As baseball season comes to an end and my heart fills with sorrow, I am reminded of the one thing that makes me hate baseball, the designated hitter – or DH – rule.
The DH is the 10th player in the batting line-up, allowed to bat in the place of the pitcher in all levels and leagues, except the National League.
This rule has long been debated by fans, coaches and players, but after 35 years, the rule still remains.
The DH rule should be eliminated from all levels and leagues of baseball because it takes away from the purity of the game. There is a need for a unified game between the American and National Leagues.
In 1973, the DH rule was put into trial because American League owners were concerned about low-scoring games and dwindling attendance.
Basically, the owners of the teams changed the rules of the historic game for an increased profit.
This disruption is not the only factor of baseball the DH rule compromises. The DH rule takes away from baseball’s difficult strategy, making the game even more impure.
Managers in the National League choose their teams, weighing both the offensive and defensive abilities of every player.
This is different from the American League, which picks a pitcher simply on his throwing ability, and a DH simply on his capability to hit a ball.
The extra person changes the game from a strategic nineman game to a simple ten-man game.
There is a strong need and support for a unified games across the board for baseball.
Many individuals see no problem in the spilt between the two professional leagues of baseball until it comes to one specific event, the World Series.
The split causes a large mixup in rules and general problems. The way the solution sits currently is that when a game is played at an American League home field, the DH is used, and when games are played on a National League field, the DH is not used.
When looking to every other sport, it is easy to see why this is a problem.
Think if professional football allowed the National Conference teams to kick field goals, but did not allow its American Conference teams to do so.
Or if professional basketball permitted the Eastern Conference to shoot 3-point shots but not the Western Conference.
Why would fans, managers and players allow for this split to exist in the world of baseball?
There is truly no good reason for the split between the leagues.
After 35 long years of putting up with the DH rule, there should be change because of the distortion of the original game by taking away its purity and the need for a united game.
But as much as fans have pushed for the change, the officials have still not budged. Hopefully change will come soon and all levels and leagues of baseball will be cleansed of this absurd rule.
Jeri Kohn is a sophomore actuarial science and public relations major from Lincoln, Neb. She is theScout assistant sports editor.
Direct comments, questions and other responses to jkohn@mail. bradley.edu.