Friday, May 19, 2006

Baseball Has It Bass Ackwards

Today marks the start of this season's interleague play in Major League Baseball. That's where teams from the American League play against teams from the National League. I suppose these games are most enjoyable for people who you live in places like Chicago, New York, Los Angeles, or San Francisco/Oakland, where there are bragging rights on the line between regional rivalries.

Interleague games began back in 1997 (other than the World Series and exhibition games). But, in my opinion, there's a problem with interleague games. The issue revolves around the fact that American League teams and National League teams each play by different rules -- namely, the American League supports the Designated Hitter Rule while the National League does not.

According to section 6.10 of Baseball's Official Rules, "In the event of inter league competition between clubs of Leagues using the Designated Hitter Rule and clubs of Leagues not using the Designated Hitter Rule, the rule will be used or not used as is the practice of the home team."

This is bass ackwards. A much better solution would allow fans in American League cities to watch games played according to National Leagues rules, and for fans in National League cities to watch games according to American League rules. That way fans could get a chance to experience something quite different when a team from the other league visits their city.

Personally, I love the Designated Hitter Rule. I just love watching runs being scored. I've been an avid baseball fan my entire life, dating back to an era when there were only eight teams in each league and the farthest west where major league baseball was ever played was Missouri (both St. Louis and Kansas City). When I was growing up my biggest heroes were Mickey Mantle and Ted Williams.

I've seen my fair share of pitchers hit. Most couldn't hit their IQ (and baseball players generally aren't the brightest bulbs in the pack to start with). I'd prefer watching David Ortiz play as designated hitter any day of the week.

I have always loved watching games played at Fenway Park because of how its quirkiness plays a role in how runs get scored. I love its nooks, crannies, asymmetries, and the Green Monster. I wish baseball would install two heavily-padded wooden telephone poles out in both left- and right-center fields, at 375 feet. That would add a Pachinko-like quality to well-hit fly balls.


Blogger Paul said...

In an ironic twist of fate, right after posting your blog entry Beckett had two hits -- one of which was the first home run by a Red Sox pitcher in over 30 years. You have to admit, that made for a pretty interesting game!

2:24 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home