There are baseball fans, and there are fans of American League baseball.
IMHO, they are two very separate entities.
Witness the ramblings of the subject of today’s familyFirst pick: the Dallas Morning News’ Tim Cowlishaw.
Cowlishaw, a fan of the perennially obscure Texas Rangers, is also, as you might imagine, a fan of the designated hitter.
I watched a minor league game last night between the Northwest Arkansas Naturals and the San Antonio Missions. I was pained to learn that farm clubs, even national League affiliates, use the DH unless BOTH teams are NL affiliated.
What a disgrace. AL fans have grown to accept this “temporary” arrangement, which too often buys time for aging sluggers too decrepit to play defense, as natural. In fact, many, like Cowlishaw, are asking what’s wrong with the national League? When are they going to get with the program?
I maintain that the DH takes away as much as 25% of the strategy from baseball, turning it into nine palookas who all hit the ball as hard as possible. It’s perfect for shallow fans of teams with budgets larger than the GNP of 75% of the world’s nations, who drop the objects of their affections like hot potatoes when they fall more than five games out of first.
For the rest of us, fans who love the sport despite its myriad imperfections, pitchers who bat for themselves are one of the last hopes of eventual all-around civility for this game, which has been horribly damaged by the unpunished steroid-laced antics of recent “superstars.”
Tomorrow, the other side of the views expressed by this Dallas writer.