July 15, 2011

Let's Compromise

I think I've finally figured out how to settle this whole AL-NL rules divide so that we can have six even divisions of five teams apiece, and all playing under the same set of rules. Here it is: the DPH.

Let him play!
Simply put, one of the biggest hurdles to unifying the leagues into one big, happy family is the fact that guys like Vlad Guerrero, Hideki Matsui, and David Ortiz can't play the field anymore, and if the DH is abolished, then whither these veteran sluggers? 

Add to that the fact that National League owners and fans don't want to lose the "strategy options" that having the pitcher hit provides.

So here's my idea: the DH is abolished and the pitcher bats ninth in all major league games -- excepting, of course, when Tony LaRussa does his pitcher-bats-eighth schtick. As is the case now, whenever the manager wants, he can pinch-hit for the pitcher and once this happens, the pitcher is out of the game. 
As long as I can still find a way to use this rule in a zany way...
Here's the difference: the next time the pitcher's spot comes into play the manager can once again use this same pinch-hitter (henceforth known as the DPH) to bat for the current reliever, which also forces him to remove the pitcher from the game. If he wants the pitcher to stay in the game, he has to let him bat, which will officially remove the DPH from being eligible to hit again in the contest (but he is then free to pinch-hit for future pitcher at-bats as he would any other position, in the current NL-style of play.)

I think this is a perfect compromise solution... it keeps an element of strategy in play, but also enables a "big bat/no glove" guy to get multiple at-bats in a ballgame. Comments welcome...

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