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Saturday, July 2, 2011

La Russa In Favor Of Dumping Designated Hitter

Cardinals manager Tony La Russa told the St. Petersburg
 Times that he is in favor of dumping the DH. - Photo
courtesy of Getty Images
Major League Baseball reportedly is considering a major realignment and its implications on the game of baseball.   At the top of the list of hottest topics surrounding the subject is whether or not the designated hitter should be used in both leagues, in just the American League, or in neither league at all?

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.


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  1. The DH does NOT increase the roster, therefore no spot is "created". It does cause that spot to be utilized differently.

  2. I agree with La Russa. The DH just seems kind of sissy because it allows pitchers to chicken out of batting.

  3. I finally agree with LaRussa on something! If they can't play defense they aren't baseball players!

  4. I say dump LaRussa.

  5. Interleague play is like baseball and soccor players playing a game. Not the same rules.
    Whats to keep the National league from saying we get 4 outs per innong in our league.
    Or if a ball bounces into the stands it still a homerun.
    I'm a RedSox fan but interleague play with 2 sets of rules is WRONG WRONG
    Like a golfer going to a driving range and still thinks hes a golfer

  6. Tony supports getting behind wheel drunk as a skunk , Managed the bash roid brothers . Now thinks the big thumping guys shouldnt have a spot . Mr La Russa is the last guy in baseball id lay a critical decisicion with

  7. maybe tony could start by asking all cardinal minor league teams to do away with the DL, even when they are playing american league teams. my definition of a double switch is when you take out one of your position starters to put in a sub, so the pitcher who can't perform the major league function of hitting doesn't have to lead off the next inning. can't think of any baseball fan that attend games so they can watch tony La Russa or charlie manuel manage. what these NL managers do is not rocket science or the american league wouldn't dominate inter- league play.

  8. "can't think of any baseball fan that attend games so they can watch tony La Russa or charlie manuel manage." While I will agree with you that no one comes to the park to watch these guys manage your next statement that says "its not rocket science" may be true in a literal sense, but to think that there's nothing to managing baseball tells me one thing, you dont know shid about baseball!
    I've never liked the designated hitter rule, I think I'd dislike it more so if I was a pitcher.
    I'm no big fan a LaRussa and think its time for him to retire(this comming from a Cardinal fan) but he is entitled to his opinion and thats all that he gave.

  9. ok, so add DH to both leagues and pitchers batting in both leagues...of course that means less turns at the plate which will upset those that have plate appearances and hits as part of their contract incentives...

  10. The DH gave me the opportunity to see Hank Aaron, Orlanddo Cepeda and other national leaguers near the end of their career. It extend some careers too. I have always said I would rather watch George Brett hit than Dick Howser, Herzog...name your manager think.

  11. especially after a DH just beat them

  12. When did you ever see Hank Aaron play DH or Orlando Cepeda? I don't think they had the DH back when those guys played.

  13. 1. Who wants to see pitchers hit? Almost all of them are lousy at it.
    2. So if Joe Torre, probably another HOF Manager, came out in favor of the DH in both leagues this clearly objective writer would then argue that Bud should listen to Torre and have the NL use the DH? Or is this guy a Cardinal writer? (Just asking cause I don't know.)

  14. The DH won't get dumped. The MLBPA already said if the DH is dumped, there WILL be a lockout