BANNING THE DESIGNATED HITTER: BASEBALL’S CONTROVERSY
Everyone loves a hit by the pitcher, but is it worth risking the million-dollar career?
Players are fighting for Major League Baseball to ban pitchers hitting and instead, enforce a universal designated hitter. The DH rule is only applied in the American League and was voted by the players association in 1983 to only have the DH in the American League.
A designated hitter (DH) is a hitter who takes the place of the pitcher when it is the pitchers turn to bat. In the 2020 COVID-19 season where the season was cut to only 60 games, the National League adopted the DH rule, but only for that season, reportedly due to risk of injury. Players and coaches around the league were upset when they found out that the DH rule was taken out of the 2021 season, when the schedule went back to the full 162 games.
It is easy for one to hurt their pitching arm when swinging a bat and that is what worries managers so much. There have been multiple reports of pitchers being hurt during batting practice and even in games due to an over swing or simply being hit by a pitch. One bad swing and a pitcher could have a million-dollar career stripped of them. One of the main questions circulating right now is: is it worth it?
While many are wanting the Universal DH rule applied, there are players and fans who believe the DH should only stay in the American league. Fans have enjoyed watching a pitcher vs pitcher matchup every once in a while, putting the DH rule in the way of that could make people mad. People enjoy the long history of baseball and taking the pitcher out of the lineup, would ultimately feel as if the beloved past time was being swept under the rug.
The Universal Designated Hitter will be a topic that will be circulating around baseball for years to come, but when will it be enforced, if ever? How many pitchers have to get hurt before enough is enough? These are the questions that are being asked. With the 2020 season having great reviews on the Universal DH, the MLB Players Association could be making some rule changes in the upcoming seasons. If you enjoy pitcher’s getting a hit here and there, be prepared because the Universal DH rule could possibly eliminate that depending on the future votes and the future player actions.