Despite the baseball season being just a few months away, there are still major decisions left to be made.
Last season, among the many other changes to the shortened season, every team in MLB featured a designated hitter for the first time in league history. That decision was made just for the 2020 season. However, it was never decided one way or the other if the DH would also be used for the 2021 season or any year after that.
While the universal DH has been a hot topic for years, fans in both the National and American League appear to be coming to the same conclusion – the era of hitting pitchers should end. According to the most recent SB Nation Reacts survey, nearly three-fourths of fans want the universal DH for the 2021 season. Two-thirds of fans want it in place permanently.
I’m still largely unconvinced: did anyone really enjoy the 2020 season significantly more because of its presence? Maybe I’m biased, because the position failed abjectly to perform as advertised for the Diamondbacks. Rather than being an offensive horn of plenty, Arizona’s DH’s hit just two home-runs and drove in 21, both figures the lowest of any spot on the diamond. with a SLG of only .330, also the worst by any position. Though some teams did get better power results, across the entire National League, designated hitters still only batted .235, the worst spot on the diamond.
Despite the majority opinion growing in favor of the DH, the debate at the heart of the matter still rages on. One of the most-used arguments in favor of allowing pitchers to hit is the managerial decisions and in-game adjustments needed late in NL games. According to the survey, while a clear majority would rather see consistent offense over double-switches and late-game adjustments, the split is much closer to 50-50.
Apparently is IS all about #MoreDingerz. Yeah, not interested. It’s the depth and complexity of baseball which is its beauty to me, not some past his prime guy, unable to play a position any more, trotting around the bases at a glacial pace. While the universal DH obviously isn’t a death blow, let’s be clear that it does make the game less appealing to me, and I think it’s a dubious, short-term benefit. In a world with ever more alternative entertainment options, and with my enthusiasm for the sport already at the lowest it has been since I moved to America in 2000, that’s not a good thing.
To vote in the Reacts surveys and have your voice heard each week, sign up here.