Flat out: I am a designated hitter (DH) hater. Since the professional baseball teams in the American League started using this concept many years ago, it hasn’t overjoyed me.
The idea is based on the “fact” that pitchers can’t hit and therefore shouldn’t have to hit. This year (2022) the National League has gone along with the DH idea. Now, a player can hit for the pitcher in both leagues and that alleviates the pitcher from having to pick up a bat. It also relieves the designated hitter from having to play the field.
First off, why can’t pitchers learn to hit? In games in high school and across the country at almost all levels some of the best hitters on a team are in fact the pitchers. One of the greatest pitchers of all time, Babe Ruth, was also the greatest hitter of all time. Sadly, they retired him from pitching so he could play the field and hit.
Fine, fine, maybe you buy into the idea of a pitcher not having to hit. I don’t like the idea, obviously, but I think I lost that argument long ago.
But I have another idea: Why do we need the DH at all? Okay, the pitchers don’t have to hit. Fine. But why do we have to throw in another player to hit instead? Don’t do that. We don’t need a designated hitter at all.
That’s great, right, no DH: “So let it be written, so let it be done.” (The 10 Commandments movie.) That’s right. Eliminate the DH and go to (here comes my really, really radical idea) an eight-player lineup. Why do we need nine players to hit when eight would probably make every team’s lineup a better one?
I would prefer to see Aaron Judge and Mike Trout and other high-powered hitters get an extra shot at bat with an eight-player lineup. “Eight hitters” is the best idea! Get rid of the DH. I think it would make the game much stronger too.
Most DHs are not assets to a team as are the other eight hitters. They are often older players playing out the string, or poor fielders who wouldn’t make the team if not for the DH, or you can add any other reason which you imagine.
Look, the teams would save money and the fans would get to see the better hitters.
Therefore, as a designated hitter hater, I call for the end of said DH and an inauguration of an eight-player line-up.
Baseball would be far better for doing this.
So I have written it and “so let it be done!”