I think there’s a lot to be infuriated by with MLB these days. In fact, that’s probably one of the things basically every baseball fan agrees on. What exactly they’re angry at differs person to person, of course, but almost everyone has some sort of issue with the league. Which, of course, is not ideal as a professional sports league. For me, the short-term issue that is legitimately driving me mad is that they still have not made a decision on the DH. The slow play is affecting the market — it’s affecting the obvious players like Nelson Cruz and Marcell Ozuna, among others, but it also hurts all position players to some extent — and just generally making it very difficult to look ahead to the coming season. It’s truly insane that they have not made a decision on this, and don’t really appear all that rushed to do so.
That is the topic of this week’s SB Nation Reacts poll. We wanted to know how you all felt about the DH rule in the short- and long-term, and how you feel about strategy in general.
DH in 2021?
I really don’t have much to say here. If you’ve read me before you know I’m a pro-DH guy. I’m just super uninterested in watching a pitcher hit in the same way I’d be super uninterested in watching a middle linebacker play quarterback. I’m also pretty sure every baseball fan already has their opinion, so I’m not trying to change anyone’s mind.
What about permanently?
I’ll be honest, though, I’m not sure the logic behind wanting the DH in 2021 but not permanently. It made some sense last year since there was more interleague with the regional schedule, but as of now there’s no indication that will be happening again in the coming year. So to the people who voted yes on the first one and no here: Why?
What’s your preference?
One of the most annoying arguments to be for the anti-DH crowd is the adoration pointed towards double switches, as if you need a PhD in baseball to figure out how it works. It’s not that complicated! I figured it out playing video games when I was like 12, and let me tell you: I was a moron! If 12-year-old me could figure it out, it’s really not that complicated. That’s not to say the strategy and substitution argument as a whole it bad, because I do like late-game switches. I just don’t think the double switch is some holy moment.
As for the substitutions, I don’t think the DH on its own takes that away. Of course it takes some away, but the bigger issue is the size of bullpens. Benches are getting smaller and smaller, and of course teams are going to be more hesitant to make substitutions with a smaller bench. They were supposed to limit pitching staffs to 13 players last season pre-pandemic, and that’s a good start. But I’d probably prefer 12. The bigger the bench, the more of this vaunted strategy we’ll see, DH or no DH.