With the snoozefest that was Super Bowl LIII finally behind us, it's officially time to shift back into baseball mode. (Don't pick up your pitchforks, I didn't forget about the NHL or NBA)
Major League Baseball gave us quite the talker on Tuesday night to kick off the season's debates.
The Athletic's Ken Rosenthal reported that some game-changing rules could soon make their way into the national pastime.
Yes, that includes the adoption of the designated hitter in the National League.
As Rosenthal notes, the universal DH has been a long-time goal of the Player's Union, as it would automatically add 15 new starting jobs to the league.
I do see both sides here, but I just can't pull myself away from the standard that is National League baseball. Keep the DH as far away from it as possible.
Part of what makes baseball great is its quirky nature. Things happen on a baseball diamond that simply can't in other sports.
Every stadium is unique, players have every body type from Bartolo Colon to David Eckstein and baseball easily gives you more odd moments than any other sport.
Pitchers hitting has always been a part of baseball's quirky history (at least in the NL) and it always should be.
I'm not against change. Baseball has changed a lot over the years. However, I do think sticking our nose too far down the path of player specialization could be a slippery slope and end up changing the spirit of the game itself.
Making the designated hitter universal would also take a lot of the strategy out of the National League.
As we in St. Louis know by watching Mike Matheny manage for six and a half years, double switches, pinch hitting opportunities and subsequent bullpen decisions can make or break a game. If the NL would implement the DH, a lot of that strategy would be lost.
I've seen the comparison that AL baseball is like checkers, and NL baseball is like chess. I don't think it's that black and white, but certainly without the DH managers have more variables to think about, which honestly makes every move that much more interesting and impactful.
On a team like the 2018 Cardinals, the DH would've benefited them mightily.
How many more at-bats do you think it would've given Jose Martinez and Tyler O'Neill last year? While adding the designated hitter would automatically provide a boost to every NL team, I'm still not on board.
I don't think the National League should sell out its history just for a little bit more offense.
And to be honest, it's not like baseball has an offense problem on its hands in the first place. The home runs just keep going up.
Plus, who would ever want to deprive us of this glorious Bartolo Colon moment?