The argument presented for having a DH is based around extending the careers of players and making lineups stronger. Not having to play the field takes a toll off of a player’s body. Taking this toll off can help a player continue to play even as his body ages.
The AL has always been a league that emphasizes having a stronger lineup and it is no surprise that they have kept the DH a staple of their league for 40 years now. Most pitchers are not very good hitters and that is OK since they need to concentrate on pitching, however it still hurts a lineup. It is much better for a lineup to have another strong hitter in it rather than a weak hitting pitcher.
The argument presented for having pitchers hit is based around a belief that playing the game of baseball consists of both hitting and playing the field. Some believe that just because a pitcher pitches, it does not mean that they should be exempt from hitting. The NL has adopted this belief over the years.
While I have personally always been a fan of the AL’s style of play more than the NL’s, I believe that pitchers should hit like they do in the NL. I am one of the people who believe that hitting and fielding are both equally a part of the game and everyone on the field should participate in both.
The DH does not bother me so much because pitchers do not hit but rather because the DH does not have to play in the field. In my opinion, if a player cannot play defense then he should not be playing at all. Once a player reaches an age when he can no longer play the field, I think his days of playing baseball should be over because to play baseball you have to play in the field.
While I believe that it would make sense for the MLB to either adopt or eliminate the DH in both leagues, now that they play each other throughout the season, I do not see that happening anytime soon. So, it seems like we will just have to continue to watch both styles being used for seasons to come.
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