Sunday, May 10, 2009

DH or not DH? The answer: Yes

With all due respect to those seeking to "improve" baseball, there is no reason to take the bat out of NL pitchers' hands.

Latest case in point: Micah Owings, whose pinch homer Sunday tied it for the Reds in the ninth inning against the Cardinals.

(Unfortunately for Owings the Pitcher, he isn't as good as Owings the Hitter. But that's a whole 'nother issue.) 

Some baseball followers - including my friend, Phil Rogers of the Chicago Tribune - think the hamstring injury Carlos Zambrano suffered while beating out a bunt underscored the necessity to bring the DH to the NL.

I say it simply underscores that a good-hitting pitcher who has the power and timing to knock the ball out of the park should stick to trying to hit home runs, an activity less likely to result in injury. 

Cra-Z has no more business bunting than Adam Dunn does.

I don't want Owings trying to beat out a bunt, either. Or Yovani Gallardo, who last week helped the Brewers win 1-0 by pitching brilliantly and homering for the game's only run.

Let 'em hit. It's fun. 

And there is no disputing that the pitcher coming to bat creates all kinds of strategic challenges for NL managers - challenges their AL counterparts need worry about only in interleague games and the World Series.

I've yet to hear a convincing argument to bring the DH to the NL. Nor have I heard a compelling reason to step into the Way Back Machine and eliminate the DH from the AL. 

As it is, there are hardly any differences between the leagues. The DH is a big one - and, it says here, a good one.

I like watching Jim Thome hit ... almost as much as I like watching Carlos Zambrano hit.

A couple of years ago, Cra-Z suffered an injury because he spent too much time surfing the Web. I could be wrong, but methinks having the DH in the NL probably wouldn't have prevented that.

Can a big-money pitcher get hurt while hitting, thereby damaging his team's title hopes? Well, sure.

He also can get hurt trying to field his position. Should we set up a batting-practice screen in front of him during games?

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