MLB: DEC 13 Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig Reacts to the Mitchell Report on Steroids in baseballBud Selig says he would “listen” to discussions about changing the designated hitter rule. Of course, that doesn’t mean Selig is going to change the DH rule before he leaves office next year, but it is progress.

I have been saying for a while, adding the DH to the National League is inevitable at this point, it is just a matter of convincing the NL owners to play along.

While fans of double-switches and 11.1% less offense will wax poetic about the greater game and the increase in strategy, that is not why NL owners are hanging on to the antiquated rules. The fact is, eliminating the DH in the National League means owners will have to replace a bench player with a starting DH. And in most cases, DHs make a lot more money than the 25th guy sitting at the end of the bench. The other option is to get rid of the DH in the American League. That won’t happen for the same reason. That is, the players’ union is not going to allow AL clubs to get rid of 15 starting jobs in favor of 15 more bench players that make the league minimum. And let’s face it, the players’ union as a whole is more powerful than a non-unified group of owners.

The move also became inevitable when the Astros moved to the AL creating balanced leagues. That move requires at least one interleague match-up at all times and it is silly that these games are not being played without a uniform set of rules. Pitchers hitting is probably not going away anytime soon, but it is going away. It is just a matter of time.

THE JUNKYARD DOGS WEBTOPIA

  • Jonny Gomes had a big home run to help the Red Sox even up the World Series. [BostonGlobe.com]
  • Jon Lester will start game 5 for the Red Sox. Any chance he will have the green stuff in his glove this time? [BI Sports]
  • All those beards in the World Series? Blame Jonny Gomes. [BI Sports]
  • The Gold Gloves are silly awards. But if you enjoy recognition for the Rays, all four Rays infielders are finalists for the award at their position this year.
  • Sounds like Dave Martinez is no longer a candidate for the Cubs job and didn’t even get a second interview. [Ken Rosenthal]
  • Dave Martinez is a candidate to be the next manager of the Nats. [Marc Topkin]
  • Dave Martinez may also be an “under-the-radar” candidate for the Tigers’ vacant managerial position. [mlive.com]
  • Here is another list of potential trade suitors for David Price and the prospects that would have to be included. [HardballTimes]
  • A Q&A with Dave Wills. [ABCActionNews]
  • Portland is not getting the Rays or any other MLB team. They missed their window already and if the Rays do move it will be someplace else. [ShadowoftheStadium]
  • Cam Newton and Steve Mariucci did not react well to the Bucs’ cannon during the Thursday night game. [BI Sports]
  • Might we see a Bucs-Jon Gruden reunion? Chucky wants to coach again and the Bucs’ losing ways bother him. [JoeBucsFan]

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17 Comments

  1. Gus says:

    I’ll say since it here no one else will say the obvious: Ortiz is on some kind of late career steroid blitz and he is on a cycle for the World Series here (knowing he wa sin the clear after his last in-season test). It reminds me of the mid-2000s (pre and/or weak-testing period) when you just couldn’t get Manny or Ortiz out; or when Manny first showed up in LA and they couldn’t get him out. Or Bonds, obviously.

    The only reasonable PED policy in baseball is to establish a challenge system where opposition teams can ask for PED testing on demand (and get quick results). When a guy is seeing the ball like Ortiz (and yes, PEDs help your vision), it is better to just walk him (although that cost the Cardinals last night).

  2. Political_Man says:

    I think there is a compromise position for the DH and I’ve heard absolutely no one mention it as a possibility. I’d like to see the rule evolve to bind the DH to the starting pitcher. When the starting pitcher leaves the game, so must the DH. I feel this would be the best of both worlds. It would put a position player in place of the pitcher in the early innings but still allow for the double switch and managerial changes most say they would miss with the inclusion of the DH. Furthermore, the players union would get 15 more DH’s in the NL and the owners would have at least one position that is at least somewhat cost controlled. This would also have the added effect of rewarding teams who’s starting pitchers can go more innings.

    What do you guys think?

    • OriginalTom says:

      Interesting, I have never heard of that idea.

    • Mr. Smith 1980 says:

      And if the starter gets the hook after 1 inning, then what?

    • Beth says:

      How exactly does this make anything better?
      So we no longer have starting pitchers batting, but relief pitchers all have to bat? And your team needs to have a player at DH, but he’ll only play half a game?

      There’s a good reason no one has mentioned this possibility.

      • Political_Man says:

        Relief pitchers very rarely bat in the National League. In most cases they are pinch hit for or double switched. The reason it isn’t done for starting pitchers should be obvious.

        To your second point it would for all intents and purposes eliminate the “DH only” player. If want to allow the DH who starts the game to move into the field to replace another player, I think that’s a viable option.

        To answer your question, it makes things better because the anti-DH crowd sees the DH as removing a number of decisions from the manager in late innings and the pro-DH crowd sees the pitcher hitting as a bad thing (for a number of perceived reasons.) The rule I’ve suggested addresses each of those arguments for 95% of all games played.

  3. Gus says:

    Gomes’ statement that he wears #5 for Rocco warmed my heart this am. I think all of us who followed Rocco feel a connection there — of unknown potential, cut short. Nice move to wear his old #5. He never became “our Dimaggio” on the field, but he is a good person off the field and that is ultimately more important.

    As for Papi, if a manager can ask the umpire to examine Jon Lester’s glove to determine if he is cheating, why can’t a team ask for a PED screen? The national press can close their eyes and believe a 37-year old guy with seemingly limited fitness is swinging like he is Lou Gehrig/Babe Ruth in their primes, but I can’t. This is like watching Lance Armstrong riding into Paris drinking champagne. A complete joke.

  4. Mr. Smith 1980 says:

    As for Papi, players in his situation have nothing to lose by juicing. Last season his career seemed all but over (or at least largely diminished), so the choice to use PED’s is an easy one… stay clean and end my career or get juiced and hope I don’t get caught. If I get caught I get a big suspension and I can just cash-out and call it a career, stay clean and I’m done anyways. Nothing to lose, except dignity (but obviously that’s not a concern for most of these fellas).

  5. Dave L says:

    Watching these playoffs and WS made me come to one conclusion. I dont know why everybody is taking the high road on this but somebody has to take a stand.

    Bucholtz walks around 4 days a week in baseball season like a normal looking guy with a ridiculous curly mop. The the one day he pitches his mop is dripping with some mysterious shit and nobody seems to care. Its so blatant. At least Peralta had the decency to hide his stuff in his glove

    Maddon needs to declare in Spring training that we arent going to put up with it. The first time we play the Sox and Bucholltz or Salty come out with that crap in thier hair and the first time they touch their hair with their fingers after the Play ball announcement he needs to come out of the dugout and make a stink.

    $5 says Bucholtz cuts off his mop the day after the goddamn Parade.

    Papi does look like a second prime Bonds. You cannot throw him a pitch right now at any speed anywhere in the strike zone or he will crush it.

    In theory everybody in the WS is juicing right now. If you cant get caught and it will help, why not do it? The Rays stars wilted 2 weeks ago and these guys are in midseason health and form on game 180 or whatever.

    They stayed incredibly healthy all season and even now— thats what it takes.

    • Gus says:

      http://www.bostonglobe.com/sports/2013/05/07/red-sox-slugger-david-ortiz-says-hard-work-not-steroids-has-him-torrid-pace/G5lIcF9HOmUYJECJyd9zrO/story.html

      Boston Globe (not Pravada, but close) even asked the question back in May when he was merely hot; this stretch he is just ridiculous, but no baseball writer even dares bring it up now. Have another free hot dog Topkin; ciricize some fans for not coming to games Gammons while you bask in the press area.

      A shame that the World Series is being decided, in essence, by one ridiculous hitter who, to my eyes and anybody with any insight into history and PED use, is cheating in plain sight. Awful.

      • Dean says:

        When it’s all said and done, it will come out that this freak juiced.

        Bank on it.

      • Beth says:

        I was willing to give Ortiz the benefit of the doubt until I saw the video of him bashing the bullpen phone in Baltimore after he disagreed with a strike call.

        Who gets that violently angry after a rather routine, if disappointing, strike out? Either he’s a psychopath, or he’s undergoing some interesting hormonal changes making him behave like one.

        • Gus says:

          Just look at his career #s, look at his age, look at the baseball reference historical comps (at age 24, his #1 comp was Casey Kotchman!), look at his head, look at past baseball history with this kind of thing — coming off an achillees injury, a last place season, an incentive laden contract.

          I see Cork wrote something on Ortiz today in Business Insider and some Forbes guy wrote something calling you a “hater” if you raise the issue, and I heard that ESPN Radio had Cowherd ranting about it (although I didn’t hear his show yet), so maybe people are waking up to it, I just know that if that guy is taking the MVP trophy, we will be in a new, sadder era of PED use — an era where few care and baseball is powerless to stop it.

          • Beth says:

            Clearly MLB’s testing regime leaves much to be desired. Most of those suspended based on Biogenesis records never tested positive.

          • Dave L says:

            Unfortunate fact.

            Unless there is a test sometime this year during the season or post season which backs up yours and Corks accusation, it will all taste like a bitter wine fermented from sour grapes by Rays homers online to the greater public and who can blame them?

            You can only hope that Papi is caught sometime between now and the end of his career and you both will become sudden soothsayers instead of whiners.

            If they do I will be the first to congratulate you and Cork and I would love for him to get caught if he is DIRTIER THAN EVERYBODY ELSE. Sorry for the caps but there is no underline feature to show emphasis

            .

        • mp645 says:

          Great that you remembered the “roid rage” which certainly is telling of what he is taking! great I will try to find the MLB vidio and save it.

  6. Dave L says:

    So the post mortem for Rays 2013 is a WC game win and a definitive division loss in addition to 4 “Silver Gloves”

    Now i know what it feels like to kiss the sister I never had.

    Still beats <2008 though and at our financial constraints 2013 was a success in my book.

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