Good morning, Athletics Nation!
The talks between MLB and the players union are ongoing, as the two sides discuss the details of starting a 2020 season amid the coronavirus pandemic. There are lots of issues on the table, from money to logistics to player safety, but one topic in particular came up in the news cycle yesterday: the designated hitter.
The idea of adding a universal DH for the 2020 season has already been floating around for a while. The latest return-to-play proposal included a plan in which the AL and NL remain intact as leagues in the standings, but the teams only play against opponents from their own geographic regions — so, the A’s would only play AL West and NL West clubs. That means over half of each team’s schedule would be comprised of interleague contests, since they’d play five teams from the opposite league but only four from their own traditional intraleague division.
With that many interleague games, plus the topic of pitcher health already highlighted by a likely abbreviated “spring (June) (re-)training,” the most logical and efficient path could be to just have everyone play under the same rules. And anyway, the universal DH has seemed like an inevitable conclusion for a while now, with the only question being when — this would seem like as good a time as any.
Indeed, it could finally be happening. MLB insider Jon Heyman tweeted yesterday (embedded below) that the universal DH is “expected to be easily approved by players, who long favored the idea.” If both sides are into it, then it’s already done, even if it’s not official yet.
As a lifelong fan of an AL team, I am predictably also a fan of the DH. I think it makes sense and makes for a better and more entertaining product. I also genuinely enjoy the quirk of having different rules in the two leagues, and having NL pitchers hit doesn’t bother me since it just doesn’t affect my team that much, so I’m not that concerned one way or other and would be just as happy with things the way they were. But if the question is “yes or no” on the DH then my answer is a hard yes.
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Best of Twitter:
Bring on the DH!
Universal DH proposed by MLB is expected to be easily approved by players, who long favored idea. It won’t impact finances in ‘20 but could boost pay for select few in ‘21 based on better stats. Teams helped: Dodgers (great depth), Nats (same), Brewers (Braun), Mets (Cespedes?)— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) May 13, 2020
Things getting worse before they get better
Other clubs in addition to #Marlins also expected to furlough significant numbers of employees, effective June 1.— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) May 13, 2020
I can respect the health concerns, but not the financial part. Even after all the cuts and taxes he mentioned, he’d still be making seven figures to play baseball for three months. Completely out of touch while millions are unemployed.
Here’s Blake Snell discussing MLB’s revenue split proposal this afternoon on Twitch. pic.twitter.com/CCyCai42Aj— John Flanigan (@jflan816) May 13, 2020
Prove it. Do what it takes to get the 2020 season started when it’s safe to do so, even if that means making fewer millions of dollars.
I miss rain delays...I miss getting jammed in cold weather..i miss batting gloves...I miss long replay reviews that don’t get overturned even though he was safe.. I miss umpires..I miss long flights at 3 am after a tough loss... I miss the shift.. i do.. I miss it all...— Matt Carpenter (@MattCarp13) May 13, 2020
Click here to learn more about the new book, Billy Ball: Billy Martin and the Resurrection of the Oakland A’s by Dale Tafoya
Brian Kingman, one of the A’s “Five Aces” in 1981, lost 20 games in 1980, but many of his former teammates insisted he was a hard-luck loser with the nastiest stuff on the staff. #BillyBall #Athletics #BrianKingman pic.twitter.com/FAMeDgGZPn— Dale Tafoya (@DaleTafoya) May 13, 2020
Great advice from Frankie.
To be the great at what you do, you have to surround yourself with the greatest to have done it before you. pic.twitter.com/wfeY7YA76d— frankie montas (@FrankieMontas) May 13, 2020
Just pretend you’re watching it on Diamond Vision
Take your pick & watch them fly.— Nashville Sounds (@nashvillesounds) May 14, 2020
Which hat is the ball hiding under when they stop?! Leave your guesses ⤵️ #SafeAndSoundsAtHome pic.twitter.com/0W37qxN4jk