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Elephant Rumblings: Universal DH could be coming in 2020

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Oakland Athletics v New York Yankees Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

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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Bring on the DH!

Things getting worse before they get better

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.

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.

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Great advice from Frankie.

Just pretend you’re watching it on Diamond Vision