DH Provides More Excitement For Baseball Fans

Zach Piatt

Sports Editor

If you’ve ever seen Nolan Ryan pitch, or have heard of his performance, you know he’s one of the most dominant pitchers of all time.  He is baseball’s leader in strikeouts with a total of 5,714 Ks.

Ryan, winner of 324 games, had a fantastic career on the mound.  His performance at the plate, however, was sub-par at best.  Ryan had a career batting average of .110, which is pitiful when it comes to the Major League.  This is a perfect example of why the designated hitter (DH) needs to be a part of both the American (AL) and National League (NL).

“I used to dislike [the DH] as a baseball purist, but I’ve come around to it,” says Nol Beckley.  “I don’t get too excited about seeing Bartolo Colon hit the ball.”

Colon, starting pitcher for the New York Mets, can hit the ball on occasion, but it looks like he’s swinging a pool noodle rather than a baseball bat, which is entertaining, but not good for the game.  Why not take a player who is more accustomed to batting, a player who actually gets paid to hit, and place him in the pitcher’s spot in the lineup?

“The MLB wants to speed up the game and make it more exciting,” says Dylan Stagge.  “One way to do that is to put more runs into the game.”

When a pitcher is at the plate, nine out of ten times they will get out.  If a professional hitter is used instead, they will put together more quality at-bats, leading to more hits, resulting in higher scoring games, and above all provide more excitement.

The other side of the argument is understandable.  The DH in the American League is a tradition, pitchers need to be a part of the game, it will completely change the game, etc.

“When you play baseball you’re taught from a young age how to hit, throw, field, and run,” says Jason Gandhi.  “Putting the DH in is taking away a part of baseball.”

Wouldn’t you rather see an actual hitter who bats on a regular basis though?  It’s simple.  Take the Red Sox for example.  David Ortiz is the greatest DH to ever play, batting .286 over his career.  It’s not a tough decision, for managers or fans, to choose Ortiz, who has 525 career home runs, over a rotation pitcher such as David Price or Clay Buchholz, who may give a halfhearted swing at anything near the zone.

“Pitchers shouldn’t get a free pass to not hit because they have to focus on pitching,” said Gandhi.

This is exactly why there should be a DH in both leagues.  NL pitchers bat 2-3 times every game they start, while AL pitchers might pick up a bat that same number of times the whole season.  Therefore, NL pitchers have another part of their game they have to worry about and can’t give all their attention to what they’re actually good at.

The question that needs to be addressed is: Why does one league have a DH but not the other?  It’s the NBA equivalent of only one league having a three-point line.  The DH needs to be added to the NL for the simple reason that, as a whole, pitchers are not good at hitting the baseball.  The fans want excitement, competition, and quality.  They don’t want to see a pitcher walking up to the plate and say, “Well there’s an out.”

“Bring [the DH] to the NL,” says Beckley.  “I want to see hitters hit.”

*All statistics are as of July 17, 2016.

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