Rozner: Angry about the DH coming to the National League? Keep it to yourself.

  • Kyle Schwarber frequently fills the role of designated hitter for the Chicago Cubs, like he did during the 2016 World Series against the Cleveland Indians.

    Kyle Schwarber frequently fills the role of designated hitter for the Chicago Cubs, like he did during the 2016 World Series against the Cleveland Indians. John Starks | Staff Photographer

 
 
Updated 6/29/2020 5:58 AM

You're stupid.

Sorry. It's a little harsh, yes. Just preparing you for what's next.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

If you like the National League without the designated hitter, you're stupid.

We know this to be true because if you toss this out on social media, especially Twitter, and admit that you like National League baseball the way it has been played, the mob will find you -- and bury you.

The mob decides what you must think and how you must feel. The Twitter mob knows all and you must conform. It is not a place for freedom of thought. Conform or you will be called before the townspeople with the rest of the pitcher-hitting witches.

You must not like strategy. You must not like a manager forced to think. You must not like a general managed pushed to find enough arms. You must not like tradition. And above all else, you must not love baseball.

Baseball is archaic in every way and you are a dinosaur if you still love watching it played at a leisurely pace, too old to think for yourself if you enjoy a game without the designated hitter.

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Even if you are in high school or college and you grew up enjoying the NL style and watching managers put to a decision, you are nevertheless old and foolish.

And, of course, you are stupid.

The National League will employ the DH this season because it is safer amid the pandemic. No one has really explained exactly how this red herring keeps players safer, but you don't need an explanation. Rob Manfred has decided this is prudent so do not ask questions.

Of course, it's really just a way to open the door. MLB wants the DH in both leagues permanently because this is absolutely the answer to all of its problems. In the future, the DH will increase attendance and boost TV ratings.

All hail the DH and how it will save the game.

Whether it happens in 2021 -- or 2022 after the new CBA is agreed upon -- the DH is coming and there is nothing you can do to stop it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

Houston skipper Dusty Baker played 17 of his 19 years in the National League and managed all 22 years in the NL until now, and he is not a fan.

"I think it's a good idea for this year, but I'm not crazy about it for both leagues," Baker told the Los Angeles Times. "To me, it's sending some kids wrong messages about if you don't have a position, don't even try. Just be a DH. And, to me, you should try to play a position."

Baker is a progressive and even he sees this as the ultimate baseball participation trophy. It's absolutely appropriate for the times, a safe space in the lineup for someone so bad at his job that he can't play the field.

One of the grand virtues of baseball, before the DH, was that each player was responsible for his own game both at the plate and in the field, and over time there have been many terrible defensive players who turned themselves into good or even great defensive players -- Gold Glove quality players -- through hard work.

This is not possible for all, but it is possible. In the cases where it was not, the calculation for a GM and manager was whether it was worth the defensive cost to have a great offensive player in the lineup.

It forced these execs to think about how to construct a team. This also allowed fans to think along with them, before, during and after games. Especially in the postseason, forcing managers to make a call in the middle of a game was particularly fascinating for all managing the game from a couch.

Joe Maddon often said it was the very best part of the game for him -- even when you disagreed with him.

Nevertheless, those now running the game don't really care about its past or its future. Its history to you may be invaluable, might be the link to your mom or dad who taught you the game, who sat with you and explained the humility it takes to fail so often and persevere just enough to succeed.

Maybe even on its greatest stage.

Those who scream at you, who shout you down on social media when you try to explain that, will skewer you for wanting to see a pitcher hit a few times a game. They will boil it down in that fashion, oversimplify the argument to embarrass you, when clearly that is not your point.

It's not about wanting to see a pitcher hit, not that the mob will listen. Pitchers are batting less than they ever have because they are pitching less than they ever have, and the difference between the leagues in runs per game over the last five years is about a tenth of a run per contest.

In 2019, American League teams scored .11 runs per game more than National League teams.

The truth is, in terms of scoring, the game will not change all that much when the National League adds the DH permanently. It will, however, change the strategy and the way in which you view the game.

Those in favor will point to this and say, "See, what's the big deal? Just do it already."

While those against will say, "If it's not a big deal, why must you alter my baseball the way I like it?"

The difference is the former will find the latter on Twitter and the mob will have its way. This is life in a social media world.

So do yourself a favor if you're angry about the National League adding the DH. Keep it to yourself.

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