MLB commissioner Rob Manfred has made a series of changes to help improve the popularity of the sport since attendance and television ratings have dropped over recent seasons.
A lot of the big changes he implemented have had to do with pace of play, such as limiting the number of mound visits for each team and getting rid of the need to throw four pitches for an intentional walk.
One topic that has been discussed at length is potentially adopting the designated hitter rule in the National League, to mirror the on-field product with what’s seen in the American League and in effort to increase excitement.
“I think since I became involved, and this may give too much credit to my deal-making ability, I could have made a deal with the MLPBA on extending the DH to the National League,” Manfred said. “I think that’s been a pretty consistent position of the players since 1987, so I don’t think there’s a real headline there. The most likely outcome at this point would be the status quo.”
Manfred cited the NL fans’ love for how the game is currently played as a primary reason that he doesn’t want to see the rule changed. He further explained such a switch would mean the NL style of baseball becomes extinct.