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God NL baseball is awful


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Your argument falls apart so long as there are great hitters that are forced to play the field even though they're godawful at it (Manny, Adam Dunn types), and great fielders that play even though they're bad hitters (Everett, Mientkiewicz types). By your logic, baseball would be better if the Mannys and the Dunns only hit, and the Everetts and the Mientkiewiczs only played the field.

As soon as you buy into the notion that pitchers shouldn't hit because they're not as good at hitting, you put yourself squarely on a slippery slope that invariably leads to the conclusion that you should have 9 hitters and 9 fielders. Anything short of that is arbitrary: if a little is good (DHing for the pitcher), then a lot is better (DHing for all 9 position players).

And your argument that an arbitrary rule is OK because it's not the only one isn't very compelling.

There's no slipperly slope. There's a giant chasm. The difference between pitchers and the 2nd-worst hitting position (typically shorstops) is on the order of 400 OPS points. The difference between shortstops and DHs or 1B is around 100 points. There's only a slippery slope when shorstops start hitting .134 and striking out in 50% of their plate appearances.

Unique case. Unique rule.

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There's no slipperly slope. There's a giant chasm. The difference between pitchers and the 2nd-worst hitting position (typically shorstops) is on the order of 400 OPS points. The difference between shortstops and DHs or 1B is around 100 points. There's only a slippery slope when shorstops start hitting .134 and striking out in 50% of their plate appearances.

Unique case. Unique rule.

Yeah, the slippery slope argument is definitely a straw man.

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You know what I enjoyed the most about the Padre series? The importance of a good bench. Instead of having four or guys on the bench waiting for their turn to start (or pinch run:mad: ), suddenly those guys had important roles, entering the game in the seventh or so.

That adds a lot to the overall strategy of the team:

(1) in making decisions on the team's makeup, a good bench player/utility guy is invaluable in the NL,

(2) sure, it doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure that a pinch hitter can hit better than the pitcher, usually, but an NL manager continually has to pick what longterm sacrifices he'll have to make for the short-term boost of a pinch hitter -- that gives the fans a little more to think about, and talk about, while watching the game.

I love a good bench as much as anyone, and there's nothing stopping an AL team from having a great one. Good AL teams typically have good benches and use them.

Up until the early 90s, when offenses shot up, and a lot of teams have good hitters 1-through-9 in the lineup, an AL team was free to make more strategic substitutions than an NL team. The NL team knows that nearly every game they're going to have to pinch hit for the pitcher, then make another substitute for him when they take the field. An AL manager can pick his spots, and essentially has a larger bench more tailored to his needs. If the Orioles had any sense they'd have fewer relievers, and a whole group of reserve players to pinch hit and do strategic substitutes for Bako, Castillo, Patterson, Payton, Gibbons, etc. It's a particularly poor choice (remember - it is a choice) to have a roster and bench put together like the Orioles.

That's one failing of the DH - it allows lazy or inept teams to just field a set lineup of nine guys and forget strategy. It costs them wins, but it happens, as we've all too often seen.

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The argument for the DH centers around the notion that it takes ABs away from worse hitters and gives them to better hitters, which in turn makes for a better game.

So why stop there? A hitting lineup with all Ortiz's, Dunns, and Hafners would be better than one with Everetts and Pattersons sprinkled throughout. By the same logic, that would make for an even better game yet.

As I said earlier, if a little is good, then a lot must be better.

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As I said earlier, if a little is good, then a lot must be better.

That's true, if you believe funny little sayings and clichés take precedence over the particulars and facts of the situation.

If a teaspoon of sugar in your coffee is good, then 87,668 metric tons of sugar must be better, right?

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The argument for the DH centers around the notion that it takes ABs away from worse hitters and gives them to better hitters, which in turn makes for a better game.

So why stop there? A hitting lineup with all Ortiz's, Dunns, and Hafners would be better than one with Everetts and Pattersons sprinkled throughout. By the same logic, that would make for an even better game yet.

As I said earlier, if a little is good, then a lot must be better.

We win. Kindly go back to overvaluing your prospects, Dave.;)

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I guess Im a giraffe without a long neck.

There is no reason why a pitcher cant be a good hitter. Take some BP and swing the bat. They aren't totally helpless. I watch the O's but like the NL better. Someone like Mike Hampton was a great hitting pitcher. In the AL that doesn't make him any more valuable.

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That's true, if you believe funny little sayings and clichés take precedence over the particulars and facts of the situation.

If a teaspoon of sugar in your coffee is good, then 87,668 metric tons of sugar must be better, right?

Too much sugar spoils the coffee.

Do too many good hitters spoil the lineup?

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My problem is less with NL baseball than it is with interleague play. I'm in favor of the DH myself, but I can appreciate both styles.

What I can't appreciate is those styles being thrown together. The schedule disparity interleague play throws in is bad enough, but if you have two leagues that play by different rules, these leagues just shouldn't play each other before the World Series. Period. AL rosters are constructed differently than NL rosters and it disadvantages both sides:

1) If you're in an AL park, they can use their regular lineup. The NL team can add an extra hitter, but they're not going to have someone the caliber of an AL DH just sitting around, they're going to play a backup. They still don't match the AL lineup, plus their bench is now short compared to what they're used to. So they're at a disadvantage and the AL team gets no benefit because this is how they normally play anyway.

2) If you're in an NL park, the AL team either has to have a butcher in the field or bench their DH, plus they have to bat a pitcher that probably doesn't even know how to bunt. The manager has to try to figure out a strategy he has almost no experience with and could screw that up. Disadvantage AL. You could also argue that the NL is at a disadvantage because it means the AL team is hiding a really good hitter on their bench for later that the NL doesn't have.

Not to mention that having no DH in the All-Star game because it's in an NL park is a joke. The AL is sending players and they have DHs. Just play with a damned DH. There shouldn't be a baseball purist argument here because the entire affair is a farce anyway. We're talking about a game that once ENDED IN A TIE. Give me a break.

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Drungo, others, why is it that pitchers are such bad hitters?

If we did away with the DH, I think that eventually it would even out and pitchers would hit better, but it would have to be done at all levels. We would have to eliminate the DH in upper little league, high school, college, minors etc...

As it stands now (even though I am a fan of the NL style) I think the best route to go is to go with a DH throughout MLB. Its silly to think that a pitcher should pitch only in college and the minors and then get his call up to the Phillies and have to hit with the bases loaded in the 3rd with two outs.

Batting practice or not, even 2-3 years of pitching and not hitting can hurt a guy.

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Drungo, others, why is it that pitchers are such bad hitters?

If we did away with the DH, I think think eventually it woudl even out and pitchers woudl hit better, but it would have to be done at all levels. We would have to eliminate the DH in upper little league, high school, college, minors etc...

As it stands now (even though I am a fan of the NL style) I think the best route to go is to go with a DH throughout MLB. Its silly to think that a pitcher should pitch only in college and the minors and then get his call up to the Phillies and have to hit with the bases loaded in the 3rd with two outs.

Batting practice or not, even 2-3 years of pitching and not hitting can hurt a guy.

The reason pitchers are bad hitters is that pitching at a major league level is very difficult, and hitting at a major league level is very difficult. You have to do one or the other very well to be a major league player, so players are selected (scouted, drafted, signed) on the basis of them doing that one thing extremely well.

Pitching and hitting are different skill sets. One does not relate to the other. The chances of one person being in the top 1/10000th of one percent of the population in two radically different skills is like winning the lottery. It would be like finding someone who can not only run the 100m dash in 9.8 seconds, but can also kick 65-yard field goals.

And even if one found someone with both skills, the amount of practice necessary to hone each one means that you'll rarely, if ever, find someone who can continue to do both well at a high professional level.

Baseball has gotten harder over time as training has improved, scouting has gotten more organized, systems have developed to find and identify the best players at a young age and funnel them into the majors, and the population has exploded. In 1880 the game was significantly easier, so you had pitchers like Guy Hecker win batting titles.

But over time as the game's difficulty has increased, the gap between other positions and pitchers hitting has steadily widened. We're now to the point where no matter how much a pitcher studies hitting the vast majority simply can't hit at a major league level.

Pitchers don't choose to be poor hitters. Humans just aren't designed to hit and pitch well enough to succeed in the modern major leagues at both.

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The reason pitchers are bad hitters is that pitching at a major league level is very difficult, and hitting at a major league level is very difficult. You have to do one or the other very well to be a major league player, so players are selected (scouted, drafted, signed) on the basis of them doing that one thing extremely well.

Pitching and hitting are different skill sets. One does not relate to the other. The chances of one person being in the top 1/10000th of one percent of the population in two radically different skills is like winning the lottery. It would be like finding someone who can not only run the 100m dash in 9.8 seconds, but can also kick 65-yard field goals.

And even if one found someone with both skills, the amount of practice necessary to hone each one means that you'll rarely, if ever, find someone who can continue to do both well at a high professional level.

Baseball has gotten harder over time as training has improved, scouting has gotten more organized, systems have developed to find and identify the best players at a young age and funnel them into the majors, and the population has exploded. In 1880 the game was significantly easier, so you had pitchers like Guy Hecker win batting titles.

But over time as the game's difficulty has increased, the gap between other positions and pitchers hitting has steadily widened. We're now to the point where no matter how much a pitcher studies hitting the vast majority simply can't hit at a major league level.

Pitchers don't choose to be poor hitters. Humans just aren't designed to hit and pitch well enough to succeed in the modern major leagues at both.

Agreed, and add to this the fact that a pitcher is goign to see at bats, once, maybe twice a week, even a batting champion would see a decline if his at bats were so few.

Pitchers on the basepaths can be a very odd thing to. Would you want Miguel Tejada to slide hard into second to break up the double play in a one run game? Sure. Can you say the same thing about Peavy/etc?

Not to mention the fact that you rarely see a pitcher legitametly steal a base, no where theres no passed ball or where the situation allows a gauranteed bag.

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I think another good analogy is Michael Jordan. He was the best basketball player who ever lived, and a spectacular athlete. He also was a baseball player as a kid, and looked for all the world like he could be a baseball player. When he tried to play minor league baseball he was a spectacular failure. He was about as good as Brian Bass, or maybe Pete Maestrales.

Jordan was in the top handful of basketball players who ever lived. But as a baseball player he was only in the top two or three thousand players in 1994.

That's what a pitcher is. As a pitcher they're among the couple hundred best in the world. But as a hitter they're one of the top 5000? 10000? hitters in the world. And that's just good enough to hit .140 in the majors.

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Your argument falls apart so long as there are great hitters that are forced to play the field even though they're godawful at it (Manny, Adam Dunn types), and great fielders that play even though they're bad hitters (Everett, Mientkiewicz types). By your logic, baseball would be better if the Mannys and the Dunns only hit, and the Everetts and the Mientkiewiczs only played the field.

As soon as you buy into the notion that pitchers shouldn't hit because they're not as good at hitting, you put yourself squarely on a slippery slope that invariably leads to the conclusion that you should have 9 hitters and 9 fielders. Anything short of that is arbitrary: if a little is good (DHing for the pitcher), then a lot is better (DHing for all 9 position players).

And your argument that an arbitrary rule is OK because it's not the only one isn't very compelling.

Name one player who is as bad a fielder as your average pitcher is a hitter.

Actually, to be fair you should name a number large enough to come close to the number of pitchers in the National League.

Your poor-hitting fielder's analogy doesn't work either. Adam Everett has a career OPS of .652. Doug M is over 100 points higher.

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