My soul has been stirred fellow Base Ball lovers.
Yes it is I, HBT Opinion Giver, preeminent Base Ball Scholar and member of the Royal Society for the Advancement and Preservation of Base Ball History and Folklore, Coppersville Montana Chapter.
I have received the news from across the wire that during Base Ball’s vaunted Winter Meetings, the most holiest of all Winter Meetings, Major League Base Ball is considering making the Designated Hitter rule universal to both the American (Junior) and National League (Senior Circuit).
But why stop at just one Designated Hitter?
On January 11, 1973 the very fabric of Base Ball was split in two, like a soul being separated from its body. The American League teams voted to alter our National Pastime forever and allow teams the use of one DH during a game. The National League said “Nay. We will hold true to what makes Base Ball , Base Ball”.
Proponents of this rule change argued then and still argue now that baseball is better, more fun, more exciting with a DH for the pitcher. Pitchers can’t possibly be asked to be both competent hurlers and batsmen. It’s too much!!!! They are delicate tacticians that must be allowed to dedicate all their time and energy to mastering their craft of throwing a ball.
Well if that’s the case and the end goal is the Most Fun possible version of Base Ball then why just one DH. Why not three? Or Five? Or nine?
And why stop there? Let’s make Base Ball as much fun as it could possibly be. How about you let teams have two completely separate line-ups! One for fielding and one for batting. That would be the most fun ever!
Why require Base Ball players to master all aspects of playing Base Ball when it would be such a better, more exciting sport if everyone just mastered one skill instead.
And why stop at just Designated Hitting?
How about each team gets to put Two players at each position – one to field the ball and one to throw it. Just imagine how much better players would be at throwing to First Base if they did not have to worry about that pesky business of catching the ball. Just imagine the throws!!! Oh I shudder to think about all the amazing throws we Base Ball fans have missed out on all these hundred of years just because we are making these poor souls field the ball as well as throw it. The humanity!
On January 11, 1973 Base Ball ceased to be. In its place we were given “entertainment”. The chess match of the Dirt Diamond, the epic struggle of 9 souls vs 9 souls played out over 9 innings was forever altered. The symmetry, the poetry, the beauty lost and gone forever. The last 40 years have been mere prelude to this moment now. So why continue to kid ourselves. Just give in to the hedonism, the gluttony, the fun – pitch clocks, robot umpires, ban the shift – do it all. And add in 9 Designated Hitters contesting a Home Run Derby each night for good measure. Why the hell not? It’d be so much fun right?