December 16, 2009

Viva Micah Owings!

This year's winner of the Edgar Martinez Award was Toronto's Adam Lind. Never heard of the award? It's not exactly the Cy Young, but it has been around for about 35 years. It goes to the top designated hitter. It was only renamed for Martinez in 2004 after his retirement. (Martinez had won the award five times in his career.)

Nothing against Lind, but his winning this award is just another reason why the DH has outlived its usefulness. Lind's stats exclusively as a DH were modest at best: 21 home runs and 74 RBIs in 95 games. Yet in what amounts to only a little more than half a season at the position, he still bested all comers. In fact, only six players (Lind, Jack Cust, Jason Kubel, Hideki Matsui, David Ortiz and Luke Scott) met the following criteria: 80 games at DH, 20 or more overall homers, and 60 or more runs and RBIs. Yawn!

It's time for the DH to go the way of the dinosaur. After all, it's really only an excuse for teams to squeeze a slugger who has no other baseball ability - I'm talking about you, Big Papi - into their lineup, and in this "steroid era" you're simply sending the wrong message by continuing its use.

Plus, getting rid of the DH will allow for realignment into six even divisions of five, and interleague games can be spread out over the course of the season, unlike the current process where for every Yankees-Mets or Cubs-White Sox series, we're subjected to an endless run of Royals-Bucs and Marlins-Athletics snooze-fests.

Bud Selig's new "committee" can make this recommendation, and I hope they do.

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