The National League is the only league left anywhere that pitchers still bat. While I'm of a younger generation, I still consider myself a big time historical baseball aficionado. And I can see both sides of the argument, strategy and purity and tradition vs. offense and entertainment, I get it. That being said its really stupid and boring to watch pitchers bat.
I say this coming from the perspective of a Yankees fan, American League baseball fan and as someone who has known nothing but the DH in the AL growing up. And to that moron Steve Phillips (are the Seattle Mariners going to rally back and make the playoffs this year Stevie?) over at ESPN who talks about the "tradition of the game," I've got news for you.
If baseball stuck to tradition Chien-Ming Wang wouldn't never gotten hurt running the bases. Know how I know how? Because if baseball stuck to tradition and never installed inter-league play, American and National League teams wouldn't meet until the World Series in October and hence Wang never would've been running the bases because the Yankees wouldn't have been playing in Houston, but maybe in Arlington you know against a team in their own league who they've still yet to play this season!
Does this come off a bit as sour grapes? Sure. Could Wang have gotten hurt as easily running sprints in the outfield warming up? Possibly. Say what you will of how fluky the injury was or how asinine it is that anybody would come up lame like that just simply running the bases, but the point is Wang should've never been on the bases to begin with.
I've voiced my opinion in previous posts about my feelings on instant replay and the wild card and while NL owners stick with the pitcher batting for financial reasons, I have no use for it as a fan.
Nobody wants to see a pitcher bat in the All-Star Game, but it can still happen in an NL park. Sure it makes things interesting in the 6th or 7th inning strategy wise, but in the 3rd or 4th inning with runners at the corners and two outs, nobody in their right minds wants to see the pitcher come up to the plate. One could even argue that in a close game in the AL, the manager of the team with the lead has to make more of a decision strategically. Do I leave my starter in to face the power hitting DH or do I go to my pen, or do I go to my pen because there's basically no easy automatic outs in the lineup. In the NL if I'm a manager with the lead and the pitcher comes up, there's no way my starter is coming out, so I sit there and say ok go strike 'em out kid!
If you enjoyed watching Billy Crystal batting in Spring Training, then knock yourself out, because like him most pitchers are an automatic out, but the sad thing is these guys aren't 60 years old either.