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Drungo's Thought Experiment of the Day


DrungoHazewood

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My crazy idea for the day is this: Wouldn't baseball be a little more interesting, maybe a little more exciting, if the American League changed the DH rule so that the DH was hitting for the current pitcher. Only the current pitcher. If you go to the pen, the current DH is out of the game. When his spot comes up in the lineup again you have to pinch hit for him.

I think this would have several effects that would lead to more strategy and more interesting games:

1) You'd see fewer David Ortiz type players, who only DH. Great hitters would almost have to play the field because otherwise you'd risk losing them in the 6th or 7th inning (if not earlier) every game.

2) Teams would have an incentive to get more innings out of fewer pitchers. This means fewer pitching changes, more innings out of starters, more multi-inning relievers.

3) This would push teams to have a real bench, with real pinch hitters. Gigantic drop-off from Aubrey Huff to Brandon Fahey or Guillermo Quiroz.

4) Long games, and blowouts would all become DH-less as teams run out of non-pitchers. AL games would become a kind of hybrid of today's AL and NL games - the best of both worlds. Every team would benefit from having a good DH, and relatively good-hitting pitchers.

5) You'd see teams pinch hitting with pitchers who weren't available that day (to pitch) to save the better hitters for the late innings.

6) You'd see AL teams doing double-switches.

If anything it would be fun, and it would kill the silly argument that the AL is devoid of strategy.

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Very interesting, very interesting. My first thoughts that come to mind...

1) You'd see fewer David Ortiz type players, who only DH. Great hitters would almost have to play the field because otherwise you'd risk losing them in the 6th or 7th inning (if not earlier) every game.

So instead of replacing the weakest bat in the lineup we're inserting the weakest glove in the field, essentially. Or removing from the game the one-dimensional players who can only mash the ball. I give it 3 stars out of 5.

2) Teams would have an incentive to get more innings out of fewer pitchers. This means fewer pitching changes, more innings out of starters, more multi-inning relievers.
This I like. 5 of 5.
3) This would push teams to have a real bench, with real pinch hitters. Gigantic drop-off from Aubrey Huff to Brandon Fahey or Guillermo Quiroz.
Another plus. 5 stars.
4) Long games, and blowouts would all become DH-less as teams run out of non-pitchers. AL games would become a kind of hybrid of today's AL and NL games - the best of both worlds. Every team would benefit from having a good DH, and relatively good-hitting pitchers.
But would teams be screwed in long, extra-inning games? More so than in the NL? And what is a relatively good-hitting pitcher? I'm confused. 4 stars out of 5.
5) You'd see teams pinch hitting with pitchers who weren't available that day (to pitch) to save the better hitters for the late innings.
I don't see this as a plus. 2 stars.
6) You'd see AL teams doing double-switches.
Cool, I guess. A lil' more strategy. 3 stars.

You've earned 22 stars. Unfortunately this is the first time I've used the 5 Star Scoring System and so have no way of interpreting your results. Interesting thought-experiment, however.

Question -- do you often find yourself wishing AL managers were forced to make more strategic decisions in-game? Do you prefer the NL?

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1) You'd see fewer David Ortiz type players, who only DH. Great hitters would almost have to play the field because otherwise you'd risk losing them in the 6th or 7th inning (if not earlier) every game.

But isn't that the basic point of having the DH - to make a place for players like Ortiz?

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But would teams be screwed in long, extra-inning games? More so than in the NL?

One man's screwed is another's deep strategy. Do you really use that one-out lefty if it means you have to do something crazy like lose the DH or play a pitcher in the field?

(One thing I didn't mention: if you run out of players on the bench and use your last sub to change pitchers you lose the DH for the rest of the game.)

And what is a relatively good-hitting pitcher? I'm confused. 4 stars out of 5.

I was suggesting that teams might think twice about having a Daniel Cabrera and his .000 career OPS on the team when there's a better chance of him having to hit.

You've earned 22 stars. Unfortunately this is the first time I've used the 5 Star Scoring System and so have no way of interpreting your results. Interesting thought-experiment, however.

I would interpret that as the highest-ranked hair-brained scheme in the history of your system.

Question -- do you often find yourself wishing AL managers were forced to make more strategic decisions in-game? Do you prefer the NL?

Yes to question #1, no to question #2. I'm more from the perspective that they've chosen to not use strategies. I think in the 70s and 80s the AL had as much strategy as the NL. Teams had long benches and pinch hit and used defensive subs a lot. Some teams would sac bunt 100 times, some 10. Some platooned at four positions, some none. There were strategic options, choices. Today everybody has a bench made up of Brandon Fahey and the two dwarves, and strategy is pretty much limited to when you're going to bring in your 406 situational relievers.

I think much of the "strategy" in the National League involves forced decisions and obvious decisions. When everyone agrees it's not strategy, it's button-pushing.

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In order to allow double switches with the DH, you'd have to get rid of the rule that says the DH must remain in the same spot in the order for the entire game. But I guess you're already changing a bunch of rules, so why not.

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