At first, the DH position was mostly filled by old cripples whose legs had betrayed them. But it gradually became a refuge for those who were unwilling to learn or simply unable to field a position well enough to stay on a major league roster, but whose bat a team might be loathe to lose. Think Jason Giambi, Jim Thome, Edgar Martinez, and of course, the poster boy for the DH, David Ortiz.
Ortiz, although overweight, is probably a good enough first baseman to stand for most of the game rather than sit. But his is an interesting case, because it demonstrates the perfidious nature of the DH.
Boston chooses not to play Ortiz full time in order to maximize his value at the plate. In other words, they feel he can produce more for them by being able to fully concentrate on his hitting, absent the stress of playing in the field. The effect of that on the record book is the same as the effect of steroid-fueled home run binges. They both produce distorted results. That’s what makes it unfair to include a DH on the ballot for MVP over a player who must play the entire game, concentrating on the other team’s hitting as well as his own.
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