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The DH: Curse or Menace?

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Re: The DH: Curse or Menace?

Postby KCollins1304 » Tue Jun 17, 2008 8:48 pm

DVauthrin wrote:
KCollins1304 wrote:
DVauthrin wrote:When did I say hitting is easy? It's one of the hardest thing to do in sports, especially if you stop practicing it. But, again, my high school team faced Josh Beckett when he was at Spring. The guy hit near .500 with power in high school. He would have been an early pick as a hitter. You really think if he didn't continue to work on his swing in the cage as he progressed that he couldn't be a good hitter? Thing is, once he signed, he stopped putting the amount of time in the cage needed to stay sharp at the teams request i'm sure.

James Loney was both a stud pitcher, and stud left handed hitter while at Elkins. The dodgers told him to focus on being a position player, but if he had kept working as a pitcher, he had the talent to pitch in the majors...

These are just two cases. There are plenty more like them in baseball.

Sure some guys could never hit as a pitcher, but some position players struggle hitting as well. The lack of good hitting pitchers is do to the fact they stop practicing it, not their hitting talent. Teams would rather them focus all their time and energy on either pitching or hitting, but it's not like the time isn't there.


And the fact that they don't practice it and are horrible at it is enough justification for me to use the DH. If it was easy to maintain hitting while doing all the things they need to do for pitching, then you wouldn't see such horrible numbers from pitchers hitting. People wouldn't want the DH if the pitchers could hit as well as you think they are capable of.


To me the solution isn't using the DH(that's an unnecessary cop out), it's having the pitchers actually taking BP in the minors/mlb level and looking at video for at most an hour a day. That still leaves them with plenty of time to prepare for a start and/or get their throwing in for the day. A lot of them may not be stars, but could be serviceable hitters if they worked a little each day on it. And some could be really good at it.

Again, it's not time that's the issue, it is the request of the team paying their signing bonus/salary. They are so afraid they might hurt something that affects their pitching, that they have them put in minimum effort into hitting. And by doing so, you have an incident like you did with wang because he never works on running the bases because he never needs to in his league.

Stop babying pitchers and make them work on all aspects of their game is what I want to see done.


The fact that they don't work on hitting tells me that they don't care about hitting (and rightfully so, they're paid to pitch), and if they don't care about hitting I don't care to see them hit.

If pitchers did what you're talking about and put up better numbers, then the problem would be solved. There is no going back from the DH though, it serves too many purposes. It protects pitchers, provides more offense, and gives a job to aging sluggers.
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Re: The DH: Curse or Menace?

Postby bigh0rt » Tue Jun 17, 2008 8:57 pm

KCollins1304 wrote:The fact that they don't work on hitting tells me that they don't care about hitting (and rightfully so, they're paid to pitch), and if they don't care about hitting I don't care to see them hit.

If pitchers did what you're talking about and put up better numbers, then the problem would be solved. There is no going back from the DH though, it serves too many purposes. It protects pitchers, provides more offense, and gives a job to aging sluggers.

AL pitchers are paid to pitch. NL pitchers are paid to both hit and pitch. Now, naturally no pitcher is throwing his AVG out there at the contract table, using it as leverage, but he does know that every fifth day he is expected to come to the plate 3 or so times. It's part of the territory.

Why can't I pay my catcher to just catch my staff? That's a special job, like pitching, is it not? Maybe not as special, but who is drawing the lines here? If Mike Piazza would've had the benefit of some cannon armed catcher playing his D so he could rest his knees, who knows what kind of offensive output we could've seen from him? That scenario would a) provide more offense, and b) give a job to an aging slugger, just like you said.

It's clear that the AL is never getting rid of the DH. Relatively clear that the NL isn't adopting it any time soon. However, in my opinion, the reason that those who are in favor of it, at least quite a few of them, are, is because it's been around for the better part of, or all of their lives, and they're used to it. You do what I propose with Catchers, and in 40 years nobody will bat an eye. You'd get the same, "It's meant to protect the Catcher's knees, produce more offense..." so on and so forth, from people in that generation, while we'd be the old coots remembering the catchers of yesteryear who actually played every inning.

One thing I am certain of is that if the NL ever adopted the DH, I would be truly, truly disappointed, as would countless others. The arguments about strategy, purity of the game, etc. are all just as reasonable as the ones about watching pitchers flail, or get injured, or focus on their craft.
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Re: The DH: Curse or Menace?

Postby KCollins1304 » Tue Jun 17, 2008 9:06 pm

bigh0rt wrote:
KCollins1304 wrote:The fact that they don't work on hitting tells me that they don't care about hitting (and rightfully so, they're paid to pitch), and if they don't care about hitting I don't care to see them hit.

If pitchers did what you're talking about and put up better numbers, then the problem would be solved. There is no going back from the DH though, it serves too many purposes. It protects pitchers, provides more offense, and gives a job to aging sluggers.

AL pitchers are paid to pitch. NL pitchers are paid to both hit and pitch. Now, naturally no pitcher is throwing his AVG out there at the contract table, using it as leverage, but he does know that every fifth day he is expected to come to the plate 3 or so times. It's part of the territory.

Why can't I pay my catcher to just catch my staff? That's a special job, like pitching, is it not? Maybe not as special, but who is drawing the lines here? If Mike Piazza would've had the benefit of some cannon armed catcher playing his D so he could rest his knees, who knows what kind of offensive output we could've seen from him? That scenario would a) provide more offense, and b) give a job to an aging slugger, just like you said.

It's clear that the AL is never getting rid of the DH. Relatively clear that the NL isn't adopting it any time soon. However, in my opinion, the reason that those who are in favor of it, at least quite a few of them, are, is because it's been around for the better part of, or all of their lives, and they're used to it. You do what I propose with Catchers, and in 40 years nobody will bat an eye. You'd get the same, "It's meant to protect the Catcher's knees, produce more offense..." so on and so forth, from people in that generation, while we'd be the old coots remembering the catchers of yesteryear who actually played every inning.

One thing I am certain of is that if the NL ever adopted the DH, I would be truly, truly disappointed, as would countless others. The arguments about strategy, purity of the game, etc. are all just as reasonable as the ones about watching pitchers flail, or get injured, or focus on their craft.


The difference with catchers is that they are not nearly as horrible hitters and their job isn't nearly as specialized.
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Re: The DH: Curse or Menace?

Postby DVauthrin » Tue Jun 17, 2008 9:11 pm

KCollins1304 wrote:
The fact that they don't work on hitting tells me that they don't care about hitting (and rightfully so, they're paid to pitch), and if they don't care about hitting I don't care to see them hit.

If pitchers did what you're talking about and put up better numbers, then the problem would be solved. There is no going back from the DH though, it serves too many purposes. It protects pitchers, provides more offense, and gives a job to aging sluggers.


I agree that the DH isn't going anywhere.

But I disagree that hitting shouldn't be part of a pitchers job. To me that's like saying position players should choose to either become really good at hitting or fielding, not both.
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Re: The DH: Curse or Menace?

Postby bigh0rt » Tue Jun 17, 2008 9:14 pm

KCollins1304 wrote:
bigh0rt wrote:
KCollins1304 wrote:The fact that they don't work on hitting tells me that they don't care about hitting (and rightfully so, they're paid to pitch), and if they don't care about hitting I don't care to see them hit.

If pitchers did what you're talking about and put up better numbers, then the problem would be solved. There is no going back from the DH though, it serves too many purposes. It protects pitchers, provides more offense, and gives a job to aging sluggers.

AL pitchers are paid to pitch. NL pitchers are paid to both hit and pitch. Now, naturally no pitcher is throwing his AVG out there at the contract table, using it as leverage, but he does know that every fifth day he is expected to come to the plate 3 or so times. It's part of the territory.

Why can't I pay my catcher to just catch my staff? That's a special job, like pitching, is it not? Maybe not as special, but who is drawing the lines here? If Mike Piazza would've had the benefit of some cannon armed catcher playing his D so he could rest his knees, who knows what kind of offensive output we could've seen from him? That scenario would a) provide more offense, and b) give a job to an aging slugger, just like you said.

It's clear that the AL is never getting rid of the DH. Relatively clear that the NL isn't adopting it any time soon. However, in my opinion, the reason that those who are in favor of it, at least quite a few of them, are, is because it's been around for the better part of, or all of their lives, and they're used to it. You do what I propose with Catchers, and in 40 years nobody will bat an eye. You'd get the same, "It's meant to protect the Catcher's knees, produce more offense..." so on and so forth, from people in that generation, while we'd be the old coots remembering the catchers of yesteryear who actually played every inning.

One thing I am certain of is that if the NL ever adopted the DH, I would be truly, truly disappointed, as would countless others. The arguments about strategy, purity of the game, etc. are all just as reasonable as the ones about watching pitchers flail, or get injured, or focus on their craft.


The difference with catchers is that they are not nearly as horrible hitters and their job isn't nearly as specialized.

They could easily make themselves just as horrible hitters. All they need to do is start doing more catching drills, working on the psyche of calling a game, studying hitting trends, pitch counts, etc. instead of taking batting practice and working on their hitting. They'd become piss poor hitters pretty quickly, I imagine, overall. As for the level of specialization, I reply: so? Catching is probably the 2nd most specialized position after pitching. Why don't we include them as well?
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Re: The DH: Curse or Menace?

Postby KCollins1304 » Tue Jun 17, 2008 9:21 pm

DVauthrin wrote:
KCollins1304 wrote:
The fact that they don't work on hitting tells me that they don't care about hitting (and rightfully so, they're paid to pitch), and if they don't care about hitting I don't care to see them hit.

If pitchers did what you're talking about and put up better numbers, then the problem would be solved. There is no going back from the DH though, it serves too many purposes. It protects pitchers, provides more offense, and gives a job to aging sluggers.


I agree that the DH isn't going anywhere.

But I disagree that hitting shouldn't be part of a pitchers job. To me that's like saying position players should choose to either become really good at hitting or fielding, not both.


Pitching is a lot more specialized than fielding. If pitchers took hitting seriously and practiced it, I might be interested in watching them bat. Whereas they don't, I don't want to see them in the batter's box.

http://www.hardballtimes.com/main/artic ... -pitchers/

I found this interesting article from Hardball Times about hitting pitchers. Apparently the average for pitchers is a .130 batting average, which is embarrassing and why I don't want to see them hit. As many would suspect as pitching has become more specialized, pitcher hitting has declined steadily. According to the article, a pitcher being able to just hit .220 would be worth 0.5 more of a win. So if all of your starting rotation could hit .220, it would be worth 2.5 wins. That is enough to complex me as to why they don't work on hitting more.

For me I would optimally like to not have the DH and have pitchers that can handle the bat. But since that isn't happening, the DH is the next best option for me.
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Re: The DH: Curse or Menace?

Postby KCollins1304 » Tue Jun 17, 2008 9:22 pm

bigh0rt wrote:
KCollins1304 wrote:
bigh0rt wrote:AL pitchers are paid to pitch. NL pitchers are paid to both hit and pitch. Now, naturally no pitcher is throwing his AVG out there at the contract table, using it as leverage, but he does know that every fifth day he is expected to come to the plate 3 or so times. It's part of the territory.

Why can't I pay my catcher to just catch my staff? That's a special job, like pitching, is it not? Maybe not as special, but who is drawing the lines here? If Mike Piazza would've had the benefit of some cannon armed catcher playing his D so he could rest his knees, who knows what kind of offensive output we could've seen from him? That scenario would a) provide more offense, and b) give a job to an aging slugger, just like you said.

It's clear that the AL is never getting rid of the DH. Relatively clear that the NL isn't adopting it any time soon. However, in my opinion, the reason that those who are in favor of it, at least quite a few of them, are, is because it's been around for the better part of, or all of their lives, and they're used to it. You do what I propose with Catchers, and in 40 years nobody will bat an eye. You'd get the same, "It's meant to protect the Catcher's knees, produce more offense..." so on and so forth, from people in that generation, while we'd be the old coots remembering the catchers of yesteryear who actually played every inning.

One thing I am certain of is that if the NL ever adopted the DH, I would be truly, truly disappointed, as would countless others. The arguments about strategy, purity of the game, etc. are all just as reasonable as the ones about watching pitchers flail, or get injured, or focus on their craft.



The difference with catchers is that they are not nearly as horrible hitters and their job isn't nearly as specialized.

They could easily make themselves just as horrible hitters. All they need to do is start doing more catching drills, working on the psyche of calling a game, studying hitting trends, pitch counts, etc. instead of taking batting practice and working on their hitting. They'd become piss poor hitters pretty quickly, I imagine, overall. As for the level of specialization, I reply: so? Catching is probably the 2nd most specialized position after pitching. Why don't we include them as well?


Well the objective for any player is to contribute as much as possible to winning. I think that if catchers did that, they would be worth a lot less overall. I would say that pitchers are worth less than they were 60 years ago too due to the fact that they have shifted all their focus away from hitting.
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Re: Steinbrenner, Wang, and the 1800's

Postby StlSluggers » Wed Jun 18, 2008 10:05 am

StlSluggers wrote:
Dan Lambskin wrote:is running the bases really that hard?

Mussina seems to think so.

AP wrote:“We don’t hit, we don’t run the bases,” Mussina said. “You get four or five at-bats a year at most, and if you happen to get on base once or twice, you never know. We run in straight lines most of the time. Turning corners, you just don’t do that.”

Turning corners... Pitchers don't do it.

Sounds like the makings of a perfect demotivator, no? :-D

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Re: Steinbrenner, Wang, and the 1800's

Postby AussieDodger » Wed Jun 18, 2008 10:09 am

StlSluggers wrote:
StlSluggers wrote:
Dan Lambskin wrote:is running the bases really that hard?

Mussina seems to think so.

AP wrote:“We don’t hit, we don’t run the bases,” Mussina said. “You get four or five at-bats a year at most, and if you happen to get on base once or twice, you never know. We run in straight lines most of the time. Turning corners, you just don’t do that.”

Turning corners... Pitchers don't do it.

Sounds like the makings of a perfect demotivator, no? :-D

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:-)


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Re: The DH: Curse or Menace?

Postby Yoda » Wed Jun 18, 2008 10:43 am

I wouldn't mind seeing specialization. Put your best fielders on defense and your best hitters on offense. Pitchers only have to pitch the ball. I'll bet the game would be elevated to a higher level that way.

Imagine football players playing both sides of the ball. The quality and the level of play would suffer as most players are specialized in their position save a few really athletic players.
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