|Cardinals manager Tony La Russa told the St. Petersburg|
Times that he is in favor of dumping the DH. - Photo
courtesy of Getty Images
When given the opportunity in an interview with the St. Petersburg Times, St. Louis Cardinals manager Tony La Russa had pointed comments on the subject.
La Russa is in favor of getting rid of the designated hitter in both leagues.
"Dump it. No. 1, I think both leagues should have the same rule. … (Without the DH) there's a lot of strategies and possibilities … and I think the game would lose a lot not having those moments, basically then it's just out there and slug, slug, slug."La Russa's comments come as a bit of a surprise considering the manager started his career in the American League and has generally managed teams with a focus on hitting three run home runs.
But if a manager like La Russa is in favor of getting rid of the DH, then Major League Baseball should seriously consider listening.
La Russa is not just another radio disc jockey looking to make a splash. He is certainly a future Hall of Famer, currently sitting in third place on the all-time wins list among all managers in baseball history. If La Russa has strong opinions regarding ways to make the game of baseball better, they should be taken seriously.
Of course it will take more than La Russa speaking up on the subject for MLB to ban the DH in whatever form of realignment they draw up.
The Major League Baseball Players' Association will certainly have some strong convictions on keeping the DH not only in the American League, but also adding it to the National League.
Having a DH keeps an extra extra roster spot for power hitting specialists, like David Ortiz, who lack the ability to adequately field a position on a regular basis. These specialists are usually paid better than say a fifth outfielder or utility infielder, thus the union will fight to keep the DH in play because it means more money for everyone involved.
So while the debate is much larger than one quote from a future Hall of Fame baseball manager, it is noteworthy that La Russa is in the corner of baseball purists who despise the DH.
And if a manger who often bats the pitcher eighth and uses the double-switch more often than a drug addict uses a needle feels that the DH should go, than Bud Selig should pay attention despite the union's wishes.