The official rules of Major League Baseball, Rule 1.01, states clearly:
“Baseball is a game between two teams of nine players each …..”
I’ve been trying to wrap my arms around the designated hitter since it was first introduced by the American League back in 1973, but Official Rule, 1.01, that first rule of baseball, keeps getting in the way. The Designated Hitter Rule got thrown into MLB Miscellany as an official rule which states that a hitter may be designated to bat for the starting pitcher in any game. This came about in 1973 and the “any game” thing meant not only the American League but also the National League.
This was news to me. I never realized the National League had a choice in the matter. But for some reason I can’t explain I’ve always thought the National League to be just a little superior in that they played the game with nine players as the game was originally intended to be played, not with the ten players the AL chose to protect their prima donna pitchers from getting a little ruffled.
There’s so much information on this subject it’s definitely good for a full-blown blog, but I’m rather limited with time constraints, being away on vacation this week, so will tickle this ahead for another day. But basically here’s the gist of it:
1) If your favorite team’s a member of the American League, you favor the DH.
2) If your favorite team’s a member of the National League, you don’t!
And that my friends is about as scientific as this discussion is likely to get.
Now back to that Mai Tai …..
- Should the National League Adopt the Designated Hitter During All Interleague Games? (nesn.com)
- Designated Hitter Rule Here To Stay, Could Be National League-Bound In 2013 (rantsports.com)
- Baseball Rant: Interleague Play (theeverydad.wordpress.com)
- Counterpoint: Interleague Play A Win For Baseball (dfw.cbslocal.com)
- Doumit returns to lineup as designated hitter (mlb.mlb.com)