As a sport that often relies on its history and tradition, Major League Baseball is considering a significant change that could take place as early as 2017.
With offensive numbers down, there’s a growing sentiment the designated hitter will be added to the National League.
The American League has used a DH since 1973. In order for the change to be implemented, it would need to be included in the next collective bargaining agreement.
The current agreement expires Dec. 1, 2016. A vote was held in 1980 to determine then if the NL would add the DH.
Prior to the recent discussions involving the DH, Los Angeles Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw voiced his support for maintaining the status quo in the NL.
However, a DH becoming mandatory in both leagues is appealing to the players’ association as it would entail more well-paying roster spots.
Should the NL adopt the DH? The DodgerBlue.com staff weighed in:
Stacie Wheeler (@organicallyrude):
Kershaw’s Opening Day home run in 2013 was one of my favorite sports memories of all-time. If the NL had the DH implemented then, that glorious moment would have never happened.
The DH should not be adopted in the NL. Even though he is now with Arizona, I enjoyed the occasional Zack Greinke bat flip. Madison Bumgarner, albeit an annoyance to Dodgers pitchers, is also a fine hitter.
Understandably, with Interleague play, the integration of the DH could balance out the two leagues and protect pitchers. Yet, there is something to be said about the nuances of the NL, which are enjoyable to watch.
Admittedly, my argument is based partly on traditionalism and nostalgia, but I also relish those unpredictable moments in the game when Brett Anderson hits a double on a short fly ball to left field or when NL managers try to outsmart each other with late-inning double switches.
Eric Avakian (@AvakEric):
I am against it. Like Kershaw said recently, being a professional baseball player entails batting for yourself and fielding your position. Baseball is a game of rich tradition and has thrived on long-time consistency.
In my opinion, an NL pitcher must understand the concept of hitting. During Interleague play the attention factor of NL teams playing with a DH or a pitcher from an AL team hit, draws in crowds.
While there are pitchers like Scherzer who are in favor of the designated hitter, Bumgarner and Kershaw are among those who oppose it.
The drop in offensive production in the NL should be credited to the stellar pitching just as much as hitters are discredited. All in all, the distinction between the two leagues is what makes baseball such a strategic game.
CONTINUE READING: Arguments In Support Of Adding the DH to the NL