The conversation seems to occur on a yearly basis and it is upon us again, thanks to Max Scherzer. Should the designated hitter be expanded to encompass all of baseball? For me, the answer is quite simple. NO! The designated hitter is a part of American League baseball and pitchers hitting are part of National League baseball. That’s the way it is, was, and always should be.
“He knew the rules. Whatever much he signed for — what did he get, again? — he didn’t have a problem signing his name,” said Bumgarner, referring to Scherzer’s $210 million, seven-year free-agent deal he signed with the Nationals in the offseason. “He didn’t have a problem with hitting then. I’m sure he had his pick of anywhere he wanted to go.”
I remember always finding it amazing when a pitcher comes through at the plate. Partly, because success is so unexpected, and partly because it is usually quite entertaining. Scherzer brought up the point of would you rather watch him or David Ortiz bat. Well, I choose you Max, because this is the National League and like Bumgarner has brought to your attention, this is where you chose to receive your $200 million.
Throughout my 32 years, I remember way more at-bats from the likes of Mike Hampton, Dontrelle Willis, Carlos Zambrano, Al Leiter and now the poetic plate appearances of Bartolo Colon, as compared to specific at-bats from David Ortiz, Frank Thomas or Edgar Martinez.