Saturday, July 17, 2010

Debating the DH Rule With a Moron

As you may know, from time to time I like to take an article written elsewhere that I happen to disagree with and dissect it in a way made famous by the brilliant Fire Joe Morgan site.

Now, for the most part, I mean no ill will toward the writers of these original pieces. A guy like Lynn Henning is writing at least one article a day it seems on the Tigers and they’re not all going to be award winning pieces. I respect what the man does and if I take jabs at him, it’s usually meant as harmless fun.

I’ve had some issues in the past with Jamie Samuelsen of the Freep’s writing, but he’s actually been very good in the past couple months. Again, all meant in harmless fun, despite any death threats I may have made in jest.

Drew Sharp…is Drew Sharp. There’s no defending him.

But this guy, Josh Katzenstein from Minnesota writing for the Detroit News, I’m not so sure about. I’ve only read one other piece by him which was total garbage. This one is just as bad.

Is it a gimmick? I'd get that. Skip Bayless, Stephen A. Smith, and Jim Rome have turned their cocky sportswriter gigs into characters that they kind of play. I even do a bastardized version of that here at my blog. I’m really not like this most of the time (debatable).

But this drivel…judge for yourself. I may have found myself a new enemy.

Dumb designated hitter rule diminishes integrity of baseball

(by) Josh Katzenstein

BORAT: My sister is number four prostitute in all of Katzenstein.

After watching Monday's Home Run Derby, won by DH David Ortiz, and Tuesday's All-Star Game, in which DHs were used, I remembered that the designated hitter is quite possibly the worst thing to ever happen to baseball.

Let me see.

Black Sox scandal

Not allowing blacks into the league until 1947

Ray Chapman hit and killed by a pitch

Pete Rose betting on baseball

Steroids

Repeated Marlins fire sales

Armando Galarraga getting screwed out of a perfect game

AJ Pierzynski’s birth

Don Kelly batting leadoff

Yes. I can see how the DH is worse than all of these things. Carry on.

Despite Tuesday's loss, the American League is 20-17-1 in the All-Star game since the inception of the DH in 1973.

Holy crap, that’s three more wins than the NL. That’s ridiculous! How does the Senior Circuit stand for this? Stupid Selig…this is all his fault!

The AL has a 21-15 record in the World Series since '73 and has won 10 of the 14 interleague seasons, including the last seven.

I’m already bored. I’m gonna go kick my roommate’s cat. Give me a sec.



Okay. Continue.

Not only does the added hitter give the AL a noticeable advantage

Is there a new rule where the NL is not allowed to use a DH against the AL in these games?

-- it helps AL teams that they're continually grooming nine hitters –

Oh. Because the NL doesn’t constantly use pinch hitters? You’d think these pinch hitters would be good at, I don’t know, hitting? Do these NL teams you speak of just pull fans out of the stands to fill the roster spots not taken up by the eight position starters? I mean, I knew the Pirates did, but all of them?

but it takes away from what continues to be the purest American sport.

Aww, geez. Look, Clown Shoes, baseball is by far my favorite sport. But calling any professional sport “pure” is like calling Tiger Woods “faithful”. Stick to little league if you’re looking for “pure” sports.

And really? Arguing the DH rule? It’s been around since 1973. There are no new arguments on this topic. What are you going to discuss next? Richard Nixon’s presidency? Betamax vs. VHS? Perhaps this Atari 2600 I’ve heard so much about…

Sue me for being against instant replays and steroids.

Um…what?

Baseball is the purest sport because they don’t have instant replay or steroids? Am I reading this wrong? Give me a second. Talk amongst yourselves.



You went from the DH rule to replay and steroids. I’m just going to move on. I have what feels like “ice cream headache” coming on.

DH supporters are quick to say pitchers should pitch and hitters should hit.

Indeed. Firefighters should fight fires. Crime scene investigators should investigate crime scenes. Band leaders should lead bands. Rapists should rape. It makes things easier this way, Josh.

This statement is outrageous for two reasons, the first being that pitchers grow up hitting.

I grew up picking my nose in public and thinking Jose Canseco was the greatest baseball player of all time. I’m happy with the fact that both of these things have changed with time.

Even if pitchers are nearly automatic outs in the bigs, youth baseball leagues teach kids how to pitch andhit. Why stop now?

Because pitchers suck at hitting. It’s boring to have an automatic out every nine batters. I would much rather see someone qualified to hit a baseball step up to the plate at a game that I've paid money to see. It’s the same reason you never saw Edgar Martinez pitching. He sucked at it. But the guy could hit the hell out of a baseball.

And if a guy is particularly good at hitting a baseball, chances are a team is going to want him in the lineup every day instead of just every fifth day. It makes sense to normal people.

The other primary objection to pitchers hitting is injuries. But unless a pitcher is determined to battle in an at-bat, the most swings he is looking at taking at the plate is about nine in a game.

So you admit that pitchers trying to hit is pointless. Why not just give a team an automatic out after every eight hitters?

Nine swings leave a far slimmer chance of injury than throwing 100 pitches.

I’d only like to take one swing at you.

There have been instances of pitchers injuring themselves at the plate, such as Red Sox starter Josh Beckett, who tweaked his back in batting practice before a game against the Blue Jays (one he wasn't starting) a month before interleague play this year.

I am willing to admit that injuries to any members of the Red Sox is nothing but good for the game. I once had a dream that Kevin Youkilis got hit by a train and woke up with an erection.

Beckett hasn't pitched since May 18, but the only thing his injury proves is that AL pitchers might just be lazier than NL pitchers.

Mother of Satan, you’re an idiot. Holy f-ck. Tell Justin Verlander that just might be lazy compared to Brian Moehler of the Astros. He’ll gut you like a fish.

Beckett managed more than four seasons hitting for the Marlins without hurting himself at the plate, but it sounds like he stopped working those muscles when he moved to the AL in 2006.

Yup. It couldn’t have been dumb luck for Mr. Beckett, right? Lazy bastard. By the way, Beckett’s lifetime batting stats? .148 Avg, 3 HR, 16 RBI, OPS+ of 10 in 216 at bats. Yes, I’d much rather see that than David Ortiz, Hideki Matsui, Vladimir Guerrero, Jim Thome, or Johnny Damon. What baseball fan wouldn’t? That sh-t's pure.

If there's a place to actually worry about pitchers it's on the mound, where Joel Zumaya and Chicago's Jake Peavy recently went down from simply throwing a pitch.

Good point. They should pitch from second base. Or maybe the dugout.

Or maybe pitching machines are the answer. Hmmm...

The other issue with the "hitters hit" statement is that hitters should do a heck of a lot more than hit. The overweight, slow Ortiz is not a good defensive player, but his insertion into the lineup as a DH gives the Red Sox the offense of two first basemen.

Only fourteen first basemen in baseball have a VORP over 15.0. Sixteen, if you include Ortiz and Jim Thome. There are thirty MLB teams, which means more than half of them are lacking the “offense of a first baseman”. And nine of the fourteen above mentioned fist basemen play in the NL. Thus, your statement is irrelevant.

(Note: Ortiz is batting .188 this season in 16 at-bats when he plays first base. That's enough to tell me he can't handle the strain of playing in the field.)

Indeed. Sixteen at bats seems more than enough time for you to make this well informed decision.

This is why after reading just two of your articles, I would pay to see you torn apart by wolverines high on angeldust. (The animals, not the football players…though that would be interesting, too.)

In the first half, Ortiz and Kevin Youkilis each had 18 homers and 57 RBIs. Manager Terry Francona should be forced to choose between the two every game.

Is Joe Girardi writing this?

I'm all for players having long careers, but the DH position allows hitters to essentially rest while contributing to the offense.

Sigh. Have you ever played the game in your life? Wait…forget that. Have you ever even watched a baseball game, dude? Let’s take the right fielder, for example. Look, Magglio Ordonez is my favorite Tiger. But during the average nine inning ballgame, Magglio is involved in maybe three or four plays on defense. He might have to run once or twice out there. The rest of the time, he’s scratching his balls, yawning, and thinking about his next at bat.

I was a catcher when I was a kid. That takes a lot out of you, especially on a hot day. Shortstop, center field, and maybe second base are active postions, too. But everyone else is just standing around staring at the drunk broad in the front row waiting to see if she lifts her top at Derek Jeter. It’s not like running a marathon out there.

If they came up with a designated runner for guys like Ortiz, I’d have your back. But your arguments are just ridiculous. So go fist yourself.

A number of veteran players have stepped in at DH and presumably have a lot more energy for the World Series if inserted in the field. Ortiz (34), Johnny Damon (36), Vladimir Guerrero (35) and Mark Kotsay (34) all play for contenders, but only go through the strains of defense in half the games, or less.

Hey, Captain Minnesota. I notice you didn’t mention Jim Thome. Any reason there?

And if you can’t get pumped up and find energy for the World Series, you shouldn’t be playing the game of baseball for millions of dollars.

Finally,

Finally.

the DH position takes much of the game's strategy away from managers. If a pitcher is due up in the sixth or seventh inning, the manager often has to decide if the offensive boost a pinch hitter might provide is worth the added strain on the bullpen. But in the AL, all the managers have to worry about is inserting a hitter for a more favorable matchup.

This is all you have? I've seen better arguments on a topic made by my son when he wants to eat nothing but cookies all day. If it weren’t for this stupid blog and my utter lack of material most of the time, I’d really be pissed for having spent the time reading this article. No wonder the trolls at the Detroit News site are crankier than at other sites.

They may not be remembered for specific moves, but Bobby Cox and Tony La Russa will go down as two of the greatest managers of all time.

Both managed in the AL.

They earn extra points for doing their best work in the NL.

/checks rule book

No they don’t. And La Russa’s best work was in the AL with Oakland…where they used a DH. And every drug they could get their hands on.

Wherever you stand on the DH issue, I think we can all agree that both leagues need to adopt the same rule.

No we don’t. But if we need to, let’s have the NL start using the DH. Otherwise, good luck convincing the union on taking away a bunch of high paying jobs from the AL teams. I notice you never even brought that up. Idiot.

The AL has a clear advantage because the teams play with nine hitters all season, and when the NL team slots a DH in the World Series, its best option is generally a glorified pinch hitter.

In 37 years, you’d think the NL GM's would catch on to this and perhaps add another hitter to their teams for such a situation.

I say the AL should go back to playing true baseball.

When was it “true” again? When all the players were white? When the baseball mitts were basically glorified batting gloves? Before lights and electronic scoreboards?

The move might cost some top offensive players some cash since they would become bench players, but general managers could divert some of that money to managers who would finally have to put some thought into their daily duties.

F-ck and you, you colossal prick. I would love…LOVE to hear Jim Leyland’s reaction to this piece in the Detroit News. Now it's true that I have argued in the past that it is entirely possible that The Marlboro Man is part brain dead at times, but to say that there is no thought put into AL baseball on a daily basis? Come on.

I’m thinking that the News should start hiring writers that finally have to put some thought into their nationally read articles.

Or at least pay me to offer my response a day or two later.

18 comments:

Anonymous said...

I'm with Josh. I go channel surfing when the DH comes to the plate, then check back in a couple minutes later.

Ron Blomberg said...

You're an idiot.

kimberly said...

You're pretty funny. I like your style. That Josh guy needs to go.

Kurt said...

That was quite awful. Are they hiring talk radio people to write for them or what?

Neil said...

For those of us that grew up in the 50s and 60s, the DH rule is anathema. Along with: divisional play, World Series night games, pitch counts, 5-man rotations, batting gloves, the lowered pitchers mound, excruciatingly dull ceremonies and tributes for every meaningless person and/or achievment, carnival rides at ballparks and hordes of children (gasp!) actually on the field, smoking bans, rock music being piped into stadiums, etc.

PaulBakosNumberOneFan said...

I actually enjoy the added strategy of NL games. It requires managers to decide between his pitcher who can't hit, or pulling him in the 6th for a pinch hitter when he probably could do another inning or two.

That said, this Josh guy is a moron and needs to be punched in the face.

Rob said...

Entertaining and spot on as always Rogo

Anonymous said...

I hate the DH. Always have and always will. The pitcher plays a position just like the other eight guys do, and thus should bat when his turn comes up.

The NL has so much more strategy, especially in close games. The pitcher is still doing well but he's up. Do you let him hit, knowing he's basically an automatic out, or bring in a pinch hitter, and thus forcing the team to rely on the bullpen?

That's real baseball.

Rogo said...

Just so I'm clear...I understand and appreciate those that oppose the DH rule. I happen to be in favor of it, but to each his own.

I just don't like the reasoning given in the article, thus the childish FJM treatment.

Jerold said...

Jesus, don't backpedal, Rogo.

The strategy involved in deciding whether or not to let your pitcher hit is, in the vast majority of citcumstances, roughly equivalent to the strategy involved Wheel of Fortune. Give me a break.

You know, if strategy is such a big deal to you FIDE Grandmasters, then why aren't you constantly complaining about the dearth of decent on-field managing in baseball? From asinine bunts to the almost always pointless hit-and-run play to letting your 3rd best reliever pitch to the middle of the order in a tie game in the 9th, managers are constantly making dumb decisions that show a contempt for critical thinking and probabilities. Where is your outrage at not seeing the best baseball possible?

You may not have noticed these things, either because you're used to seeing each manager cancel out the other's dumb decisions or because you currently still reside in a simpler time, when starters grounded out thrice in the bright white daylight and finished the ballgame unsullied by logic and pesky, normalized statistics. Either way, these things are scourges upon the game compared to not having the pleasure of seeing Matt Tolbert hit for Nick Blackburn when Rafael Perez is brought into the game.

Sorry fellas (gonna assume it's fellas here, as not too many women outside of Alyssa Milano feel strongly about the issue), this very common anti-DH trope serves as little more than an opportunity to easily mount a fairly high horse while sounding folksy and wise. In short, I am tired of watching all of you mount horses.

Aaaand I don't care about it that much either way. Like Rogo, just trying to have some fun, though I must say I agree with him. Except I don't think pinch hitting strategy is akin to Wheel of Fortune. More like tic-tac-toe.

OldEnglish said...

Don't assume that women don't care about such things. I wrote a paper in high school in defense of the DH. We are capable of understanding and being interested in metrics like WAR and UZR, thank you very much. I don't watch baseball just to check out the players.

Jerold said...

I stand corrected OldEnglish.

Just out of curiosity, how did an old english woman like yourself get into Tigers baseball?

Anonymous said...

The "ice cream headache" line is great Rogo keep up the good work.

Anonymous said...

You're a silly man. It's cute. I hope mommy bought enough Totino's pizzas and Top Ramen for you this week so you don't get cranky.

Anonymous said...

You're a silly man. It's cute. I hope mommy bought enough Totino's pizzas and Top Ramen for you this week so you don't get cranky.

Kurt said...

That was quite awful. Are they hiring talk radio people to write for them or what?

Anonymous said...

I hate the DH. Always have and always will. The pitcher plays a position just like the other eight guys do, and thus should bat when his turn comes up.

The NL has so much more strategy, especially in close games. The pitcher is still doing well but he's up. Do you let him hit, knowing he's basically an automatic out, or bring in a pinch hitter, and thus forcing the team to rely on the bullpen?

That's real baseball.

kimberly said...

You're pretty funny. I like your style. That Josh guy needs to go.