The concept of a universal designated hitter in Major League Baseball has been a popular topic of discussion for as long l can remember. I’ve heard it brought up off and on over my many years as a baseball fan.
With the recent announcement that the DH won’t be added to the National League until at least 2022, and the debate that came before it the question once again arose in my mind: is it important that both leagues use it?
Once again, I came back to the same answer I’ve always had, and that is that it doesn’t really matter. If the National League starts using the designated hitter, finally elevating itself to the same level of offense as the American League, then so be it.
If MLB decides to remain a lopsided league, with half of its teams using the DH and the other half not using it, then so be it with that as well. I won’t lose any sleep over it regardless.
Logically, it would make sense to use a universal DH. It would make interleague games, not to mention the World Series, much less complicated. No team would have to adjust its game plan when playing in a city that represents the opposite league. All teams would be on an even playing field.
At the same time, I can understand why National League enthusiasts are so heavily against using the DH. When a pitcher is required to be in the lineup, it evokes a more strategic style of play. If you’re an old-school baseball fan, you probably prefer that style. It’s only natural.
If MLB wants to keep the tradition of old-school baseball alive in the National League, it’s all good with me. If it wants to modernize the NL and focus on offense over strategy by adding the DH, that works for me too. Some fans might have a serious preference in this debate. I’m not one of those fans.
To sum up, baseball doesn’t necessarily need a universal DH. But it looks like, in a few more years, we’re going to be headed that way. National League fans will hate it, but I’ll just be over here shrugging my shoulders and rooting for more home runs.