As part of our Sports Election Day package, we asked readers to sound off on the biggest sports issues facing the nation. Here are the best responses on what to do with the Designated Hitter rule, broken down by readers' stated party affiliation. Please add your own comment below.
I like it as is because it is the difference between the leagues. I like the DH in the AL because it creates more offense. I like the NL without because I like the strategy that has to be used to decide what to do with hitting pitchers. It's fun to see the thinking side of managing with double switches and stuff like that.
-- I like the extra strategy that is involved in having to use the pitcher as a hitter. The sacrifice bunt, the double switch, the easy out.
-- It's a waste of time and talent. It's a way out for players in the AL who cannot play defense. Plus, it appears that when players do not play the entire game, they are too relaxed and miss more often than they hit.
-- You can argue that it is more "true" to the game but let's be honest, almost all pitchers in the NL just completely go out there and don't even try to hit the ball. To keep the game more interesting and exciting, just make the whole league DH.
-- The DH is like stopping a basketball game in order to put in a better defender for the great shooting, poor defensive player. In every other sport, the player plays both offense and defense. The DH is an absolute joke.
-- You need the DH because it brings some sort of excitement toward baseball with a little more offense, plus it is a better for strategy as how you are going to pitch to the big hitters.
-- It's worked since the '70s leave it alone. However, all All-Star Games should have the DH.
-- It strengthens the lineups, and makes the pitcher's job harder. I'd much rather be at the plate facing Tim Wakefield than on the mound staring at David Ortiz
-- I don't really think this is an issue. If it is, why don't they just have a vote of the managers like they did to originally choose?
-- It's ridiculous fake baseball that alleviates the managers in the AL from having to think during their games. But, if you want to argue that pitchers shouldn't hit, then make the NL use the DH, too. It would be like the Eastern Conference not using the three-point line ... it's absurd.
-- The National League versus American League uniqueness before the interleague play was great. It added something to the baseball that got diluted when they started interleague play. It seems like a built in 'speed bump' in most batting lineups.
-- Pitchers can't hit. It extends a position-player's lifetime (see Molitor, Winfield, et al)
-- Hitters should hit, and pitchers should pitch. More offense makes for more exciting baseball. It allows good hitters to extend their careers.
-- I'm just a bit old fashioned in my beliefs; I don't believe that the DH is a viable asset to the game. When kids are playing today in the local street or on the little league field, they aren't dreaming of being a DH, they want to be a complete player, and that includes pitchers hitting.
-- I'm a purist. Make the pitcher hit.
-- Baseball was not designed to be played this way. It is not meant to be like football where you have offensive and defensive players. It is far from strategy to distinguish your worst fielders for the sake of "excitement." It's called "right field" in a real league.
-- The NL game is much more difficult to manage and more intriguing to watch. The American League is more about entertainment than strategy. I guess it all depends on what you get enjoyment in, scores of 12 to 10 on a daily basis or game that plays more like a chess match.
-- Leave it in one league and not in the other so everyone can be happy and watch the style of ball they want. Without the DH, I wouldn't have gotten to enjoy Edgar Martinez play during his career.
-- There is more strategy involved in the NL-style, and teams would be punished for playing players who can hit but are liabilities on defense. Players who are specialized such as Manny Ramirez and David Ortiz would lose value, while Mark Texiera would be valued more.
-- The DH protects the large investments teams make in pitchers. It also allows pitchers to stay in games longer, as they don't have to be pinch hit for in the sixth inning.
-- Pitchers are world-class athletes. They should be able to hit the ball. Also, the addition of the DH completely takes away one of the most intriguing strategic aspects of baseball: managing pitching changes with respect to the batting order.