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how to improve the dh rule

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#1 hawkiconk

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Posted 23 July 2014 - 03:08 PM

ok, so most people hate the dh rule
mainly because it takes almost all of the strategy out of the al game

the nl, without the dh rule, makes a manager ponder when to pinch-hit on offense and when to make a double switch on defense. strategize

my solution:
make the dh rule in effect for each league, with this modification-
the dh can only come to the plate 3 times a game, maximum

now a manager must decide when to use his 3 dh at-bats. if the score is tied in the bottom of the 6th with 2 outs and no-one on base and the dh is up for the 3rd time, does he use him up or let the pitcher hit?
this saves the dh for the 8th, 9th or extra innings

what if the starting pitcher hits like ken brett, steve carlton or rick ankiel?
maybe save the dh for late in the game or a bases loaded situation?

now, instead of zero strategy with the dh rule, there is much more strategy in each league.

scorekeeping would not be a problem, just put the dh and the starting pitcher on the same line and mark each at-bat with a d or p

and
since baseball rules state that in order to win a batting average title a batter must have 502 at bats for the season (3.1 at-bats per game over 162 games) a hitter used only as a dh would not be eligible to win that crown
(except, of course, if you add outs for all of his at-bats to get to 502 and his average is still the higheast)

#2 GCTF

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Posted 23 July 2014 - 06:42 PM

Put down the bong, Jerry.

#3 hawkiconk

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Posted 23 July 2014 - 06:48 PM

amazing

god bless the good ol' grateful dead


#4 John Bonnes

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Posted 23 July 2014 - 06:59 PM

So it's not like they need to pull the pitcher, right? They can use the DH in the 1st, let the pitcher bat in the 4th, go back to the Dh in the 7th?

I can't quite process it, but I think most of us would agree - having it differ by leagues is the worst possible situation. It's not like we need to gather any more data about this experiment. Do it one way or the other.

Personally, I hated the DH rule - right up until I moved to a NL city and had to watch pitchers bat every ninth hitter. There was very little strategic about it. The moves become just as rote - a double-switch, pulling the pitcher in late innings, etc - and the price for the small increase in strategy was having to watch rally after rally get killed by a civilian with a bat. I couldn't believe how much I disliked it.

So that's my advice to American League citizens who crave the DH - adopt a NL team for a year and watch their games and see if you really like it. It's a hell of a lot glamorous than you think it's going to be, IMHO.

#5 hawkiconk

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Posted 23 July 2014 - 07:04 PM

[quote name='John Bonnes']So it's not like they need to pull the pitcher, right? They can use the DH in the 1st, let the pitcher bat in the 4th, go back to the Dh in the 7th?

I can't quite process it, but I think most of us would agree - having it differ by leagueexperiment. Do it one way or the other.


exactly my point!!
thank you!!

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#6 Bark's Lounge

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Posted 23 July 2014 - 07:08 PM

Put down the bong, Jerry.


I am not a fan of taking joy away from people... pick up the bong, enjoy.

This is my take on what the DH rules should be for both leagues:

AL: Keeps the DH rule.

NL: Keeps the Pitcher hitting rule in place.

Interleague Play: The DH is in play in both AL & NL ballparks, my twist on it would be that the DH has to wear a metallic gold uniform and cap for no good reason and the DH gets to use a end loaded DiMarini Aluminum softball bat when at the plate.

As a fan, I think this would make the game more colorful and exciting as well.

#7 hawkiconk

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Posted 23 July 2014 - 07:13 PM

might be better than my idea

maybe

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#8 TheLeviathan

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Posted 23 July 2014 - 07:17 PM

I'd rather both leagues just adopt the DH.

Having the pitcher bat once every nine turns is like making your 1B pitch once every nine innings.

#9 hawkiconk

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Posted 23 July 2014 - 07:20 PM

reminds me of doug save a thousand runs a season

but he had a gorgeous lady....

god bless the good ol' grateful dead


#10 tarheeltwinsfan

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Posted 23 July 2014 - 07:24 PM

This is the strangest thread I've read in my 3 months on this website.

#11 hawkiconk

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Posted 23 July 2014 - 07:26 PM

This is the strangest thread I've read in my 3 months on this website.


it hasn't even been a long strange trip
keep on truckin'

god bless the good ol' grateful dead


#12 Bark's Lounge

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Posted 23 July 2014 - 07:59 PM

I'd rather both leagues just adopt the DH.

Having the pitcher bat once every nine turns is like making your 1B pitch once every nine innings.


This is the likely outcome at some point in time, but I have to say I have never been a fan of interleague play.

For me it has killed the magic of the World Series.... it made the World Series more unique than it is now (2 teams, facing off, that have never played against each other in the regular season, two different leagues, with different rules, with league bragging rights going to the winner at the conclusion of the WS).

Now everything is clumped together, just like the NFL, NBA, and NHL. Baseball did hold out a while, and those were great times.

A great tradition that I cherished was destroyed in MLB 18-19 years ago. There seems to be no point in the NL clinging to the pitcher batting and not having a DH. Interleague play should have eliminated that. Let's get the ball rolling on that Bud.

#13 hawkiconk

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Posted 23 July 2014 - 08:08 PM

This is the likely outcome at some point in time, but I have to say I have never been a fan of interleague play.

For me it has killed the magic of the World Series.... it made the World Series more unique than it is now (2 teams, facing off, that have never played against each other in the regular season, two different leagues, with different rules, with league bragging rights going to the winner at the conclusion of the WS).

Now everything is clumped together, just like the NFL, NBA, and NHL. Baseball did hold out a while, and those were great times.

A great tradition that I cherished was destroyed in MLB 18-19 years ago. There seems to be no point in the NL clinging to the pitcher batting and not having a DH. Interleague play should have eliminated that. Let's get the ball rolling on that Bud.

bud is a goner
try to send a message to him--- won't go through

god bless the good ol' grateful dead


#14 biggentleben

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Posted 24 July 2014 - 06:33 AM

This is the likely outcome at some point in time, but I have to say I have never been a fan of interleague play.

For me it has killed the magic of the World Series.... it made the World Series more unique than it is now (2 teams, facing off, that have never played against each other in the regular season, two different leagues, with different rules, with league bragging rights going to the winner at the conclusion of the WS).

Now everything is clumped together, just like the NFL, NBA, and NHL. Baseball did hold out a while, and those were great times.

A great tradition that I cherished was destroyed in MLB 18-19 years ago. There seems to be no point in the NL clinging to the pitcher batting and not having a DH. Interleague play should have eliminated that. Let's get the ball rolling on that Bud.


In all seriousness, I believe increased media has also removed the luster of the World Series and especially the All-Star game. It wasn't that long ago that growing up in rural South Dakota meant that I got to see a game of the week, the All-Star game, and the World Series. Otherwise, I didn't even get to see the most local team, so if you would have asked me what a guy like Cecil Cooper looked like, I'd have had no idea without baseball cards. Then cable became cheaper and the Braves and Cubs took heavy advantage of that to grow their fan bases. The early 90s brought about multiple games done by ESPN and increasing reach of cable networks along with the more heavy introduction of dish networks. By the time the late 90s came around, there were packages with major cable companies where you could watch every game of every team. Those same packages now are very affordable in comparison, and MLB.tv is ridiculously cheap, so most everyone has seen every player in baseball play multiple times even if there isn't interleague play, and that has taken a lot of luster off of the All-Star game and also removed some from the World Series.

That said, someone like me who remembers following the Braves via the newspaper for the first years of my fanhood before my grandparents got cable, this era is awesome. I've watched 4 of the Braves' 5 games since the All-Star break in entirety along with reading multiple articles about the team (and writing one as well), and I'm across the country from the home television market for that team. My biggest issue with interleague play now is when the Braves and Twins play once every 4-6 years, I can't watch those games on my current MLB.tv package.

I know this has nothing to do with the DH, but still a very big reason why national showcases of baseball are less enthralling than they once were.
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#15 Kirby_waved_at_me

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Posted 24 July 2014 - 06:39 AM

I like the idea of the DH having to wear an elaborate costume - like the "gold ball" at the end of each HR Derby Round.

#16 biggentleben

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Posted 24 July 2014 - 06:56 AM

So, on the topic, I do not see the original proposal being feasible because of the confusing logistics of it, and baseball is very new-fan conscious in their rules with multiple quotes from this offseason's changes in the home plate collision rules and replay rules referring to making the game more understandable and clear for the casual fan.

One thing recently pointed out on a podcast I peruse was that the major league leader in sacrifice bunts this season is the Cincinnati Reds with something like 45. The lowest in the league is the Oakland Athletics with 7. Of the top 10 in the league, one was an AL team. Of the bottom 10, one was an NL team. I think the style of play is significantly different with the DH, and it's not just the pitcher hitting.

I'm a huge fan of pitching and defense. While I know that rarely attracts new fans to the game, there is a significant long-term fan base that appreciates tremendous efforts in those areas of the game. I searched for the article and found it was a podcast (and one I can't link at that :angry: )where I heard Tony LaRussa discuss Yadier Molina. He stated that Yadi was an All-Star before he was an above average hitter and that it took nearly a decade in the major leagues for him to become the offensive player that he is today. His stance was that hitters with that profile would struggle to get the chances they needed to build offensive game like Yadi did in the American League because of the emphasis on hitting 1-9 in the lineup with less focus on the "other things" of the game. I see it now with Andrelton Simmons. I'm not sure I've ever seen another player who played defense the way Simmons does. It is flat out remarkable. However, he's league average at best with the bat right now, and how quickly would he be getting the axe in an AL city? Heck, Pedro Florimon was lambasted all offseason and run out of town in spite of leading AL SS's in defensive runs saved and having an offensive season in his first full major league season akin to what Yadi did in his first full season (68 OPS+ vs. 70). Now this year, Florimon took a significant step back to the point where his offense was so putrid it wouldn't play regardless of the quality of his defense (which also took a step back, interestingly), but you see the point in that a guy like Florimon in an NL city is an accepted position as long as the defense is still there, while in the AL, his fans are screaming for his head.

I don't think all the difference are attributable to the DH rule only, but it certainly does add to it. The casual fan believes that a pitcher going from an AL to NL team will get better because there's no DH and therefore hitting is down, but the games are played quite different, and there's as much or more influence on the pitcher's ERA of the increased quality of defense and "small ball" in the NL versus the AL's loaded lineups with a focus on Earl Weaver-style offense and mediocre defense in many cases.

This is sounding like a rip on the AL, and I don't want it to be that by any means. I love AL baseball, but I also like the difference in style of play in the NL, and while I think that difference stems from more than just the DH, I'd hate to lose that style of play completely if all leagues implemented the DH.
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#17 TheLeviathan

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Posted 24 July 2014 - 07:14 AM

Ben I think teams can still play that way if they choose to and we'd save watching inept players taking at-bats. I think the attachment of that style of play to making pitchers bat is a misconception.

#18 biggentleben

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Posted 24 July 2014 - 07:30 AM

Ben I think teams can still play that way if they choose to and we'd save watching inept players taking at-bats. I think the attachment of that style of play to making pitchers bat is a misconception.


That's why I said that it's not just about the DH, but a lot of the arguments for the NL taking on the DH are based on style of play, and I'd hope they don't lose that focus. It is telling, however, when you look at things like sacrifice bunt numbers or defensive runs saved team numbers that there is a significant gap in the two leagues' style of play, and I'd be interested to see how much of that was a shift post-DH in the AL (as the NL has always been the league seen more for their defense, but I'm not sure about the small ball numbers).
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#19 Brock Beauchamp

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Posted 24 July 2014 - 07:37 AM

Personally, I hated the DH rule - right up until I moved to a NL city and had to watch pitchers bat every ninth hitter. There was very little strategic about it. The moves become just as rote - a double-switch, pulling the pitcher in late innings, etc - and the price for the small increase in strategy was having to watch rally after rally get killed by a civilian with a bat. I couldn't believe how much I disliked it.


Yep. I believe Tony LaRussa, when asked about the DH, said it's just as hard - if not harder - to manage in the AL because of the DH and superior AL lineups. The vast majority of the time, switching out the pitcher in late innings is a no-brainer situation. You simply construct your lineup differently and fall into a different routine, one that is less engaging for the audience as you shuffle ineptitude around the field to accommodate a guy who shouldn't be holding a bat.

In the AL, when do you pull the pitcher? Do you throw him out there another inning? Most of the time, AL switches are made based on performance, not a rule that hinders your team's ability to be effective on both offense and defense. When do you make that lineup switch in the AL? When it benefits your team the most in late innings, that's when. You're not rolling out a guy in the sixth - often your best bench bat - for a single meaningless AB, after which he's out of the game. You keep that guy for the eighth or ninth when it really matters and when you really need him.

NL baseball is often bad, boring baseball. I lived in San Diego for a decade and Los Angeles for another decade after that. I've watched at least a thousand NL games.

Give me the AL and DH any day of the week.

#20 biggentleben

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Posted 24 July 2014 - 07:40 AM

Just looked it up, and this season there's been some sacrificing since the podcast I listened to, and the leaderboard for sacrifices now has the Rangers at 15 and Giants at 16, otherwise, it is perfectly by league, the top 14 are NL teams, the bottom 14 are AL teams.
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#21 biggentleben

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Posted 24 July 2014 - 08:05 AM

Okay, I went back the decades to take a look, going back a decade at a time with 1973 (the first year of the DH) as my central year. Obviously sacrifices are not the only statistic of small ball, but they're being used as an indicator here.

2013 - MLB Leader: Reds 85; AL Leader: Astros (#15) 46; AL teams in top 10 in MLB: 0
2003 - MLB Leader: Cardinals 87; AL Leader: Tigers (#11) 65; AL teams in top 10: 0
1993 - MLB Leader: Dodgers 107; AL Leader: Red Sox (#7) 80; AL teams in top 10: 1
1983 - MLB Leader: Padres 89; AL Leader: Angels (#11) 68; AL teams in top 10: 1
1973 - MLB Leader: Expos 115; AL Leader: Athletics (#10) 67; AL teams in top 10: 1
1963 - MLB Leader: Indians 88; AL Leader: Indians (#1) 88; AL teams in top 10 (only 20 teams): 5
1953 - MLB Leader: White Sox 120; AL Leader: White Sox (#1) 120; AL teams in top 10 (only 16 teams): 6 (including top 4)
1943 - MLB Leader: Cardinals 173; AL Leader: Tigers (#2) 123; AL teams in top 10 (only 16 teams): 5
1933 - MLB Leader: Pirates 147; AL Leader: Senators (#3) 130; AL teams in top 10 (only 16 teams): 4

One can see a drastic drop in sacrifices post-WWII/integration, but the NL has always played a more small-ball game on the whole than the AL, even before the DH, but drastically so since. So my concerns about the loss of the small-ball angle of the game is likely not going to happen, which is likely to the chagrin of many pro-DH supporters who want to see things like the bunt go away.
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#22 Brock Beauchamp

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Posted 24 July 2014 - 08:11 AM

So my concerns about the loss of the small-ball angle of the game is likely not going to happen, which is likely to the chagrin of many pro-DH supporters who want to see things like the bunt go away.


It's foolish to want to see the bunt go away.

What's not foolish is to expect modern managers to understand the basics of the bunt and when it damages your chances of winning a baseball game.

The problem isn't the bunt, the problem is that too many in baseball have a "we've always done it that way, rub some dirt on it and walk it off" attitude when there are mountains of statistics that tell us when to use the bunt effectively and when to avoid it like the plague.

#23 TheLeviathan

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Posted 24 July 2014 - 08:12 AM

That's why I said that it's not just about the DH, but a lot of the arguments for the NL taking on the DH are based on style of play, and I'd hope they don't lose that focus. It is telling, however, when you look at things like sacrifice bunt numbers or defensive runs saved team numbers that there is a significant gap in the two leagues' style of play, and I'd be interested to see how much of that was a shift post-DH in the AL (as the NL has always been the league seen more for their defense, but I'm not sure about the small ball numbers).


Right but there is a perception that if you add the DH then this style of play has to go away. I'd argue that's not necessarily the case as John pointed out above.

The only thing that would for sure happen by putting the DH in both leagues is ending the absurdity of having an incompetent "civillian" (good term) pretending to be a major league hitter 2-3 times a game. You can still bunt to your heart's content.

#24 biggentleben

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Posted 24 July 2014 - 08:14 AM

It's foolish to want to see the bunt go away.

What's not foolish is to expect modern managers to understand the basics of the bunt and when it damages your chances of winning a baseball game.

The problem isn't the bunt, the problem is that too many in baseball have a "we've always done it that way, rub dirt on it and walk it off" attitude when there are mountains of statistics that tell us when to use the bunt effectively and when to avoid it like the plague.


Completely agree, but much like anything political in this country, there's a middle that makes perfect, logical sense, and there's the two extremes that are most vocal and most likely played out, sadly.
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#25 Brock Beauchamp

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Posted 24 July 2014 - 08:17 AM

Completely agree, but much like anything political in this country, there's a middle that makes perfect, logical sense, and there's the two extremes that are most vocal and most likely played out, sadly.


Indeed. I like the bunt. It's an exciting play when used properly (late in the game, playing for one run and the win). Baseball is exciting because it holds suspense unlike any other sport in the world. In a tie game with a runner on base in the ninth, the game can literally end at any second. A well-executed bunt puts multiple players into motion at a single time during this height of suspense and the entire game can turn in a split second. It's fun to watch.

On the other hand, I've turned off baseball games - even Twins games - because I was so angry after seeing a bunt in a 0-0 game in the third inning (not including bunt attempts for hits here).

#26 biggentleben

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Posted 24 July 2014 - 08:20 AM

Right but there is a perception that if you add the DH then this style of play has to go away. I'd argue that's not necessarily the case as John pointed out above.

The only thing that would for sure happen by putting the DH in both leagues is ending the absurdity of having an incompetent "civillian" (good term) pretending to be a major league hitter 2-3 times a game. You can still bunt to your heart's content.


Yep, I did the research on that, and obviously the NL-style was more "small-ball" before even the DH came into play, and in the first decade post-integration and post-WWII, the NL still played more small ball even though they went in quicker and more deeply into integration than the AL.
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#27 biggentleben

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Posted 24 July 2014 - 08:31 AM

Indeed. I like the bunt. It's an exciting play when used properly (late in the game, playing for one run and the win). Baseball is exciting because it holds suspense unlike any other sport in the world. In a tie game with a runner on base in the ninth, the game can literally end at any second. A well-executed bunt puts multiple players into motion at a single time during this height of suspense and the entire game can turn in a split second. It's fun to watch.

On the other hand, I've turned off baseball games - even Twins games - because I was so angry after seeing a bunt in a 0-0 game in the third inning (not including bunt attempts for hits here).


One of the things that impresses me about Andrelton Simmons' game offensively is his bat control. Last night, early in the game, he showed bunt on two pitches, then ripped a directional sacrifice hit to the shortstop that moved over the runner instead. He doesn't get credit for a sacrifice for that play, but it did the exact same thing. Such skills are a lost art in the game. It's one of the reasons I LOVED watching Tony Gwynn hit.

That said, the Braves have a reliever they called up, Chasen Shreve, who is reportedly a remarkable bunter. He was on deck on Monday when the last out was recorded, as he was going to take over for the 11th inning if the Braves made it there. I would hope that teams aren't afraid to utilize skills like that because of the DH if both leagues do adopt.
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#28 Wyorev

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Posted 24 July 2014 - 08:37 AM

re: DH - Old Goat has a great point. If Baseball started with the DH, and someone said "I have a great idea, let's have the pitcher hit." No one in their right mind would agree to it.
At the same time, I remember being at a game in the late 80s or early 90s and Clemons was cruising through the Twins, and I thought it would have been nice to see if batting a couple times would have helped tire him out a bit. It wouldn't have, but still.
I don't mind the different rules in different leagues. Until I have to watch civilians bat...

#29 gil4

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Posted 24 July 2014 - 10:19 AM

[quote name='biggentleben']So, on the topic, I do not see the original proposal being feasible because of the confusing logistics of it [/QUOTE]

Agreed

[quote name='biggentleben'] ...the major league leader in sacrifice bunts this season is the Cincinnati Reds with something like 45. The lowest in the league is the Oakland Athletics with 7. Of the top 10 in the league, one was an AL team. [/QUOTE]

That's interesting, but is it a good or bad thing for the AL? The NL has a bunch of guys bunting because they really have little hope of doing anything else. I can appreciate small-ball if it's a well-reasoned strategy executed by a skilled batter. I appreciate it less when it's the last refuge of someone who really ought to be doing something else.

[quote name='biggentleben'] I think the style of play is significantly different with the DH, and it's not just the pitcher hitting. [/QUOTE]
I prefer the AL style, but I actually think MLB stumbled into a pretty good solution by having different rules in the two leagues. Now we have a comparison, we have something to discuss and argue about

[quote name='biggentleben'] Yadier Molina. ... His stance was that hitters with that profile would struggle to get the chances they needed to build offensive game like Yadi did ... I see it now with Andrelton Simmons. [/QUOTE]
I don't see it. It's harder to hide an offensive black hole in an NL lineup when you already have one built in at the 9th spot. I'm not sure what you see now with Simmons, but I see a guy who is universally recognized as an outstanding major league player. I don't see how playing in the AL would have changed that. (Plus he played his college ball within walking distance of my house, so I would probably say good things about him anyway.)

[quote name='biggentleben'] Heck, Pedro Florimon was lambasted all offseason and run out of town in spite of leading AL SS's in defensive runs saved and having an offensive season in his first full major league season akin to what Yadi did in his first full season (68 OPS+ vs. 70). [/QUOTE]

Molina had hit in the minors and was 22 in his first season. Florimon had not and was 26. Still, I don't remember Florimon being lambasted during the offseason. Plenty of people were skeptical of his ability to maintain even the poor offensive numbers he had, and a number of us preferred Escobar's upside because he's 2 years younger and was likely to take another step forward.

There was plenty of discussion over where the line was offensively for Florimon's superior defense to offset it. There probably should have been for Molina, too, especially after his second full year, which was pretty putrid (53 OPS+). But still, Molina was only 23 at the time, plus he had some MLB bloodlines and the minor league track record. Florimon wasn't "run out of town" until he put up a -12 OPS+ in 86 PA. I'm sure a lot of that wasn't his fault - having his appendix removed during spring training set him back and he never really recovered. I think he still could have a role with a major league team, but I doubt he gets another chance to be the full time SS for a team. I can't see how playing for an NL team would have changed anything I'm not sure what alternatives StL had in 2005/2006, but the Twins had one in 2014 and he played pretty well.

[quote name='biggentleben'] The casual fan believes that a pitcher going from an AL to NL team will get better because there's no DH and therefore hitting is down, but the games are played quite different, and there's as much or more influence on the pitcher's ERA of the increased quality of defense and "small ball" in the NL [/QUOTE]

I believe the difference in runs between the two leagues is almost entirely due to the fact that every 9th batter is a pitcher in the NL. The AL teams also have the flexibility to match up a bit more late in games because they don't have to use PH for the pitchers all the time. I don't see an increased quality of defense and the small ball is almost exclusively the product of pitchers being forced to go to the plate and attempt to hit.


[quote name='biggentleben'] I love AL baseball, but I also like the difference in style of play in the NL, and while I think that difference stems from more than just the DH, I'd hate to lose that style of play completely if all leagues implemented the DH. [/QUOTE]


There we agree again, although I think if we were forced to choose one style of the other, we would choose the opposite.

#30 biggentleben

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Posted 24 July 2014 - 10:53 AM

Gil, while quoting your post would confuse all, including myself, too much, I'll discuss a couple points. First, excellent response. Well put comments.

The belief on pitchers bunting is certainly true, however, many sacrifices are done by the 9 hole hitter in the AL, so it's not just pitchers, but anyone at the 9 hole. When you take out the pitchers, the AL does much better in total sacrifices, but when you check by position in the order, the NL does far more bunting outside of the 9-hole in the order than the AL. As far as the pinch-hitting restricting bench play, I'd strongly disagree on that point. Typically the pinch-hitting you'd do for the worst hitter, which is what the NL does regardless. The difference being that they can pinch hit for anyone in the lineup and make positional switches. If the DH has to come to the field, the AL team loses their DH slot in the lineup and has to bat their pitchers, which restricts that player for an entire game in his usage.

As far as Simmons goes, he's my absolute favorite player in the game right now, so don't take my words as any knock on him. He's put up wRC+ numbers of 91 and 81 his two full years offensively, so technically, he's not yet achieved average offensive production.

Edited by biggentleben, 24 July 2014 - 12:25 PM.
clarification

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