All right. It’s time for me to chime in here.
My case is to eliminate the DH. My points:
1. Affect on the Roster
a. By eliminating the DH, you place 6 men on a MLB bench instead of 5. This is a good thing because the team no longer has to pay 9 everyday players, lowering player costs significantly. An everyday player costs more than a bench player. It also opens up space for more specialized bench players - 3rd catchers, glove men, or speed demons who lack in other aspects of the game.
b. It forces the manager to actually use that bench. Without a DH, AL teams barely need to pinch hit or pinch run.
c. Using more specialized players and the entire bench leads to a more strategic game. Too many AL managers are absolutely terrible at managing significant aspects of the game, and this gives the advantage to the team with the more crafty manager.
a. When playing against each other in NL parks, the National League gains a big strategic advantage over the American League. American League pitchers don’t know how to hit, bunt, or run like the NL pitchers do.
b. In addition, American League pitchers risk injury much moreso than their NL counterparts, because they are performing actions that they are unused to. Do you really want to see your ace sliding into 2nd base in the 1st game of the World Series?
c. In terms of the designated hitter himself, not having to field gives him a huge advantage over his peer hitters. Guys like Frank Thomas, David Ortiz, and Travis Hafner can pile on the muscle without needing to worry about general agility. Similar players of size who have to play the field every day (Example, Jason Giambi, Richie Sexson) are constantly troubled by nagging injuries due to size.
d. The balance of power. The mound was lowered. The brush back pitch was taken away. Newer, lighter bats with huge sweet spots were introduced. The balance of power has shifted too much away from pitchers, resulting in more offense than at any time in baseball. Eliminating the designated hitter will shift that balance back toward pitchers. It won’t solve anything, but it will make their job much easier.
a. Baseball is a game of history. Moreso than any other sport, baseball fans see their record books as sacred. Look at the controversy surrounding steroids allegations for Bonds. The Designated hitter is a departure from the times of Maris, Mantle, DiMaggio, Williams, and Ruth. It completely changes the record books. Look at a guy like Frank Thomas. He is putting up numbers for the ages, but could not do so with his size if he wasn’t a DH for 15 years.