The new MLB iPhone application will now stream live game video in addition to the audio feeds. The first game to be boardcast is the Cubs versus White Sox. We are in the midst of inter-league play and once again, that unfortunate mistake that will always make the American League the junior league becomes more apparent—the designated hitter rule.
Adopted in 1973, the rule has artificially inflated the hitting percentage of the American League and has allowed older players who can no longer play a defensive position to extend their careers unnaturally. This isn’t football where you have an offense and defense and different players for each—this is baseball where nine players play both offense and defense!
Baseball is the game of inches; the game of details. The strategy for managers of when to lift a pitcher, who to pinch hit, where that player might play are all integral parts of the game of baseball. The double switch is something American League teams just don’t know, yet it is an important part of baseball.
The national league has produced some great hitting pitchers. One of the best plays for my Chicago Cubs. Carlos Zambrano is one of the best hitters on the team and is their pitching ace, too. (He is frequently used as a pinch hitter!)
Hitting pitchers are rare, though and during inter-league play the American league home team automatically receives a significant unnatural advantage by shielding their pitchers and having that one-dimensional hitter on their roster.
I haven’t liked the American League since before the DH was instituted, but that rule is truly a travesty and should be repealed!