Tag Archive: sports

My Proposal to Fix Major League Baseball

This time of year is known as the Hot Stove League to baseball fans.  Last week MLB announced the sale of the Houston Astros, and their move from the National League to the American League in 2013.

Until interleague play began in 1997 the only time American League (AL) and National League (NL) teams played each other was in the World Series, since 1997 it has been a regular feature of the MLB season.  With this move of the Astros to the AL both the AL and NL will both have 15 teams making  interleague play a daily occurrence on the MLB schedule.

The AL and NL play with slightly different rules, most notably the use of the Designated Hitter used in the AL, but not used in the NL. For interleague play and the World Series the rules follow the ballpark where the game is being played:

During Interleague Play the designated hitter rule is used in all American League ballparks, but is not used in National League stadiums, which is how the DH is used in World Series play

With interleague play becoming a daily part of the MLB schedule I think it is time for both leagues to play by one set of rules.  I am not a fan of the Designated Hitter rule, I prefer the NL style of play.  Realistically I don’t see the Designated hitter going away for a number of reasons, but I have a proposal of new rules that would be a compromise as follows.

1. Expand the roster from 25 to 26 active players per team – hopefully this would make the players union accept the elimination of the Designated Hitter, as the extra roster spot would keep a position open for aging veterans who often fill the DH roll on rosters today.

2. Eliminate the Designated Hitter, but once a game allow the pitcher to be pinch hit for while being allowed to remain in the game – this would preserve the offense that the DH adds to the game, as well as adding a new strategic element for managers to navigate (and add another topic for fans to second guess their manager).  It also might reverse the trend of specialist relievers who come in and face one or two batters only, the ability to pinch hit for them, but keep them in the game might encourage managers to let a reliever face more batters than they do today.

I know that this is extremely unlikely to happen, if anything I would expect the NL to adopt the Designated hitter at some point in the future, I just don’t want to see it happen.