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David Ortiz is one of the few DH's that make a big impact
The designated hitter was adopted by the American League in 1973. At first, the idea took hold because we got to see aging American League stars like Hank Aaron, Frank Robinson and Harmon Killebrew hit.
The DH has extended the careers of players like Edgar Martinez and David Ortiz. However, the luster of the DH has largely worn off.
After watching the game closely for the past few decades, I have come to the conclusion that the DH has got to go the way of the dinosaur. It's ludicrous to have a separate set of rules for each league.
The DH eliminates a lot of the tough decisions a manager must make throughout the game: when to make a pitching change, double-switch, sacrifice bunt, pinch-hit or leave in a starting pitcher.
Let's say you're in the top of the seventh inning and your team is at bat in a 0-0 ballgame. You have a man on second and one out. Do you pinch-hit and then bring in a new pitcher for the bottom of the seventh?
Your pitcher has thrown 82 pitches. Do you let your pitcher bat, even though this may be your best chance to score?
In the American League, the manager does not have to make that decision. In fact, the decision-making process and strategy of the National League game is so much more complex and better than the American League.
The 2010 World Series was a classic example. Giants manager Bruce Bochy thoroughly out-managed Rangers manager Ron Washington. It seemed like Bochy was a step or two ahead of Washington with every decision.
Fans that say they like the DH because they hate to see the pitcher bat are not appreciating the intricacies of the game.
Baseball is a great game of strategy and decision-making. The designated hitter eliminates a huge amount of that complexity. It's time to go back to a similar set of rules for both leagues and do away with the DH.