. Have a great week.


Written by pacelinebiz

February 21, 2016 at 12:11 pm

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